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Joint replacement done. Having scar on knee. Scheduled for next knee joint replacement. Looking for suggestion

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Oncologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 576 Questions
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Hi, I have an 8-month old scar on my knee (joint replacement surgery). It has been fine up until about 3 weeks ago. Now there is a rash around the upper part of the approx 6-inch scar. The way that section healed, the doctor called it a keloid. Although it doesn't stick out or anything, it's just a wider part of the scar. A PT told me it was just because the skin was stretched apart during healing at the beginning of physical therapy. It itches occasionally but mostly it is just red with little red bumps surrounding it. It doesn't feel hot. I've tried putting hydrocortisone cream on it but that hasn't made any difference. I'm worried about it because I'm scheduled to have my other knee joint replaced in 3 weeks, and was worrying this might be something systemic. None of my other surgical scars are inflamed. Thank you!
Posted Thu, 26 Jul 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
 
 
Answered by Dr. Rohan Khandelwal 2 hours later
I can see that you are concerned because of your problem and I am glad that you are seeking medical attention for the same.
From your description, it appears to be a hypertrophic scar (similar to keloid but the problem remains within the limits of the scar). This type of scar is common at areas where there is constant movement (like the knee joint). The good thing about this scar is that it subsides with time and with the use of a pressure garment. I would suggest that you dont use hydrocotisone cream without consulting your doctor, as it can cause thinning of the skin over the area and can lead to more problems.
By the looks of it, this problem does not appear to be a systemic one as it is confined to the operative area. This problem should not stop you from undergoing surgery in the other knee.
Hope you get well soon.
Tc
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Joint replacement done. Having scar on knee. Scheduled for next knee joint replacement. Looking for suggestion 2 hours later
Thank you so much for your reply! I was about to go to the dermatologist but just don't have the time, so thank you for saving me the trouble. And thank you for telling me what kind of scar this is - I knew it was different, but didn't think it was a keloid; now I know. I do have a pressure garment. How long and how often should I wear it? I will wear it tonight when I go to bed.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Rohan Khandelwal 2 minutes later
I am glad that I could answer your query. You should wear the pressure garment for atleast 2-3 weeks but please dont wear it during the night time (while sleeping). You should put it on in the morning and remove it before going off to bed.
tc
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Joint replacement done. Having scar on knee. Scheduled for next knee joint replacement. Looking for suggestion 10 minutes later
Oh! Sorry to bother you again, but last question :)

Why shouldn't I wear it while sleeping?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Rohan Khandelwal 4 minutes later
That is alright. No pressure garment should be worn 24 hours a day as it can lead to edema formation. You need to remove it for 6-8 hours everyday and the best time is when you are sleeping.
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