TKR Scar very tight

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poppycarew

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Hello everyone, I am very pleased to find this site and its great to be able to see how others are doing. I had my left knee replaced on 17 April 2013 so I am now at week 6. So far everything has gone well. I am managing the pain and the swelling by following the mantra from this site. The only problem I have is that the scar line is very tight and when bending my knee from a straight position the scar feels like its going to open up and tear. I know this won't happen (hopefully) but it is very unnerving. Should I massage some oil into the scar to make it more flexible or is this normal.
 

Josephine

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Hi there and welcome. I imagine your knee is swollen? And are you pushing on your knee to make it bend? Pushing so that it hurts?


I have some questions to ask you:
1. what medications have you been prescribed, how much are you taking (in mg please) and how often?
2. how often are you icing your knee and for how long?
3. how high are you elevating your leg, how often and for how long?
4. what is your activity level? What do you do in the way of housework, cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc., and
5. what kind of PT are you doing? How much and how often?

Also here are some very important articles I'd like you to read. Sounds like you might have some across them before but I have highlighted two that are very germane to your problem

First are the BoneSmart mantras ....
- rest, elevate, ice and take your pain meds by the clock
- if it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physiotherapist - to do it to you
- if your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again
- if you won't die if it's not done, don't do it
- never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can go to sleep!

And here are some very crucial articles
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Activity progression for TKRs

Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling

Home physio (PT) and activity progress: suggestions
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it

And wise words from members who have shared their experiences ...
Where are you in recovery?? (TKR)
Five “P’s” of knee recovery
TKR: work “smarter” and not “harder”
Recovering a knee - from one who knows!
It's never too late to get more ROM!
It's worth the wait for ROM
 

maryo52

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Yes, that knee feels pretty weird. Somewhere along the way, it will improve enough, and you will get used to it feeling different than it used to feel enough, that it becomes OK. That's the good news. The bad news is that at 6 weeks you are about 1/9th of the way to the theoretical one year total healing mark. In human years, that's age 2. So hang in there and pace yourself for the long run. Your cheerful outlook will prove to be a real asset.
 

60mom

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Mine did the same thing. My daughter told me to put Vaseline on it and it really helped it to feel less tight. I still put it on at almost 6 wks when I wear jeans as they are a bit irritating and it helps with any clothing that is ruff.
 

kimejen

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Hi poppycarew. Same feeling with me. It's a swelling thing, feels more like that when swollen. My physiotherapist puts lots of sorbolene cream on my scar and massages it every time I see him. I let him do that because I just couldn't bring myself to massage my scar as it was a bit tender. I am able to do that now, so I smother my scar with sorbolene twice a day, morning and before bed and just give it a gentle massage. Scar looks good and nourished. You're still very early in recovery so it'll take time. Glad to see you're doing well. Take care. Jenny :puppysmooze:
 
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poppycarew

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Thank you for your replies. I have put Vaseline on this morning so I will give that a go.

Josephine, I am taking for pain relief co-codamol 8/500mg 1 x 4/5 daily but I must admit that I probably have, over the past few days, not been taking them as regularly as I had been. Not resting/ice/elevation as I had and generally thinking/doing more than I am ready for causing swelling and tightness.

I had been:

Icing 2/3 times a day for 20 min or so.
Activity wise my husband has been marvellous and has done the majority of the housework/cooking with me helping as I can.

PT -I do the exercises that were given to me in the hospital (heel slides, leg raises, knee bends, quad muscle strengthening.

I had a good range of movement both bending/straightening 2/3 days after operation. ( I have been doing Pilates for over a year with a teacher who is also a GP) I feel sure that I have benefited from this as my muscles were strong to begin with and this helped with the range of movement.

I think, now it has been pointed out to me, I had started to run before I could walk. I need to step back again and go with the flow. It is so easy to forget the trauma our knees have gone through.
 

Janet2012

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Vasoline seemed to help with that for me, also. It's not just the swelling, it's just a tight feeling line, feels like a straight stitch in a stretchy material which about sums it up!
 

1ELISEA

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Welcome poppycarew
My physical therapist gently worked on my scar to help alleve that tightness.

She started slowly at the very end and over several weeks worked up the scar line. She would gently massage it and break up those little bumps on the scar. I know that helped immensely and it also now is a completely flat scar that you have to look to find. :thumb:
 

Josephine

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co-codamol 8/500mg 1 x 4/5 daily
I've never known codeine to be much good for knee replacements. Besides which, the proper dose (as prescribed by your doctor, I am sure!) is TWO tablets each time and not one.
Icing 2/3 times a day for 20 min or so.
Is that all? Hardly worth the effort! Try icing and elevating more to get the swelling and pain (two sides of the same coin) under control with the extra pain meds!
 
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