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scar tissue at S1

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi everyone,

I just got back from my neurosurgeon and found out that I have scar tissue that is pressing on my sciatic nerve. I just had a microdiscectomy in January at L5S1 and my symptoms had come back in the 2 weeks prior. He said the disc is bulging a bit which is pressing against the scar tissue, which is pressing against the nerve.

He said there is nothing I can do but wait and see if it gets better. My leg pain is worse than before the surgery! Has anyone improved after a diagnosis like this. Does anyone have any advice?

If I am not better in 6 months or so, he is going to have to do a "major procedure" he called it! Not sure what this is either as he said we'll discuss it down the road.

Any advice would be appreciated, as usual :)


  • i had a bilateral discectomy in Nov 07 and ..like you.i had no relief from the leg pain also the back ache has gotten a lot worse.all i can advise is good pain killers and a good TENS and gentle exercise like swimming .also i think that they may want to give you a fusion {that will be the major operation they are talking about i should think?} i would think long and hard about having that done ,,my leg pain has got a little better over the last 15 months but the back ache is still driving me mad .i have just found out that i have facet joint hypertrophy and i have been offered a fusion {i refused} as i know loads of people that have had it done and they are no better off.just do what you can ..when you can and dont beat yourself up if you can't!
    best of luck
  • Are you walking a lot at this point? I think there are a couple things you could try, but it might depend on the extent of the bulge you now have.

    You might want to try to find a massage therapist that works in myofascial release therapy. Of course you would want to see if your surgeon approves before trying it.

    There is basically a six week window where you can effect the formation of scar tissue -- after that point, it starts to attach and is much more difficult to manipulate. However, sometimes certain types of body work and also acupuncture can loosen it up a bit. This is different from myofascial release therapy, but is basically the same idea.

    Continue to walk as much as you can (well, within reason!!) as this helps to stretch out the nerve. But you'll need to really watch you body mechanics, posture, etc. to protect that bulge. Continue to use ice in an attempt to keep down any inflammation which will only make the pain worse.
  • I have the same problem as you and the major procedure your doctor mentioned is called a lysis of adhesions where a catheter is used to break up scar tissue. They also perform surgery to break this up but it is considered controversial because scar tissue grows back and no one wants to make it worse. Your doctor may start off by doing an epidural steroid injection to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. I already had my ESI but it just made matters worse and I don't care to repeat that experience.
  • i have dealt with that dreaded scar tissue for the past 14 years, deep tissue massage seems to help, but make sure you talk to you dr to see if its ok with him/her. and if he/she does send you to physical therapy make sure you specifically ask about deep tissue massage, from all that i have gathered about scar tissue the more you keep it loosened up the better off you are
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