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How do we know we have scar tissue?

zigazziga Posts: 144
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
How do we help ourselves not to develop so much scar tissue. How do we know we have it? How can we deal with it?

Z
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Comments

  • My understanding is that pt after surgery is very important to help scar tissue not build up and not let it grow on the nerve where it can cause complications.

    How do you know you have it? Unexplained pain few months after surgery as scar tissue posibly grew. My pain was right after surgery is one of the reasons i knew it was not scar tissue issue.

    I think they can see it also on mri but i am not positive,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Alex hit it just about right. Unexplained pain (meaning no new injury) following surgery is often scar tissue. Some people seem to be prone to it. I know that I am. In me it also shows up as very fast healing. It sucks because even when you try to remove the scar tissue it just grows right back.

    PT or even just activity will help to keep the scar tissue from adhering to your body. And massage can be particularly good to break up the adhesions. But it should only be done under the direction of a professional.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,583
    Scar tissue will develop after all surgeries. The amount depends on the actual surgery.

    If scar tissue is left alone, it will form a very rigid area which can cause alot of pain and discomfort.

    After surgery, you basically have about 6 months to have that worked on so that it does not become totally rigid. Then after a year, there is not much you can do.

    My Deep Tissue expert worked hard and long on the scar tissue after both of my shoulder replacements. That work resulted in much more range of motion for me.

    Right now, the doctors are quite surprised to see the range of motion I do have. Folks my age, plus having other spinal surgeries/issues generally do not get the range of motion I have achieved. That is due to the work that my Deep Tissue person did. Alot of stretching, deep massaging, etc along the scar tissue to stretch and not form a rock solid mass.

    Not every one will see a true Deep Tissue expert, but most physical therapists can also give you massages to help stretch it , plus exercises to keep it pliable. It will be something that you need to keep on top off. Even once its stretched, you can not ignore it.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • As for the cervical scar issue, I was told that as soon as my dressing came off to put my fingers on the scar and rotate it around to keep the scar tissue from adhering to anything inside. It wasn't painful and I believe it helped tremendously.

    As for lumbar, I really don't know, they never told me to to that. I don't seem to have scar tissue issues there, but I agree with Ron that having a professional work on it soon after surgery helps keep the problems at bay. And like I said, cervically, you can do it yourself.

    Cathie
  • When my husband had his lumbar surgery, he felt quite a bit better initially, but then started to feel that same kind of pain as pre op.

    When he had an MRI with contrast 6 months post op, scar tissue had formed so much that the scar tissue itself was now pressing on his nerve. He has ongoing sciatic and back pain 6 years later.

    I am starting PT finally next week when I am 11 weeks post op, hope that although I am in the same or worse pain than before surgery, it will at least possibly stop the dreaded extra scar tissue.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Scar tissue always develops after surgery. And if you have had many surgeries you end up with a lot of scar tissue. It can be a big blob because it has no muscle to hold it in.

    PT helps to break it up and I also continue cross friction massage. I have so much scar tissue I asked my surgeon to liposuction it out when I had my last surgery. Somehow he forgot!!!

    Start acting on it as soon as you get the ok for PT. It doesn't like to go away.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Any time the skin or muscle is cut, the body tries to "put itself" back together - and pretty well does a crappy job of it! Hence the scar or scar tissue.

    Like was said, all surgery causes the body to form it. Depending how deep the incision went, you might be able to massage the area, keeping it soft and thus the pain down. If deep, there isn't much we can do on how it forms.

    A cut on your skin for instance, is very thin pliable scar tissue - you see the scar, but that is the skin that 'grew' back together. It does the same internal, but on a much larger scale. Many have no issues with it, but multiple surgeries in the same general area opens us up for more scar tissue, and possible affects from it.

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks very much for your answers. I am 8 months pos op. I am experiencing different kinds of pain but I feel pain going in from my incision. I did massage that area and it worked. My incision was adhere to the muscle and with the massage it softened, the incision i was not pulling the skin anymore.

    But I don't know what happened I feel pain into the incision as if I had a cut inside. Dilauro do you think deep tissue is good for cervicals? I don't know how to deal with that area since it is behind the throat.

    I also feel a lump in my throat and sometimes I feel it more in some neck movements. Also sometimes it gives me like reflux.

    I am very curious of something and I know I had a lot of body conscious because I use to do contemporary dance, and yoga, and alexander technique, and I gave a lot of workshops using the body language... this may sound crazy, well at least to my surgeon---> I feel I can not laugh as before, like my laughter does not come out with force, I really don't know how to explain this. But I just would like to know if anyone has experience this.

    Thanks so much for your attention it makes one feel less alone.

    Sometimes I wander if the bone that they put me was to big and that is why I feel so much tingling and stiffness.

    Hope all your pains goes away!

    Z

  • Thanks very much for your answers. I am 8 months pos op. I am experiencing different kinds of pain but I feel pain going in from my incision. I did massage that area and it worked. My incision was adhere to the muscle and with the massage it softened, the incision i was not pulling the skin anymore.

    But I don't know what happened I feel pain into the incision as if I had a cut inside. Dilauro do you think deep tissue is good for cervicals? I don't know how to deal with that area since it is behind the throat.

    I also feel a lump in my throat and sometimes I feel it more in some neck movements. Also sometimes it gives me like reflux.

    I am very curious of something and I know I had a lot of body conscious because I use to do contemporary dance, and yoga, and alexander technique, and I gave a lot of workshops using the body language... this may sound crazy, well at least to my surgeon---> I feel I can not laugh as before, like my laughter does not come out with force, I really don't know how to explain this. But I just would like to know if anyone has experience this.

    Thanks so much for your attention it makes one feel less alone.

    Sometimes I wander if the bone that they put me was to big and that is why I feel so much tingling and stiffness.

    Hope all your pains goes away!

    Z



  • I have been wondering, and would be interested in others thoughts or better still, knowledge :?

    Do you think that when over granulation tissue occurs after surgery during healing (extra tissue being made that starts to form a protruding mass), it would happen on the inside too, meaning that there is excess internal scar tissue.

    After my fusion surgery, I had over granulation tissue that had to be cauterised with silver nitrate. Reading about excess scar tissue, I wonder if that could be part of my problems and causing my symptoms.

    What do you think? /:)

  • Yes scar tissue happens on the inside too. When I went for my latest cortisone injection the doctor had a hard time getting the needle in because of all the scar tissue. This was my back where the scar tissue doesn't stick out like the scar tissue on my abdomen does.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • At 9 month post op I am still in pain with my neck. I do stretching every day. Do you have deep tissue massage in your neck???? Do they touch you in front of the throat?

    I wonder what I dhould do? They don't address this in my clinic.

    I feel I am compensating moving my shoulders inward to look for things since my neck does not shrink in an area.

    Do you know if people experience this.

    I feel my arms shorter.

  • At 9 month post op I am still in pain with my neck. I do stretching every day. Do you have deep tissue massage in your neck???? Do they touch you in front of the throat?

    I wonder what I dhould do? They don't address this in my clinic.

    I feel I am compensating moving my shoulders inward to look for things since my neck does not shrink in an area.

    Do you know if people experience this.

    I feel my arms shorter.

  • Hi everyone. I have a question about scar tissue, and if anyone has any thoughts or comments I would really appreciate it. I am 4 weeks post-op (bilateral L4/L/5 laminotomy/microdiscectomy. My right side is the worse side, the doctor removed a disc fragment that was crushing the nerve. I had initial partial relief, but started to return after week one. Doc suspected reherniation so I Had new MRI 3 weeks after surgery and just went over results. MRI says "paracentral pedunculated disc protrusion associated with granulation tissue impinges the right l5 nerve root where it exits the thecal sac."

    My surgeon says this a normal part of the healing process and he thinks it will dissolve and I will be ok. I am terrified that this is scar tissue orr will become scar tissue in the future. I thought that scar tissue didn't form for months. There are so few mris done so soon after surgery that there are few comparions. And my understanding of scar tissue is that it "wraps around the nerve" I didnt think it formed into an actual mass that pushes on a nerve the way a disc does.

    I wonder- is the surgeon being straight with me? We spoke on the phone Tuesday but after we spoke I realized I never asked him how long he thought it would take to dissolve. He has not called me back. I am losing my mind.

    My surgery was done at a well-regarded hospital in NYC.

    Thanks

  • Hi, I have had 4 back surgeries and have acquired quite a bit of scar tissue. It doesn't always dissolve, at least in my body!!

    None of my scar tissue has wrapped around or caused problems with any nerves.

    Friction massage can loosen it and keep it from adhering. I find that I am stuck with this extra layer on my tummy. Muscles of course are behind it.

    I think the sooner you start with a PT to work on the scar tissue the better the results. I wish there was a magic pill that would dissolve it!!

    Everyone is different so you may not build scar tissue like me. Of course every surgery creates it and I have had more than my share of that.

    I would talk with your doctor again and ask him when he thinks the scar tissue will begin to dissolve. That may help you deal with it and then know if it is or isn't going away.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
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