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Why is this taking so long?

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Old 11-07-2006, 08:29 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2006
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jacqui0712 HB User
Question Why is this taking so long?

Hi All

I have just joined this forum. I am a 37 yo female who underwent laminectomy and discectomy in 2004 for 12 mm right side proloapse at L5/S1. I was forced back to work too soon and reprolapsed bilaterally at the same site. I had severe nerve pain after first surgery and was put onto Neurontin which made me gain nearly 30kg. My surgeon wanted me to loose weight before the second operation, a total decompression and fusion, which I did. I had two weeks of inpatient PT and was sent home. This was nearly 18 months ago. Since then I am still without feeling in feet, calves and lower buttock region - which I can deal with (unless you step on something hehe).

My problem is that over the last 12 months I keep having "episodes" where the muscles in my back around the surgery site tighten up to the point where I am forced into bed for a week and put on steroids, morphine and valium. This has been bearable, but over the last two months the significant nerve pain that I had prior to surgery has returned to my groin and legs. I have had repeat CT scans and they can find no further damage to the region or the levels above or below. I say "FINE" why the heck am I getting this pain?

The response I am given by the surgeons is that it is scar tissue inflammation and because of the two surgeries in the one spot I have major scar tissue. The episodes recently seem to correspond with me trying to increase my activity levels - instead of 15 minutes in the pool I may do 20 or try and walk for 15 minutes instead of 10.

Is there anyone out there who can give me some advise on how to get rid of this scar tissue? I cannot see myself living like this for the rest of my life. Half the time I feel like a 90 year old woman and my family is suffering as I am.

Would accupuncture help? Massage hurts badly but has anyone gone through it and found it helps? My core muscles are great - I work on them all the time. Sorry this is so long but I am at my wits end and would truly love some advice as I do not know what to do anymore!

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Old 11-07-2006, 11:07 AM   #2
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Re: Why is this taking so long?

I started with acupuncture about 5 months ago. My internist sent me when the therapy alone was not working. His requirement was that I see someone trained in traditional Chinese accupuncture.

The Dr. I am seeing started learning acupuncture at her Grandfather's knee when she was 5 years old. She told me it would be at least 5 visits before I started seeing some relief. It was 6 visits. I see her twice a week, and the sessions last for about 90 minutes. I am "stuck" with anywhere from 30-43 needles. She attaches stim to some of them and i get to lay there and hummm, vibrate...whatever we want to call it. After she removes the needles she does accupressure..which can be quite-ahem-intense. She also has me taking some chinese to help nerve regeneration, the other for the "wetness" in my body. I had a puzzled look on my face. She stopped, gave it some thought, then said "for the fluid retention in your leg." I got a chuckle out of that one...

I have noticed that my nerve regeneration is better. Areas that were "trigger" spots for pain have lessons. I still tense up with cold damp weather, but then with 2 15" titanium rods and 20 screws there has to be some issue somewhere I guess...

It's worth the trial. For me it has helped. My surgeon was very pleased with the progress that I have made between the therapy and the accupuncture. With my issues, i would have run naked through the back yard wearing a mask at midnight if i could have been promised help

Old 11-08-2006, 06:09 AM   #3
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shawley HB User
Re: Why is this taking so long?


Old 11-25-2006, 01:22 AM   #4
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hessie28 HB Userhessie28 HB User
Re: Why is this taking so long?

The only way to get rid of scar tissue is for them to go back in and remove it. From my experience, it just comes back. I had scar tissue removed from a previous pelvic surgery twice already. The pain is back so I assume the scar tissue is also. Only reason it was removed was because I was in for other surgery so they took care of it at the time. I'm 10 weeks out from
L4/L5 fusion and laminectomy (sp?). I keep getting pain and tightening in the tailbone area. The therapist says it can be scar tissue or just swollen. Just had an xray today so will see what the dr. says.

Old 11-25-2006, 10:45 PM   #5
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Re: Why is this taking so long?

Run naked through the back yard wearing a mask at midnight, have to try that one, lol. I have major scar tissue, and lots of pain from it. From what I have been told theres not much to do for the dcar tissue. My doc told me that whenever the barometer changes I will have trouble, yippeeeee! thats like every day in Cleveland, Oh. I do lay on the heating pad lots in colder times, it does loosen things up a bit. Walking does make me feel better body & mind, not power walking just walking my dog, watching the sites as I walk, clearing my head can do wonders for my body pains.

I did have a very stressfull day today, NOT GOOD for the body, I am one big big knot, then I get on here if I can't walk, and read, read , read. If nothing else I can be grateful for not being as bad as some are.

I have had 4 fusions and one shoulder surgery since 10/03, I keep waiting for it to end, I guess it may never end so then I have to make the best of it, your mindset is a big part of the battle. I'm not saying that you can think it away. I have horrible horrible days like everyone else on here, but on the days when it's just ok, I can do things to make it more than just ok. Then the bad days are maybe not so so bad when they come.

I'm sorry we can't just make it all better today, how I wish I had that power for all of you. I know it's alot easier to say than to do and many on here can tell you I have submitted more than my share of help me posts on here. I do know that I have said earlier in this post only things that have helped me alot of times. I hope they might help you too.

Good Luck & God Bless

"Thru every dark corner is a door to a new light"
(Dana Reeve)
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Old 11-26-2006, 12:27 PM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: AZ Usa
Posts: 84
luvmybeagle HB User
Re: Why is this taking so long?

Hi, I too have the severe pain in my leg and foot and back. I had fusion on July 19th. On October 24 had surgery to remove abnormal amount of scar tissue. My surgeon could see the scar tissue on the MRI. He said that I should not have as much as I did at 13 weeks. So I had an injection to see if it would help with the nerve pain. It did not. So I opted for the second surgery. That was 5 weeks ago and I am in worse pain then before the last surgery.
That being said, I think you could have excess scar tissue and the only way to get rid of it is to have it removed. To prevent new I was told to move at least that is what I was told after my first surgery. I am currently waiting to see a physiarist (sp). He is a PT who is a DR. so he can prescribe meds.
I was given an infarential unit to try. It did not help at all.
I believe I have RSD or CRSD with nerve pain. You may want to do some research on that and read the symptoms. You do not have to have all of the symptoms to have this.

I wish you all the best and hope that you do not have RSD.

Old 11-26-2006, 06:40 PM   #7
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Re: Why is this taking so long?

After I posted my reply on here I started looking for scar tissue info. I did find some interesting info on a very reliable site. It said that the actual scar tissue isn't where the pain is coming from since there is no nerve endings in it. It comes from the scar tissue putting pressure on the nerve roots. Now that makes perfect sense to me. My doc had told me a long time ago that the scar tissue doesn't cause the pain but I never questioned him as to why. Just thought that might help a bit. Also my doc had told me if the scar tissue breaks loose from the tissue it can cause pain until the tissue heals from that.

God Bless

"Thru every dark corner is a door to a new light"
(Dana Reeve)
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