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    Old 05-27-2007, 02:05 PM   #1
    koc66
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    Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    Hi,
    I have a ? about scar tissue. As most here know,I had a L5/S1 hemi-laminectomy on 1/12/07. I had a severe rupture that severely compressed the nerve root from Aug 6th to surgery. My pain changed from the excruciating sciatica to just aggravating with numbness,weakness,tingles,no reflex in right leg and saddle numbness. They repeated the MRI w/o contrast, the surgeon said that he was 99% certain that there was a large ammount of scar tissue surrounding the L5/S1 nerve root. I'm set for an MRI with contrast this week to rule out any disc presence, but he said that he did not believe there is and basically told me that I was out of luck. That the scar tissue and the damage could not be fixed. That I would require pain care forever.
    Does anyone here have this issue? Will it ever let up? Will it harden and pull away from the nerve or will I become paralyzed?
    He just wrote me off basically, unless he finds some disc presence there will be no more surgery by his hand. I am worried that I will never be the same again.
    Any suggestions or input would be appreciated so much.

    Thankyou in advance
    K

     
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    Old 05-27-2007, 03:49 PM   #2
    Justoneofus
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    Re: Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    Hi K.. I dont have an answer that would put you at ease unfortunately. Majority of the surgeons ALL concur that in those that have issues with scar tissue.. and removal.. only makes the scar tissue not only return but even worse to the area.

    Now there is one on here.. Shawley, who had surgery to also help protect his dura from excess scar tissue. That basically put a sheath around it, called a dura sleeve. He still has alot of issues, but I am not sure if that surgery improved his symtoms from the scar tissue or not. Hopefully he will see your post and chime in.

    I was also told by two spine surgeons.. that one that did my fusion surgery and my current spine surgeron, that if I had scar tissue causing my pain.. there really wasn't much they could do but make me comfortable.

    For surgery patients.. the best way to help ward off some scarring is to be active in walking and any PT that is ordered. It's not an answer either, but it is said it does help reduce scarring to some degree. I am thankful.. my new pain I have is not believed to be from scar tissue.

    I think you need to go and get another opinion from several other doctors and see if they concur with the current doc. But whatever you do.. do not tell them what they original doctor thinks. Let them draw their own conclusions and then, you can discuss the original doc's hypothesis.

    I hope things improve for you soon.
    __________________
    "believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

    L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
    Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
    Solidly Fused Nov-2006
    A Success, but still improving!

     
    Old 05-28-2007, 12:06 AM   #3
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    Re: Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    How soon after surgery did these symtoms start? If right after surgery it is not scar tissue. It takes at least 6 to 12 weeks for scar tissue to even form. I awoke after surgery with saddle anesthesia. Urinary retention since surgery also. It has lead to now Bowel retention, no erection, and severe pain in both legs to the feet and severe back pain. I have had 2 Mri's since surgery. One contrast and one w/o. The one with is the only one that shows scar tissue. They need to look beyond the scar tissue to see what is wrong. If a failed spine surgery, then what went wrong. Can you get a second opinion on this?

    Last edited by Chris54; 05-28-2007 at 12:08 AM.

     
    Old 05-28-2007, 09:58 AM   #4
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    Re: Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    [QUOTE=Chris54;3009129]How soon after surgery did these symtoms start? If right after surgery it is not scar tissue. It takes at least 6 to 12 weeks for scar tissue to even form. I awoke after surgery with saddle anesthesia. Urinary retention since surgery also. It has lead to now Bowel retention, no erection, and severe pain in both legs to the feet and severe back pain. I have had 2 Mri's since surgery. One contrast and one w/o. The one with is the only one that shows scar tissue. They need to look beyond the scar tissue to see what is wrong. If a failed spine surgery, then what went wrong. Can you get a second opinion on this?[/QUOTE]

    Chris54,
    Iam 19 weeks post surgery and although I was never completely pain free, the new symptoms began about 7 to 10 days ago. I also have saddle numbness but no urinary and bowell retention and the sexual aspect is intact. My only MRI was w/o contrast, and from this he concluded with 99% surety that there was indeed scar tissue or effaced fat tissue with no recourse. He stated that any surgery to this area would just produce more scar tissue and that my only recourse was pain control and learning to adapt to the pain and other symptoms.

    Thanks for your input ..K

     
    Old 05-28-2007, 10:10 AM   #5
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    Re: Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    koc66 i had a L5/S1 discectomy in 1993 and repeated in 1994. moderate scar tissue left ongoing problems. im very experienced with all the issues from symptoms to medical attitudes.wendy51

     
    Old 05-28-2007, 10:12 AM   #6
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    Thumbs up Re: Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    [QUOTE=koc66;3008453]Hi,
    I have a ? about scar tissue. As most here know,I had a L5/S1 hemi-laminectomy on 1/12/07. I had a severe rupture that severely compressed the nerve root from Aug 6th to surgery. My pain changed from the excruciating sciatica to just aggravating with numbness,weakness,tingles,no reflex in right leg and saddle numbness. They repeated the MRI w/o contrast, the surgeon said that he was 99% certain that there was a large ammount of scar tissue surrounding the L5/S1 nerve root. I'm set for an MRI with contrast this week to rule out any disc presence, but he said that he did not believe there is and basically told me that I was out of luck. That the scar tissue and the damage could not be fixed. That I would require pain care forever.
    Does anyone here have this issue? Will it ever let up? Will it harden and pull away from the nerve or will I become paralyzed?
    He just wrote me off basically, unless he finds some disc presence there will be no more surgery by his hand. I am worried that I will never be the same again.
    Any suggestions or input would be appreciated so much.

    Thankyou in advance
    K[/QUOTE]

     
    Old 05-28-2007, 10:14 AM   #7
    koc66
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    Question Re: Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    [QUOTE=Justoneofus;3008577]Hi K.. I dont have an answer that would put you at ease unfortunately. Majority of the surgeons ALL concur that in those that have issues with scar tissue.. and removal.. only makes the scar tissue not only return but even worse to the area.

    Now there is one on here.. Shawley, who had surgery to also help protect his dura from excess scar tissue. That basically put a sheath around it, called a dura sleeve. He still has alot of issues, but I am not sure if that surgery improved his symtoms from the scar tissue or not. Hopefully he will see your post and chime in.

    I was also told by two spine surgeons.. that one that did my fusion surgery and my current spine surgeron, that if I had scar tissue causing my pain.. there really wasn't much they could do but make me comfortable.

    For surgery patients.. the best way to help ward off some scarring is to be active in walking and any PT that is ordered. It's not an answer either, but it is said it does help reduce scarring to some degree. I am thankful.. my new pain I have is not believed to be from scar tissue.

    I think you need to go and get another opinion from several other doctors and see if they concur with the current doc. But whatever you do.. do not tell them what they original doctor thinks. Let them draw their own conclusions and then, you can discuss the original doc's hypothesis.

    I hope things improve for you soon. [/QUOTE]

    Hi Justoneofus,

    Thankyou for you insight.I did not move around alot for the first 8 weeks post op, even my P.T. was very controlled. The doc still won't let me drive or bend forward,twist,or use steps at 19 weeks postop. Since you seem to be up on this subject, my next question is, can you be active to some extent of normalcey(with respect to the back of course), without causing more damage?
    Will activity increase or decrease scar tissue pain or damage? My scar tissue envelopes the S1 nerve root and consist of fatty material. Is this fatty material less irritatating to the nerve root than the disc material as my symptoms are different, the pain was much more severe when disc material was touching the nerve root? Any ideas or advice on taking care of myself properly would be appreciated..

    Thanks...K

     
    Old 05-28-2007, 10:31 AM   #8
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    Re: Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    [QUOTE=wendy51;3009660]koc66 i had a L5/S1 discectomy in 1993 and repeated in 1994. moderate scar tissue left ongoing problems. im very experienced with all the issues from symptoms to medical attitudes.wendy51[/QUOTE]

    Hi Wendy51,
    Thankyou for replying. Since you also have experienced this, can you read my replys to both previous posts and throw me some words from experience on how I should live,walk,run,jump,bicycle,exercize,and you know what with my husband(blush),without doing any further harm to my spine? How do I live my life with any normal sense of being? Even if I learn to tolerate these awfull symptoms on a daily basis, of course with the help of pain meds, what am I actually allowed to do? My doctor would have me sitting in a chair under glass if he could, yet I hear from others on this board, much worse than myself (even though its pretty bad), that they move around and drive and live even though in pain, much more so than I do. I miss life.And living it. I am tired of being stuck in my bed, my bedroom,and my house, only leaving home for medical reasons. I am sad, lonely, and depressed as I feel life is passing me by. Would love some input.

    Thanks in advance ...k

     
    Old 05-28-2007, 11:54 AM   #9
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    Re: Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    koc66 - Is your doctor with Kaiser by chance??

     
    Old 05-28-2007, 01:30 PM   #10
    koc66
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    Re: Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    [QUOTE=123dietdrpepper;3009798]koc66 - Is your doctor with Kaiser by chance??[/QUOTE]

    No Diet he's not with Kasier. Just a private neurosurgeon, I had to pay out of pocket (no Insurance) so I guess that equals about the same from the complaints I have heard abot Kasier docs. Take Care K

     
    Old 05-28-2007, 05:29 PM   #11
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    Re: Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    My doctor is with Kaiser and he is amazing but he is extremely over protective and I was not allowed to do zilch for the first 12 weeks. I was curious because your doctor was not allowing you to do much either and we are both in VA.

    Last edited by ms_west; 05-28-2007 at 05:30 PM.

     
    Old 05-29-2007, 02:02 AM   #12
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    Re: Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    koc66 will be very pleased to help in anyway i am not able to guarantee how often i can respond because time is so short each day as i have to rest lots.
    the questions you have are very real concerns for you and need to be adressed. it's been 14 years of experimenting with my abilities and learning to cope and find happiness and fullfillment in my life despitite the often overwhelming painful struggles to do so. it has been very hard on my husband and children also. you are the first contact ive made with someone who has the identical area affected. would be interested in more details as to the cause of your surgery physical problems you are left with and anything else that may help me answer specifically your concerns. what were you like before ? were you very physically active, busy social life, and working or ?

     
    Old 05-29-2007, 07:21 AM   #13
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    Re: Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    Kocc66--Hi Tammy was right scar tissue only comes back . However it did help in some ways , I had this tearing ripping feeling in my thighs that went away with surgery. My dura sleeve didn't help much but my Dr. said it may or may not work but he and I thought it was worth a chance .

    You may only have the option to treat pain ? Good Luck

     
    Old 05-29-2007, 08:44 AM   #14
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    Re: Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    I had an L5/S1 micro-d in July 04, for a herniated disc/ defragmented against my S1 nerve on my right side. My shooting pain down the leg and foot isnt like it was, but my low back pain is still there with a host of other problems. An mri w/ contrast showed the S1 encased with large amount of scar tissue. I was told there wasnt much they could do about it. To this day, both legs have a deep bone pain/ weakness, and some numbness on the right leg. My feet were burning like they were on fire yesterday. I actually used biofreeze on the feet which minimized the burning and soreness. I take alot of meds to help with all of it, but its an ongoing battle. Some days better than others like most of us, and I do much better in warmer weather where I can get out of the house more. I always need to be changing positions. I stand for as long as I can, sit til its too painful ( tailbone), walk til my legs say NO more. I lie down alot, whether the bed/couch /carpet/ bench...sometimes you just need to lie down asap.

     
    Old 05-29-2007, 11:12 AM   #15
    koc66
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    Re: Scar Tissue after Hemi-Laminectomy

    [QUOTE=123dietdrpepper;3010268]My doctor is with Kaiser and he is amazing but he is extremely over protective and I was not allowed to do zilch for the first 12 weeks. I was curious because your doctor was not allowing you to do much either and we are both in VA.[/QUOTE]

    Hi Diet,
    I am glad you got a Kaiser Doc that you seem to be comfortable with. My Doc was overprotective too, and it seems this is why I formed so much scar Tissue...Best of Luck to you...No insult intended against your doc, but I have heard so many people complain about Kasier and also VA Docs.....Forgive me if it came out that way. K

     
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