I'm so sorry that you are suffering so. I know exactly what you are going through. I had a microD (L4/L5) last June. I was doing very well post until week 10 when I started to experience excruciating pain. I, just like you, was very afraid it was scar tissue. Well, my surgeon ordered a MRI so we could see if I had reherniated. Thankfully the MRI came back normal...although that did not help the pain.
Regarding scar tissue concerns:
First of all...everybody forms scar tissue after surgery It is only a concern if it causes pain/compression (epidural fibrosis).
Epidural fibrosis typically presents itself in the following scenario: Good relief after the surgery followed by a slow and steady increase in mostly leg symptomatology over the next 6 weeks.
Stretching helps prevent the scar tissue from adhearing to the nerves. And, walking is the best exercise you can do at this stage in the game. Have you had any physical therapy?
I'll bet that you are experiencing pain from nerve inflammation (very common...the nerves do not like to be touched and they had to be moved during surgery to allow the surgeon to preform the decompression)
I am now 6 months postop and basically pain free...there is hope...give yourself time to heal. Do not over do it! And remember that it can take up to 18+ months to completely heal.
I'll second that!
I know how you feel as I am going through the same thing to a degree.I am now at 4 months post op and at 3 months I thought I was doing good until things started to turn. I had battles with the major inflammation. I was going to PT until I started going back to work I just couldn't do the PT and work all in one day and it was causing me terrible pain. Although, when I started the PT and did it for awhile without working, it helped alot.
Now that I am on the downside of my last inflammation I'm a bit better. I too am hoping that it is just the nerve that is ****** and needs more time to heal. I don't have increased leg pain really so I'm not thinking that it is scar tissue. I just think my nerves are pretty ticked off. I hope this is the case for you and you see improvement soon!!
Hope you are doing better. I am a scar tissue victim to the extent I developed severe pain and reactive scoliosis and had to have a second operation to remove the scar tissue. Luckily it has helped. At least I stand up straight. Keep strtetching as much as you can.
[QUOTE=beckyboo]I'm now at 9 weeks post discectomy (left side, L5/S1)
I'm still on Vioxx (anti-inflammatory) and seem to have Nurofen 4-5 times a week.
DOes anyone know when scar tissue starts forming? I heard it was arond 6-12 week mark??? And if so, when does it stop forming.
I'm getting a little bit of pain in my lower back, (not down legs), and its mild compared to the dibilitating pain I was in prior to surgery, but its frequent and intense enough to bother me.
Do you think this will settle down?
Will it get worse?
I can certainly tolerate it at current levels, but I'm concerend it may get worse
Is there anything I can do to hinder further scar tissue forming at this stage (ie...9 weeks post surgery)
I feel the same as the others. I am experiencing significant pain after a Foramonotomy in Aug. 2003 and Fusion surgery in Dec. 2003 so I asked my N/S if my problem could be caused by scar tissue and his answer was "I am not a big fan of scar tissue causing any problems" but he is pretty full of himself as most surgeons seem to be!
Hope you feel better,
I'm not sure if this well help. But when I had a microdiscectomy in 1999; I was amazed by how much the pain subsided post-surgery. (I was barely able to walk into the hospital and actually noticed immediate relief fpost surgery from the pain and left the hospital walking better than I had in the months prior to surgery. However, I did notice an increase in pain in the weaks following surgery and became quite concerned that I was actually feeling more pain than the day I left the hospital post-surgery. Anyway, my neurosurgeon basically stated the same thing, that it was related to scar tissue and that it would subside. He wasn't a strong proponement of PT post surgery but did provide me very specific "gentle" exercises to do and by 8 weeks post surgery I can honestly say I was completely pain free -- walking two - three miles daily and leading an active life again. I would say if it persists, they my want to do a follow-up MRI just to make sure nothing else is causing the pain. But, it sounds very similar to what I experience and hopefully it is part of the healing process. I will keep you in my thoughts and I hope you receive relief from the pain very soon. It sounds like your are healing nicely, so just keep your Doctor appraised of what is happening.
I felt many things in my leg following surgery. All these things got me really depressed. I think around 3 months I was feeling pretty good. I am feeling better now which is almost a year post op then I have since the surgery. I feel really good now, but just last week I had some right leg issues, but they have gone away. It's really weird. I guess what I am saying is to just keep going. You are going to feel many things going on, and I wouldn't worry about them until atleast a year after surgery. Scar tissue was a worry for me also, but I also had a neuro surgeon that said he didn't neccessarily believe that scar tissue caused pain. So who knows.
Beckyboo, if you aren't having leg pain, I would feel really good if I were you. I think up to 6 months following surgery I had some back pain and just me sitting in a seat pressing against a lumber roll would hurt. If the leg pain is gone, i'm sure the back pain will go away eventually. My back still does not feel great, but good enough for me. I realize I will not be 100 % "normal" again, but have gotten over that and can live with it