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S1 nerve scar tissue

GreatdanedukeGGreatdaneduke Posts: 16
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:01 AM in Chronic Pain
:< After having surgery on my L5 S1 to repair pa herniated disc,I began to experience pain in my S1 area, my left leg, and numb toes. After another MRI, it revealed scar tissue on my nerve root. What tpe of treatment can I expect?


  • Hi,

    I'm in the same condition though my discectomy/laminectomy was a while ago.

    Though most literature says that another operation will just make the problem worse (creating more scar tissue) my neurosurgeon intends to wrap the nerve with a DuraGen membrane in order to prevent new scar tissue formation.

    I'm very reluctanct to have another operation, however I would love to hear from people who underwent scar tissue surgery with FoamGel or DuraGen.
  • Sadly there is not too much that i have found that they can do for scar tissue,

    The more they go in there just creates more scar tissue, To wrap the nerves in anything would probably be while doing another major surgery that brings on further risk so many times all they do is tell you deep massage and excercise after surgery helps break up some of the scar tissue and keeps it off the nerve,

    Sadly that dont always work so many of us are stuck with pain that drs many times dont even want to adress because they know not much can be done about it in my opinion,

    This is 1 of the biges and most common complication having surgery,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Thanks for your reply. I see the doctor on the 26th. I'll let you know what happens.
  • Sure. Let me know. My doctor seems quite confident with this procedure.
  • i have to agree with alexhurting Like myself with nerve damage. The more you have surgery. More damage will be done.

  • Your symptoms sound exactly like mine. Drugs (opiates) do not seem to work.Spinal injection did not work. Lets see what the doc says in a week.
  • Thanks for the response. I see the doc in a week. Ill post his recommendation.Hope It is fixable.
  • After eight spinal surgeries, all I can say is that the scar tissue and spurs just keep coming back and I have been worked on by top spinal ortho/neuro tag teams who supposedly knew all the tricks. I currently have two new ruptured discs but wont have anymore surgery. All it has been good for has been stablizing the spine. I usually am experiencing increased pain in 3-6 months. I hope you have better luck than I have.
  • Thanks for the info...I am worried that this may end my career. I'll post the findings after my next doc visit. Originally the doc said the tear in my S1-L5 was not bad...now the scar tissue.
  • Thanks for the info...I am worried that this may end my career. I'll post the findings after my next doc visit. Originally the doc said the tear in my S1-L5 was not bad...now the scar tissue.
  • Saw the doc today...I am confused, he states there is no scar tissue but possible nerve damage. I am supposed to slowly come off neurotin and begin rehab. I can not imagine flexing with this pain.Wonder if I should get a second opinion.
  • I have had 5 spinal surgeries now,in a 4 year period, the most recent being for a herniated disc which has caused me nerve damage( hopefully healing albeit slowly) and a foot drop.

    I had a double spinal fusion 2 years ago which has resulted in severe SI joint pain, which they tell me is caused by scar tissue and wear and tear on that joint. I have arthritis and scar tissue from all the surgeries and unless I have a foot drop or need diapers, I am not having any other surgeries! I am waiting for cloned DNA for my spine..

    I have chronic pain, and failed back syndrome.. DDD, regional pain syndrome, SI joint disorder, fibromyaglia, stenosis, radiopathy, neuropathy and more..

    In fact, I have more syndromes and disorders now than I can keep track of- I just know I hurt all the time in varying degrees of intensity.

    As a serious athlete who had faith in my body for most of my life, this is a daily challenge. I really feel deep empathy for those people afflicted with this on-going serious challenge in their 20s. It is hard enough when you are middle aged but at least I was able to have a life before these back issues.

    Do they give out back merit badges like in Girl Scouts.. I think we back pain sufferers deserve them for all we go through! ;)

    I have found Cymbalta helps, ( some people swear by Lyrica), as does my neuro implant, and I am starting on a routine of chiropractic, meditation ( when I stress out everything seizes up like a rock) pilates, deep tissue massage, McKenzie stretches, and yoga to help stretch out the painful scar tissue, get some mobility in my back and hips, and for pain relief.

    Integrative medicine( CAM) seems to work for me, western medicine certainly does not seem to have all the answers. The large reputable hospitals are in agreement, ie Duke, Harvard, and Mayo and others.

    Saying that, there are times when surgery and traditional western medicine is the only solution and best option.

    I am off all opiods by choice for the last 2 years. I became immune to higher and higher doses of Tramadol and I won't be drugged out on Vicodin or Percoset and would not accept the risks of long term use of these heavy duty drugs.

    My take on this is that not everything works for everyone. You have to put together your own strategy and work with a good pain doctor in putting it into place.

    It is a hit and miss thing that for me, required lots of experimentation on what worked, what was too much and was not enough to relieve the pain.

    Best to everyone-


  • Wow, thanks for the info. I am getting a second opinion. I wish my present doc understood my pain.Some of the pain he attributes to age.I am only 54, and like you I have had an extensive sports or athletic background. All I want is my pain managed and a well thought out recovery plan.This back pain is ask new to me. Stay in touch.
  • I know it is wrong to laugh an another's suffering, it's just that I can relate 100% and have developed a bit of a sick sense of humor after 30 plus years of chronic pain. This year, I got to add assorted autonomic nerve disorders to the list. Now that's a real trip. The worst part now is that I have uncontrolable blood pressure. It goes from one extreme to the other and won't stablize. I've seen two super neuros and got the same opinion following a 90 minute tilt table test. That's a real hoot for someone who can't stand up for five minutes. Y'all take it one day at a time and get second opinions on everything, especially if the doctor has a nice collection of scalpals.
  • Hi everyone, I found this to be a very interesting thread. I also have a 'interesting' sense of humour about my back.. and reading these posts, I learned some things, (am wondering about nerve damage!) and had a couple laughs (WITH laughs.. NOT at!!!).
    My Ma always said.. laugh or cry.. it's your choice!

    Well, atleast we have this site, and each other, while we search the universes for our answers!
  • Believe me, I can only get by with a good sense of humor. And it can be very hard to deal with grinding pain every day.

    Some days it does not feel worth it to live in this body, and I have to drag myself out of bed.

    But I still have hope, and am blessed with the love of my kids, that keep me going. I try to laugh at myself, my challenges and to be as happy as I can be.

    As they say in AA, it is one day at a time. I still have great hope for a cure. More and more people have pain issues and more will have the similar problems that we do, as Western society ages. I am in the last years of the baby boom at 52 years old.

    I just found out that I have, oh joy, fibromyalgia to add to my DDD, spinal stenosis, radiopathy, allodina, regional pain syndrome, herniated discs, just to name a few. I think this forum should have a contest for a round the world trip, (donated by the AMA of course,) for who has the most " labels" , most notes in their charts, most MRIs and the longest scars!

    And I try to remember that I am far more than my back pain!

    Keep laughing, is my motto.. we are such fragile, silly creatures aren't we? It is just amazing we have survived on this earth..


  • Well...I am going for a second opinion...I just want some answers. I noticed that when things do not go as planned the docs...tend top reach for answers leaving you wondering what is going on with your body. I went to my first rehab today in any event.

    Keep the faith. The daily pain grind I think only we understand. I do not discuss this with my family any more. It has been 4 months now and my back still hurts.
  • In a lot of pain today...I have weaned myself off of neurotin. I received my second opinion and I like what he has to say regarding the course of treatment. The previous doctor told disability for
    me to go back to work, despite my pain and inability to walk our lie down.I really wonder if he was listening to me.I am going to start spinal blocks, and a new course of meds. I really want to get back to work, but not while in this pain.
  • In a lot of pain today...I have weaned myself off of neurotin. I received my second opinion and I like what he has to say regarding the course of treatment. The previous doctor told disability for
    me to go back to work, despite my pain and inability to walk our lie down.I really wonder if he was listening to me.I am going to start spinal blocks, and a new course of meds. I really want to get back to work, but not while in this pain.
  • Sending you the best on your spinal blocks. I have also considered them, and will be very curious to see how it goes for you. I am glad you saw a doctor you liked. I think sometimes we need to shop around although it is a bit scary how many conflicting opinions we can get, it makes one question a bit...

    Please keep us all updated, I am rooting for success and pain relief!

  • Hi coyotewildwoman! I too have a neuro implant. It helps with my lumbar neuropathic pain. I had a cage revision and further fusion (L4-S1) a little over a year ago. I now have a bone fragment in the L4/L5 area that is causing severe pain in my left foot and toes (along with tingling, numbness, and hypersensitvity). How well did cymbalta work for you. My neurosurgeon have me a 50/50 change of being pain free from surgery. I don't know what to do if it doesn't take the pain away. The neurostimulator only helps with my back and makes my foot pain worse. Just looks for someone elses perspective. Thanks!
  • My new doctor has diagnosed my condition as Lumbar spondylosis. Pretty broad term. I hope all of you following this post are feeling better and have a good weekend. The new drug therapy and physical therapy provide some relief.
  • Do not seem to be getting better. Off of neurontin and placed on lyrica and norco. I can't wait for the spinal injection. Therapy provides some relief due to the moist heat they apply, but only temporary. Any advice from those experiencing this pain?
  • Receiving injections again. The doctor I have now is very aggressive in this treatment. Still at work pain still there.
  • GreatdanedukeGGreatdaneduke Posts: 16
    edited 11/24/2014 - 3:25 AM
    After going through the before mentioned I now have a spinal stimulator.
    I have now come off of Lyrica and lowered my Fentanyl patch to 25mg. and now I have pain in my shoulders and hands...and other joints. My hip pain from my sciatica is getting worse. Could Lyrica been masking this? If so what is this pain. I now have pain in the area where they tunneled through my back to connect the leads to the stimulator.
    Blood tests do not indicate any arthritis.
    Current meds;
    oxycodone 10/325
    fentanyl patch 25mg
    lidocaine 5% patch
    I do not want to restart the Lyrica 150mg 3x/day
  • I'm so sorry that you have such pain. I can tell you from my experience that nerve pain responds best to drugs that aren't narcotics. I was on high doses of Lyrica initially and it was not effective for me. 24 hours after starting on Cymbalta the nerve pain was controlled. That was 6 years ago. Cymbalta is much more expensive than Neurontin, but a generic is now out. My last refill was for the generic and it is good, but a bit less effective for me. I'm going back to the brand name Cymbalta. I'm fortunate that my insurance covers most of the charges. Best wishes to you. L
  • Hi, I also have back pain problems, but in my lower region.
    I have been receiving analgesics worthlessly FOR YEARS, and nothing helped...
    Recently, I noticed there are specialists that offer to examine your medical problem using current scientific literature. That you cannot get from your doctor...
    Anyway, I used one of these services, and they actually found the most probable cause of my problem which was "back mice"!
    The diagnosis is now confirmed and I am waiting for surgery. Hopefully, everything will go fine and I can rid of the analgesics that ruined my stomach.
    Try contacting some of them!
    Good luck!
  • I now have foraminal stenosis at L4 L5 S1. Bulges at L1,2,and 3. Oxycodone isn't working anymore. Being a disabled vet I can only go through VA. Any recommendations, I'm losing the battle, 12 heart stents, constant pain. Need help. Thank you
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