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Can torn scar tissue cause this pain?

Ice manIIce man Posts: 123
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi guys, I haven't posted in a while but read daily. This is the only place I can go where people understand. I had my third back surgery in Jan 2012 and over the last week I have developed pain that is out of this world. It is centralized in my lower back and my right foot. Last Fri. my Dr. ordered a MRI and told me the fusion was taking very good but I may have torn some scar tissue causing the nerve to become inflamed. This pain is worse than my original pain before my surgery. Has anyone experienced this type of pain from "torn scar tissue"?


  • I have not torn any scar tissue but have been told I have scar tissue impenging on my nerves from a spinal fusion I had at L4 & L5 in 1995. The damage is permanent now, the pain I have is brutal and constant. Because the damage is permanent I have a pain pump implant and it covers almost all my pain except for flare ups.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • Thanks for your reply Patsy, I am a 45 yr old active male and it is so hard for me to grasp that nerve damage can cause this much pain. You described it as brutal and you are correct. I am going for the MRI tomorrow and hopefully I will know something in a few days. I am hoping I did not herniate the disc below but that is what it feels like to me. I know very little about the pain pump. Can I still work with this implant?
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    But I assumed, and still do that it was from cutting the bone out to free up the nerves. But they also cut out scar tissue. (decompression, open laminectomy) and 2 fusions at different levels.
    Too much different work done in 1 surgery. I don't know what to blame on what!
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Rassy I will keep you posted. Jim I know what you mean, when I had my first surgery the Dr put in an Aspen clamp, long story short, the clamp came loose and did all kinds of damage before I found a Dr. to fix it. He told me, the clamp caused a lot of the scar tissue because it was moving in my back every time I moved. He removed the clamp and put in traditional screws and rods and refused L4-L5.
  • Hi Ice Man,

    I had a 2 level ACDF at C5/6 & C6/7 (cervical spine) but scar tissue can occur at any surgerical site. My procedure was in 2009. During my last injection procedure (2011) using radiological assistance, my pain mgmnt doc indicated that there were pinched nerves and scar tissue present. Although mine gave no indication of being torn, scar tissue is not pliable and can cause a great deal of pain upon movement ... like trying to stretch a rubberband beyond its means. If they operate to remove it, it sometimes replaces itself in another location. One of the body's self defense mechanisms.

    I'm in the same boat at Patsy. Mine is a permanent situation as well, unless someone develops a new procedure. I rely on a regiment of oral pain medications and muscle relaxers to control my pain.

    Although my issues are in my neck, I can relate (as can we all) to what you are going through. Please let us know what you find out. Fingers crossed here for good news !

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • Ice Man / Jim,

    I hear from where you both are coming. My last injection I mentioned aboved showed not only scar tissue and pinched nerves, but also bone protrusions and tiny osteophytes (bone spurs) forming. So, I too, don't know what to blame. Hence one reason I do not want to rush into an additional surgery. Both neursurg. and pain mgmt doc said that probably would lessen chronic pain for awhile, but eventually I'd be right back where I am. Same scar tissue if not more would come back, etc. I am waiting until I cannot even crawl before I look into any more cutting on my neck ... but that's just me. EVERYONE is different and we must all choose our own paths. I was forced to apply for and was approved for Soc Sec Disability. Don't know if this helps or not Ice Man. "That's my story and I'm stickin' to it" :D

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • Rassy, that does help. I was asked by employer today if I had considered disability. That sure rubbed me the wrong way. I work for a local Sheriff's office and I bring in a whole lot more than I am compensated for. It just rubbed me wrong and that is another story for another day.
  • I'm in a similar situation, Ice Man. I'm a 48 year old very active male (endurance cyclist and surfer) father to three kids and married 21 years. Had an L5/S1 microdiscectomy in June '11. Total success. Back riding and surfing after three months. This past February, I suffered an on the job injury when I had to move out of my very large office by myself. Lots of pictures, sculptures, stuff. Suffice to say within days of the move my right foot started to go numb and my lower back was in all kinds of pain. They did an MRI and...nothing. Everything looked great! For the life of me I couldn't figure out why I was feeling like I had _before_ the surgery when there was no reherniation. The surgeon said that I probably tweaked my scar tissue. I'm not even sure what that means. Bottom line - he said I needed to treat it like I'd just had surgery i.e. no bending, no twisting, no lifting, etc. and then only walking - not uphill - and then maybe in a month or so I'll be able to get back on my bike. It sucks. Worse, since it's a workers comp issue, I've been assigned hack doctors who've said, "well, since we don't see anything on the MRI, you're fine to go back to work and start light exercising." Fortunately, I listen to MY surgeon (head of neuro surgery at Cedars Sinai) not my work's hack occupational therapists. So I'm stuck. The pain meds help but leave me helpless to help my wife (15 mgs Vicodin/1 Skelaxin). My surgeon says just like the surgery it'll be weeks till I Feel normal again. Sure hope he's right!
  • D, I have a friend that had a micro and he experienced the same as you described. They put him on a steroid pack to get the inflamation down and he has been doing fine ever since. It took him about two weeks to get it under control. Hopefully you will be okay.
  • Thanks, brother. I'll take all the hope I can get.
  • I guess the answer to my own question as to weather scar tissue can cause this much pain is "yes it can". Had my MRI yesterday and my GP called and said he wanted to see me right away. The nurse told me I have extensive scar tissue that is impinging the nerve. The other disc looks fine. Still waiting to hear from my surgeon. I will let you all know tomorrow what the GP Dr. tells me.
  • Well I suppose that comes as good news in that now you know. The bad news _may be_that for some reason your body builds up (or in this one case, built up) a lot of scar tissue which may be an issue if they have go in and remove it. Thanks for keeping us posted. Latest on my deal is that the doctor will be putting me on Gabapentin. He's encouraged that my foot numbness seems to be disapating somewhat and thinks that'll help it along. I'm almost envious of the definitiveness of your MRI result. Good luck, brother.
  • Thanks brother, when I had the aspen clamp in my back it had come loose and did a lot of damage and caused a lot of the internal scar tissue. Hopefully I will find out my options tomorrow. Stay strong.
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