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Dealing with scar tissue post surgery

buckeyebackbbuckeyeback Posts: 384
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
According to my MRI that was "read", I have "epidural fibrosis encasing the L5 nerve root." Has anyone successfully delt this this issue and fully recovered from it? It surgery to remove the scar tissue the only way to really address it? Are there any other techniques your suegeon used to try and prevent this from happening during the surgery that you know of? Thanks!


  • I have epidural fibrosis on L4-S1 and it's pressing on the S1 nerve root. This happened 9 months after my fusion, but I have had persistant lower back and nerve pain for 3 years already. My doctor ordered the MRI after my pain became acutely worse. First we tried an epidural which didn't help. Then my meds were adjusted and changed. I was told surgery is a bad idea because it will grow back worse.

    There's a procedure call lysis of adhesions where they use a caudal approach and a thin catheter is used to break up scar tissue after medication is injected. I declined this because I figured if the ESI was very painful, then this procedure could be excrutiating. I may be wrong but I don't feel like tampering with fibrosis. For now I'm managing this with pain meds and am thinking about putting in a morphine pump to deal with my chronic pain and permanent nerve damage.

    I felt a lightning bolt pain like you did when things got worse for me, and this episode brought about that MRI that found the scar tissue problem. Do you take any medicine for pain and are you seeing a pain specialist? I hope your doctors figure out something for you so you can get some relief. Take care
  • I've been reading about a back injection treatment for scar tissue. Could that be an option?
  • encasing nerve root? Was a repeat surgery successful to remove it?

    Any other options out there?
  • I have looked up scar tissue on different sites and they all say that if you have symptomatic scar tissue that it is one of the causes of failed back surgery syndrome. I wondered if my doctors have diagnosed me with this since I too fit the criteria. I have severe back pain with burning and deep aches which is nonstop and the electric shock, burning, aching, cutting pains in my legs. No one wants to tell you this because they equivalate FBSS with failure on their part, but I feel we have a right to know. However, once you're diagnosed with this no other insurance company will ever cover you again and it would be crucial to get on Medicare/medicaid if you are not covered at this time.
  • I've been reading your posts all along and I am sorry you're back on the horrible sciatic pain ride. Its horrible, I still don't know how to explain it to those who've never experienced it. I had a lami/disc at the L5-S1 on 3/2/09. I'm feeling so much better so far, still some stiffness and weird feelings but better than before. I'm scared to death of scar tissue. I wonder if there's a time frame where one can be considered "out of the woods" for such an occurrence? Does anyone know?
  • How do you know about the FBSS and insurance companies never covering you if you have it?

    I'm having trouble getting any factual information about "extensive epidural fibrosis" from any of my 3 current doctors. Nobody wants to talk about it -- they pass it off as no big deal. So it is very frustrating trying to figure out if this is the source of my continuing pain after two major surgeries! BAH!
  • I think I've heard before that the first 6 month are the most critical as far as scar tissues are concerned.. and the massaging of the back tissues after the surgery is important.. but again I had lami/fusion and that's what I heard from one therapist after surgery. I was/still concerned about scar tissues.. I've had 2 prior surgeries before my last fusion and after each of them I had bad scar tissues.. I found this out after 9 yrs from each surgery.. huh..maybe now I have to wait 9 more years after my fusion to find out about it again.... lol
    Seriously, everyone is different about his/her body's ability to develop those nasty scar tissues...

    best of luck to you..
  • Someone here told me about insurance co.'s finding people with FBSS uninsurable a while back. It is so true that no one wants to talk about it. I asked if I would ever be pain free and this was skirted around by all my docs. I understand them being uncomfortable with this problems but I feel we have a right to hear it straight and uncut. I'd rather be told than to be wondering and worrying; I handle the known better than the unknown and speculations. I guess they worry about litigation primarily and so any insinuation of failure is denied outright. I knew that there were risks and no guarantees, but I wasn't expecting complications and chronic pain to happen to me. I still trust my current surgeon and believe my best interest is at heart. If you have problems like DDD all over your spine and it's severe at the lumbar area, arthritis, and chronic degeneration going on...there is only so much that can be fixed. It was a difficult situation being approached initially and I feel it played a big role in my chronic pain. A bad back can't be reversed to a perfect one again and this is a reality I've come to understand.
  • I've been reading about that procedure and very well may attempt it since statistically (from what I've read) the earlier you start introducing that enzyme, the better,...hmmmm.

    I take Percocets and Voltaren, use Ice and lay down quite a bit. I have been really working my hamstrings and doing the "nerve glide" technique I was taught in PT. Not sure if its effective or not,...I'll have to keep at it, I suppose.

    I'm not seeing a pain specialist. Still seeing my surgeon for answers....

    Thanks for replying.
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