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Sever Leg-Back Pain-Adhesions

photonpphoton Posts: 2
I had a back surgery about 1 year ago (age:24 and 3 levels laminectomy)and 3 months after,
my leg got numb with sever pain. My MR-images show extensive
adhesion in the location of operation. I take gabapentin300X2 and Ibuprofen400X400 but I still suffer from terrible pain. I cant even walk.

My Doc recommends implanting a spinal electrode which I
don't want to go that way.

So I'm wondering if others had a similar problem and how
I can recover from this terrible life.



  • Hi and welcome to Spine Health.

    Have you gotten a second opinion yet? Are you being treated by a spine specialist, your GP or a Pain Management doc? There are many things that can be done and tried prior to more surgery or spinal cord stimulation. the key is to make certain that you have exhausted all possible options, gotten at least another opinion from a spine specialist and tried different medications and or medication doses.

    Have you tried seeing a neurologist? Have you been tested for MS?

    So many things to look at before resigning yourself to living in pain, further surgery or any type of medical implant.

  • @haglandc

    thank you for your reply

    actually my surgeon is a neurosurgeon not an

    they say my problem is due to adhesion
    caused by surgical operation

    they only drug that works with me
    is dexamethasone

    which I cannot take for long time
    because of sever side effects

    I asked many neurosurgeons if the physical
    therapy would help

    I have not been suggested to go for
    physical therapy or hydrotherapy.

    I want to know what the people with the
    same problem "Nerve Root Adhesion" have done
    and what is effective in treating this problem.

    I really don't want another surgery because as I know
    further manipulation of the "Cauda Equina" region
    makes the problem even worse.

    any non-surgical ideas are welcome!

    the problem is not only the pain, but also
    leg weakness and numbness

  • The problem with scar tissue is that it tends to multiply when cut into. Some surgeons will go in and cut it out, but the results are usually not that good.

    There is another process called "lysis of adhesions." You can run a search for it. There is quite a bit of information about it on various pain clinics' websites. It is somewhat controversial among surgeons, some believing it works, while others think it is unproven, painful and doesn't resolve pain. This procedure is usually done by an interventional pain management doctor.

    Otherwise, you are limited to pain management...trying the spinal cord stimulator, or a nerve drug like Lyrica or gabapentin, which I see you are already taking.

    I would recommend getting another opinion from a spinal specialist. Perhaps a new set of eyes might spot another reason for your continuing pain. If all your problems are stemming from scar tissue, your non-surgical options are limited. You could try working with a massage therapist that works on these type of issues to see if the tissue could be loosened up...but it is often too deep.

    I am sending you a PM with a couple links that may prove interesting.

    Good luck. This is a nasty development.

  • I had discetomy surgery and the adhesions have formed around the surgery site. I have been through all the the injections and therapy. I tried the spinal cord stimulator trial but was unsuccessful. The doctor felt that the adhesions were blocking the signals from the stimulator. The surgeon told me the adhesions would grow back as soon as he would try to remove them. I have had trouble with other surgeries and adhesions,so I knew that to be true. So I understood about the adhesions wrapping around the nerves and having to live with it. So far nothing has really worked. I use a Tens Unit, ice, and meds to help with the pain. I accept that this might be as good as it gets and do the best I can.
  • Hi Photon,

    I know exactly where your coming from, and I'm sorry to see that your so young. I had a laminectomy, formanectomy, with bilevel spinal fusion of the L4-S1 in 03/07. I suffer from adhesions, which has lead to the diagnosis of Arachnoiditis. So I can understand why you may not want them operating on your back. I'm personaly afraid that they'll do more damage, and as it was when I woke up from my fusion I could not feel or move my legs. It took me month to be able to realy walk again, but I still suffer from numbness and nerve pain in each leg.

    I have seen several dr for this condition. My neurosugeon gave up on me. He did his job, so go see someone else. My pcp, though a wonderful dr, wasn't quit sure what to do for me, but she would prescribe pain meds. Thank God for that. Went and saw a pain managment dr, who was shot happy. He didn't do nothing for me, except make the front of my legs burn. Wasn't that nice of him? Then I finally found a dr that helped me, and understood my symtoms. He is a physiatrist. He has me on a regime of different nerve pain meds. They seem to be helping quite a bit, but they need alittle twiking right now. But it the best pain managment I've had in years. He has talked to me about getting scs, and he understands why I'm not to thrilled with the idea. He has also suggested a caudal epidural, and with what happened with my last esi. He understood my answer of no. I also told him about my latest stunt of pt for my back and legs (was there for another reason, so thought I'd try it) it didn't turn out well. One session, and I could hardly walk, because my pelvis could support my weight for 4 days. Before I even told him the results of pt, he was like it "Won't work for you. You have to many adhesions. You are better off sticking to walking. To keep up leg strength."

    So for me, and for right now I'm sticking with nerve pain meds for the pain. My physiatrist completely understands, and he told me he would not drop me as a patient if I didn't do the scs, or esi's.

    If I was you, and I'm speaking from personal experience only, I would try a different kind of dr other than a neurosurgeon, like "c" suggested. Have you looked into a neuroligist, physiatrist, or pain managment dr? I would also discuss this with your pcp. They maybe able to lead you to a good dr in your area. It took me awhile to find a dr that understood, diagnose, and help me with my condition, but they are out there. One piece of advice, if your go with pain managment dr, or clinic. That they are a full service clinic or dr, and what I mean is that they do more then just esi's. That they provide meds, shots, scs, and pain pumps.

    I hope this helps, and if you have any questions. Please feel free to ask me,
    Bobbi Jo

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