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Question:

What to Do For Scar Tissue, Back Pain, Leg Pulling Sensation and Tightness Following Discectomy?

I had a discectomy twice in year 2014, the last one was october 2014. Currently I have leg pulling sensation and tightness if i don\'t move. walking is ok. My leg weakness is much better after surgery. having back pain as well. is those leg stiffness and tightness consider sciatica. in january i had emg/ncv done and report shows normal. Mri shows scar tissue. i have been pn physiotherapy since october and the discomfort is still the same and it seems getting worse especially at night. what is going wrong with me?
  • Posted By:
  • 'Kar Mun Chan' on
  • 04/12/2015
  • 991
  • 1 Answer

Answered By:

  • Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI, DA
  • Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI, DA

I think you had first discectomy for disc bulge or herniation and second for recurrence of disc herniation. The short history also suggests your muscle weaknesses (leg weakness) is improved following second surgery. Since EMG shows normal results, I am sure you do not have any residual nerve injury, which is good news for you. The scar tissue is often developed following surgery in epidural space. It seems Scar tissue is seen in MRI. Scar tissue causes pinch or stretching of spinal nerve. Pinch or irritation of spinal nerve causes symptoms like pain, tingling and numbness.

Your present symptoms are pain, pulling and tightness at rest. Symptoms are worst at night or when you are not moving or stretching your back. History, MRI and EMG results suggest you are suffering with either irritation or pinch of spinal nerve by epidural scar tissue. Your treatment should be series of epidural steroid injection by experience pain specialist trained in pain management. Following injection you should continue with supervised physical therapy. Epidural steroid will soften the scar tissue and physical therapy will stretch the softer scar tissue to relieve the pressure over the nerve. You should also continue with stretching exercises and yoga therapy mostly focused on back muscles.

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