what are the symptoms of scar tissue?

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Anonymous (not verified)
Title: Member
what are the symptoms of scar tissue?

Hello everyone,

Im not sure if its helping or not reading all these message boards.....im so confused! lol

I previously posted "help, should i have my lumber metalwork removed" and im very grateful for all your replies.
However, after reading some peoples stories on here, i am now convinced i could have scar tissue problems?
My consultant hasnt mentioned any but to be honest he just glanced at my scans and the reports from the radiologist have gone missing.

My symptoms are...........burning pain when lying down, tingling in legs when lying down, pain on sitting...im ok walking for about 1 mile then my back starts to ache once i stop. It is really difficult to get out of bed in the mornings, i am so stiff for about 30mins till i get moving, then im not so bad, unless of course i sit, stand or lie down for too long.

Over the years i have had 7 lots of spinal surgery so it is likely i do have some scar tissue.
I had my last op 15mths ago and was fine till 6months post op when these problems started. They have gradually got worse over the months and are now unbearable.
My surgeon is proposing to remove my metalwork and do a review decompression in May, i am unsure. My metalwork isnt showing signs of looseness and my fusion is solid, but my surgeon thinks the screws might be irritating somewhere.

Does a decompression mean he will remove any scar tissue or is that just to remove the nerves?
Any help would be great.........thanks


Last seen: 4 years 2 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/27/2008 - 6:22am
the symptoms of scar tissue are..

virtually the same as a slipped disc /nerve damage .all it is is tissue touching nerves it does not matter whether its from bone / or other the pain is the same .my last operation in part was to remove scar tissue .but by 3 month it was back !

Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 12/30/2008 - 12:07am
epidural fibrosis

I was going to say the same thing. The "symptoms" of epidural fibrosis (scar tissue) are similar to/the same as many other back conditions that cause nerve pain. While it can be seen clearly on a MRI, there is no way of telling for sure that it is the source of pain...well, that's not quite true. If it is really obvious, one assumes it is the cause of pain, like when it is wrapped around the nerve. That is the type of scar tissue that is pressing right up against the nerve.

Read this to see what you might be up against:


Then there is a condition that is the source of my continued sciatic pain which is a result of my L4-5 fusion from 15 months ago. I do not know the medical term for it -- but it is a situation where epidural fibrosis nestles right up against the nerve, which never has a chance to settle down. The nerve sprouts little "hairy" tendrils that sprout out from the main nerve root as it is trying to recover from the trauma of being compressed for awhile -- these tendrils are hyper-sensitive and send out pain signals to the brain --and this is every bit as bad as the usual sciatic pain...even though the nerve has been decompressed it is still in a state of nasty arousal. This condition is a result of scar tissue, too. (I'm going to call my doc and get the medical term for this...or maybe someone knows what it is??)

Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/23/2008 - 7:44pm
Are you stretching?

I was just wondering if you should go back to the basics and do all of you post-op stretches. It sounds like the walking is too much, but have you warmed up properly?
I too had surgery to remove scar tissue that had sequestered my L5 and S1 nerve roots. I was really fortunate that when it healed again it didn't do it again and my butt pain was solved.
I remember somewhere in one of my PT sessions or from my NS saying you will always need to do the stretching to stay limber or not stiff.
It would scare me to have hardware removed if you didn't think it was doing any harm. But at the same time it would give him a chance to see if he needs to clean up around the nerves. Nerves aren't removed.
Ask more questions to your doctor and make sure this is what you want. Maybe even trying PT between now and surgery would give you a better idea of what is the right answer.

meydey321's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/26/2008 - 6:22pm
scar tissue

Hi Heather, they found scar tissue (epidural fibrosis) after I complained of worsening pain that felt like lightning shot from my back down to my foot. This episode happened 9 months after a fusion, and I had already been suffering from chronic back pain and nerve damage. The only way to spot scar tissue is with an MRI, and your doctor should order one to see if that is the case.

I heard that scar tissue pain is controversial among surgeons- some believe and some do not think it causes pain. Of course, if the fibrosis is pressing on the nerve root then it makes sense that it does cause pain.

Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 04/17/2009 - 11:07am
Scar tissue

Hallo Tigerhev,

Where do you have more pain? In your lower back where you have your surgeries or pain in your leg(s)?


RUNVS's picture
Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/21/2008 - 5:36am
Hi there, I'm going for a

Hi there,

I'm going for a decompression this coming Tuesday of L5-S1 after a ALIF last year in February with 4 screws, 2 plates and titanium cage with BMP. My nerve pain has been present since the surgery - they were hoping it would settle down but after 14 months its progressively getting worse. I've had numerous ESI's and blocks that all point to the S1 nerve root being the problem and MRI's have shown that there is scar tissue around the nerve, but my surgeon believes that the nerve is being caught somewhere so is removing a fair amount of bone from that area. I know it will take sometime for the nerve to settle back down after being comprimised for so long but fingers crossed this works. I'll keep you posted on how I'm going Smile

buckeyeback's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 03/02/2009 - 6:31pm
Any updates?