JUST HAD MY DR. APPT. TODAY AND THE DR. WANTS ME TO START WORK HARDENING TO TRY TO SOFTEN UP SCAR TISSUE LEFT AFTER MY L5/S1/ DISCKECTOMY. A SECOND MRI SHOWS SCAR TISSUE REPLACING THE HERNIATION AND CAUSING FOCAL NEURITIS AT S1. IF THE WORK HARDENING DOESN'T WORK, HE WANTS TO TRY STEROID INJECTIONS. ARE THESE JUST QUICK FIXES OR ARE THEY GOING TO GET ME BACK TO WORK AS A TRUCK DRIVER/MOVER???? THIS WAITING HAS ME ALMOST TO THE POINT OF INSANITY!!!!!! HELP!!!!!!!
If you are having major scar tissue problems, I assume that your doc did not use Adcon-L or one of the other anti-scarring gels. Frankly, I've not heard of steroid injections loosing or reducing scar tissue, but that doesn't mean it doesn't. Just be cautious of how much/how many injections. Steroids should be limited to no more than 3 injections within a 12 month period as steriods weaken the bones by making them more brittle and fragile. Part of my problem with having a collapsing back was caused by steroids used to control chronic asthma. On top of it, when I took a fall years ago, after having steroid injections for tennis elbow, my arm crumbled and splintered literally. My body rejected the elbow with scar tissue taking over muscles and nerves so I have no elbow and the arm is wired together. Fortunately some wonderful docs rebuilt it to a 40% functioning level so I could continue working.
So, limit the number of injections and be oh so careful not to take any falls for (it doesn't have to be a big fall/ mine wasn't) a good year after your last injection.
Also, if there are ever any more surgeries of any kind, be sure to insist that the surgeon use one of the anti-scarring gels to inhibit internal scar tissue from being so massive. They work wonderfully, and there are different ones for back versus abdominal areas.
I have read that they use ESI to for scare tissue and that it can shrink it permanently and break it up. Cortisone is very strong. It can even eat away at bone if it is used too much so it makes sense to me that it could eat away at scar tissue. It's sure worth a try. I just had a microdiscectomy two days ago and am hoping I do not develope scar tissue. If I do I sure will try the ESI.
i dont know how far along u are but i tell u my story.5 wks post op doc thought i re-rupture but nope scar tissue in place of my rupture so i go to 4 wks of pt and no help and then a esi no help just had another mri 14 wks post-op and my right l5,s1 nerve root is completely encased in scar tissue.doc will not operate cuz he said will do more harm than good.got a second opion and that doc said the same scar tissue was attached to the nerve root to cut out would do more harm than good.
[QUOTE=Dealing in Pa.] JUST HAD MY DR. APPT. TODAY AND THE DR. WANTS ME TO START WORK HARDENING TO TRY TO SOFTEN UP SCAR TISSUE LEFT AFTER MY L5/S1/ DISCKECTOMY. A SECOND MRI SHOWS SCAR TISSUE REPLACING THE HERNIATION AND CAUSING FOCAL NEURITIS AT S1. IF THE WORK HARDENING DOESN'T WORK, HE WANTS TO TRY STEROID INJECTIONS. ARE THESE JUST QUICK FIXES OR ARE THEY GOING TO GET ME BACK TO WORK AS A TRUCK DRIVER/MOVER???? THIS WAITING HAS ME ALMOST TO THE POINT OF INSANITY!!!!!! HELP!!!!!!! [/QUOTE]
What kind of scarring do you have?? I get hypertrophic scarring, which is lumpy, raised and hard, kind of like keloids but not nearly as bad, and it responds [B]VERY[/B] well to cortisone injections. I've had it done a few times for a couple of moles that were cut off. Steroids are not drugs to use casually, but when they're used for the right things they can seem miraculous. Since this is going into your spine I would definitely proceed cautiously and maybe get a second opinion, but definitely consider it!! Your scarring sounds serious - your mobility and comfort are at stake here, not to mention your job!! I wouldn't wait TOO long if I were you....
P.S. My scarring didn't come back after the injections.
The ESI will only help if the scar tissue is inflamed. I think you should get another opinion. Tho the steroid doesn't actually eat your bones, too many can thin your bones but it will not break up scar tissue. If it did, I would not have any problems! So many doctors reach for the needle and do these injections and I think they do that for lots of reasons, none of which have to do with a cure.