The Why’s and How’s of Knee Scar Tissue
by Dr. Michael Moon, Pathologist
The Pathology of Scar Tissue
After surgery, you have a number of changes that take place, all part of normal reactive, reparative process. These types of changes take place with most any trauma or injury, whether it be to skin surfaces or deeper. These changes are induced by a variety of factors that act kind of in a cascade formation, in a cascade manner.
Reparative Process After Knee Surgery
After injury, there are a number of different types of cells. Some of them inflammatory cells, some of them cells such as fibroblasts, macrophages, lymphocytes that are drawn to the area of injury simply by the processes of injury to blood vessels.
The blood vessels have cells in them that release products when they are injured, that draw these cells to the area, that institute then reactive or reparative processes.
These involve normal clotting mechanisms, inflammatory processes to guard against infections, and processes to repair the damage that’s been done. A lot of this is done by fibroblasts. Fibroblasts lay down collagen and thereby repair some of the damage that was done by an injury or more specifically, in this case, by surgery. Now, this is a good thing. You have to be able to repair the injury.
Collagen, Not Elastin in a Post Surgery Knee
Importantly, the tissue repaired is not the same as the natural tissue. It’s predominantly collagen. It is more cellular than the normal tissue because you now have all these other cells there that weren’t there in the past.
In the pre-injured tissue, you have fibers other than collagen, particularly elastin, is elastic. It allows movement a lot better than collagen. For more about the why’s and how’s of knee scar tissue watch the video below.
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In this one-of-a-kind blog we gather together great thinkers, doers, and writers. All our work is related to Knee Surgery, Recovery, Preparation, Care, Success and Failure. Meet physical therapists, coaches, surgeons, patients, and as many smart people as we can gather to create useful articles for you. This is for you if you have a surgery upcoming, or in the rear-view mirror. Or maybe you just want to take care of your knees to avoid surgery. Executive Editor: PJ Ewing
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