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Old 05-01-2009, 06:44 PM   #1
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15 months post op 2 level fusion {MRI QUESTIONS}

Hello every one , I hope all your pain is under control today.. When it rains it pours , and it's pouring out right now SO That means my back is aching !! I'm having some tough days as of late , back hurts after any bending over that i may do. It's hard for me because I'm a carpenter , working for long periods of time is NOT going well..

I had a 2 level fusion l4/5 - l5/s1 in FEB 2008 and i really hoped that by this point I would be some what pain free.. I saw my surgent about a month ago and he ordered me to go get a cat scan , everything came back okay and my back is fusing well.. I was still in pain so my next step was to go see my PM doc. he ordered me for an mri - the report says the following <> ** Minimal epidural enhancement involving the l4-5 neural foramen on the right with the apperance consistent of granulation tissue. NO enhancement is seen on the left. Minimal epidural enhancement involving the the bilateral neural formina at l5-s1 is identified. I also have a circumferential disc bulge at l3/l4...** IF any one can help me understand what this means i would appreciate it.. I had an epidural shot last week and it had no relief on my back at all , my foot - butt - toes and calf are numb and my back is hurting bad as of late.. I saw my PM doc. today and he told me that i have a lot of scar tissue built up esp on the right side and too see my surgent for a follow up - The PM doc told me that i may have to get a surgery to remove the scar tissue , but my surgent who did my surgery will decide the next step !!

I don't mean to ramble on here but I'm concerned and can use some help , I had a long and very complicated 11 hour surgery over a year ago and do not want to go threw the same agony.. I have been off pain meds for about 6 months now , and they just put me back on percocet 7.5/500 mg they help some but i'm still in pain..

Has any body ever had scar tissue removed after surgery , and if so how do they do it and what is the recovery time ? My big question is " if i have the s tissue removed , will it come back again " ? I can't live like this , always in pain - I NEED SOME RELIEF & A COLD BEER HAAAAaaaaa lol..
HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND AND THANK YOU FOR READING THIS , I APPRECIATE IT >>> GOD BLESS BILLY

Last edited by deviphish; 05-01-2009 at 06:56 PM.

 
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Old 05-02-2009, 04:56 AM   #2
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Re: 15 months post op 2 level fusion {MRI QUESTIONS}

I have read about peeps getting 2nd surgeries to remove scar tissue when it is ALOT. Sometimes it grows back, sometimes it helps, its really upto your surgeon and you grilling him/her for the right answers. You need to find out whats the likelihood its going to return- or get worse from someone going in there yet again. I dont think it will be a major surgery, I think it would be much like a microdiscectomy, small 2" incision just enough for them to get in there and remove the scar tissue. You need to find out how many other surgeries he's done like this, and what the outcomes were. Surgeons got all the answers thats for sure, as he's been thru it doing all the types of surgeries.
Then you need to sit and think IF theres a possibility of it coming back, is it worth the surgery, on a plus side, you will prob get back to some pain free time, prior to if it grows back again, it did take awhile to show up for you with pain, what was it you said like 9? months? so thats 9 months of pain free for you again, it may be worth it.

Sorry not much help, but I hear ya.
Take care and grill the surgeon when you go.

 
Old 05-02-2009, 05:09 AM   #3
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Re: 15 months post op 2 level fusion {MRI QUESTIONS}

[QUOTE=deviphish;3972700]Hello every one , I hope all your pain is under control today.. When it rains it pours , and it's pouring out right now SO That means my back is aching !! I'm having some tough days as of late , back hurts after any bending over that i may do. It's hard for me because I'm a carpenter , working for long periods of time is NOT going well..

I had a 2 level fusion l4/5 - l5/s1 in FEB 2008 and i really hoped that by this point I would be some what pain free.. I saw my surgent about a month ago and he ordered me to go get a cat scan , everything came back okay and my back is fusing well.. I was still in pain so my next step was to go see my PM doc. he ordered me for an mri - the report says the following <> ** Minimal epidural enhancement involving the l4-5 neural foramen on the right with the apperance consistent of granulation tissue. NO enhancement is seen on the left. Minimal epidural enhancement involving the the bilateral neural formina at l5-s1 is identified. I also have a circumferential disc bulge at l3/l4...** IF any one can help me understand what this means i would appreciate it.. I had an epidural shot last week and it had no relief on my back at all , my foot - butt - toes and calf are numb and my back is hurting bad as of late.. I saw my PM doc. today and he told me that i have a lot of scar tissue built up esp on the right side and too see my surgent for a follow up - The PM doc told me that i may have to get a surgery to remove the scar tissue , but my surgent who did my surgery will decide the next step !!

I don't mean to ramble on here but I'm concerned and can use some help , I had a long and very complicated 11 hour surgery over a year ago and do not want to go threw the same agony.. I have been off pain meds for about 6 months now , and they just put me back on percocet 7.5/500 mg they help some but i'm still in pain..

Has any body ever had scar tissue removed after surgery , and if so how do they do it and what is the recovery time ? My big question is " if i have the s tissue removed , will it come back again " ? I can't live like this , always in pain - I NEED SOME RELIEF & A COLD BEER HAAAAaaaaa lol..
HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND AND THANK YOU FOR READING THIS , I APPRECIATE IT >>> GOD BLESS BILLY[/QUOTE]


i got alot of scar tissue and they say its probroly whats causing some of my pain. I havent ever heard of them taking it out though. i dont really know what to tell you. alot of ppl have them to take the hardware out when they go in because your body may be having a reaction to it.

 
Old 05-03-2009, 03:50 PM   #4
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Re: 15 months post op 2 level fusion {MRI QUESTIONS}

Hi Billy Boy!!! (((((((hugs)))))))

I'm sorry you're still having pain. I know some people do have surgery to remove scar tissue. Sometimes it does grow back. Your doctor will need to determine the extent of the scar tissue and where it is. He can probably tell if it would be worth the surgery to remove it. Your recovery from that would be NOTHING like your recovery from the fusion surgery! It would be a piece of cake in comparison!

I wish I could tell you what the MRI results mean, but I'm not well versed in MRI lingo. Sorry.

Are you back at work full time? If you take some time off, do you have less pain? I hate to say, but maybe a less strenuous line of work would be better, though I know your heart is in working with your hands.

I hope you get some answers and some relief!

Emily

Last edited by BlueAtlas; 05-03-2009 at 03:51 PM.

 
Old 05-03-2009, 07:40 PM   #5
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Re: 15 months post op 2 level fusion {MRI QUESTIONS}

EMILY !!!!
IT is sooooo so good to hear from you again , how have you been ? Yes working with my hands is my passion , and making furniture and being a carpenter is what i love to do.. M y back has been hurting pretty bad now for the last couple of months , good thing is that it's fusing well !!!!!

I am back to work close to 40 hours a week , I am working for myself - it's hard to work a 8 - 10 hour day and not be in pain.. I totally watch myself and protect my back as much as possible , but just bending over for 20 mins sanding a piece of wood hurts.. I don't no if my pain level is normal at this point in time after having the surgery that i went threw ? I will be seeing my surgent on may 11th , my PM doc is DEF. concerned though SO we will see..

Besides that all is well , I have to admit Emily --- I truly miss talking with all of you , you and everyone else are a huge help.. Knowing that some one else no's what i'm going threw is a big help , I'm just concerned about my back - the pain really had been sharp lately... We will def. keep in touch and it was great seeing you on here , have a great week okay...

the Dev.

 
Old 05-03-2009, 07:46 PM   #6
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Re: 15 months post op 2 level fusion {MRI QUESTIONS}

thank you rose / I apreciate your advise , and I will be grilling my doctor.. We have been together for a while now and I trust his advise.. It;s hard after having 2 major back surgeries and still dealing with all this pain.. I am a fighter though and I will prevail.. STUBBORN IRISH IN ME !!!! LOL.....

THANK YOU

 
Old 05-04-2009, 05:07 AM   #7
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Re: 15 months post op 2 level fusion {MRI QUESTIONS}

Ohh I hear you, I had been bedridden for a total of 7 of 9 months since my injury, first surgery was a microdiscectomy on 2 levels, one rehernated huge, and 2nd surgery was a fusion for me, at which I am about 8? weeks out and finally have decreased pain, living on neurontin, lorcet, muscle relaxers, sleep meds, and nausea meds.

BUT For the first time since last July, I started to drive about a week and a half ago, and its odd, let alone i finally feel better that my mom and SO aren't changing their work schedules like they had to for so long to get my kids to school and everything.

I am worried about the scar tissue, so I am glad you posted as i had wondered how long it takes to show up or start bothering people. Did you walk alot after your surgery? Have PT? With 2 surgeries under my belt i am afraid of scar tissue.
Are you on Neurontin?? Maybe that will help kill off the nerve pains????? Good ? to ask the surgeon, especially if the surgery is going to be an iffy decision.

Take care

 
Old 05-04-2009, 09:15 AM   #8
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Re: 15 months post op 2 level fusion {MRI QUESTIONS}

ROSE - yeah i have had 2 surgeries in the last 5 years , had my l4/5 - l5/s1 fused in Feb. of 2008.. I did and still walk as much as possible , all though it's hard for me to walk long distances with out my back grinding right now.. Hang in there , after my fusion I was in the hospital for 7 days and I remember getting home and needing LOTS of help.. Thank god for friends and family , it's a long hard road to recovery so just keep a positive attitude and you will be fine. I started my PT about 3 months after my surgery and continued for about another 4 months 3 days a week , not fun..

Like i said my back has been burning , painfull , and numb.. my right foot - toes and calf are numb - my m r i says consistent scar tissue build up , alL i no is that I have to get out of this pain. I'm a carpenter and working is very tough for me lately , I went from doing G/C work to only finish carpentry and I'm still in agony.. Hopefully my doc. has some answers for me next week , I;m sure he will > he;s a GREAT man and a better doctor.. i was on neurontin , but i do not like the side effects of that drug.. I stopped taking all pain meds about 6 months ago , and now they have me back on 7.5/500 mg percocets.. I always tryed taking alleve or skelakton , but i need some meds to get me threw the day.
god bless BILLY

Last edited by deviphish; 05-04-2009 at 09:20 AM.

 
Old 05-04-2009, 09:30 AM   #9
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Re: 15 months post op 2 level fusion {MRI QUESTIONS}

Deviphish, From what I know personally, and from what docs (I trust) tell me, and from reading a lot about these things, they don't often remove scar tissue. That's because it's rarely successful-it often grows back. Typically pain from scar tissue begins about the 5th or so month after surgery. The surgeon who did my surgery would not admit this was my problem and said there was nothing wrong. He said an MRI would not be necessary! At that time, I asked him why my toes hurt so much, and he said that maybe when I sat down, I curled my toes under themselves on the floor! Can you believe this? This is a surgeon @ a well known big city hospital A famous spine surgeon @ that! My pain did not radiate from my back and down my legs to my feet @ the time(like it did before surgery). He also said it may be diabetic neuropathy Later I went to PM who said it was scar tissue. Fast forward to last Thursday, I saw my Neurologist. FINALLY an answer to my painful toes. AGAIN, Scar Tissue!! He said the scar tissue in my back is causing NOT ONLY my back pain, but my painful toes! And this pain(neuropathy), does NOT HAVE TO RADIATE. So many docs and Physical Therapists told me for a year, that it had to radiate. I know about nerve impingement from scar tissue, but he explained it differently. He said that normally(before surgery), the nerves are freely floating in CSF(cerebral spinal fluid). After surgery this is not the case. Frankly after he said that, it goes over my head So, all you can do about this (in MY case) is low dose Neurontin, Cymbalta and Opiates Now, keep in mind that this is how my doctor felt best to treat me. I can't tell you what your MRI results mean. My MRI showed a lot of things, like bulges, pinched nerve, etc. but my Neuro. said it all comes down to scar tissue. This is where the pain in the back and toes are coming from. Please keep in mind that this is just my humble opinion and how I understand things. Please talk to your doctor to be safe. Good Luck--Janiee

Last edited by janiee08; 05-04-2009 at 09:33 AM.

 
Old 05-04-2009, 10:03 AM   #10
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Re: 15 months post op 2 level fusion {MRI QUESTIONS}

[QUOTE=janiee08;3974880]Deviphish, From what I know personally, and from what docs (I trust) tell me, and from reading a lot about these things, they don't often remove scar tissue. That's because it's rarely successful-it often grows back. Typically pain from scar tissue begins about the 5th or so month after surgery. The surgeon who did my surgery would not admit this was my problem and said there was nothing wrong. He said an MRI would not be necessary! At that time, I asked him why my toes hurt so much, and he said that maybe when I sat down, I curled my toes under themselves on the floor! Can you believe this? This is a surgeon @ a well known big city hospital A famous spine surgeon @ that! My pain did not radiate from my back and down my legs to my feet @ the time(like it did before surgery). He also said it may be diabetic neuropathy Later I went to PM who said it was scar tissue. Fast forward to last Thursday, I saw my Neurologist. FINALLY an answer to my painful toes. AGAIN, Scar Tissue!! He said the scar tissue in my back is causing NOT ONLY my back pain, but my painful toes! And this pain(neuropathy), does NOT HAVE TO RADIATE. So many docs and Physical Therapists told me for a year, that it had to radiate. I know about nerve impingement from scar tissue, but he explained it differently. He said that normally(before surgery), the nerves are freely floating in CSF(cerebral spinal fluid). After surgery this is not the case. Frankly after he said that, it goes over my head So, all you can do about this (in MY case) is low dose Neurontin, Cymbalta and Opiates Now, keep in mind that this is how my doctor felt best to treat me. I can't tell you what your MRI results mean. My MRI showed a lot of things, like bulges, pinched nerve, etc. but my Neuro. said it all comes down to scar tissue. This is where the pain in the back and toes are coming from. Please keep in mind that this is just my humble opinion and how I understand things. Please talk to your doctor to be safe. Good Luck--Janiee[/QUOTE]

Thank you Janiee , i appreciate your advise and I hope you feel better as well.. I really don't no what to expect next week when I see my doctor , i do no that i have to get out of this pain.. I understand if you cut out s tissue it will just come back {makes sense to me} but i need some kind of relief , my PM doctor said that i need to see my doc - and the way he expressed himself - - it did'nt look good.. I had a epidural by my PM doc 2 weeks ago , i had a follow up last week. he showed me some pics that he took during the procedure and i have 1 nerve root in particular that is being blocked off by the scar tissue , he is concerned about that..

Thank's for feed back , and i will post again after I see my doctor next monday.. Feel better Janiee !!!!

 
Old 05-04-2009, 02:46 PM   #11
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Re: 15 months post op 2 level fusion {MRI QUESTIONS}

Hey all,

I had a successful fusion in July 2006-the same great 8-10 months then BAM-scar tissue. I was told I didn't keep my activity/walking up enough, I was told my weight was the issue and I was told it is genetics-some people scar more than others. Any one of these could be the truth, but I have always tended to scar pretty good (why didn't anyone mention this before surgery-could my doc have done anything different?)I am in pain management, which is going very successfully. I would say I am about 80% of what I used to be pre-surgery. That number used to be 90% but as time goes on I have to adjust-
It is what it is. I feel so bad for you with the type of work you do, especially since it's your passion. I have never heard removing scar tissue surgically was 100% successful but I have heard, if the scar tissue is relativly fresh, that deep tissue massage can break it up. I tried it for a while but when the $$ ran out, so did the massuese!!
I hope you find a good pain managment doc, build a great relationship and find the best balance of drugs/physical therapy that give you the most of your life back. Keep us posted. I am on oldy but goody who wouldn't have made it without this board-to date myself I had been here about a year before Miss Emily came along!
Blessings,
Michelle

 
Old 05-04-2009, 03:07 PM   #12
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Re: 15 months post op 2 level fusion {MRI QUESTIONS}

HELLO MICHELLE <> Thank you for your kind words , I myself had a pretty big 2 level fusion in 08. I want to say it was a success (fusion is solid) , but i have been in a lot of pain as of late.. I also had a 3 level lamanectomy (spelling off) in 2004 , so I have 2 big scars right next to one another on my lumbar region.. My PM doc is a good caring doctor that i have been going too now for 5 years , he did a epidural 2 weeks ago and is concerned about how much scar tissue has developed near the right side of my incision.

He mentioned that I may have to get some of the tissue removed and to speak with my doctor {surgent}.. That being said is enough to have me concerned , feels like i have a knife stabbing me in my lower back - burning , numb feeling in my toes and right foot.. Like you said wood working is my passion , and i can't go more than 30 - 45 minutes with out being in agony.. This can't be normal after having my l4/5 -l5/s1 fused is it ? Are most people that have our type of surgeries still in this much pain 15 months out , I would hope not ! I really did think by this point in time that i would be feeling better , not 100 % by no means BUT BETTER THAN THIS.. I stopped taking all pain meds about 8 to 9 months post-op and now I'm back on percocets , they help with the pain but NOT all of it (and i don't like popen pills every time i'm in pain - thats why i had surgery).. Any way I don't want to ramble on here , but i can use all the helpfull advise that one can get.. You have found the right people on here , Emily is a sweet heart - she and many others helped me out BIG TIME before and after my surgery

I will keep you up to date and hopefully I can get some answers sooner than later !! THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS BILLY

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