Posted By CCF NSG MD /gsh on April 18, 1999 at 19:34:39
Topic Area: Spine
I have had a few spinal operations on my lumbar spine. I am being told that I have
excessive scar tissue build up around my fusion site and at the levels above and below
my fusion site. The doctors that I have seen are back and forth on whether
more surgery would help me. An EMG showed nerve root compression that isfelt to be
progressive. Can scar tissue be removed safely around a nerve root?
Every patient forms scar tissue after surgery, no matter what kind of surgery is done. Inflammation and scar formation are parts of the normal process of healing. At times a patient can form scar tissue after surgery that causes continued compression on the neural elements in the spine. This can be difficult to manage with repeat surgery, as the risk of surgery is higher for complications and the scar will simply come back. One drug company is promoting a new substance to place in the wound after surgery that prevents scar formation, though long term experience with the substance is lacking.
We at The Cleveland Clinic have found in many instances that patients have problems after surgery due to continued compression on neural elements from missed disc, ligament or bone that can be removed with another surgery. Whether this is the case with you is unclear.
Your best option at this point would be to consult an experienced spine surgeon for his opinion on matters. Show him the films and see what he would recommend. Often this will help clear up matters in your mind.
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