Total Knee Joint Replacements
And Scar Tissue Problem

Total Knee Joint Replacements and Scar Management

For many patients who receive bilateral total knee joint replacements, scarring is a big problem. Patients often report a tight cord-like feeling around the area of the surgical site.

Have you got that feeling? Do you feel like something is pulling your knee joint from the inside and is not allowing you the free movement that you expected?

Although this problem does not happen to many cases of total knee joint replacement, it does happen to a significant number of people.

This issue also often causes pain; although this pain is bearable, it creates concerns among patients regarding the successful outcome of their surgery.

How to Take Care of your Incision to Avoid Scarring!

What is Scarring?

According to Wikipedia “Scars are areas of fibrous tissue that replace normal skin after injury. A scar results from the biological process of wound repair in the skin and other tissues of the body.

Thus, scarring is a natural part of the healing process. With the exception of very minor lesions, every wound (e.g. after accident, disease, or surgery) results in some degree of scarring. An exception to this is animals with regeneration, which do not form scars and the tissue will grow back exactly as before.”

Total Knee Joint Replacements

Scar management following
total knee joint replacements

Once your incision has healed, usually after 2-3 weeks, using soft tissue massage techniques will help create good knee joint movement and also make the scar tissue more pliable.

1. Small circular motion along vertical incision line- This movement loosens recently formed scar tissue. It is quite important to start performing this kind of self-administered technique quite early in the post-surgical phase.

2. Side to side deep friction massage- This technique requires some pressure to be applied on soft tissue; you should apply as much pressure as you can bear .

3. Patellar mobilization- Patellar movement is easily restricted by scarring under the patella which often leads to patellar tracking problems. But early patellar mobilization can prevent adhesive scarring.

Many people have been using some kind of cream or lotion to decrease fricition while applying massage to the scar line. They also say lotion helps in reducing scar visibility. Many knee replacement patients have benefited from:

Scar relieving cream

In extreme cases, and for those who find these soft tissue massage techniques and physical therapy ineffective, some patients must consult with their knee replacement surgeon for further surgical treatment.

1. Arthroscopy- For total knee joint replacements patients with extreme cases of scarring, your doctor may recommend an arthroscopic surgery; by inserting a scope in the joint scar tissue is removed, thus improving knee movement.

2. Manipulation under anesthesia-So many times due to excessive scarring if a patient has restricted knee joint mobility, a doctor might perform joint manipulation.

During application of this technique a doctor will perform forceful flexion movements and thus gets good knee flexion movement.

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