fibrosis refers to the formation of scar tissue within the epidural space of
the spinal canal. This is often related to back surgery. Scarring (fibrosis) is
part of a normal repair process after tissue becomes injured whether the result
of surgery or other causes. If to much scar tissue develops or if it does mot
not breakdown it can lead to a painful condition. The extent of fibrosis is usually related to the extent of
injury or in the case of surgery to the extent of surgical dissection and
bleeding. Fibrosis can compress, irritate and result in abnormal traction on
spinal nerve roots. Fibrosis can compromise blood flow to vital structures including
the spinal nerve roots.
presence of fibrosis is not always limited to the epidural space of the spinal
canal. It can also develop within a spinal nerve thus compromise the function of
the individual nerve fibers within the spinal nerve (nerve root). This creates a significant diagnostic
and treatment challenge. This is referred to as intradural fibrosis. It can not
successfully be treated with surgical decompression.
fibrosis refers to scar tissue which forms over the coverings of the spinal
cord and nerve roots. Scar tissue
may contribute to chronic inflammation as well as chronic pain. Failed back syndrome is sometimes been
associated with excessive epidural fibrosis. Fibrosis can adhere or fix a nerve within the central spinal
canal and/or neuroforamen rendering it unable to move out of the way from a
mass affect such as disc herniation.
As many as
one fourth of individuals who develop persistent back pain after surgery are
found to have significant epidural scar (fibrosis). The presence of peridural (epidural) fibrosis is implicated
in approximately 3-10% of cases of failed back syndrome (FBS) after spine
surgery. The presence of fibrosis is not always associated with symptoms.
Epidural fibrosis occurs more often in adults and with equal prevalence in males and females.