There are many reasons people have knee surgery. Most often it repairs an injury or a degenerative knee condition. As technology has advanced, the size of knee surgery scars has decreased, but they still exist because the deep layer of skin, called the dermis, is opened up to provide surgical access. How prominent the scar becomes is directly related to how well the body heals itself and how much collagen is created when skin reforms at the incision. While the skills of the surgeon can affect the size of the scar, other factors come into play, such as joint therapy, wound care and scar treatment.
One of the challenges that patients face after any type of knee surgery is to promote healing without preventing mobility. Bending the knee too much may cause the sutures and skin to pull apart. This lengthens the wound healing process and usually results in the body producing more scar tissue. Using the knee too little right after surgery will lessen the knee’s mobility, range of motion and strength. It can also result in more rigid scar formation from lack of movement.
Once the skin has healed from the surgical incision, the patient can begin using scar cream to reduce the thickness and rigidity. One of the biggest problems with knee scars is that the newly formed skin is less elastic than the original skin. If the scar is heavy and thick, this can limit range of motion. Limiting joint movement during the healing process may make it difficult and painful for the patient to bend the knee later. When range of motion is hampered, it eventually prevents people from performing simple tasks, such as kneeling, bending down, stooping, running, and climbing ladders or even stairs.
Deep tissue massage on the area post-surgery will break up the rigidity of the scar as it forms. Applying silicone scar gel will reduce the toughness of the reforming skin even further, which reduces the scar thickness and size. It also lessens the chances of mobility problems and joint pain. Used daily, knee scars will visibly improve and fade. Always consult with a doctor before applying silicone scar gel or creams after surgery to allow the wound to heal sufficiently before use.