Decruz, I'm curious how long you had your scar tissue before you had any Astym and how many operations have you had?
I had my first double tkr in 2005 followed by one operation on left knee to put in a smaller spacer (original one in that knee was too large) and the surgeon cleaned all the scar tissue out and did an MUA on the other knee. This was done within a year of my first operation. (I had changed to Hosp. for Special Surgery in NYC after the first double tkr). A year passed with physical therapy, exercises at home and I had gone back to work after the first surgery and the second surgery. As time passed it was just too painful and in 2008 my surgeon did a revision for each knee, 5 months apart. Whenever he did one, he would do an MUA on the other knee. He had told my husband he'd never seen so much scar tissue and didn't know how I was able to walk. Since then I realized the very aggressive pt was too aggressive and my scar tissue always returned with a vengeance. We moved to Indiana in Aug. 2009 for several reasons (one was to try Shelbourne clinic who felt they could be helpful). I used one type of pt equipment that did help straighten my knees, but it was so time consuming and my progress finally hit a brick wall. Whenever I'd try to do a bike (we tried 3 different kinds) I would lose some of the progress I made from the straightening and my knees would bend too much. Finally they said they couldn't do any more and I couldn't find a surgeon (I called Vail) who would do any surgery for AF if I had implants. They only did arthroscopic surgery to remove scar tissue on people without implants. It was May 2011 when a woman I met told me about Astym and how it helped the scar tissue she had in her back from surgery and how painful it made her back feel. The Astym broke it down, but she didn't have near the amount of scar tissue I had in my knees. I knew I would require many more Astym treatments. I do exercises daily at home that take about an hour to keep my scar tissue as pliable as possible. My ROM hasn't improved very much (can't go up and down stairs normally....have to take each step with both feet on one and proceed to the next). but the pain relief is what has helped me so very much. I was almost bedridden with pain before astym and that is what helped me so much. I developed a sharp pain on the inner part of both knees (on the side if I moved my leg a certain way) but my pt did a very extensive massage and something (sorry I don't know what) connected to my hamstrings were causing the pain and she worked very hard on my hamstrings as they were so tense and knotted. As mentioned, I was under a lot of stress due to my husband being ill and having to take him to ER (he's okay now!). I have relaxed and I had resumed my Astym in December....my husband was quite ill and tension made my legs more painful....plus I had to be on my legs a lot.
My PT has told me that she has another patient with AF but their scar tissue is much newer (they seem to know how to identify AF in Indiana very quickly and know what to do....they don't use very aggressive pt but gentler pt and she has had a lot of success with this person....not nearly as much scar tissue to break down and the ROM is much better than mine). I assume the older your scar tissue is, the harder it is. That is why I am curious how long you've had it? Still, I waited 6 years between my first operation and my Astym treatments and 3 years since my last operations and Astym. I am fortunate I didn't have anymore surgery as I don't have RSD and the knees have been traumatized enough. Astym can hurt (I have had 2 other pt's do astym and it did hurt more....they were more aggressive whereas my pt talked to Dr. Sevier and he gave her a good description of how to go about using the astym on me....he stressed to go easy and not hurt me...."less is more"......his exact words. So I have had Astym from Dec, Jan, and took 2 weeks off in Feb (one week was sick and another she just did a massage) and will have several more weeks of Astym (treatment tomorrow) and we will take another break and see how I do. It is a learning experience for my pt and myself. This second go round has really helped because I had to drive my husband to doctors, hospital, he had surgery and have been on my feet a lot....and I am certainly doing better! My ROM is still not great.....but I can do more on my feet and have less pain. I wish I could stop the morphine altogether. But I think AF is still a mystery in some ways.....none of these methods can get rid of the scar tissue in the actual joint although it can rid you of a lot of it outside of the joint. My podiatrist asked me to ask my orthopedic about a Chinese method called cupping....it supposedly helps certain orthopedic problems (you can do an internet search and read about it)....but my pt and I are not sure about the fact I have these revisions in my knees and would it be too aggressive. It's a question I have to ask my orthopedic surgeon in the town where I live...he hasn't done any surgery on me but that doctor is in NY and this one seems very good and he certainly understand AF.