TKR scar tissue

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 It's just about eight weeks since my total knee replacement. I still don't sleep very well at night though it is better. My problem is the scar tissue I can bend my knee to chest about 95° which I think is pretty good since the nerve block put me a week behind as i could not do the exercises well.  I go to pool therapy twice a week which hurts like crazy but is working. I use my recumbent 10 minutes a day twice a day. Just started making it around. Every time I start out a day I feel like I'm starting all over again with scar tissue. If I watch a movie and get up  it's like starting all over again. Ripping tearing stretching it all hurts but I guess we have to keep doing it when will this end?  I don't want to have the  manipulation where they put you asleep in bend your knee!!!  I'm not even 60 thought I'd have more energy to do these exercises more strength or stamina and better pain tolerance but I've seen people older than me doing better than me. Very frustrating! 

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  • Posted

    Is it swollen? Are you icing and elevating above your heart? Are you in UK?
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    • Posted

      Hi Jenny

      I'm in Pennsylvania 

      I had slowed down on ice. And that was wrong I see. The ice can actually keep that scar tissue down. Thanks for the reminder. 

      Praying for U.K. I have a friend that lives there too. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you.

      Probably simple swelling. That is the most likely cause. Scar tissue formation is a normal process not something to battle agsinst. As long as you keep things moving, keep doing heel slides, and work on reducing swelling by also ensuring you have adequate rest it normally improves. Blessings

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  • Posted

    Patience.  I started going to a PT office 3-4 weeks after surgery and was measured at -14 / +84.  It took 10 weeks from there @ 2X/week plus the continuing home exercises to get to -1 / +123.  There are advances, setbacks and plateaus...I got stuck at -4 for weeks...yes, frustrating.  Give it time...do the work.

    Thought you'd have more strength?  Fantasyland.  Your quad, glues and core are atrophied...dead...and it will take a long time to get that strength back.  Here's a whole discussion on Post-PT exercising.  The whole thing can take up to a year....be prepared...

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/post-tkr-exercising-565527

    Sleeping tips...

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/trouble-sleeping-post-tkr--539591

    Everything you're saying is very normal.  The problem is that you're expecting too much and getting down on yourself.  Don't do that.  Very counterproductive.  Everyone is different and your experience will be very personal.  Some people have DNA that doesn't produce much scar tissue and sail right through this; others have the opposite.  Some people can withstand a ton of pain, no problem; others can't.  No one can predict how much you will go through or how long it will take...so expect NOTHING...just stay focused and do the work.

    I'm 18-months post-op at 0 / +133.  It's worth it.  Click on my name or picture and then "See All Discussions".  I have posted a lot more on the Forum.  Have fun...

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much! This forum helps me to remember I'm not alone! My PT said the same thing. She could tell I was depressed and did a range check. I'm at 90 relaxed and 105 pushed. It hurts so much but I am a fan of the ice again. Will keep pushing thru and will check out what you have shared!! Thanks for responding!!!

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    • Posted

      105 when pushed is great. Try not to be anxious about it. Mine was about the same at 7 weeks post op, and my physio had no worries and felt it was very good. Swelling is the most likely restriction...so make sure you rest it as well and don't be tempted to rush it. My range of motion took a big step up at around 10 to 12 weeks which directly corresponded with a marked reduction in swelling. It continued to improve even after four months. It will happen.

      May be different in USA in terms of expectations, but no one even mentioned scar tissue to me! Has someone said something which makes you think you are forming it at an unusual rate? And how can they tell what is scar tissue and what is just swelling? Have you been told you have adhesions?

      Sounds like you are doing great...be nice to yourself and blessings to you for a good recovery!

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    • Posted

      Jenny I have that noise or feeling in my leg as little pulls tears. Pt said it's scar tissue. I keep working through it. She is careful to not have me hurt myself. I am careful too. Just stared 10 minutes am and pm very slowly on my recombent that loosens me up. Make my day a little better! Thanks for the encouragement. Good luck to you too!!!

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    • Posted

      ?Ah, I see! Sounds like you have a nice physio! Glad to hear it! Makes so much difference!

      I am now over six months post op. It really has been worth it. Lij e having a new lease of life. 😊

      You may like to go to my profile by clicking on the image next to my name. I kept a journal of my own knee replacement journey, and I have been told by several people they found it helpful to read, or skim through. It was written to convey the need for patience, something our culture in the western world is not really geared up to! It has a lot of useful suggestions and information. Writing it gave me a project to focus on!

      Everyone's experience is different and we cope with things in different ways. I found reading about others experience of TKR very helpful and this forum is a good way to get a sense of being part of a group of peoplec who really do understand because they have been through it!

      I also found it helpful to jot down little steps of progress and improvement after the surgery, because it is so easy to not appreciate the improvements which are made. Keeping a journal is a good idea. You can the look back on the experience and the progress you make, and appreciate what a massive and hugh acheivement it is!

      Do nice things! Look on it maybe as a kind of spiritual retreat also? !

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  • Posted

    Jessica I choose not to have the manipulation because of scar tissue.  I found a wonderful PT ( he specializes in deep tissue massage) and had a TKR himself last year.  He understands exactly what I'm talking about.  He is helping me!  My bend is ok but I'm 10 degrees off in straightening my leg.  He feels that I can get it back.  I'm about 16 weeks from my TKR.  I still have some nights that are not great.  I do water aerobics 3 times a week, physical therapy 2 times a week, one specific exercise from the PT 4 times a day, machines 2 times a week and walk as much as I can.  I'm giving myself at least a year to recover.   If I've learned one thing on this forum it's that we are each unique....especially when it comes to healing.  Not one friend or the surgeon told me about not sleeping for weeks, depression, or how long it takes to heal.  Be patient with yourself and honor your "gut" feelings about what do do.  Best wishes for a good decision.  I'm 72.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Judith. I feel better knowing others understand. I am working on patience and trying to understand my emotions. Crying every night feels weird but I suppose it's a release  

      I'm grateful to those who understand.  I will keep on trucking it will pass and it helps to understand it takes time! 

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  • Posted

    Hi Jessica,

    I am just 5 weeks post-op and know exactly how you feel!  I feel like recovery for a tkr is like climbing a sand dune...up 3 feet, down 2...but it has to be done.  Please make sure you read Chico Marx reply, as no one says it better.  Luckily I found this forum just 1 week post-op and most all of my questions have been answered.  

    Hang in there and know that all of this will take patience and a lot of hard work.  I don't like waking up each day being faced with so much pain, frustration, work, and exhaustion, but I have a choice... either do what I have to do to conquer this or quit... looks like I really don't have a choice, cause I'm not a quitter and neither are you.  

    Many blessings and let us know how you are doing.

    Cherry🍒

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    • Posted

      Dear Jessica,

      I failed to say that I too, had many nights of crying  and there is nothing wrong with that.  As my granny use to say, ' better out than in'... I think you could relate that to a number of things, but it always worked for crying. Lol. I guess a little bit of humor goes a long way.

      Keep in touch,

      Cherry🍒

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  • Posted

    I was very similar to you and at about 10 weeks had the manipulation. Best thing I could have done. The pain got much better and my ROM started improving dramatically. Obviously the scar tissue was holding me back. I too was afraid of the manip but was so frustrated and when my Dr said he wanted to do it I agreed. Good luck to you. 
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