03 Nov Scar Tissue Treatment in Knees
In June of 2005, I had a double total knee replacement in a hospital in New York. After surgery I went to a rehab hospital for approximately 9 days and did very poorly, compared to other patients. I was diagnosed with arthrofibrosis (excess scar tissue in both knees). I continued with outpatient therapy and did very poorly and was in a great deal of pain. I changed hospitals and surgeons and eventually had a revision done on each knee 5 months apart in 2008. My physical therapist continued and was always the therapy that anyone with knee implants were given, but I never did well and every therapist commented on how stiff my knees were. My range of motion was very poor and I never seemed to make any progress. Neither my orthopedic surgeon nor any physical therapist knew what to do to help me. We moved to Indiana in August of 2009 and I continued with physical therapy but never improved. In May of 2011, a woman asked me what was wrong with my legs as I was extremely limited and in a great deal of chronic pain. She told me about having Astym treatments for painful scar tissue after back surgery at ATI Physical Therapy in the town where we both lived and how much it helped her.
I made an appointment that week and began Astym treatments. I couldn’t believe that after my second treatment I noticed some pain relief for the first time since 2005! I would notice my knees literally getting smaller (there was so much scar tissue the skin was stretched so tightly over my knees and I was in a lot of pain) but I kept having less pain and the skin over my knees was actually getting looser! I did go through a period of illness and a fall and had to go 10 months without Astym therapy but I never developed more scar tissue. I was able to resume my Astym treatments and continue to improve. I do know that one knee seems easier to treat the scar tissue while the other tends to be denser, but still I am making progress in both knees. Before Astym therapy, I was almost totally house bound due to awful pain from this condition and on pain medication. Since the Astym (which I am not finished with yet but getting closer) I can do so much more in terms of getting out and going places and have been able to cut back on my pain medication! It is the ONLY effective treatment that I have found for this awful and rare condition. I do realize that it won’t be possible to eliminate all of my scar tissue, but it has eliminated a lot of it and It is much easier for me to do things. I can stand for much longer periods of time and walk (with a cane when I go out for safety) although I don’t need one in my home. Until I had Astym treatment, no other physical therapy helped me and I was becoming more depressed living with so much pain with the passage of time.
I highly recommend this for anyone who has excess scar tissue.
Patricia, Astym Patient
Clinic: ATI Physical Therapy