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scar tissue

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by jdanner46, Sep 22, 2010.

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  1. jdanner46

    jdanner46 Junior Member

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    What are the best things to do to prevent and break down scar tissue that may form after TKR
    thanks
  2. Tykey

    Tykey Forum Advisor

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    Doing the exercises we are given to stop them forming:shk:

    Why, do you have a problem, John??
  3. Ginnibug

    Ginnibug Senior

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    Hey there John, I did and still do deep tissue massages and this helped/helps me greatly. My hubby with stronger hands than me would do it for me and most everytime I could feel the tissue breaking away. It wasn't painful but felt really odd.

    I have Arthrofibrosis thus I have an ongoing problem with scar tissue. The massaging and as Tykey said the exercises do help!

    Smooches,
    Ginger
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  4. Josephine

    Josephine Administrator

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    Most people don't have a problem about this, John. There is a thread in the Library about it MUA (manipulation under anaesthetic) and adhesions. So it's not really anything we do or don't do that causes adhesions (proper name for it!). You don't have to fear it as something inevitable that will happen if you don't do (this or that). People are either prone to it or they're not. Most people are not. Try not to worry about it.
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  5. margaretd

    margaretd Senior

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    Wow, Jo, my doctor said that (and he really po'd me) that if i had not reached 95 in 6 weeks after surgery, that we would be heading into surgery for MUA because of scar tissue build up! I was thinking to myself, "not sure who you are thinking "we" are but me ain't going to be one of them:shk:" Some docs think that if you don't get to that very magic number, then all is lost and you might as well not have had surgery. I now believe that as long as we do our normal activities, push ourselves just a little each day to do a bit more, then we are fine. MUA????? yeah, right!
  6. Ginnibug

    Ginnibug Senior

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    Some people, myself included cannot get past a certain ROM regardless of therapy or anything else because of scar tissue, it's as if you have hit a brick wall and cannot go any farther. It really has nothing to do with a magic number but more that if your ROM has reached a certain place that will allow you to do the minimum required to motivate around.

    My OS felt that at 7 weeks I was only at 80 degrees and was going no higher due to scar tissue so he suggested an MUA. It isn't surgery, a simple procedure under anesthesia where he manipulated my knee to 120 degrees, breaking up the scar tissue that was holding me back.

    It made a great difference in my recovery and I'm so happy that the MUA was done.

    (((Huggz)))

    Ginger
  7. Josephine

    Josephine Administrator

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    Oh for sure, Ginger. There's always a point (or a person) for whom an MUA is necessary and beneficial. It's just this "six week window" threat they insist on spouting that gets me! The number of MUAs carried out after TKR is actually very small but they make it sound like an inevitability if you haven't got to xxxx in that time frame and "it ain't necessarily so"!
  8. Ginnibug

    Ginnibug Senior

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    I totally agree with you Ms. Jo and I'm sure some medical professionals are too forth coming with threats. But I also feel that if a procedure is needed why wait? The same concept as why some people prefer both knees replaced at the same time, one recovery for both knees.

    Not once did my OS threaten me with an MUA, I saw him for the usual scheduled visit and at that time he mentioned an MUA to break up scar tissue. He prefers to do his MUA's at this point in recovery to move past the scar tissue and to assist in recovery. Also it is of his opinion that the longer you wait and the harder the tissue is to break up there is a possibility of bone fractures and such.

    My point is that MUA's are not a bad thing!

    (((Huggz)))

    Ginger
  9. Josephine

    Josephine Administrator

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    That's just what I said, Ginger ...

  10. margaretd

    margaretd Senior

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    I thought per Jo and Jamie, that scar tissue didnt actually start to form till months later after this surgery. Did I miss something? I know it forms, but after a few weeks, I don't think it is there yet for surgeon to break it apart..Let me know!
  11. Ginnibug

    Ginnibug Senior

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    Oh believe me, it was there with me and forming double time! I still have problems 8 months out. My Rom has improved a bit (from 105 to 110) but due to Arthrofibrosis this will be an ongoing problem.

    My OS told my hubby while I was in recovery after surgery that he encountered much scar tissue already present and anticipated problems.

    Ginger
  12. FrogFeathers

    FrogFeathers Post-Grad

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    Me too.

    I absolutely needed the MUA and it was within the six week mark. (five and a half weeks, to be exact). Massage didn't work, exercises didn't work.

    What was the key factor in my surgeon's decision that during PT, with a lot work and a lot of pushing and using that little machine (the electrode thingy- TENS?), I could get my ROM up to high 70s/low 80s. But within an hour, It was back in the 50s/60s. So it wasn't what I could get to, it was that I couldn't stay at that point. My ROM would drop drastically, very quickly.

    The MUA helped... a lot.

    But like its been said, not many people have that problem. My doctor was always full of this statement: "We don't usually do [insert whatever medical thing here] on someone [so young, so soon after surgery, whatever time-frame], but we have no choice..." :wink:
  13. Ginnibug

    Ginnibug Senior

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    Hey Patty, it's good to see you and I hope all is well with you. You make a very good point that I neglected to mention......."I could get my ROM up to high 70s/low 80s. But within an hour, It was back in the 50s/60s. So it wasn't what I could get to, it was that I couldn't stay at that point. My ROM would drop drastically, very quickly.".......I was the exact same way and remember how so very frustrating it was!!!

    Take Care!
    Ginger

  14. Josephine

    Josephine Administrator

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    I think you have misunderstood what we said.

    You know even if you get a small cut on your hand that it often leaves a mark we call a scar. This is a kind of 'dead' tissue which is the 'glue' that holds the cut tissues together. In the skin it shows up as a scar. Inside the body though it cannot be seen (obviously) a simple scar tissue develops where muscles have been cut or split and performs the same function. This usually begins to form within a few days or a week after surgery. It's what dictates when the staples come out (if you have staples). 10-14 days is the time at which those cut tissues are securely held together.

    However, there is another form of 'scar tissue' which is more properly called adhesions. You can read all about that in this thread MUA (manipulation under anaesthetic) and adhesions where it describes about 'glidability' between muscles and ligaments. This can take some weeks to develop though some people who are prone to adhesions may develop it more quickly. The vast majority of people are not prone to adhesions.

    Hope this explains it for you.
  15. FrogFeathers

    FrogFeathers Post-Grad

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    This bears repeating.

    The vast majority of people are not prone to adhesions.

    I tell people every time I tell my story- "I AM NOT NORMAL!" and "MY RECOVERY IS NOT TYPICAL!"

    Ugly scarring is a family trait. My dad does it, I do it, apparently some other family members do it. But I was the first one (and the youngest with the same problem) to have joint-replacement.
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  16. Josephine

    Josephine Administrator

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    Thank you for that, Patty. People do worry about it so and it's so unnecessary.
  17. FrogFeathers

    FrogFeathers Post-Grad

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    When my surgeon scheduled me for the MUA, I thought it was something I had done to myself (or had not done, like I wasn't trying hard enough in PT). My appointment with the OS was on a Thursday and I spent the weekend till the MUA thinking I was a failure of some kind (not because of anything the OS said, it was all in my own head).

    I did Google searches for MUA and adhesions and such and that's how I found this place. So it wasn't all bad. :wink:

    And when I went in for the procedure, it was made very clear to me that there was nothing I could have done about it myself.
  18. jdanner46

    jdanner46 Junior Member

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    no problem, just looking for new ways to be sure the scar tissue doesn't become one
    rom was 117 at 8 weeks
    thanks
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