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post-epidural, post-surgical tissue damage

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Old 02-07-2005, 03:26 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1
kapat HB User
post-epidural, post-surgical tissue damage

I'm trying to solve a mystery.
Late last March I had a discectomy (sp?) at the L5 S1 joint to address a herniated disc. Prior to that, in late Dec and early Jan I had three epidural injections, the 1st two administered by a rheumatologist and the 3rd by a radiologist.
After surgery (in May or June) I was alarmed to discover that the tissue that I used to have at the site of the injections and surgery was no longer there. My spine is just under the skin and what's left is a fairly large gap (about two fingers wide), much wider than the normal "crack" between buttocks is supposed to be. I don't have pain associated with the tissue loss, but the sensation is rather strange... as if the "padding" for my spine is missing.
Cosmetically, this condition is unattractive (medical professionals have actually gasped and said "Oh my!" when they've seen it... and a few of my brave friends who have ventured a peek have reacted even more strongly.
The surgeon says it was the epidural that caused this to happen (he's seen this before, but never quite so "significant") and the rheumatologist agrees that sometimes the stereoid leaks out when the needle is withdrawn and causes the tissue to be "eaten away." Even so, he also insists that in my case that cannot be the cause since this kind of reaction always takes place within a few weeks of the injection. In my case the reaction happened 2 or three months after the last one. No steroids were administered during or post surgery.
So.... I'm left with a disconcerting lack of information and I need to find out what I can because
1-I don't think the space is still growing, but if I don't know what caused it I can't really be sure...
2-if I need further treatment or surgery in the future (and I probably will since the surgery helped me, but not to the degree that I had hoped), I need to make sure this doesn't happen again...
3-if someone made a mistake, I want to avoid using them in the future (at the very least).
Has anyone had a similar experience to mine? And if so do you know more than I do?
Many thanks....

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