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Author Topic: scar tissue....poor circulation?? help!!  (Read 4050 times)

Offline Grace

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scar tissue....poor circulation?? help!!
« on: July 22, 2002, 04:43:18 AM »
okay...so i am dealing with a great deal of pain lately.  It was suggested to me that it may come from scar tissue.  But i was under the impression that scar tissue forms after surgery when you don't move enough....BUT I HAVE NOT STOPPED MOVING!  i am doing everything even though i have all this pain.
Here is the prob/question:  when i stand up for long...like five minutes or more...my knee turns kinda purple and getsthese pink spots and blotches.  Could that be poor circualtion?  could it contribute to the development of scar tissue?
If it can't contribute to scar tissue...could it cause any or all of this pain i am having.  My fiance saw first that i was turning purple and freaked out....i have not worried about it at all and said nothing to no one...but as my pain is only increasing and not giving in to anything..i am now worrying.
any ideas or suggestions are welcome and i would love to hear if anyone had this same experience.
don't see OS again until Aug 22 and i can't seem to speak to my PT at all as he has taken to not listening to  anything i say and will not even seee me when i go in....just says hello and then sends me out to do my exercises...this is causing me a lot of frustration!  
i have tried massage, but does no good for pain...is actually a little painful on its own.
I am a worrier....so i will worry for some time. PLEASE!! send any info or suggestions!                -grace-
8 months of continuous physical therapy
plica excision/ shaving 6-10-02
5 months of agressive physical therapy
modified Fulkerson and lateral release 5-13-03
currently in limbo

Offline Heather M.

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Re: scar tissue....poor circulation?? help!!
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2002, 05:11:39 AM »
Grace,

I don't remember which surgery you had, but my knee also turns gets red and purple splotches after I'm on my feet, after PT, and after a shower.  My OS said it's due to my body trying to heal and increased circulation in the area that was traumatized.  Basically, I learned that if my knee was turning purple, it was time to elevate it and ice.

Icing is the ONLY thing that alleviates my pain right away.  Even then, it starts hurting again as soon as it thaws.  Still, it's better than no relief at all.  I bought a Breg Polar Care machine and it really has improved my quality of life, allowing me to ice on and off all day with very little fuss.  It also allows me to take only 1-2 painkillers a day, and those are in the evening after I've been moving around and flared things up.

Have you tried anti-inflammatories?  I had to use Celebrex--it doesn't cure things, but again makes them bearable.  I really notice an increase in pain when I go off the Celebrex before surgery.

Heather

PS  Your pain will definitely increase after massage, because that also causes increased blood flow to the area (which helps healing--you need to balance the benefits with your PT and OS).  You should ice immediately afterward if you do massage the area.
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmaxwell

Offline Grace

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Re: scar tissue....poor circulation?? help!!
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2002, 04:10:38 AM »
NO!  Its doesn't run red with purple splotches...IT TURNS PURPLE!!!! Like the whole d_mn thing is purple like a plum or whatever is purple (trying to get the point across).     HE:P>>now i am freaking it looks so wierd...i am like a pot that boils over...the longer i sit, i steam and then i boil over in an big mess!         -grace-
8 months of continuous physical therapy
plica excision/ shaving 6-10-02
5 months of agressive physical therapy
modified Fulkerson and lateral release 5-13-03
currently in limbo

Offline Heather M.

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Re: scar tissue....poor circulation?? help!!
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2002, 04:46:02 AM »
Grace,

I know what you mean about freaking out after stewing for a while.  I REALLY wish my knee would allow me to work more, because then I'd have something to take my mind off the pain and the 'what the heck is going on in there??' worries.

But you should try to relax a bit.  My knee turns purple as well, especially after a shower or walk to the mailbox.  I'm not talking splotches, I'm talking purple from two inches above the knee to two below.  I will at different times get a burning hot, red flush over the quad and kneecap that is quite striking.  It made the infectious disease specialist I visited do a triple take.  She was convinced I had a flesh-eating bacteria in there or something.  But it has all calmed down, especially since I've been icing and elevating more than I was even before.  Five days ago I had the doctor talking about opening the knee up and 6 weeks of IV antibiotics.  Now there are just more consultations....

My theory is it's the circulation.  Possibly over-active immune response, but definitely related to activity and time spent on my feet.  As for yours, as long as you aren't having deep pain in your calf or back of knee, pins and needles, or other truly bizarre feelings, the purple is probably going to resolve itself.  Next time you get the purple knee, try lying on the couch with an icebag, then lifting your leg to rest on the back of the couch.  That way, it will get above your heart and some of the swelling/inflammation and color change should go away.  

If icing and elevation doesn't help, you should talk to your doctor for ideas.  If it's really bugging you, try to call and talk to your DOCTOR or his MEDICAL ASSISTANT (not the receptionist) and ask if this is something for you to be concerned about.  That might be the best option, so you can then put your mind at rest.

Hang in there, it should get better--hopefully soon.

Heather
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmaxwell

Iona_-Uk

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Re: scar tissue....poor circulation?? help!!
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2002, 07:58:29 PM »
Grace

Hiya- my knee to does the purple thing, the whole legs goes purple when I have been exposed to tempertaure changes, ice or a hot bath and it tingles. It is just the bodies way of trying to heal the area and open up the smaller microcirculations that supply the area (that is what my o/d told me on the phone last night!), it' s annoying and really painful when it is tingling but I have found light marching in the spot relieves it a bit.

Scar Tissue (adhesions)- this is such a common problem not just after orthpaedic surgey but and surgery as your body tries to heal. I have a belly full of adhesions (honestly), from an appendectomy and laparoscopy to remove them and an ovarian cycst removal, and it wasn't for not moving I've got them. After my first LR on my right knee I was up and abpout and mobilising straightaway and had a good recovery although the LR didn't work, yet when I had my knee done 15 days I agao, my o/ said I had th worst scar tissue he had seen and I watched the video in absolute amazement at the amount of scar tissue in the joint cavity.

For me, it wasn't not moving that brought about adhesion, it was the simple fact that I am prone to them although I didn't know it at the time of the first knee surgeries I had. I don't think circulation plays apart in adhesion formation, as far as I know it is how the body responds to trauma (that's what I was told).

For more info on adhesions go to:
http://www.adhesions.org.uk
http://www.patient.co.uk/illness/a/adhesions.html

I have had some really useful info from these.

Also Grace- if you are worried about ANYTHING you should contact your o/s promptly, the earlier they are aware of the problem the earlier they can help.

Good Luck
Iona

Offline Cecelia

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Re: scar tissue....poor circulation?? help!!
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2002, 12:24:31 AM »
Grace,

the suggestion of contacting your OS's assistant, be it nurse, whatever, is a really good idea. I know that I made many calls to my OS's nurse. She got the answers and called me back. I don't know what I would have done without her help. She made a lot of things happen for me. Good luck!
Fell on kneecap 10/01. My doctor thinks I have more pain than my injury warrants. I do not make this up. No surgeries as doctor doesn't think they will help me. Gives me 50/50 on TTT.

Offline melissa

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Re: scar tissue....poor circulation?? help!!
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2002, 01:27:22 AM »
GRace my only suggestion is try a pair of ted hose. I was required to wear them for 2 weeks after my TTT and LR and when i took them off I was really purple with white patches.  If I  put my leg down it only got worse, my Pt's asst even asked about it. I wish I could help out more but that may be worth a try even though they are itchy and not to mention old ladyish!!! Melissa
screws removed 12/03
Fulkerson and LR 12/16/02 on right knee
Fulkerson and LR 7/11/02 on left knee

Offline Grace

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Re: scar tissue....poor circulation?? help!!
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2002, 05:18:50 PM »
It is worth a shot....i can always bum around in my scrubs so no one can see them.

I am two months post op and i still get the purple knee which has turned into a purple quad and calf.  But when i asked my PT about it he didn't seem concerned at all and wrote it off rather quickly.... but he writes everything off rather quickly.

I am a diabetic and have been for 15 years...so this is a concern of mine.....at 20 can i have poor circulation?

Anyway, thank you for the suggestion and i will def address this when i see teh OS tuesday..wish me luck
                                                        - Grace -
8 months of continuous physical therapy
plica excision/ shaving 6-10-02
5 months of agressive physical therapy
modified Fulkerson and lateral release 5-13-03
currently in limbo

Offline The KNEEguru

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Re: scar tissue....poor circulation?? help!!
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2002, 07:48:35 PM »
Any diabetic must be concerned about circulation and not feel a wimp bringing it to the doctor's attention. You should be able to feel the relative temperature of the feet on both sides and assess if your bad side is colder. Also there is a pulse about three inches up from the base of the 2nd toe - which should feel equal on both sides.
Infection is also a special concern for a diabetic - an infected knee is a disaster, but yours does not sound infected from your description. An internal infection would make the joint hot, and swollen, and you might feel ill and feverish.
Another thing of concern to anyone post-operatively is 'deep vein thrombosis' - i.e. a clot in the calf veins. This can cause tenderness in the calf, discomfort on pulling the foot and toes upwards, and swelling of the calf. Again, this does not seem to be a problem in your case.
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Offline Grace

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Re: scar tissue....poor circulation?? help!!
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2002, 08:36:46 PM »
KneeGuru -
I have never had a circualtion problem and i have two warm knees and feet.....the post op knee just a touch warmer.
Is there any truth to this statement given by my PT....something about nerves being crossed causing my knee and leg to turn purple.....does that sound right to you??
                                                               - Grace -
8 months of continuous physical therapy
plica excision/ shaving 6-10-02
5 months of agressive physical therapy
modified Fulkerson and lateral release 5-13-03
currently in limbo

 















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