I just spoke with a woman in her 40’s who had a hip replaced 18 months ago and is preparing for her second. I asked how her 18 month scar looked.
She said “It’s not so great. I wish I’d done more for it.”
Scar care is like caring for a fern or a goldfish. It needs just a little bit of attention every day.
At this point, my friend Jonathan would say “but scars are cool. They tell a story.” OK, that’s fine, but scars adhere well below the surface. When a surgical wound heals, muscle and connective tissue fibers are laid down haphazardly, in a sort of web that confers greater stability but may limit a free full extension of the muscle.
For this reason, your scar care routine will address both the surface and deeper tissues.
If you are working with a massage therapist who has experience with post-surgical recovery (and you should, if you can, have at least a few visits with one), they will at a certain point (likely well after 4 months) work more vigorously on the wound site.
If receiving therapeutic massage is not in your budget, you can learn some self-massage and use the same techniques that they would. The Melt Method for Scars is the place to start. Once you’ve got that under your belt, you can add a technique called gua sha. Gua sha is a kind of scraping that, over time, with gradually increasing intensity, realigns the fibers of the connective tissue to allow for more free movement.
For proper and full function, we need to soften and straighten the scar tissue (see video), and on the surface, we need to keep the tissues supple and hydrated. Get yourself a high quality Vit E ointment and apply it once or twice daily, after you give yourself a 3 minute Melt Method treatment.
I have some advanced techniques to share as well, but in a separate post, and after you’ve been working with this a while.