Is it common for Drs to operate a 2nd time, to remove scar tissue and if so, what is the process and what is the recovery like? I feel like I'm pressed up against the wall, running out of options! We tried the injection - it's safe to say that it didn't work. What other alternatives are there? In a way, I'd prefer the operate again just to "get it right" - but I'm scared for further scar tissue! It's like a vicious circle!!!
Any light you can shed would truly be appreciated. I'm 33 years old and feel like a caged animal watching life pass me by.
Current medical status: I herniated my disc in Oct. 2007, had back surgery (micro-discectomy) in March 2008. Recovery very slow. In Aug. 2008, after a long car ride, pain progressively worse., numbness in R. leg, cannot drive, homebound, very painful. Hospital 2 days, MRI = Bad scar tissue pinching sciatic nerve. Ortho surgeon suggests we try steroid spine injection to minimize swelling. Had injection 1 week ago and pain has not diminished. It has actually increased. Pain now in both legs. Numbness. Walking & stairs very difficult.
Current medical treatment: Physiotherapy exercises at home. Supeudol 5mg (recently upped to every 3-4 hours). Codeine Contin 300mg (2 x day). Lyrica 300mg (2 x day).
The formation of scar tissue near the nerve root (also called epidural fibrosis) is a common occurrence after back surgery and is part of the normal healing process after a spine surgery. The pain, numbness and difficulty walking you describe seems to be caused by the build up of scar tissue can cause nerve impingement. It's important to note that epidural fibrosis occurs after successful surgical outcomes as well as after a "failed back surgery". For this reason, the importance of scar tissue as the cause of postoperative pain is controversial.
You'll first need an assessment of the likely cause of the back pain or leg pain. Then, you can work with your orthopedic surgeon to discuss possible treatment options, which may include another surgery or endoscopic procedures. Other causes of continued or recurrent leg pain should be investigated before targeting epidural fibrosis or scar tissue as the main cause of the discomfort you're experiencing following a micro-discectomy.
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