How long before scar tissue is irreversibly settled in?

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I'm 4 weeks out and have a ways to go with straightening my leg (right now it's still about -3), while my flexion is OK (110) and somewhat improving.  I keep reading about not letting scar tissue setttle in, and I don't understand what that means.  Will there be a point when I won't be able to progress any more because the scar tissue has taken up permant residency?  If so, any idea when that will be?  I don' have any more PT sessions set up, but think I should. And I feel like I'm exercising enough because I'm exhausted at the end of the day, to the point of feel somewhat queasy after i've finished them.   But I will push frther if I'm under some sort of time clock..

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  • Posted

    That's a good question. After my first PT session; during which I cried cause the pain was unbearable; I went to my Primary care doctor the next day because I couldn't even walk it hurt so much. He was adamant about no weight bearing on the leg. So I was back to using crutches and trying not to put any weight on the leg. It made a huge difference in my pain level. I went from a 10 to a manageable 5. Stayed off the leg for about 4 weeks. Kept doing range of motion exercise. And just this week it's almost like it healed overnight! I can walk on it with minimal pain. I was wondering about the scar tissue building up too. But I can bend it enough to kneel down and can touch my toes! So I'll follow this thread and see what people have to say. My theory is if it hurts so badly you're crying then don't do it. These surgeons are full of bs thinking PT is the magic answer. I'm a runner so I can handle exercise pain. Which is how I tore my meniscus in the first place. The Ortho doctor said I needed PT when I first tore it. I said no way. I want an MRI. Something's wrong. I have good muscles. And sure enough it was a torn meniscus that required surgery. Just go at your own pace. I'm 8 weeks since surgery and just started sleeping through the night with no pain. Keep me posted. Everyone is different.

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  • Posted

    I'm 3 weeks post op and my ROM is 0-118.For me the CPM machines helped greatly.

    Sometimes the PT folks push too hard too early.I was told to keep it below 90 deg until the staples came.out

    How many PT sessions are you going to have? I've had 5 of approved 12.

     

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    • Posted

      Yeah I wonder if any of them have ever had a knee surgery and know what it's like? I come in on crutches and the first thing they put me on the bike for 10 minutes! Are you kidding me? I can't walk but I can bicycle? That makes no sense. Then for comfort the put the TENS Unit patch on my knee that I can't even touch it hurts so bad but the killer was the 20 pound ice blanket they wrapped around it. 15 minutes of torture with that. The only thing that got me through it was praying the rosary. It was like being at the dentist with no novacaine! I cried the whole way home because of the new pain inflicted upon me as if I wasn't already in pain. And by evening I couldn't even move my leg. Omg. I'm athletic and run walk do yoga and step aerobics so I'm managing my own PT. I really think they set me back from healing by a couple weeks. Just my first and only experience I've ever had with PT. Had to share. Hope you don't mind!

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    • Posted

      There's a variety of PT's with their own ideas, and I wish the surgeons would call them all in and give them some rules, because I had bad experiences with the first office I went to.  They way over worked it.  Then told me I shouldn't be using crutches, maybe a cain.  Obviously they don't get it.  So I quit and had my surgeon's nurse who both said don't go back, tell me I still need PT and to find a different one.  First visit is always charming and low key, still alot of different machines.  He let me know he would start pushing and to be prepared next visit.  That tells me to take pain meds before and I will definately speak up if its getting too forceful.  It has to be a team work.  They can't tell you it isn't important when it hurts bad enough to cry.

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    • Posted

      Well said! Yes if it hurts bad enough to cry you shouldn't be doing it! I'm a baby when it comes to pain. Ill admit it. But this knee pain is the worst ever. I had a partial lung removed from lung cancer on 2014. That was like a scratch compared to this. I was in the hospital 5 weeks cause the lung wouldn't heal right. Had the doctor stumped. He'd never seen it happen before! So I think this knee pain is the same kinda thing. My body being difficult and not wanting to heal like everyone else's.

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  • Posted

    Almost as different between people as their fingerprints. I've heard people on here say the are scar tissue makin' machines and in a couple of weeks it seems impossible to tear it loose. In my on case I've still Been able to rip it out (a couple of times unintentionally) months later. Ive found massaging Vi t E oil in deep twice a day helped heal the scar and soften plus healed the deep tissue. Regular excercise, properly walking with the heel, ball of the foot, toe and then bending as much as possible with a full comfortable stride is the best way to work it loose. Slow down everything you do so you are getting the full stretch.

    2 weeks ago today my wife who has advanced Parkinson disease, took what is recognized as a Parkinson fall(backwards) breaking a hip and luckily escaping a head injury as she fell on the cement patio. She had a partial hip replacement and is now in a rehab center. With the help of a walker and being assisted by a physical therapist she has gone from walking 30 feet to 150 feet in a week. She is constantly worried about being slow and everyone, including me is telling her to slow down and make sure you are striding as full and proper as you possibly can. In her case she will never be able to walk normal because if the Parkinson's but she can still walk correctly as far as the hip movement is concerned. So it is with TKR, slow and correct is far better than being in a hurry and doing it wrong.......the scarvtssue will respond accordingly

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  • Posted

    I'm 11 weeks post op and physiotherapist has sent me back to the surgeon to discuss MUA to disperse the scar tissue as I'm stuck at 75 and -15. This is apparently likely because I healed really fast and scar tissue set in before I was fit enough to do much about it and for the last however many weeks I have been fighting a losing battle. So I think the answer is if it sets in like mine you need help to get rid of it. But as we all me saying every one of us is different.

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    • Posted

      Wow. How fast does the scar tissue set in? A month would you say? I guess being a fast healer is bad in this case. Doesn't make sense. Best of luck to you in your recovery.

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    • Posted

      I'm not entirely sure but quite quickly I think. Although I'm sure that with initial even harder work it can be overcome. My issue is that they didn't warn me it may happen. I feel that I took a little while to recover and not over do it whereas if they'd said that as I am 'young' my body would likely go into overdrive I would have pushed myself harder in the beginning. But no use crying over spilt milk now!

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    • Posted

      The more I read on here the more I think the medical profession across the world has no idea or consensus on most things. Here in the UK my PT has given me sensible exercises to do three times a day of about 20 reps. These got easier and easier. The philosophy is to work steadily but don't push it if you feel any pain. For the scar tissue just a bit of massage once the wound is healed completely externally. I found bio-oil made this easier. I have got 92 deg bend and about -6 straightening so a way to go. But the PT says this is brilliant after just 8 weeks.  considering it was less range of movement than this before the op. I don't get any pain unless I push things and an walk quite well. PT told me to stop worrying and just do normal things and that will give the best results.

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    • Posted

      I'm in uk too. I was given lots of different exercises and have massaged religiously too! The scar tissue around the scar is great I think the problem is deeper in.

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    • Posted

      I know right? We live and learn...the hard way! I think there's a lot of things they don't tell you. Which is total bs. Why do we have to try and figure these things out for ourselves? Didn't these people go to school to become doctors and therapists? It's so frustrating and it feels like they really don't care. Once surgery is over they push you over to PT and then you're kinda on your own. I went to my Primary Care doctor and he's frustrated that he has to deal with my post surgical issues and the surgeon has moved on. Seems like the doctors and PTs aren't addressing your scar tissue concern. Hang in there. I hope you feel better and get some answers.

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    • Posted

      It occurs to me that if I was elderly the surgeon /pt/ nurses etc have special care plans in place because of that. It seems to be glossed over that there are a different set of issues for younger people that only became apparent too late! I'm assuming the doctors were aware that younger people potentially heal faster and get issues with rom due to scar tissue so why not do something about it - pretty sure it would be cheaper for them than waiting till I need an MUA . Too late now though!

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    • Posted

      and that could have been as simple as telling me....... I know it hurts like hell just now because youve just had major surgery but move it a lot now regardless rather than leave for a few days till you feel up to it ! Let's face it there are more drugs in the hospital to help it feel better!

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