Incision healing after surgery needs to be carefully observe to make sure that the wound heals properly. Keeping incision wound clean is one of the most important thing to do during post-surgery wound healing. Observing signs of infections is also a thing to consider. However, with certain surgeries, the possibility of infection is not the only thing to pay attention to. In knee surgery, for instance, surgeons and the patient must be aware of the possibility of post-surgery scar tissue development. Scar tissues after knee surgery—often called also as adhesions can cause severe pains and knee stiffness.
How knee surgery incisions heal
Knee surgery incision heals similarly to other kinds of wounds, which is passing through some main steps. Those steps are:
- The inflammatory phase, where new skin cells which function to replace the underlying tissues grow.
- The proliferative phase, where new skin cells which act as replacement agents are formed and migrate to the top of the skin surface to close the wound and thus, replace the skin surface affected by the wound.
- The remodeling phase, where the newly formed connective tissues are formed and arranged based on the arrangement of the stresses received by the scars.
Scar tissue after knee surgery
In early healing phase after knee surgery, formed scars might look bumpy and blotchy. Scar tissues are formed in the final phase of wound healing, giving us a clue that the incision might have been fully healed, and that new skin cells are fully formed to enclose the open wound. Scar tissue formation, thus, is the body’s way of protecting the knee—and other injured body parts, from further injuries, by keeping its inner parts covered and safe. Some people refers to scar tissues as adhesions, and most practitioners believe that there is no exact cure to completely eliminate post-surgery scar tissues.
When you experienced a knee surgery, scar tissues are present to protect and replace damaged tissues. With other body parts, this should not be a problematic issue. However, post knee surgery adhesions can be a big issue when its growth prevents the healing knee from extending or bending fully. Commonly, adhesions are signed by clicking sounds which is heard when the knee is moved. Some people also experience severe swelling around the incisions. Using ice might help to reduce the swelling.
Among many patients undergoing knee surgeries, the occurrence of scar tissues or adhesions may vary. Although scar tissues is a normal property of healthy wound healing, scar tissues which are glued together and cause stiffness can be harmful and inevitably painful.
Causes of scar tissues after knee surgery
Scar tissues should not be a bad thing, as this is a normal way done by the body to process normal healing. However, some people do develop scar tissues—which may end up in adhesions, while some other do not. Similar to stretch marks and cellulite developments, personal susceptibility to scar tissues among people cannot be specifically determined. Normally, scar tissues are formed a while after knee surgery, and some patients develop normal scar tissue, while some others might experience knee “pop” or “click” sound produced by adhesive scar tissues.
Regarding this, it is believed that early mobilization of the incised knee might be helpful for minimizing the risk of abnormal scar tissue development. The major cause of scar tissue formation after knee surgery is in fact, because it is a body’s response to the inflammation phase. These scar tissues stretch across the walls of knee joints and bind its surface. This will cause movement limitation. At first, scar tissues which is formed can be easily broken by knee movement, which is done in therapy sessions during post knee surgery healing. However, along the time, these scar tissues develop into more mature, hardened, thicker bands, which bind organs and skin parts together. When you develop this kind of scar tissues after knee surgery, it is likely to have a stiff knee, which is very painful when moved. In its early phase, this stiff scar tissues can be broken by performing knee movements assisted by professionals in therapy sessions. However, in later phase, this binding might only be able to be eliminated through a surgery, which is also a double weapon for its possibility to enlarge the scars.