Skin breakdown TKR wound

Posted , 12 users are following.

I'm 5 weeks post TKR, doing OKish. My wound was clean and dry and looked nicely healed, but wearing clothes is very difficilt because everything I wear rubs the wound raw. It's just because it's in an awkward place, but yesterday I tried to ignore the pain and keep going, so now my wound is bleeding and reopening in places.

I've put on a dressing and shall take care of it, but I live in Scotland and this is the coldest time of year. Bare legs and shorts are NOT an option!

Sounds trivial compared with some of the problems of others here, but has anyone any tips on protecting a fragile scar in such an exposed site, please?

1 like, 20 replies

20 Replies

  • Posted

    I had my surgery in the summer, but my knee hurts so much now (another replacement coming in May) that I can emphasize with your pain.  Maybe if you got an Ace bandage (elastic wrap) and used that on your knee it would be protected.  Hope you get better soon.
  • Posted

    Hi I am 10 weeks post tkr surgery and I still have same problem. I have ended up going to Marks and Spencer and buying some soft jogger pants and I have found wearing then so much better. They only had one pair left in my size so I wash and tumble dry each night and they dry really quickly. As soon as I try my jeans or any other trousers my knee gets so sore. They may not be very fashionable but they are so comfy. Hope this helps. Kind regards Jannette
  • Posted

    Hi Lame Woman (?)

    I wouldnt go anywhere near jeans at your stage they would definitely cause you damage.

    Like Janette i  wear track suit bottoms most of the time, mind you I cheat, mine look like trousers, a galloping horse wouldnt know what they were! Cover it up until it heals over, then let the air at it again.

    I agree about the weather, it causes havoc with the knee pain. Ireland cold but Scotland colder!

    Stay strong


    The Irish One!

  • Posted


    I had the same problem......

    Even the duvet rubbing on it during the night made it sore..

    I wore soft jersey trousers during the day and when in house used to roll the leg up over the wound to let it heal. Then when out used adhesive wound dressings which covered the wound but the sticky part was not on it. Got them from the chemist and they were brill. Used them in bed too.

    It was about three months or so before I could stand my jeans back on....

    I also rubbed in E 45 cream which kind of protected it too.

    If it is an open wound you should see your nurse. Hope this helps X

  • Posted

    I would first check with your gp that there 's no infection, then as suggested wear jogging pants or next have some fashionable stretchy pants a step up from leggings and more loose that are comfy. Just put a micropore dressing on when you go out,it will protect your wound but still allows air circulation for healing. in the house roll up your pants and let it get the air to dry. Once the scar is dry and scabs fall start massaging with bio oil or similar, it will help your scar tissue de sensitise and youll be able to wear ' normal' clothes soon after, It took me ages but you'll get there .good luck
  • Posted

    Thanks for the helpful advice! It's soft old cotton gym trousers for me. I can stand looking like Waynetta Slob for comfort and no hypothermia!

    The dressings help too - the fabric slides over them. And bio oil is nice too.

    I think it's a matter of time now, but at least I can do the exercises and shuffle around the house without ruining the surgeon's tidy work. I was shocked to see how fragile it was.

    This forum is full of reassurance and the practical advice they didn't put in the leaflets!

  • Posted

    I am on day 34 since bilateral TKR.  I think you should call the nurse for direction what to do with the wound.  They might need to put steri strips to close some gaps.   In regards to the sensitivity, I can relate.  Daytime it is not as annoying as bed time.  In fact 2 nights ago between the blanket rubbing my knees and the thunder pain I might have slept 3 hours straight.  Last night I wore silky pajama pants.  This made a huge difference with the scar sensitivity.  I slept a lot better.    Looking forward to the day that I don't think about my knees at all.  Good luck.
  • Posted

    Hi I know the feeling because I have chunky legs I could only get knee highs they cut my leg and I got an infection, hopefully all sorted now, I went to bhs and brought some really pretty pyjama bottoms if I know I am not going out I wear them with a top they are baggy and loose and very comfortable. Again marks and Spencer joggers are ideal you can pick them up for £ 9.50 GOOD LUCK
  • Posted


    I am only 4 weeks post op TKR. I don't have any problems with the scar. It has almost completely healed and no pain to touch. I am grateful for this after reading what you are experiencing.

    I would definitely talk to a nurse or your doctor. Surely they would have some idea how to make your life a little more comfortable. Plus maybe a good idea just to get it checked to make sure everything is on track.

    I hope this heals and resolves itself soon.

    Take care of yourself

    Jodie xxx

  • Posted

    Please be sure that ur not getting an infection. I hope you'll have it checked out by a nurse or dr. 5 weeks is still so early.

    i personally did not experience what you have and was able to wear jeans at 4 weeks. Although, I wear loose sweats in the house and do not get dressed in regular clothes that often. Still stay home a lot and have to wear loose pants to pt. wishing you well!

  • Posted

    Thanks for excellent advice!

    Any skin damage could lead to infection, so it's scary. I have cleaned and dressed my wound carefully.

    I'm more comfortable with it covered up, but will watch changes closely. The system here is that you can pop in to the hospital ward any time day or night during the early weeks and get a complete review assessment by the specialist team, so I did. I had a complete examination, swabs & blood tests, but they're all negative for infection signs so far. I was there 5 hours and they starved me, just in case it needed surgery. Have to admire this thorough approach!

    It all feels a bit much for a wardrobe malfunction and a scabby knee, but it's seriously reassuring. The Scottish NHS is amazing.

    • Posted

      Glad ur getting good care! So glad it's not infected!
  • Posted

    First of all I'd change your forum log I name and start to look on the positive because you will improve and measure it week by week.

    As for the rubbing. You will always have a numbness on the out side part of your knee. It won't hurt, just feels numb. Get the nurse to look at the wound as it shouldn't have opened, hopefully it is just surface bleeding. The best thing is an ordinary tubular bandage from the chemist, large enough to cover the knee with a good portion above a d below. This will keep it warm and snug and prevent charging. I also had some neoprene knee supports from before the ops on both knees. If you google Active 360, they're about £15. They didn't help me before as my knees were too far gone but I have worn them since over the top of the tubular bandage as you do sweat a bit. They do what it says with regards keeping in place and holding everything together but I would try just the cheap tubular as bandage whilst you still have swelling.

    • Posted

      That should have said Active 650 not 350.

      Ask to prevent chafing not charging.

      The tubular bandage stretches over the knee and will help you without putting too much pressure on.

  • Posted

    Glad I went back to the hospital for what I'd thought was just a scabby knee. Turns out I have a superficial wound infection with a bit of hot pink cellulitis. Not much of a setback compared with others here, but jolly sore. Think of red hot needles.

    I have antibiotics (hope they work soon!) and a hot water bottle. And no trousers on again....

    • Posted


      Glad to hear you have been back...all will be well soon. Take care x

    • Posted

      Again, so glad u got checked again and r on antibiotics! Let us us know ur progress. 😀🙋🏻

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