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Old 09-19-2008, 11:25 AM   #1
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Scar Tissue treatment after back surgery

Hi Everyone It is now four months post microdisctomy and I still have low back leg and foot pain, I have had epidural injections, P.T. and now I am doing aqua therapy. I have been told water therapy might loosen up any scar tissue I may have. I understand what scar tissue is and how it came about, what I don't understand is the treatment for it. I am hoping the aqua therapy helps. It is my understanding in fact I was told by my primary doctor that anything after one year after back surgery that isn't resolved I will have to live with it, there will be no help. Needless to say I am at 4 months post microdisctomy and wanting some answers on what to do. If perchance you have any information or experience it would be greatly appreciative. Thank You!

 
Old 09-20-2008, 04:50 PM   #2
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Re: Scar Tissue treatment after back surgery

Hi, I've never heard of aqua therapy for scar tissue, but...I am not a doctor.
I have alot of scar tissue build up from my surgery, which unfortunately is something that can happen. I did everything I could (that I was told to do) to lessen it or possibly prevent problems, such as alot of stretching and massage during the healing period. I have also been told that once it's there, there's not really much that can be done about. I actually did well and felt pretty good after my surgery until about the 5 - 6 month post-op period. It was not until then that my problems started. I developed severe, tortorous even, sciatica; I had an MRI done & had some herniations & bulges, plus alot of scar tissue and edema in there. I even said to my surgeon, "I don't understand what is wrong or what I did wrong as I thought I was doing everything right during and after the healing period." He said it wasn't my fault and that these things happen, unfortunately. I also had a piece of tissue stuck in a small area that a nerve ran through, which could have been scar tissue (or maybe disk tissue).

 
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:38 PM   #3
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Re: Scar Tissue treatment after back surgery

Wildflowers, please post back to let us know if this treatment does anything good for you. I had a laminectomy 10 years ago after a fall from a height of about 15 feet. Also went through PT and 3ESIs. I am now disabled because of a condition called arachnoiditis, which is scar tissue choking my spinal nerves. There is no treatment except palliative care. Like you, I live with back and leg/foot pain, along with other neurological problems. Please report back to us after you get treatments, thanks.

 
Old 09-21-2008, 03:38 AM   #4
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Re: Scar Tissue treatment after back surgery

Thank you for your response, yes, without a doubt I will report back if I see any smidget of difference in my condition. Scar tissue I was told by my surgeon begins to happen from 6-12 weeks after surgery. He said that is the time element that the scar tissue forms, if you have pain before or along time after it's something else. I have found out over the years that even though I have done everything right I still seemed to be the garbage dump for all the syndromes, side effects etc. that can happen. The response is generaly "I am so sorry" however, that does not do a thing for all of us who are in pain and have to find a solution. Finding a solution is the next difficult thing especially when you are one in the percentage of the "I am so sorry" group. We need to exhaust every opportunity in the medical field. I intend to exhaust or change doctors, exhaust or change hospitals, do what I can to help myself have a healthier existence. I wish that for all of you as well.

 
Old 09-21-2008, 06:47 AM   #5
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Re: Scar Tissue treatment after back surgery

I have severe scar tissue problems in my hip that was replaced numerous times as well as other areas as I am very prone to it. Unfortunately there isn't much to do after you've had it for a length of time. Surgery is an option to remove it but have been told by a plastic surgeon that it actually grows back even more. My causes severe pain so I can relate. I had a huge mass taken out 2 years ago but it grew back quickly and to twice the size.

If your scar is newer I was taught by my physical therapist, as soon as you can stand the scar itself being touched you should use vitamin E oil on the scar and rub or massage across the scar, not up and down the scar length. So if your scar is say verticle you would rub it horizontally. Of course being your back you'd have to solicite someone to do this but that's the general proceedure. This does break up the tissue, it doesn't really go away but helps to free it up.
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:48 AM   #6
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Re: Scar Tissue treatment after back surgery

Thank you Kissa, my scar tissue Kissa is on the inside where my back surgery was done, somehow the healing process produces scar tissue that can get entwined with your nerve root and cause pain. The information you gave me would be so helpful if mine was on the outside. I never gave scar tissue to much thought until I had back surgery. They tell you if you start walking as soon as possible and keep walking, morning, noon and night you will probably not have scar tissue built up around the surgery site. I did everything they told me. Even a reallly successful surgery can accumulate scar tissue. It reminds me of some foreign substance that takes over, a little like weeds in a garden. Thank you for your response.

 
Old 10-08-2008, 04:16 PM   #7
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Re: Scar Tissue treatment after back surgery

Hi Wildflowers: Sorry to hear you had the discectomy, but I hope it helped to stabilize your spine. Take it easy and continue with the aqua therapy it may help. For years I've been trying to find someone/something that will break up scar tissue around the spine and nerves and unfortunately didn't have any luck, but that doesn't mean you can't find something that might help.

Have you talked to your PT about it? There are some PT's *who claim* they can break up new scar tissue with types of deep tissue massage. If you try this, make sure they numb the spot first with ice. The main thing is to try and prevent it from growing further, and I have a ton of it all over. Look into cold laser, I don't know if it works but you could ask, also some say that other types of laser treatments work, but I have no experience with that, but ask anyway.

Exercise is the best thing to prevent further growth, but you also have to be very careful with the types of movements you do after disc surgery.

There are some surgeons that claim they can cut it out with a minimally invasive surgery, but I've never tried that since further cutting usually makes it worse.

I hope you aren't in the *sorry there's nothing we can do* category, because that's tough, but there are things you can do that can make it more bearable. Ice works best for me, but that only numbs the area for a short time but it's better than nothing.

Contact as many PT's and even maybe an accupuncturist and see if they can do anything for scar tissue.

Let me know what you find out and I'll try to think of something else that might help.

 
Old 10-08-2008, 05:14 PM   #8
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Re: Scar Tissue treatment after back surgery

Hi Desert Bloom, thank you for your words of encouragment as well as vital info.I am not giving up on this scar tissue, it is like weeds in the garden, to try to get rid of it only makes more of it, surely there is a way one can keep it from strangling its hold on our back and spine, it feels like science fiction nightmare. I am in aqua therapy right now and that has helped, my osteopath doctor feels I should keep moving. There is a exercise that you put on your float belt and go out in the deep part of the water and hang, doc says that opens up your spine and joints like traction. He really is a firm believer in water therapy to help the scar tissue, he feels you can do in water what you cannot do on land, I will definitely vouch for that one. I was not prepared for the post back surgery complications, nerve pain, scar tissue, painful sitting, is only a few. Heat seems better for me Desert Bloom, moist heat, a good warm shower, however sometimes that can agitate my nerves (neuropathy pain.) If I hear anything, and I mean anything that can help, I will let you know and everyone else who is suffering from this unrelentless misdiagnosed thing called scar tissue immediately. Blessings!

 
Old 10-09-2008, 06:33 PM   #9
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Re: Scar Tissue treatment after back surgery

Hi Wildflowers,
I had a laminectomy 16 months ago.....yes, you guessed it, scar tissue. My surgeon, neurologist and PT all agree that there is really nothing to be done. All agree that at this point in my recovery I am left with the pain and weakness that I have now. More surgery could make it worse, much worse. I have done PT, ESI's, exercise, nerve blocks, walking, "nerve meds".......I have now resorted to acupuncture and have been to 2 appts. The first day after, I feel awful, then I have 2 good days and then the pain increases again day by day. He said it may take 8-10 visits so I am trying to stay positive. I have permanent nerve damage in my right leg and my right foot "scuffs" after walking about 20 minutes. So if anyone has something they do that helps scar tissue please share it here. Whoever comes up with a treatment for it will be a wealthy person! Good luck to you!

Deb

 
Old 10-09-2008, 08:52 PM   #10
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Re: Scar Tissue treatment after back surgery

Often scar tissue can be loosened with things like water therapy or physical therapy. That doesn't always mean more scar tissue is formed. For example, years ago when they'd do knee surgery they'd put the patient in a straight leg immobilzer for weeks. Then they'd remove it and the patient would have such a hard time getting back to normal. Fast forward 20 years (I was there at the beginning and now) and now they send you home in an ace bandage for many joint surgeries and encourage you to move the joint to prevent scar tissue build up. In addition, to work through troublesome scar tissue. So it will never go away but if you can "break" some of it up you may be more comfortable.
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Old 10-10-2008, 04:47 AM   #11
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Re: Scar Tissue treatment after back surgery

Deb 53 have you tried water therapy at all? When I first started I was sore and it was painful because of moving parts of me that I did not move for awhile. My osteopath doc said "to the water" it's a natural for your body, most comfortable and you can relax and loosen up to some extent the scar tissue. In the water you do bicycling, cross country sking so to speak while you are in the deep hanging with your belt floater. I would get to the water, the warmth of the water immediately relaxes part of my body, I can hear it go "Ahhhhhhhh." soothing. If for nothing else but the psyche part, it makes you feel like your doing something and you feel better, maybe a placebo effect. Spine AZ sounds like you are familiar with water therapy, you are so right have to try to break it up, movement does that, on land it's harder because there is no way you can do the exercises that you can do in water. Thanks folks for your response, we will get through this, we all have our mind on the solutions, not the problem that was given to us. Blessings!

 
Old 06-10-2010, 02:57 PM   #12
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Re: Scar Tissue treatment after back surgery

Hi Everyone, I know this is a very late response but i had a bulging disc from lifting for football and continued to go through it with workouts and never gave myself a break, make long story short, i kept working out very hard for next 6 months after injury with traction treatment and other PT and never got any results, i was very stupid and ended up herniating a disc, I had a Microdisectomy by the top doctor in the nation who does all professional athletes, his name is Dr. Watkins Sr. out in Marina Del Rey, CA (Los Angeles) .... I had that in August 2009, about 2 months ago i had our school order me another MRI because i wasnt feeling right and they said the surgery was successful even though the disc was bulging a bit, but the scar tissue build up was what was affecting me and causing me pain, i have had 2 ESI and havent got a bit of relief from either of them, I am in very good shape, a D1 athlete, less than 9% body fat, eat very healthy, do all sorts of rehab and stablization exercises that my doctors told me to do and i can not get rid of the pain, I have started to do some jogging again and it feels better while im jogging but later when im done i am back in pain, i have tried some water therapy and it might help a little bit im not sure, i have bought a therapy inversion table and it made it worse i believe, i have read about laser spine surgeries but have also read they can be risky and there are a lot of law suits going at those people, its just very upsetting that i cannot live normally and i am very young and want to play football again and baseball collegiately but cannot with the pain i go through everyday, if anyone has any new comments or ideas please let me know, i am willing to try anything at this point to help me out, i dont remember what it feels like to live normally and be able to sit down without pain, only time i feel some relief is if im walking but that only lasts for a short period of time, thank you very much and hope everyone that has commented on this post in the past has received some relief and feels much better than previously! - Teddy (South Dakota State Univ.)

 
Old 06-11-2010, 06:33 AM   #13
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Re: Scar Tissue treatment after back surgery

Teddy,

this thread is over two years old. I doubt that anyone on that thread will be reading it. Your best bet is to start a new thread to get rsponses rather than adding to such an old post. Watch the date above their name on the left to see how current it is...

 
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