Although the medical community refers to it as “FIBROSIS,” Scar Tissue wreaks havoc with people’s lives because it is so radically different than normal tissue.  Some of these differences include…..

  • SCAR TISSUE IS WEAKER:  Scar Tissue is far weaker than normal connective tissue. This is why it’s always easier to sprain your ankle again, after spraining it the first time.  This information is common knowledge, and can be found in any Pathology Textbook.
  • SCAR TISSUE IS LESS ELASTIC:  In the same way a HAIRBALL is less elastic than well-combed hair, Scar Tissue is less elastic than normal tissue.   Microscopically speaking, Scar Tissue is a tangled, twisted, wad (HERE are some awesome pictures) of adhesion.  This information is common knowledge, and can be found in any Pathology Textbook.
  • SCAR TISSUE DOES NOT OXYGENATE WELL, CREATING A LOW (acidic) PH:   Known as hypoxia, decreased oxygenation is extremely harmful because OXYGEN is critical for proper tissue healing to occur. The combination of Inflammation and Scar Tissue restricts blood flow and oxygen to the connective tissues, which can create an extremely acidic environment.  This is not only detrimental to local healing, but to systemic healing as well.  This fact is well known by doctors and can likewise be found in any Pathology Textbook.
  • SCAR TISSUE IS DIFFERENT NEUROLOGICALLY: It is easy to see how microscopic scarring is different mechanically and chemically. What most doctors fail to tell you (mostly because they themselves don’t understand) is that Scar Tissue is different neurologically as well.   The latest scientific research tells us that the nerves in scar tissue can conduct pain 1,000 times more effectively than the nerves in normal tissue.   This hyper-conductivity of the nerve system creates what is known as TYPE III PAIN (Supersensitivity).  This information is just starting to make its way into Pathology Textbooks

Abnormally functioning nerves in scar tissue leads to diminished PROPRIOCEPTION (the major cause of degenerative arthritis and joint deterioration). It can also cause HYPERALGIA (stimulus that should cause a little pain causes extraordinary amounts of pain), or ALLODYNIA (stimulus which do not normally cause any pain, now causes pain). In people dealing with underlying Scar Tissue, these three frequently overlap and can actually lead to something called CENTRAL SENSITIZATION.

If you are really interested in seeing how all of this works together to cause a “PERFECT STORM” of Chronic Pain, just follow the link.  Be aware that said Scar Tissue is the culprit in any number of CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES.  The good news is that is Microscopic Adhesions and Scar Tissue are your problem, THERE IS HOPE FOR YOU.



  1. Heather Foster

    Hello! I had surgery to remove a bone spur on my right heel 3/28/18. To do this, the Achilles had to be detached and then reattached. At just shy of 5 weeks post op (while still NWB) I fell and all my weight came down on the right foot, causing the anchors holding my Achilles in place to separate from the bone, thus detaching my Achilles again. At the same time, the surgical incision split open (sutures had been removed the week prior.) Three days later on 5/2, I had surgery number two to reattach the Achilles a second time. My issue now is the lower part of my scar is healing very nicely – it’s smooth, no real pain, etc. The upper part of the incision – where it ruptured and above – hurts constantly. It’s ALWAYS tight (I do make sure I move it multiple times an hour, but that hasn’t seemed to help), it always feels like I have ants just under the tissue biting me, and when I massage it (which I do twice a day) it is incredibly painful. My surgeon has been wonderful – he’s helped me manage the pain and is still seeing me every two weeks for checkups. My question is – I’ve been considering asking about having cortisone or lidocaine injections in the tissue to see if that will help alleviate the problems I’m having. Is this something that you feel would help? Or are you aware of a better option? Thank you!!

    • Hello Heather, before doing corticosteroids, you need to read my posts on the subject (very degenerative and will weaken the tissue). Don’t they have you doing some sort of therapy and getting body work / massage of some sort?

      Sincerely, Dr. Russ

      • Heather Foster

        No physical therapy at this point, as my ROM is actually normal. I *can* move in all the ways I need to, it’s just tight and painful to do so. I saw my surgeon yesterday and he agrees that the upper part of the incision appears to be angrier than the lower part. He did indicate that this was not unexpected to him, based on the trauma that area sustained – there was actually a concern I would end up needing a skin graft after the second surgery because of the damage that occurred (and he’d told me during a previous follow up that there was a hematoma he had to “peel away from the skin” when he went in to do the second surgery.) He has had me doing scar massage twice a day – which I do religiously – but he did suggest I try to do it three times per day for the next 3-4 weeks. He agreed that if I don’t see good improvement before my next follow up (in 4 weeks) that we will discuss other options. I will read the article you referenced. Thank you for your help!

      • Christopher Cole

        Can any kind of surgery correct CRPS?? Losing strength in arm, and also at times the hand too, the pressure grip says only 8# at the strongest.

      • Not to my knowledge Christopher.

  2. Christopher Cole

    I have CRPS, was wondering if scar tissue from 5 surgeries in shoulder can produce nerve damages

  3. Kimberly

    I’m convinced that scar tissue causes pain. Why no dr or scientific evidence show this, but if u read, a lot about people who are in major pain?

  4. Nicole

    I have a small scar on my eyebrow, I received it when I was 5 and I’m 26 now. I’ve had many Dr’s tell me there is no way I still have moments where it hurts. (they are rare, maybe 5 times a year) I know this is nothing compared to the other comments here, but as it’s close to my eye, I find that area fairly sensitive. Is this normal to have pain this long after and do you know what I should do to prevent this / talk to Dr’s about this. I’m In Canada so I know things are different here but any ideas might help.

  5. Pam

    6 months ago I had a large tumor removed from the middle of my distal femur. Surgeon removed tumor, filled bone with bone cement and a angular femur plate. I can feel the scar tissue along the incision but at top of incision there is a large lump that extends to the front of my femur. I now have excruciating pain almost all the time. I have been seeing a sports doctor who has doing been doing graston procedure on that area to help break down scar tissue. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be helping. Can you give me any information of what else I could possibly do to break scar tissue down. The surgery was difficult but this problem is now consuming my life

  6. Renee

    Hello Dr. Schierling,
    I had successful repair to pectus excavatum 38 years ago (I was 9). The doctor did a horizontal incision. Due to the fragility of my chest after surgery they didn’t stitch me externally, opting for taping the incision. I was in intensive care for a few days with not even a sheet allowed on my chest. My issue is even all these years later I am very uncomfortable to be touched in the area of my scar. It isn’t painful at all. The skin is numb particularly in the center of my chest, however I can feel pressure. If someone else touches me there, it’s such a strange indescribable feeling and horribly uncomfortable. I will have to shrink away or move their hand. I can only wear underwire bras that sit under the scar. I have difficulty when lying in bed and my nightshirt touches my scar. I suspect it has something to do with the nerves being cut and rewiring themselves oddly but it’s a guess. What causes this and can it be fixed?

  7. Stacy

    My son has had an extensive amount of surgeries. 3 open heart, 2 thoracic esophageal surgeries, lung surgery, spinal surgery, multiple stomach surgeries. He recently, Jan 22nd, just had a 5 hour surgery to separate his bowels, liver and stomach. The Dr said it was really bad. My question, my son is in chronic pain and he already feels what he thinks is some new build up of scartissue, but im guessing most of his pain is from scar tissue period. I imagine his thoracic area is full of it as well. Is there anything that can be done and how concerned should I be about all of this? He is 17. I don’t have much guidance

    • Make sure to head over to my DoctorSchierling dot com site and read everything you can under the blog category “Universal Cures”. I would never promote a “cure” for your son, but there are things that you can be doing to decrease his inflammatory load. I’ve written many articles showing that inflammation always results in fibrosis (scar tissue).

      Sincerely, Dr. Russ

      • Susie

        Can scar tissue from open heart surgery when I was seven be affecting my airways now that I am 52 ? Lately I feel like I am having panic attacks due to lack of oxygen but my oxygen levels say they’re at 96 and 97%. And could discard tissue from my open heart surgery be the source of the chronic pain I feel in my lower back and my neck?

      • I would say yes to all Susie.
        Dr. Russ

  8. Sue

    I had a tummy tuck with removal of love handles and hernia. I came out,but that night was profusely bleeding,had get 2 transfusion s and worse my neck was hanging to floor and I couldn’t pick it up. A Dr out of that ofc mentioned whiplash with position of anesthesia,the nurse anesthestist didn’t look smart,i should have run. Does this make sense or what does,happened in2010, im here 7_8 yrs later still in lot pain,looks have cervical fusion syndrome,can’t look dowm,walk fast,can’t function,had just graduated with professional degree,haven’t been able to use, very mad,my apt paid until Oct,then I pray. I would have had great busy,life helping people,instead I sit at home bored and have trouble shopping for food. I wanted to make a difference and move to W coast. Like this, i don’t want move until pain less so sure I can working while day and won’t be fired. Very mad. Dr got off,of course. My family blames me having surgery,great,so he is really off,scott free,until Jesus comes.
    Pls tell me what you think happened and what do now. Constant pain in dilaudid, burning my tongue,bubbles and cracks, can’t stand sweating feet, shoulders were hurting just at bra strap,now entire top shoulders, neck weak in back,rani now comes to front chest and upper back,afraid another level broken. Last one was c3 to 7,2 prior were c4 to 7. I’m upset no One said likely have more and more fusions.I thought 1 was it. I want my life,need work,feel useless and if not for God,no idea how survive past Oct.thx what suggest now for treatment, im in so much pain,grocery shopping terrible,walking not right have myelopathy,all heavy, can’t look down,anything fix that? Feel disabled,horrible,im alone,2 kitties need me and I need job,really need use my mind.pls answer.

  9. Lyn H.

    Back in 2014, I had a stereotactic biopsy in one breast (which was benign) but the first time, they messed it up and didn’t get the right place. Within a week, I had another biopsy in the same area only this time, they got everything they needed (different Dr did it) My question is, ever since then, that breast has been more sensitive than the other with some pain off and on. I was told that I had some scar tissue, but wasn’t told how much. I do have chronic neck and shoulder pain on the same side and don’t know if perhaps pain from the neck or shoulder in those nerves can travel and find weak areas such as scar tissue and make it hurt. Anyway, can scar tissue make the breast more sensitive?

  10. Bonnie

    I have a VERY old scar from the removal of a neuroma between bones to the the great & 2nd toes, as opposed to the 4th & 5th normally seen for Morton’s neuromas. Surgery was in 1972. Within 6 weeks a ridge of scar tissue began forming under the incision, and caused my foot to grow wider. I have had extra scarring at sites of other surgeries, polio vaccination, insect stings, etc.

    In the past year, the keloid seems to have melted or exploded. For a while the bottom of my foot was warm to the touch. Now I have numbness to about 30% of the bottom of my foot and 3 toes. I already had trouble finding comfortable shoes. Now it’s nearly impossible.

    Is this consistent with what you’ve noticed? Any nonsurgical options?

  11. Sandra

    had major hysterectomy 3 yrs ago from endometriosis, that operation caused 2 hernias which after that opp created a seroma which solidified, 18 mnths later I’m told I will have this chronic illness from scar and nerve damage for the rest of my life, I can’t bend or lift more than 6 kgs, and I don’t sleep , I need help as I’m at my wits end

  12. Terri

    I have had a c section and hysterectomy and since have had 4 laparoscopy surgeries for scar tissue that involves my colon. It flares up so bad it hurts so bad causes my colon feel like going to burst it hurts when I sit it also causes a rash EVERY TIME I have them removed all goes back normal. Trouble is my OB/GYN has passed and no Dr with do surgery It hurts so bad they tell me it doesn’t cause pain? I have been to 4 doctors trying find relief in Little Rock Arkansas does anyone have a recommendation? Thanks TM

  13. Vicki

    7mths ago i had a horse riding accident broke collarbone ( repaired surgery) 6x ribs and complained from The moment I stood my “hip” that was xrayed no breaks. One week in hospital and alot of pain meds but my hip was still giving me grief. Moving forward 7mths mri’s, ct’s, X-rays and ultra sounds have come to the conclusion I have proximal it band syndrome (thickening of the ITBand in hip caused from
    Micro tears forming a scar on band) A very rare not well documented syndrome ( of course) I struggle to walk limp and I’m in pain all the time. The only time I don’t get pain is when I horseride.
    Im Being told that the more I walk the more friction I am placing on it band and the more friction the more inflammation causes and the more inflammation the more scarring will Occur. It’s a vicious circle.
    I can’t walk Without pain but can’t not walk as I will loose what ever muscle I have. Dr has said if riding doesn’t hurt horses ride as exercise.
    I already use crutches for distance walking although that really doesn’t help
    Much as I’m Still Using my hip. Am I going to end up using a wheelchair pastime 😢

    • Best guess is that solving this must be a two-pronged approach, the first being getting rid of any amount of inflammation in your body that is over the normal amount (HERE). Secondly, if they are correct, you are going to have to have some bodywork of some sort on that scar to break it up (HERE). Sincerely, Dr. Russ

  14. Droopy Shoulder

    Where did you find this “latest research” on scar tissue being hyperconductive to pain? Something doesn’t jive here or is incomplete. Here is an article ( explicitly saying scar tissue inhibits nerve cell regeneration. Which makes sense because most scars I’ve had and consulting with others has decreased sensation with time, internal and external. Perhaps scar tissue is more diverse than you are describing. Perhaps scar tissue is evidence of damage or pain, not the source. So really, it’s LACK OF pain than leads to improper joint function which damages other joints that are not necessarily scarred up.

    • Hello Droopy,
      Most of the time (emphasis on “most”) the sort of scars you are talking about (post-surgical scars or scars from injuries) do indeed have decreased sensation. However, when I talk about “Scar Tissue” on my sites, more often than not I am actually talking about something called “DENSIFICATION“. Make sure to read medical neurologist Chan Gunn’s work on the subject (HERE). Scar Tissue is a term that everyone understands and is familiar with. If I start talking about Fibrosis or Densification to patients, many lose me. Thanks for the comment.
      Sincerely, Dr. Russ

  15. Seleen

    So about 15 years ago I was a really stupid child… I stood on top of a glass cup and it shattered a large piece of glass tore through the arch of my foot straight into the muscle, I had to have a ton of stitches. The muscle hanging lower than normal in the arch area. So now even though my foot is completely healed I have a nasty scar and like I said my muscle hangs down a bit what i don’t understand is why lately is feels like the scar is tearing open. It used to happen all the time for about 4 years after the injury but I always thought it was because the would was fairly new. But lately I can’t even walk because the pain is so severe. What is causing this?

  16. Ceasar

    Doing jujitsu I had my ACL completely torned, abs meniscus repair, physical therapy but painful switch doctors because the original doctor didn’t listen to my complaints of pain, did a 2nd surgery fixed the meniscus and remover a lot of scar tissue. It’s been 2 years, the stiffness and pan is there, I have all the mobility.and flexibility back but the pain is still there, the muscle loss on my leg is evident and I’ve done everything I can to gain it back but the muscles is super hard to gain back, my doctor said it will probably be a chronic pain at my 36 years old and doesn’t want to do a scope to remove my scar tissue that you can even hear. I can’t still run and the pain is there. I don’t know what else to do 😦 I’ve continued with PT but the muscle is gone. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  17. Zelda

    Hi Everyone, I have had 3 c sections (the last one being in November 2015) and i have had my appendix removed in December 2016. Since then, I have the most excruciating pain on the right side of my abdomen, and when i look carefully, it seems to have a blue coloring under my skin just below my incision where the apprendix was removed. I can’t even touch the skin, that is how sore it is. I don’t know what could be causing it. The pain is constant and never goes away, it just seems to get worse just before I start my monthly period. And stays there for about a week after. But it never goes away. Please help!

  18. Kyle

    I had plantars fasciitis surgery to my left foot in 2016 now my foot hurts very bad at the incision site , feel sharp at times and I walk with a limp at the end of the day .. could it be scar tissue ?? Heating pad helps , also had stress fracture after surgery fourth metatarsal and feels like that in the middle of my foot ??

  19. Christine


  20. Kate

    I am 63 years old and have had 5 left knee surgeries, the last one being December 2016 total knee replacement. Since then, I am only able to obtain ‘around’ 90 degrees, and cannot straighten the knee to the point where I have a constant limp and am still using a cane. My doctor has referred me to a pain clinic and I’m having a series of lidocaine injections (with ultrasound) to try to minimize the scar tissue and increase blood flow. I’m wondering what kind of success rate this procedure has had. Physio for the past 7 months has almost done nothing ! I don’t want to use a cane for the rest of my life or live in constant pain ! Thank you, I appreciate your input.

  21. Adelle

    My sons appendix burst in 2013. He had 12 staples. When the staples came out his scar opened up and therefore needed packing. He was a very good 100m sprinter and practising this year he’s doubled up in pain around his hip and scar area. Do you think he’s damaged internally ?

  22. Jonah poksky

    I had left side laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair back in 2011. Two days following surgery I had to goto the ER for two days which turned out to be a hematoma. Ever seinfe the surgery I haven’t felt right-3 flare ups one in 2012, one in 2013 and one just 2 months ago. These flare ups result in burning in the growing and stomach. Sitting is very uncomfortable. The earlier two flare ups resolved in about 5 weeks (had physical exam and MRI’s which showed no reoccurrence in all 3 flare ups. However this last one was debilitating-missed it of work and was bedridden with stomach pain and burning-sitting was unbearable with burning pain all over my left thigh.
    I imagine each time there is a flare up more scar tissue develops on top of already existing scar tissue from the mesh and surgery. Doctor felt nerves got entrapped in either the scar tissue or mesh.
    Is Myofascial release therapy a good solution for me?

  23. angeleyes

    I had a car accident in 1990 that left me with multiple fractures, including a compound fracture of my left ankle. I’ve had scar tissue under the skin on my calf, above the compound fracture since it happened. The scar tissue measures about 5 inches long and an inch and a half wide.
    It is now VERY painful and it has a sharp point that is pushing my skin up. I went to orthopaedic surgeon and he didn’t seem concerned, but I’m in pain.
    Any suggestions?

    • Hello Angel Eyes,

      Your doctor is not concerned because you are the one hurting, not him / her. Most doctors don’t understand the potential implications of Scar Tissue. About the only thing I can recommend is some sort of bodywork to help make it more functional and less restrictive. An anti-inflammatory lifestyle is always helpful as well.

      Dr. Russ

      • angeleyes67

        Thank you. I follow an anti-inflammatory diet, I am at a healthy weight, I take Meloxicam daily for inflammation and take kenalog shots for both hips. I haven’t been able to find a good orthopaedic surgeon since we moved from Arkansas to Missouri. Sounds like I need to keep looking for a good doctor.

      • If you are on the Eastern side of the state, Dr. Carrie Carda in Poplar Bluff is hard to beat.

        Dr. Russ

  24. Carol

    I am in extreme pain after falling into my new knee onto concrete 2 yrs ago. There is scar tissue and veins. I can get some relief if I use ice and have my leg raised. I hate to have to take Tylenol as it only takes the edge off of the pain and has side effects.

  25. Thom

    Wow I finally found some info on what’s going on. I was i a car wreck and was thrown from my jeep. I broke my neck and it had to be bolted together. I also fracture 13 vertebrae in my thoracic and lumbar. My back and right leg are numb and very hyper sensitive. I have developed a larg hump in the middle of my back. It’s been 5 yrs since my wreck and I’ve seen a lot of doctors that haven’t said a word about why this is happening.

  26. Susan

    My daughter was diagnosed with ostosarcoma when she was 9. She had a limb salvage .she has been cancer free for 7 years.she originally had an adjustable titanium rod and was doing well, was able to bend leg with help from p.t. The rod broke and they replaced it with another rod. She had several surgeries where they put her to sleep and would bend her leg to break through scar tissue. She was not a compliant patient and as a result has zero range of motion. She is 17 now and wants the use of her leg. I am trying to figure out where to go to see if anything can be done. Her surgeon thinks it is too risky and will not work to try to go into try to clean out scar tissue because it has been like this too long. Any suggestions?

    • Hello Susan,

      Doubtful I could really do her any good at this point, although I never really know. Your doctor is correct, going in surgically to remove scar tissue just produces more of the same.

      Dr. Russ

  27. April

    In 2006 i had exploratory surgery which led to me having a scar about five inches long down my stomach. Basically from my belly button to my pubic line. Since then I’ve had two c sections. My issue is the large scar gping down my stomach hurts almost constantly. Cant wear jeans because the metal irritates it. Im literally considering a tummy tuck to get rid of it and the excess skin around it. My question is would that be an appropriate solution? Its a ton of money but i want a normal stomach.

  28. Jeanie

    How to get rid of shoulder & chest pain from scar tissue, get rid of scar tissue.

  29. Crystal

    Thank you! I will!

  30. Cass

    Hi. I had a knee surgery in 2009 that fixed my plica band and removed scar tissue from my left knee. In 2016, I had a lateral release done on the same knee. The doctor said he also cleaned up arthritis off my knee cap and fix my cartilage as well. It is now 10 months later and I can’t extend my knee past 10 degrees or flex my knee past 87 degrees. I also can’t bear my full weight on it so I walk with a cane or limp and I’m in pain constantly as well as my leg turning purple when my leg is not slightly elevated. I did physical therapy for 3 months and she tried to work out some scar tissue that was on the front of my knee but it never went away. An MRI showed nothing and I’m seeing a third orthopedic doctor soon. Could the scar tissue have spread to the joint itself to cause all this?

  31. Katie

    Hi, I was diagnosed with scar tissue hypersensitivity in early 2016, despite I have had this issue since 2012. I had 8 quadriceps strains on my right rectus femoris muscle in the same area since 1999, 5 months before I was diagnosed with frontal lobe epilepsy. I have had issues where my quadriceps are in so much pain when I exercise on a knee extension and flexion resistance machine and also a bike machine. When I lean on my quadriceps I cause pain and when I strain my hamstrings the quadriceps are in pain as well, my brain is reacting badly to it and it causes involuntary tears and crying. I have been to a physiotherapist, a chronic pain specialist, but the specialist only uses the acceptance and commitment therapy and I have been discharged first time. I got a bit fed up with going to see a specialist for it, so like most doctors do they concentrated on the epilepsy, and I had to get used to living with the pain. Recently I had a headache after a PET scan it lasted a few days, I was having the same symptoms as what I was having with the rectus femoris muscle, tears were going down my face and because i was preventing the crying I hyperventilated. It took time for my eyes to stop being so watery. I was also unable to finish off a neuro-psychological assessment because I was too tired to do it. Any advice would be helpful and essential of what to do next, as I don’t know what to do next, a neuro-psychiatrist kept saying why am I not caring about it? I keep saying the same thing to people of what doctors say “so how is your epilepsy?”. Thank you for any advice I appreciate it.

    • Hello Katie,

      Although I am certainly not a neurologist and am not familiar with your particular case of Epilepsy, you need to be aware that lots of Epilepsy is actually autoimmune (HERE). Because autoimmunity is almost always tied to Gluten Sensitivity (HERE), I would first ask if you have done an ELIMINATION DIET yet? If there are hidden (the medical community refers to these as “occult”) drivers of inflammation, these could be wreaking absolute havoc on you in every manner imaginable. As for the quad; one the other has been addressed on some level, I would get a rolling-pin-style foam roller (with knobbies or star-shaped) and start working the quad over. If you have TYPE III PAIN in the quad, this might prove difficult or even impossible. Wishing you well Katie and hope this helps.

      Dr. Russ

    • southern.porkchop

      You might want to look into something called “functional neurology” … it has given me back my quality of life after suffering with pain for 15 years … good luck to you!

      • Love your handle Cody!

        I am a huge fan of Dr. Carrick’s work and if I were younger I would take the three years to get certified. Make sure to read the recent post where I mention Ted Carrick and Functional Neurology (HERE). Again, thanks for bringing it up.

        Dr. Russ

  32. Anna Lisa

    Hi!! Just want to ask my mother had an operation in gallblader in 2013. She is now 75 yrs old recently she is complaining a little pain and redness on her scars. Should she be worried about it? Or seek a doctor to look at it? What cause of recent pain and redness in her old surgical scars? Thank you.

  33. Tammy

    Hello, I am not sure if this is a scar tissue issue or not, but back in 2001 I worked in a deli, and one day I slipped while slicing some meat and ended up cutting the tiniest bit of the tip of my finger off. I think it only just got past the skin layers. I never thought much of it until roughly a year ago, I began experiencing a burning pain in the area. It had created more of what I considered a callous, rather than scar tissue. But I began picking at it until I eventually pulled the callous cap off. Underneath was the tinsiest bit of scar tissue, which I also eventually pulled out. That let a hole with a tinier hole in the center, as if I had pulled a stem out. Anyways, the intense burning pain eased up for awhile. But it eventually came back, so I repeated the process. I keep going through this cycle and I am wondering, is it due to scar tissue, even though it is so tiny? And if so, what can I do to stop it for good?. Thank you.

  34. Meagan

    I’ve had to remove both ovaries a year after my partial hysterectomy. I was completely pain free after the last surgery except the large incision to remove my ovaries and severe endometriosis, which was not on my ovaries. I’m in pain almost every day, after cleaning the toilet this evening, I had to cough and my large incision burned/hurt it was a 10 in pain. I can slightly put pressure on the scare and boom it hurts and burns. My new obgyn Dr. Believes that my endometriosis came back. I seen her in early July. My surgery was may 25, 2016. I’m not sure what is going on with me and what to do.

  35. Maureen

    I had a number of breast augmentations over a 2 year span then a staph infection which resulted in complete removal of implants and partial removal of breast. I then had a dorsi flap reconstruction and 4 months later implants. I am very happy with results but am breathless when I exercise…I am very fit but cant get enough oxygen in…like I have a iron bra on. I had every test done to check on lungs. No problems with lungs but specialist said something is happening in the cavity???

  36. gigiandcrusher

    Recent diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis. Any way or nutrients to stop, slow, reverse continuation of scar tissue progression?

  37. angela

    I had brain tumor removed in 2006 and have chronic headaches all day and evening could the scar tissue from operation be removed to cease pain?

    • Hello Angela,

      Firstly you need to understand that this is a question for your doctor. Secondly, the problem with surgically removing scar tissue caused by anything that occurs anywhere is that it invariably leads to more of the same. In other words, it heals with more scar tissue. However, always remember that inflammation leads to scar tissue. If you can grasp this fact, sometimes you can use it in your favor (HERE).

      • Jorlex (@jorlex)

        I have the same issue! Brain surgery in frontal lobe in 06 and another brain surgery for another location in 09. Both locations have pain and have been living with chronic pain and light sensitivity.
        I’d really love to learn more about how scar tissue affects the brain.

      • Sarah M

        I’m in my mid 20s & had a benign cyst removed from my scalp in 2006. I get headaches in the sunlight and it’s very sensitive to brushing & washing. It will often become sore at random times more recently. Are these reasonable symptoms?

      • Reasonable, I’m not sure. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is more common than we might care to admit.

        Dr. Russ

  38. Kendra

    Hello. In the summer of either ’07-’08, I broke my ankle. Got that healed up but I was still feeling pain. Doctor gave me cortisone shots that lasted for about 6 months each and a few MRI’s. Nothing was shown to be wrong. I got a new doctora few years later who gave me one more shot and one more MRI. Report of the images came back negative but the doctor saw a white spot on them, it was cartilage floating around.
    Another doctor took on my case to do my surgery. He had to take out the cartilage and also drill holes in my bone to create scar tissue. It’s been another few years and everything healed great, but if I walk or stand for too long I’m in pain for days. I called my doctor and he either wants to try custom orthotics (my insurance won’t cover them), cortisone shots (I refuse more of these since I’ve had so many in the past arleady), or another surgery to clean up the scar tissue that because he said that too much scar tissue could be present.
    Last night into very early this morning I stood for 8 hours straight with only a half hour time to sit for inventory at work. Then I worked 6 hours today. I’m not sitting at home with ice getting a stabbing pain right below my incision site.
    What kind of scar tissue could I be experiencing?

    Thank you.

    • Hello Kendra,

      The hope was that the Scar Tissue would stabilize the ankle as it is very restrictive. Unfortunately, it sounds like the Scar Tissue may have acted in a manner your doctor was not expecting.

      Dr. Russ

  39. Betsey

    I had 2 breast hydrostatic biopsies within a week and a half apart because the first time, they didn’t get the right place. I had the second one done by someone else. I have been told that I have some scar tissue. I have chronic shoulder pain and neck issues on that same side. With that said, can those issues from my neck and shoulder irritate my scar tissue causing pain and tenderness around that area? If not, not having proper bra support pull on that scar tissue? I only have the tenderness on the side I had the biopsies which were done in 2014/15. I have also heard that scar tissue pain/tenderness can be lifetime as well.

    Thank you

  40. Leif

    Hi! Thanks for the great article. I’ve read through the comments here, but I can’t find anything that resembles my issues, so I hope you can answer this when you have time!

    I am a 26 year old man. 5 months back I think I suffered a muscle strain of some sort. I worked my chest with a good stretch. Not too heavy and it felt fine. The day afterwards I was very sore. The day after that I was EXTREMELY sore and even started swelling. My pecs also became VERY tight, to the point where my traps started hurting bad trying to counter-act this. Ultrasound and MRI ruled out any muscle tear.

    NSAIDS did give some relief, and made the swelling go down, and my ROM has improved. But still 5 months later it is painful to try to go near my full ROM. It feels like something is tearing and feels sore when I do this. I’ve tried to massage it to align scar tissue or break it down, but even after moderate massage without pain it seems to flare up, and the next day the area is burning(!)with inflammation and feels tight. Nothing like normal DOMS.

    If I try to workout the muscles, it also feels fine there and then, but the next day I am EXTREMELY sore and tight again. Also feels like it is swollen, although that might just be the tight muscles causing this sensation.

    I have tested for underlying biochemical disorders and myopathies, but they all came back negative. So this leads me to believe it is some local lasting effects from my injury. I did suffer inflammation for quite some time, leading me to believe that accumulation of scar tissue could be the issue here.

    My question to you is: Does this sound like something that could be caused by scar tissue? Could it be that rigid scar tissue inside the muslce is irritating the muscle when I stretch or use it or massage it, and thus causing all this in the days after? My doctor suggested type 3 pain, but shouldn’t I then have pain WHILE massaging/working out, and not just in the days following?

    ANY advice is most welcome. I will be forever grateful! Best regards!

  41. Briana

    In July 2015 I got a severe dog bite on my left index finger. It was stitched up (10 stitches), 36 hours later it was reopened due to infection. I have a crazy scar that runs the length of my finger now. In the last two days, if I move my finger or hit it certain ways it sends a shock of extreme pain through my finger. It’s very disconcerting because it’s a finger and it shouldn’t hurt that much. Could this have to do with the scar tissue?

  42. Rene

    Hi Doctor, I had Surgery on my right hand on 10/3/2016 i had a huge laceration on the extensor (ring finger tendon cut ) part of it and i am left with a huge scar on it but the problem is i cannot fully close my hand at all and now its 1/12/ 17 and this is worrying me my doctor says 6 months until it will fully close but it does not feel that way at all i have tried PT and exercises at home but still it seems stuck at certain level of movement please help . Rene

    • Hello Rene,

      Sounds like the scar is pulling quite hard. Not knowing where you live, about the only advice I can give you is to get some serious body work done on that finger and live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. All that information is on my Doctor Schierling dot com site.

      Dr. Russ

  43. Jenny

    Hi, it’s been a long road so far … April 24th 2014 I had emergency back surgery for cauda equina syndrome (I had 3 ruptured discs) surgery was an emergency decompression. (Surgeon wanted to carry out a spinal fusion as it was so bad, Consultant over rode him and said to do a decompression with no fusion) since then I’ve had numberlus scans and interventions (nerve root injections, facet joint injections) MRI scan June 2015 showed a ‘Significant’ disc prolapse at L4/5 and a small bulge at L3/4. Consultant chose to carry on with injections and pain management. Back and leg pain were pretty unbearable (again) Dr prescribed more pain killers. Fast forward to July 2016 saw consultant, he recommended a spinal fusion as there was no improvement – he told me to go away and think about it, meanwhile new scans and X-rays were taken. January 2017, new scans shows the disc prolapse has reduced but the discs are basically worn down and have trapped the nerves and consultant also sees significant scar tissue and feels (conventional) surgery is no longer appropriate. He gives me 3 options, 1- do nothing, 2 – opt for surgery from the side (something this doctor specialises in) but the odds of being paralysed or significant weakness in my legs are very high, 3 – spinal cord simulator (does not recommend due to my age – 33)

    I’m in complete turmoil as I cannot cope with the nerve pain. The risk of the surgery on offer is too high to go with (apparently he would lift up my spine, put a cage into the L4/5 disc space and release the nerves – but with significant scar tissue it’s apparently very risky)

    Have I got any other options? My whole
    Life changed in 2014 when all this started, I used to be very physically active, I can barely walk for 10 minutes without pain now… help

    • Hello Jenny,

      I know a little something about CAUDA EQUINA SYNDROME, but have nothing to offer as far as solutions. With your post-surgical issues and my lack of expertise in this area, I am not sure what to tell you. If there is one thing I would suggest, it would be to understand the relationship between inflammation and fibrosis (HERE). At the end of most of the posts filed under the link provided, you will find potential solutions for dealing with inflammation.

      Dr. Russ

  44. Katie

    I fractured my fibula in a soccer game about 8 weeks ago and tbe pain has lessened while my range of motion has gotten better with it. I go back to get an x-Ray soon but I think my bone is healed and its the scar tissue causing me so much pain. I am out of shape and really need to get back to my sport soon. how long do you think this scar tissue will take to heal and what can I do to help strengthen it quickly?

    • Hello Katie,

      From what you are describing, it sounds like the sort of injury that could have easily caused a high ankle sprain along with the fracture. As I was watching the incredible USC -vs- Penn State Rose Bowl last evening, the announcer, a player himself, was talking about a high ankle sprain suffered by one of the USC wide receivers who also happens to be an All American kick / punt returner and elite long jumper. He was talking about the fact that after a high ankle sprain, it only takes a little “tweak” to aggravate it and keep it stirred up and not healing properly. YouTube should have lots of excellent videos on rehabbing a high ankle sprain (once your doctor clears you of course). Doctors often tell patients, “you would have been better off breaking the bone than tearing the tissues.” While this is certainly true in many instances, the problem is that the same mechanism often leads to both.

      Dr. Russ

  45. Patty

    I had 2 feet of my colon removed last Jan. Now where the scar is it hurts when I turn a certain way. Why?

  46. Jeannine

    A pit bull bit my leg 3 months ago the outside heal well but now I think I have scar tissue can’t walk on my leg to much pain can’t get to Dr what can I do will it eventually go away and how long

  47. julie

    i had acl reconstruction on june of this year which was successful. the problem now is scar tissue build up behind my knee cap which is apparently not allowing my knee cap to glide right and causing it to crack, catch, and lock mostly when walking. stairs are terribly painful to go down. my surgeon has given me the option live with it and have permanent work restrictions, or he would go in and scoop out the scar tissue which is not guarenteed to solve the problem. what is your take on either option?

  48. Ian

    Hi I’ve had my quad muscle cut 4 times in the same place over the last year in order to surgically dislocation of leg to repair femoral head damage. scar looks fine but where one of the bolts was removed has been super sore right from the surgery. ..very very sensitive and the lump. .under scar gets bigger daily. ..sounds like you have explained what’s going on. …What’s the treatment for it .

    It’s stopped me from driving ..sleeping. .and sitting squarely. ..I’m wanting it sorted asap so I can work

  49. Rachel

    Have you ever helped people whose scar is on the ear, where [I presume] there isn’t fascia? I had a cut on my helix that looked funny but only bled for a couple minutes so I didn’t go to the dr til the next morning when I realized I had screwed up and probably split the helix through it subcutaneous fat. But by that time, it had scabbed over and the urgent care doc said it was nothing and should be left as it was. A month later I got a swollen lymph node and tingling, and took doxycycline, which seemed to tighten everything up even more and turn the original area bright red. Now, 2 months after the cut, I have trouble sleeping and enjoying life because of pain and paresthesias throughout my ear, scalp, and the side of my face. The ENT I saw looked at the scar [just over an 1/8 in long and 1-2 mm tall] and said it was very unlikely Id severed a nerve, and I don’t have actual loss of feeling anywhere. But I have creepy crawlies all over the area of the auriculotemporal nerve [the cut was near where it terminates if I understand coorectly], and everything near the ear feels tight. Two parts of the ear are even rubbing together a tiny bit sometimes [they don’t do that on the other ear]. I looked up Class 4 lasers but saw they’re for “cutting and vaporizing” which sounds very risky.

  50. Tiffany

    Around two years ago as I got off work one night (full time cocktail waitress & bartender back then) my left shoulder was bothering me quite a bit. The pain never went away. There’s been a lot of progression over the years. Now my left shoulder sits noticeably higher than my right, my acromion joint sticks out now so it looks like there’s a horn growing out of the top of my shoulder. The pain varies from cramping, to radiating, to tingling, with the pain ranging from somewhere underneath my left scapula across to the middle of my left rib, the left side of my neck, around my collarbone in the front, and most recently around the left of my sternum with a slight protrusion there now. The pain will shoot down my left arm at times, other times it will center itself on the inside of my forearm close to my elbow. Tingling in my left arm is pretty commonplace now. The pain in my shoulder is constant, and most mornings I hate even waking up because it’s so painful. Since the onset of the pain, when I lift my left arm above my head, it makes a loud clicking sound. Although the pain does prohibit my life in many ways now, it has not affected my mobility. I have a decreased sense of sensation on my back, left side along my scapula. Over the last few months there’s also a new development of, I can only describe it as looking like cellulite along the same area that gives me trouble near my left scapula. I’m not overweight, it just looks like indentations in my back.
    Doctor history: X-rays are normal save for a slight case of scoliosis. After two weeks of physical therapy last year, my shoulder/arm pain became worse than ever, putting me out of work for a month, so my therapist and I agreed that physical therapy was not a good idea until I had received the results of an MRI. (I lost my insurance a month later and my new doctor with my new insurance has not referred me for an MRI. he wants me to do physical therapy even after I told him about my apprehension after last time made the pain significantly worse) A nerve conduction study this past June came back completely normal (I was devastated by this. I know that something is wrong and given that tingling is typically associated with nerve issues, I was sure I was finally going to get some answers.) it feels as though my doctors are more interested in masking the problem and sending me on my way rather than trying to make an actual diagnosis. I have no current medical conditions, nor do I have history and as of August I gave up my job as a bartender and am now a stay at home mom. That is to say that I have been afforded the time to rest my arm, but to no avail. The only medication I take is 800mg ibuprofen 3x day as prescribed, which does little to curb the pain. Chronic pain has affected my life significantly. I have a four year old son who I can’t lift anymore because of the pain and it breaks my heart. More often than not, my left arm is folded up against my body because even letting it hang down opens the door for too much pain to come in. Changing my coat, doing dishes, brushing my hair…simple activities take so much effort anymore. I try desperately to fend off feelings of hopelessness, but the more time goes by, and the worse that it gets the more I feel like this will last forever. This is my first time on your website and I have no idea if this is even what the comment section is for. I just really needed to get this out. If anyone has any idea what could be causing this, and how I could go about finally getting my life back, i would greatly appreciate your thoughts. I’m 24 years old and I have no idea what it’s like to go through a day anymore without experiencing excruciating pain. Also, if there’s anyone out there going through this, know you’re not alone. I’m here with you and I understand the hell it is. But to deal with this every day, means you’re pretty damn strong so at least we can all take solace in this.

    • Hello Tiffany,

      All I can say is wow! I am honestly not sure what this is. I don’t think it’s CRPS. Have you been to a chiropractor? Been adjusted?

      Dr. Russ

    • Tracie

      Do some research on Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Every case is a little bit different but it’s very common (just little spotlight). I’ve had it since I was about 18- I use to do a lot of lifting and carrying. I was strong but overdid it- wish I could take back and not do that handstand push-up. I’m 5’3 105lbs female, 32 now. Some of us are more prone to get because of posture and anatomy- for instance I have elongated C7 vertebrae- or a short “extra rib” and small frame. So there isn’t a lot of room for error. My arteries and nerves get impinged between my first rib and clavicle (I feel like it’s more in the shoulder). No pulse in my hands if I raise my arms above head level. My neck and shoulders are constantly tight and my nerves in my arms make typing and writing (gripping and carrying anything) painful. A lot of people have shooting/tingling, burning, numbing. Some get surgery and recover, some get worse (which is why I’m too chicken to get surgery and am working on posture correction with a posture pump, working on trigger release, massage, etc. Constant battle but I do my best to avoid a big “flare up”- as we call it in the TOS world. There are a few Thoracic Outlet Facebook pages too- which can be enlightening, encouraging and discouraging. But you are not alone. I hope this helps and pray for answers and your recovery.

  51. Sylvie

    Hi, I had a grade III sprain on my ankle on Jan. 29th of this year. Immediately following, I have a lump on my anterior ankle which has not gone away. I experience pain in this region, especially when I walk/land with my knee over my foot. The doctor said it was tenosynovitis, and that the lump was just swelling. I can’t help but question if there is already scar tissue there, because the lump has been present for almost 10 months now. Is there any self-diagnostic test that I can do to tell if it is scar tissue? If there is, I would love to know so I can revisit the doctor. Thanks.

  52. MN

    Hi, I’m hoping you can help me figure this out. I had a benign tumor removed from a nerve ending at the bottom of my lumbar spine 20 yrs ago. It caused sciatic pain down left leg prior to removal. I have noticed in last few years that my left side of face & body do not heal as well as my right & scar more easily. Neurologist did MRI of my spine & there’s scar tissue where my surgery was done. Can this be affecting my whole body? I also suffer from stiff low back & lot of pain.

  53. Miriam

    On June 29th of the year 2000 I had a tummy tuck surgery that was no good I’m still suffering the Dr say scar tissue are damaged, wwhat can I do?

  54. Miriam

    My name is. Miriam, June 29th of 2000 I had tummy tuck surgery, went bad dr said scar tissues are damaged for life, I am always in pain.

  55. Crystal

    I was in a near fatal accident 6/3/2003. My skull had 3 fractures, my collarbone was fractured, my left wrist and thumb had to be fixed and reattached, my left hip was displaced, my right hip was fractured(though not as severely, and my pelvic bone was fractured. I was cut out of my car and mediflighted to hospital. My ribs on left side were all fractured, which collapsed my left lung. I was on life support and in a coma for a week and a half. My total hospital stay was exactly a month. Out of all of those injuries, why does my right side, just above my butt cheek hurt the most? A chiropractor once told me it is scar tissue and cannot be worked out. I am under the impression the right side compensated for the left side being worse. Does that cause scar tissue? Help! It hurts!

    • Wow Crystal,

      I feel for you. And yes, compensation can cause Scar Tissue. Scar Tissue can form either from a huge trauma like you had, or compensatory reactions that might take decades to fully develop. Either way, it’s the same nasty stuff.

      Dr. Russ

  56. Vickie

    I was miss dx for years. They went in with a laparoscopy for 16 years. I have a mass in my abdominal wall. Huge! It hurts. Can this be removed and burned to stop futher growth. I had a plastic surgeon tell me they won’t remove it cause it will just grow back. What can I do to get help. My clothes DON’T fit. Pain, so uncomfortable.

    • Hello Vickie, make sure to read my post on Abdominal Wall -vs- Abdominal Cavity. Aside from that, I am not a surgeon and really can’t offer you much on this; especially with so little to go on.

      Dr. Russ

  57. Jeff

    I was stabbed in the cheek 4 years ago breaking up a fight between 3 drunk guys & a girl whom I’d never met.
    I have a indented scar about just over 1 inch on my right cheek.
    I went to a surgeon & got an acid treatment (TCA?) and then the scar was cut out & stitched, but if anything, those costly procedures made it appear worse.
    All I ever read about is acne scars… Is there anyway that my type of scar can be treated/reduced/fixed???
    I literally see pictures of actors who’ve had their faces ripped off from car accidents & a month later they are on the red carpet as if nothing happened and no visible scars noticeable, WTF is that & how can I get that?
    Now, besides the obvious psychological toll it’s taking, it’s now very painful & I dread eating, shaving, smiling, & several other normal daily activities.
    Like I mentioned, the scar is indented and just over 1 inch long vertically directly between my upper lip & cheek on the right side of my face.
    Is there a way to stretch the scar to the side of my nose? That would be 95% less obvious looking.
    Sorry about the rant, it’s just been years and after paying thousands to a hack Dr who probably made it look worse overall, I’m pretty much willing to try anything within my means to fix this as best as it can be fixed.
    Man, years of misery for helping someone who I’d never met & never seen again… I assure you that karma DOES NOT exist!!!
    Thank you in advance to anyone who can give me an answer.
    I can email a picture or 2 upon request.
    (Hartford County, Connecticut)

    • Hello Jeff,

      I’ve done lots of Scar Tissue Remodeling tx on the face, and I done lots for post-surgical scars. However, I’ve never treated post-surgical face scars that I can recall. The very best someone is going to do with bodywork is to make the scar less painful (maybe even non-painful) and more functional. Anything else is a question for surgeons. No idea who to see in your area.

      Best wishes with this, I feel for you,
      Dr. Russ

    • Burt

      Get some dc microcurrent to that area of your face, this will increase oxygen and circulation to that area allowing the body to heal at a very fast pace.

  58. Naomi

    I been suffering with pain for over year now. I can’t take it any more. I don’t want to spend my life on pain meds. After all the tests that I have had done, everything is normal. But I have old scar tissue that is causing this terrible pain. I feel it to be a nagging menstrual cramp that never goes away. It is interrupting my sleep, my life and activities. What can I do.

  59. Tina

    I have Crohn’s disease and need a bowel resection. I’ve already have had two prior surgeries which has caused alot of scar tissue. My doctor is very concerned stating the scar tissue will cause a complicated surgery. What are the risks and why will it make it so complicated?? Thankyou !!

  60. Rema

    My Dr all agree that it’s scar tissue in my lower abs, and that it’s blocking everything in my system. Oxygen, blood flood, bowel movement, and shortness of breath and more. But they all say it’s stupid to even think about surgery. What other ways are there, and in my conditions I feel it to be very much needed to do it. What cant I do to change their minds?

  61. Dede

    Hello Dr. Schierling,
    My sister was in a severe car accident at the age of 18. Her boyfriend was driving as a car came over the median on the highway and hit them head on. He died instantly. My sister had a cut on the top of her head from the collapse of the roof and a lot of glass in her face. 35 years later she is experiencing severe nerve pain in her face on the same side as the cut and glass. Is there any kind of ex-ray or MRI that would detect glass that may still be in her face? How can she find out if this is due to scar tissue damage? What do you suggest? Thank you!

    • Hello DeDe,

      Not sure about the best way to look for glass. Usually, after that period of time, it works (festers) its way to the surface. As far as the Scar Tissue in the face is concerned. Go over to my Doctor Schierling dot com site and type “Face Pain” into the search bar.

      Dr. Russ

  62. Melissa

    My name is Melissa and my husband had a hip replacement done about two years ago and he has had a lot of pain since then recently they did a nerve test showing that he had scar tissue wrapped around his nerves that was causing his leg to continue to hurt. There seems to be no relief that he can get. He has a hard time sleeping getting comfortable walking just trying to get comfortable on the couch it seems like he’s always in pain. So the doctor gave him some nerve pills and told him to try them out to see if it would help out he has went from 300 mg to 600 mg now until 800 mg and nothing has change. They won’t give him any pain medicine and that this conference is get in possible for him to deal with. Just wondering if you had any suggestions of dealing with the nerve and score tissue from the hip replacement.

    • Hello Melissa,

      I deal with lots of post surgical hip problems, but unfortunately this sort of thing is out of my area of expertise.

      Dr. Russ

    • Kimberly

      Melissa……. 😔…..I am dealing with the exact same issue. I see you unfortunately received no answer. My prayers to you & your husband.

    • Jackie

      I am dealing with same issue in my back, nerve pills dosage was increased but didn’t help. Try a heating pad or bean bag that heats in microwave.

    • profoundwinds

      Hi Melissa
      I had the same issue of severe hip scarring (nerve)..i got a surgery done to remove it but it is v risky so docs might not do it. Other way for him is a nerve block to keep the pain at bay. Also he should daily do yoga, use tens machine and take meds like pregabalin etc.
      Love & Prayers

  63. lina

    I had injury inside either my right ear or TMJ during teeth removal. Pain started off & on for 8 years. The pain at times severe. Now I’m extremely sensitive to all stimulus, become disabled. I feel Like having scar in the ear, still I’m not sure. I had tmj tx butits not really helping. Resting & relaxing are the only ways.

    • Hello Lina,

      One of the craziest cases I ever saw was a woman who had horrendous face pain for a year — after getting a tooth surgically removed. Turns out she had severe scar tissue on her face; probably from having her mouth pried open while she was under the anesthesia. There is always the chance that you are dealing with Type III Pain.

      Dr. Russ

  64. Cesar

    In October 2015 I had an ACL reconstruction,they used the patellar as the new ACL, I always had pain , they did an MRI and found out that I needed lateral meniscus repair, In April 2016 the doctor did the surgery he said he found a lot of scar tissue. I did my therapy as they told me to do it, I just can’t gain the muscle lost, even now that I’m using weights. I’m still limping, can’t run and it’s been almost 1 year since the original surgery. I can hear the cracking and popping in my knee. The doctor wants to inject cortisone shots, but I want the scar tissue removed that is preventing my mobility and causing pain. Can they remove it again? Any medication that can help my quad muscle atrophy?

    • Hello Cesar,

      If you look at the many studies I deal with on my blog having to do with knee problems, you’ll see that the common denominator in getting people better (whether they have surgery or not) is a strengthening protocol. Neither cortisone nor other drugs are going to stop this; in fact they will almost certainly make it worse over the long run. When doctors try and remove scar tissue surgically, they frequently create more of it because scar tissue is how the body heals. Again, do a search on “Knee” on my Doctor Schierling dot com site and start reading.

      Dr. Russ

  65. Felicia

    I have what I believe is scar tissue build up in many of my joints. I have had surgery to remove the debris that causes pain in my right knee, both ankles, right wrist, and I will be needing the same surgery on my left wrist as well. I have looked up my symptoms and it seems that scar tissue build up in my joints is what is causing my pain but I’m not 100% sure. I have had extreme pain in all of these joints accompanied by popping and grinding of the joint when I move. My knee would hurt all the time, my ankles would pop and lock so that I was unable to move my foot until the debris moved from between my ankle joint. My right wrist would pop and grind every time I moved it for nearly ten years and my left wrist has been becoming increasingly more painful over the last few years. I have just gone to orthopedic specialists for each surgery so I have had three different doctors for my surgeries but I don’t know if there is a specialist that I could go to that would know more about these problems or if going to different doctors will be fine. After all of these surgeries my joints take a long time to heal, much longer than the doctors ever anticipate. Is that normal after an arthroscopic surgery to remove the debris from my joints? I am hoping you will be able to help me answer some of my many questions about these problems I have been having. I am only 21 and I have had four joint surgeries already and more on the way. I would like to be able to find a way to deal with this problem or at least have a name for what it is. I am not even sure if it is scar tissue that is causing the problem for sure but I can’t find anything else that it could be so far. One of my doctors told me that he doesn’t know much about this, but from what he did know some people can get surgery to clean out their joint and they will be fine the rest of their life, but others will have to go in and get the same surgery over and over again as the tissue builds itself back up. Do you know anything about this and if so is there any way to tell if one surgery will solve my problems or will I need to continue getting the surgeries the rest of my life? Thank you.

    • Hello Felicia,

      Sounds like you may have some sort of autoimmune issue or genetic process working against your joints. Both are driven by inflammation. If you will go to my blog over at doctor schierling dot com, I show you how inflammation always leads to scar tissue. The biggest problem with surgeries is that they are a huge cause of scar tissue themselves, not to mention they actually lead to arthritis. Again, lots of info on this on my site.

      Dr. Russ

  66. Darrell

    I have had two knee surgeries and after each one I develop scar tissue. After the first total knee replacement scare tissue built up behind my knee. After the second total knee replacement it build up in front. I am at a 50° bend now and it’s only been two years and getting worse. Who can I contact about scar tissue removal. My insurance company is pretty good about letting us go wherever.

    • No idea who to contact Darrell. And to make matters worse, one of the biggest creaters of Scar Tissue for many people just happens to be surgery. Make sure you read everything on my blog (doctor schierling dot com) about Inflammation, as it always leads to Scar Tissue.

      Dr. Russ

  67. Linda

    I had ankle surgery for a torn ligament 7 months ago. The past 4 weeks I have been having excruciating pain in heal to where I can hardly walk. Dr. told me it was scar tissue and gave me a painful injection for pain and inflammation. Didn’t even last 12 hours for the pain. This is disabling me to work! What can be done? I am in severe pain and cannot walk hardly! I need to work!! Linda

    • Hello Linda,

      Any time Scar Tissue is involved, the best approaches are to deal with any underlying systemic inflammation, and address the Scar through some sort of body work or tissue remodeling.

      Dr. Russ

  68. stacy

    I have a large scar on my face, it’s 15 years old. lately it’s been twitching non stop and it’s so sensitive and getting rather annoying. any advice here

  69. Justin

    I got shot in the hand and had surgery then had to turn around and have surgery again for scared tissue now I been living with limited hand movement and a mountain of scared tissue on my hand and pain

  70. Shelley

    Dear Doctor,
    I have been having rectal discomfort and pressure as well as fullness. Been to 2 proctologists with no relief. Have lots of scar tissue in abdominal region. Do you think this could be causing my pain? Thank you!

  71. april

    4years ago i got a 3rd degree burn on my leg the back of my l
    leg and have so much pain there what kind of doctor do i need

  72. patty

    How about scar tissue after two back to back inguinal rupture surgeries? Feels like a grapefruit planted in the groin area…now getting painful…

  73. peacebetween

    I’m in physical therapy right now for abdominal scar tissue + pelvic floor therapy – complications from IBS basically. Had major abdominal surgery as a newborn baby – I’m 28 now. Been having some major issues with the bottom of my scar line (an inch or so below my belly button). The area feels like a sunburn and it hurts on the inside some too. It’s pretty constant, starting on early in the day and going into the evening. When I sleep, it goes away. I’m unsure what’s causing it (could be adhesions, could be the scar tissue, could be constipation, etc etc etc). Seeing my PCP next week, seeing physical therapist tonight and plan to ask about it again. GI in September. It’s just really weird that it’s so localized.

    • Hello Peace,

      Make sure to check out my Doctor Schierling dot com site as I have lots of articles on post-surgical Scar Tissue as well as the relationship between inflammation and Scar Tissue (Fibrosis).

      Wish you well.
      Dr. Russ

  74. Darrell

    I’m looking for a doctor to remove scar tissue after 2 knee surgeries. Can’t bend my knee. Please help.

  75. Brent

    I recently had my ninth abdominal surgery in 15 years. The last one was to replace my abdominal wall with pig skin to contain reoccurring hernias. This has resulted in chronic severe pain for over a year. If my pain is caused by scar tissue will a high alkaline diet help any with my pain?

  76. Kylee

    Hello I recently had surgery about 4 weeks ago I was splinted for 2 weeks & then go put into a cast for 4. In on my last week & a half in my cast & last night I got a sever pain when I was laying in bed. I told my mom & she said it was just scar tissue breaking up.. I was wondering if that was normal after an ankle surgery for repairing tendons? Thanks!

  77. Kim

    What is the name of the surgery to remove scar tissue that is causing severe pain in the lower back (above left hip)? Scar tissue resulted after a fall. What type of doctor does the surgery?

  78. Lina

    About 10-12 years ago, a scar was left on the very start of my eyebrow from glass in a car accident. It hurts like hell now, but all I did was put a little pressure on it from very minor pain the day before it hurt like this. It feels like a searing headache and gets worse when touched.

  79. Mark

    My question is, could scar tissue from a neck surgery build up enough to create a high blood pressure issue? If it happens to be in the right place?

    • Interesting question Mark,

      While anything is possible, I doubt it. If you are having high BP post-surgery, it’s likely some sort of neurological involvement. While this could certainly be caused by loss of proprioception due to Fibrotic tissue, it’s probably not directly due to the Scar Tissue itself. However, the point is moot as the end result is the same.

      Dr. Russ

  80. Dinah

    Over 20 years ago I had a head injury that has left a huge scar in my scalp and forehead. Recently I’ve been experiencing high levels of lighting bolt pains in the area. Please help me understand why this is happening and what I can if anything do for this unbearable issue. Thanks in advance.

  81. Denise

    I had 4 small 1 cm holes in a incision from bi-femoral bypass covered with PHYSIOMESH in Oct 22,2010, REMOVED 8 DAY LATER AFTER INFECTION AND FEVER OF 103 for 4 days. Dr removed mesh, abdominal muscles, belly button and left football sized hole there to grow back with VAC unit. 7 month later after smelling like road kill for this period of time, muscles grew back outward, plastic surgeon took new muscle growth out and put AlloMax human mesh in, feels like steel corset because of shrinkage. Have “shocks” all thru my body and legs, pain like you wouldn’t believe, and orange spots on my knees and thighs. Now having swelling and a lot of numbness from breast bone to knees…. New primary doesn’t know what to do, my dr that I had for 23 yrs told me he wasn’t going to except United (medicaid) any more in June of 2015, ended up in hospital with NG tube in for 7 days, not eating or drinking anything but ice chips, didn’t want my kidneys to be damaged….dr told me this was my fault because of all the surgeries I had done there was so much scar tissue that they had to relieve the pressure to let me relieve myself again…. what do I do????

    • Hello Denise,

      The first thing you need to do is head over to my Doctor Schierling dot com site and learn about the relationship between Inflammation and Scar Tissue (the medical community often refers to this as Fibrosis). Beyond that, this is not a problem I am qualified to deal with. You’ll need to talk to a surgeon. Although some of the Scar Tissue might certainly be superficial enough to remodel, the mesh creates a wild card.

      Dr. Russ

  82. nihaomama


    I cut my left pointer finger badly 3 years ago in an immersion blender accident. The blade went back and forth cutting my finger in 3 places and breaking the bone. I received 12 stitches and two of the cuts healed well enough but I have very annoying scar tissue in one spot on the left pad of the finger. I massage it all the time but it hasn’t helped to soften the scar tissue there, which feels like a bump or pea I can move back and forth. In fact rubbing makes it painful. Also I’ve noticed that the skin peels at this spot, like the scar tissue keeps rising to the surface. My finger is still partially numb and the tip looks wrinkled like I left it in the bath too long. I think the scar tissue is preventing circulation. Any suggestions? Can it be surgically removed or will that just create more damage?

  83. cindy

    My mom has a pretty old scar from knee surgery. This morning she has a pretty big blister on it. Should I be concerned about it? And what kind I do?

  84. Aftab

    Hello Dr.
    I have had a infected sabacious cyst on my right shoulder back. It had grown in size and i have had pain in it some times. In May 2013, it was removed surgically. My surgery experience was very painful as the surgeon pulled the cysts sac which was spread down to shoulder. Afterwards the Dr left the scar opened for daily dressing. It took the scar a month to filled and recovered. After around 3 years, now a days i am again feeling pain and irritation around the cyst area. Dr given pain killers but i get relax only until i take pain killers. Can you please suggest a solution. Is it possible that area can be viewed through imaging?

    Please give me yours valued opinion.
    Thank you

  85. lisa

    I had some tumors taken off my lower back April 18th 2014.about 3 wks.ltr.I started having terrible muscle spasms and chronic pain.I had a mri in may and it showed nothing in that area and I’ve been to so many Dr’s. since then and still going and still haven’t found out what’s causing it.lets just say my life has drastically changed.I’m no longer the person I was before the surgery.please help me.I’m in so much pain that pain meds barely touch it.And the worst part is that I’ve had I’ve had disc surgery in 2012 and have rhue.arthritis in my neck and back.but,the tumor removal wasn’t on my spine .

  86. Tonia

    I am trying to completely understand the whole issue with scar tissue. I had a surgery due to an infection of MRSA. Its been 8 yrs but I have noticed a very sensitive area directly in the center and in some areas around the spot. I massage it daily which actually feels good but painful at the same time. I wanted to know if anyone else has experienced this and if they did, how did they deal with the problem?

    • Hello Tonia,

      While it is difficult to try and tell you exactly why you are having the problem you are, there are some generalities that can certainly be made. Take a moment and read my article called Twenty Reasons Why Fascia (HERE).

    • Tasha

      I’m dealing with that now and from the same thing MRSA I had it this month and it was ruff I’m sorry you are still dealing with it though I’ll pray for you and you pray for me.

  87. Gretchen

    Hi. I had complete right labral reconstruction surgery on April 28th of 2014. The worst case scenario I was told, for complete recovery was 2 years. I haven’t recovered as well as my Dr had hoped and I was scheduled for a full right hip replacement this past April 18th. I felt as though I was gaining more mobility and flexibility and felt I owed it to myself to try improving my physical being. I really haven’t been able to exercise for 6 years without pain so my mobility has been limited. I think if I can start an exercise program to strengthen my lower body it would help my problem. I can’t stand in one place at one time for any period of time without pain in my leg. I am comfortable when I am moving, sitting, leaning against a wall or lying down. When I touch my right leg scar tissue area it feels sore and tender. When walking I can only go so far without resting but than I am able to continue. Someone mentioned cold laser treatment & tissue remodeling. I don’t feel it is my hip itself. Therefore I put my surgery on hold that was scheduled for April 18th. How do I find out if I am a candidate for either of the treatments above? Or, if you have any other thoughts, please advise as I am struggling with day to day debilitating pain. Thank you

  88. Patricia

    I had my first hip replacement in 2005 and another in 2011 and my hip is sore to touch and I’m down in weight from 155Ibs to 120Ibs so my hip replacement bone is poking out and my whole hip is sore to touch and I’m not sure what can be done now with so many issue im having problems with my back and they think i have spinal stenosis.

  89. Bernard

    I had surgery 8 months ago to remove a blood Mass on my liver I’m having a lot of pain I’m very swelled up very sore now they think it’s scar tissue and they want to operate again was this caused by the surgery or the surgeon?

  90. Kim

    Is there a method or machine to see adhesions or scar tissue internally on eyebrow nerves? I had eyebrow hair graft surgery to brows fm scalp hair and 3rd time I am in chronic neuropathic pain
    …pins n needles, burning etc. that doesn’t stop. One pain specialist thinks it is scar tissue…not sure. Had cortisone shots twice and nothing stops ringing/crawling. Only thing that stops is when I hold fingers in place under brows at thickest parts nearest to eyes. Nerve blocks don’t help and I have no clear diagnosis for 6 months and therefore no clear method to get proper treatment for relief. If you know anyone please let me know. I live in b.c. Canada.

    • Hello Kim,

      The problem is that much of the time (the vast majority of the time) problems of these sorts are not readily imaged — even using advanced technologies such as MRI. I have done lots and lots of Tissue Remodeling on the face, but am not really familiar with this particular injury.

      Dr. Russ

  91. Jo

    I need help! I have had 3 surgeries a year since 2011. In June 2014 I had my mesh removed “placed for unbelical hernia” it was causing pain and issues. Surgeon also removed my appendix for ” precaution” and he damaged my facia ” tore it” he did open surgery that November and my life has changed forever! MASSIVE SWELLING! Any movement! Right along belly button and across the whole abdomen. Severe pain that drops me to my Knees at times! I have been on pain meds for the past two years that are not working and destroying my life! Making me moody and stuff. Anybody have answers?? CT scan shows he left the tacs from the mesh inside. But nobody seems eager to opperate. It’s the last resort he says. I’ve done everything between pain pills and PT which hurts like hell! Please help! I can’t do anything activity wise! Please help!

    • Hello Jo,

      Crushing story, but one I see all too often. I put up a great article on this general topic on my blog about 6 weeks or 2 months ago. It has some self-help sorts of things in it.

      Dr. Russ

  92. djproductions101

    If I had scar tissue built up from when I was younger, and have had no issues with it for maybe 20 years. Would there be any reason the last few weeks it hurts when I put any pressure on it? And it’s just the surface.

  93. Robben

    I am desperate for information on how to treat post surgical scar tissue…specifically sciatic nerve pain from scar tissue.
    I have had 8 hip surgeries…same hip. 5 of those have been replacements, the last one being 6 months ago.
    Last year alone I had 3 replacements and 16 dislocations in between.
    The fist surgery last year showed the sciatic was encapsulated with scar tissue, approx 6 inches. It was stripped and the pain is been having for years was gone.
    In the last few months, the pain when sitting has returned and is now so intense, it’s hard for me to tolerate sitting any longer than 15 minutes at a stretch.
    I just visited my Surgeon who tells me the scar tissue is obviously back and probably a lot more than before but he had no ideas on how to help me.
    He suggested steroid injections might help with scar tissue. I have also heard about botox injections.
    Please let me know if you have any ideas on where I should turn for help.

  94. Amanda

    I’ve had 3 c sections not until my third did I start getting swelling and pain during my period and a week are so after on the left side of my c section scar… One day it got so bad I went to the hospital and they did a c.t scan and an internal ultra sound … Said it was just scar tissues inflamed and that it’s an elective surgery if I want it removed … So since insurance won’t pay for it how do I stop this or numb it .. There’s times it swells and gets so bad I can’t wear jeans… Sometimes it’s gone ….please help… Thanks Amanda

  95. Michele Norris

    I have nerve pain from a broken tib/fib with displacement in October 2014. I am scheduled for a saphenous nerve block as a diagnostic next month. What can I do to ease the pain until then?

  96. namita

    When i was small, i fell on stairs, a small part of my skin got cut off. the cut was deep. after many years, i still had a deep scar that has lost its sensation. would laser scar removal treatment work? what will help me to remove it?

  97. patricia

    What can you do for the scar tissue problem since you say there is hope????

  98. Becca Jack

    I was in a really bad ATV accident May 25, 2013; breaking my leg badly – 2 breaks in the the tibia and 1 in the fibula. I had emergency surgery… placing the IM nail and screws. I had it removed after 14 months post; simply for the fact I was having a lot of problems with it.

    I have daily pain to this day, and I’m seeing a pain consultant who wants to place the Spinal Cord Stimulator, which I’m just waiting for all the needed referrals. The nerve conduction test didn’t show anything out of the norm considering what happened. Also had a bone scan done, and it only showed I had severe breaks, but nothing alarming.

    I’ve been taking Tramadol every day just to function. I haven’t hardly been able to sleep for the past 2.5 years. I’m beside myself as the surgery for the spinal cord stimulator will cost me $6500 for out-of-pocket expenses. and during all this time, I’ve had nothing but tones of medical bills, and I’m not sure how I will be able to pay for things?

    I’ve read articles about scar tissue causing a lot of “nerve-like” pain; which is what I have. tingling, aching, stabbing, shooting, cold, etc. This is all from my knee down to my foot (breaks were in the distal thirds of the lower right leg). It’s extremely sensitive to touch… causing me pain. I hate even running a razor across the lower leg because it really bothers me. I’ve mentioned it to doctors and I’ve not had a real response.

    I have been keeping a blog on things, so maybe you can take a look and give me your opinion, which would be wonderful:

    • Hello Becca,

      I read the whole thing and all I can say is “wow”! Absolutely heartbreaking. As an avid motorcyclist myself (GL 1800) this sort of thing is always in the back of my mind. What would I do if I was in your shoes? Not quite sure, but I would definitely try a strict Paleo Diet for a couple months (you have to cut out Gluten Cross Reactors — see my Dr. Schierling site on how to do this). I would also seriously study the benefits of a Class IV Laser. You might also take a look online to see if there are any Carrick-trained Functional Neurologists in your area who specialize in CRPS.

      Wish you the best,

      • Becca

        Thank you Dr. Russ. I am at the point of desperation… I’m a very active (well was) riding dirtbikes/quads, snowmobiles, wakeboarding, hiking, etc. I’m now left where I can’t walk too far, and in lots of pain. I will certainly try some of the items you described. And I’ve been working with a chronic pain specialist, whom diagnosed me with CRPS, and is working with me on getting the spinal cord stimulator. Again, thank you for taking the time to read my story and to answer my reply! =-)

      • I’ve done them all at a high level (excepting the snowmobile — I grew up in KS and now live in the Ozarks — never been on one). Would love nothing more than to see you find a solution to this Becca. I promise I will pray for you. Would love to see you back in the saddle and enjoying life again!

        Dr. Russ

      • Becca

        Wow, the more I read your different blogs the more intrigued I am with things. Because the nature of my injury… I lost control flying off a 30 ft embankment, getting stopped in mid-air by a tree, and then getting thrown another 30 ft down into a creek.) We know based on the injuries, that when I hit the tree, my leg breaking actually stopped the force of my getting thrown. With the amount of force, to break my bones that badly, but having the riding boot keep the leg in-tak, tells you there was amazing force. So with that being said… could I have some permanent damage besides my bones… like, fascia, tendons, muscle… whatever, something besides the bones? I know they have ran the nerve conduction test, and didn’t find anything unusual considering the nature of the injuries. But I have a lot of daily pain, hurts to walk, and simply the pain is very nerve-like. But, based on this article about the scar tissue… I have a lot of that! I guess as I’m rattling away, this has really got me curious. Based on my blog you read, and what I mentioned… do you think the scar tissue could really be the root of my pain???? Sorry to go on and on, but after almost 3 years, this gives me hope. I am scheduled to go in for the spinal cord simulator on May 10th.

      • Hello Becca,

        The good news is that many people with CRPS get over it within a few years. Although you might have plenty of Scar Tissue that certainly could be causing you to have problems, dealing with it will not automatically get you over the CRPS. If I thought it was, I would tell you in a second.

        Dr. Russ

  99. Shannon

    I had ALIF surgery for L3 L4 & L5 S1 fusions 8 weeks ago and the scar on my abdomen extends from my pubic bone up to ,through and out the left side of my navel.. the scar is sensitive and has large lumps in many areas under the skin..but the worst area is the navel. The scar follows the outer circle line and is very tight as if the skin is pulling. I can see the scar is very white and raised more than the rest of it and i have sharp pains and almost a burning pain as well in that area…I massage it 2 or 3 times a day with coconut oil but the tightening in that area is becoming unbearable. Please help

  100. Tori

    My name is Tori I’m 37 and had a L4-L5 Lamenectomy in 2004. I’ve been expierencing really bad pain in my left leg. It feels like I’m being shot. I’m only able to stand for a few minutes without having to sit down. I had a nerve block on March 18 and its been 5 days and no relief its gotten worse. My doctor believes the scar tissue has attached to the nerve. I’ve been off work since February 22. What are the symptoms. I have sharp pains shooting threw my leg and a lot of burning in my lower back, butt,hip and leg.

    • Unfortunately, this is not the sort of Scar Tissue (Fibrosis) that I can solve. And the problem with surgical intervention is that it usually creates more of the same. Read by blog posts on the relationship between Inflammation and Fibrosis.

      Dr. Russ

  101. jensthoughts21

    I had a c5-c6 disc replacement with fusion 18 days ago and I had a severe allergic contact dermatitis from the adhesive and the dermabond. I had a horrible rash with blisters and all the other nasty stuff that goes with it. Since the surgery I have been choking on pills and food. It feels like my throat is being squeezed and sometimes it is hard to breathe and I am very uncomfortable and I feel like I am having a panic attack. My anxiety level since the surgery has been higher than normal. Can the scar tissue be putting pressure on my airway?

  102. sapna

    Dr. I slip and fell on ice and ever since i’ve been having ankle pain. After a year of conservative treatment, I got Ankle arthroscopy done. However, the scar tissue is back and the pain is as bad as it was before. What treatments would you recommend? I would like to get a control on the pain.

  103. Daniel

    I burned my hands at work on 12-15-15 went out on workers comp. had 1st, 2, and 3rd degree burns.on left hand Left palm was the majority of burn. I Went through therapy for 3 weeks. I still have a area that tingles and shoots pain up my fingers. And I have area with constricures in it. Dr said should be fine , and my impairment gave a a zero. I just returned to work 2-27-16 just wondering if I need any advice.

  104. Michael

    Hi my name is mike and I had 7 lower lumbar surgeries back in 2000 & 2001 and now I have what the DR’s are calling nerve bundling. I have a ton of scar tissue in the same area and now after years of suffering with the pain I’m have to walk with a walker and sometimes I can walk with my cane. And I keep being told there is nothing that can be done for me cause I don’t have insurance cause I’m fighting disability. I can’t get disability yet and can’t work either. My dr’s say I will probably be In a wheel chair with in 1 to 2 years. I don’t know what to do. And I really don’t want to be wheel chair bound.

  105. Sofia

    I was bit by a dog 4 years ago, I was told to clean and dress once a day with silvadene and return in 7 days. When I returned I was hospitalized bad infection Clostrodium/bacillus, then what was supposed to be I&D, I woke up with two big holes in my leg, cauterized what he said was gangrene. I was in hospital for 5 days with lots of ABX. Left home with wound vac for a week. It took four months for holes to close up. 3 weeks after surgery I started experiencing bad pain and it progressed so badly and pain not managed, I wanted to die. I’ve been told I have CRPS and although that may be true, I believe that a vein or nerve got healed with the scar. This is on the upper/inner gastrocnemius muscle. I experience horrendous pain from the ankle to above the knee. I can’t walk, sit, or stand for long periods without the pain exasperating. It’s as if when I stand the scar is being pulled apart and re-tearing inside, or when I take a normal step and my calf jiggles it causes pain. I now know the nerve pain difference and this other pain, the hypersensitivity I have in the scars where it feels like a cigar is burning from the inside out or the feeling of ice picks stabbing me in the popliteal fossa and the electrical one. No doctor wants to touch my leg, just pain medicine and the spinal chord stimulator. I had tunneling too, so the best way to describe is like two half size doughnut holes with a straw connecting from one scar to another, about 3 cm apart…to me that appears to be a lot of scar tissue? I don’t understand why I didn’t have a fasciotomy to be able to see what all was damaged and maybe graft skin for the healing since it was about 3 cm deep? I had a ct scan before surgery which showed nothing but surgeon used cauterization to just burn through all supposed infected tissue. It’s obvious that some of the muscle was also burned away…I can’t emphasize to you the miserable pain I’m in constantly, I’ve found that laying in bed not using the calf muscle at all along with my pain medicine makes it liveable, but to move around and do minimal things such as ADL’s are unbearable and I can focus or concentrate, I’m only 50, I was 46 when this happened, I can’t work, my life stopped, I now exist in misery! I’m told if any kind of surgery is done to my leg Iit could make the pain worse. I can’t imagine how? I had a cardivascular dr mention amputating my leg above the knee but that I could still end up with the pain and no leg. Something tells me that the scar adhesions healed with a vein or nerve, or is it because the fascia was damaged? Can you tell me your opinion on this? I’ve lived four long miserable years and can not imagine living another 20 like this. I had an EMG that came out as abnormal study. MRI said small amount of fluid. I’m supposed to do the scs but am concerned as my doctor now has never looked at my leg, felt it, asked me questions. Please give me your expert opinion. I was a certified nursing assistant for 21 years, it was my livelihood, I was on job when dog bit me, I was fired, I lost everything including workers comp paying me, I lost my appeal as they said it wasn’t possible for me to have gotten any nerve damage, even when their own doctor started saying I had saphenous nerve damage:/ All I want is my leg pain gone so I can return to work and move out of my son’s house.

  106. Jo

    Thanks for the article.
    I have an old motorbike exhaust burn near my ankle (about 20 years old) that was pretty bad but probably not treated very well (being silly teenager) that is now causing that area (lateral) and up to my knee extreme sensitivity- can’t even have the sheets brush it and the shower drives me batty – do you think that the old burn site is to blame? It is also where I first developed psoriasis although it has long cleared up in that area. Is there anything I could do to reduce the pain and sensitivity? Thank you – Jo

    • Hello Jo,

      Yes, a burn can certainly cause issues like this. Whether or not that’s what’s causing yours, I can’t say. Reducing pain and sensitivity are tough. I would try some acupuncture, and a hardcore anti-inflammatory diet.

      Dr. Russ

  107. Guyla

    I was in a car accident in 2003. I broke ribs in my thoracic area mostly on my left side. I lacerated my spleen and my descending aorta. They repaired all of this by surgery through my back in the area of damage. I also half cut off my right leg at the knee and broke the fingers in my right hand. I have extensive scar tissue. I work a job that requires heavy labor. I have immense chronic pain but also have high blood pressure and asthma which was made worse from this accident. Doctors here either don’t know how to treat the pain or tell me I’m lying and just looking for drugs or worse an excuse to get out of work. I come home from work every single day feeling like someone smacked me really hard in the back and I get horrible headaches. I do physical therapy constantly and it does help but by the end of the work week I’m exhausted. No fun for my family on the weekends.

    • Hello Guyla,

      I just did an article on post-surgical Scar Tissue for my blog. Be sure to read it. Also, HBP, asthma, and pain, are all huge indicators of inflammation. Be sure to read my articles on doing things to solve inflammation.

      Dr. Russ

  108. Sharon

    Hi I’ve had 3 c-section babies 92,94,96 and a tummy tuck around 2003. Had abdominal hysterectomy Dec of 2010 and they hit my old c-section scare took several months to heal. Had scar removed spring of 2012. Just recently started exercising again and felt like something tore inside on my left abdomen. Back was sore for a couple weeks and the my whole abdominal area. Fever, dizziness , and inside burned when urination. Treated for UTI now for 3 days still have pain in left side and back and dizziness. What are the chances of getting a infection inside the scar or something inside tearing and causing a infection this many years later? Or is it still the uti?

  109. Nathaniel

    Hi. I just had ACL surgery 6 months ago and today i went in for layup and felt a pop on the outside of my knee. It hurt pretty bad so i have been icing it for the past hour and i dont know if i re-tore my ACL or my meniscus or if i just tore scar tissue. How do i know the difference of them all ? im 15 btw.

  110. TERRIE

    I’ve had a lumbar fusion, spinal cord stimulator implanted & removed. What I thought was continued back pain really is scar tissue pain. I’m frustrated, annoyed & don’t sleep at nite. What can I do?

    • Unfortunately, that’s out of my league. I frequently help people with their post-surgical scarring — as long as their problem is arising from the superficial fascia. Lumbar fusions are a completely different animal. The problem with going in surgically to remove this Scar Tissue is that there is great likelihood of creating more of it.

      Dr. Russ

  111. Cathy

    I was in a car accident 3 years ago that crushed my arm and hand. After much rehab my ring finger and middle finger have about 5 layers of scar tissue. What are my alternatives to rid the scar tissue.

  112. Christina

    My Mother has been having upper abdominal pain for the past 4 years and it has been progressing in pain. The pain is in her upper right stomach area just bellow the ribs and the pain radiates to the back. We’ve been to different Dr’s and we know it’s not her Pancreas and Gal Bladder /Appendix (Both were taken out in the 80s). They’ve done ultra sounds, cat scans, etc… She has had upper Endoscopy recently and it caused the pain to worsen. The dr did mention that it could be scar tissue from the Gal Bladder surgery but did not continue more on the matter on how to fix it. In your opinion, does this sound like it could be?

  113. Lisa

    Hi. I had a left frontal resection in 1995. I have awful pain at scar sites and bad weather seems to make it worse. I have a scar running front to back vertically and also from top of head down to my left ear. I have tried Botox, occipital nerve block and band blocker. I am so frustrated and in so much pain. My pain is different every day and so I just deal and try not to take too many meds. Is there something else I can try??

  114. Desiree

    I have a burn scar on my upper front left thigh that covers about 3/4 of my thigh and i have two spots on my stomach as well. It was 2nd degree burn that i got when i was 11. I also have a surgery scar (I had a Fallopian tube and my right ovary removed due to and ectopic pregnancy and ovarian cysts) i had my surgery when i was 20 i am now almost 32 and maybe like 2 to 3 times a month both scars start to hurt really bad simultaneously. Whenever i take a step with my left foot i feel a shooting pain in both scars. And my reproductive parts feel inflamed. Could this be nerve damage?

    • Hello Desiree,

      Not sure at all what this is. Although Tissue Remodeling works quite well for post surgical scars, I have not found it to be at all beneficial for burn scars. Not sure what might be driving the inflammation causing your problem. If you look at my DoctorSchierling dot com site, you’ll see that I have articles on Ovarian Cysts as well as dealing with MUPS (Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms).

      Dr. Russ

  115. Melinda

    Very ,very interesting. It completes the picture of understanding. Never considered damaged tissue, but, could be such a large part of a given problem. Thanks

  116. Zakari

    Hello. I just had FTM top surgery an when my scars started to heal the skin grew over them an started to swell. It first I thought it could of been infection but as time went on and I started to heal more began to get really hard. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of research and I’m starting to believe that maybe it’s some sort of scar keloid could you help me out on this?

  117. Gavin

    Hello I have had two back surgeries on L4 and L5 ruptured disc on my sciatic nerve. They did the surgeries and I never really felt like it was better but they did a MRI and said “I have a lot of scar tissue pushing and wrapped around the nerve” as well the disc and it’s causing a lot of pain and causing my leg to give out a lot. My leg has a lot of pain and shakes, goes numb, and will give out on me all the time. What do you think? Any recommendations? Thanks

    • Hello Gavin,

      Wish I could help you with this, but it’s out of my area of expertise. What I can tell you is that surgery tends to cause Scar Tissue. For most, it isn’t enough to cause problems. But for some, it can be a true blue nightmare. The problem is, trying to remove Scar Tissue surgically almost always results in more of the same — often times worse than before. One thing I can recommend (it may not help a lot, but it sure can’t hurt) is to read my blog posts on “Inflammation”. Once you realize that Inflammation always leads to Fibrosis (Scar Tissue), it makes sense why it would be in your best interest to control it. The doctors do this by prescribing what I refer to as “THE BIG FIVE“. While I would never argue for one second that anti-inflammation meds don’t work, I would argue that their side effects are often brutal. Fortunately, there are some ways to deal with inflammation naturally. Wish I could do more for you Gavin.

      God Bless,
      Dr. Russ

  118. Julia

    Hi Doctor Russ,
    I just read your article and I have a few questions.
    I was a self harmer in my teens and unfortunately left myself with extensive scar tissue and damage.
    I have been suffering pain for almost 7 years. My GP thought it may be ulnar nerve neuropathy given that it follows the symptoms of ulnar nerve neuropathy. I have minor clawing and pain from elbows to pinkie, ring and half of index fingers on both arms. My GP is unsure what steps to take next.
    I have had an ultrasound of elbows and forearms and all clear. I have had negative nerve conductive studies done. I am now waiting to see a orthopedic surgeon.
    The pain is terrible, pain killers don’t work and I refuse to take stronger medications as they don’t help and make me drowsy.
    I exercise a lot by rock climbing and on days that I climb I have no pain. Days I don’t I tend to suffer. Can you please recommend anything?

    Kind regards,

    • Hello Julia,

      What your doctor probably meant to say was that you have a neuralgia — not neuropathy. Because there are no tests positive either mechanically or electrically, and because your forearm actually gets way better the more you use it, best guess is that Tissue Remodeling would help you. Go to my doctor schierling dot com site and type “Five Years Forearm” into the search bar. I would be extremely leery of letting someone do a surgery on your arm based on the information in your comment here.

      Dr. Russ

  119. Jana

    I had my gallbladder removed in 1985 and there were complications. As this was just before laproscopic surgery became common, I have a lengthy abdominal scar with thick scar tissue visible on the surface. This area of scar tissue has recently given me much pain when I bend, sit up from a laying down position or lift items. Is there anything that I can do to relieve this pain? Thank you for any information that you can give me.

  120. Garry

    I have plenty of scar tissue and my ankle looks deformed due to a Chrisman-Snook surgery nearly three decades ago. Some days I cant even walk with a huge amount of pain. Help, what should I do? I feel like vicodin or some kind of pain medicine is necessary. Are there other alternatives?

    • Hello Garry,

      Although I am not specifically familiar with this surgery, surgeries have tremendous potential (even when otherwise successful) to cause large amounts of the Scar Tissue that the medical community refers to as Fibrosis. With an ankle like this, my approach is three fold. I try and break everything free that can be freed (is not fused) with drop table and Impulse adjustments as well as Scar Tissue Remodeling. Secondly, it is imperative to do whatever you need to do to reduce the amount of inflammation in your life. Note that I am not suggesting drugs here at this point (mopping up inflammation after the fact) but dietary changes that stop inflammation in its tracks. Thirdly, I would make a trip out to Colorado to see Shawn Eno of Xtreme Footwerks. Among other things, he specializes in orthotics for high arches as well as surgically altered feet. As for drugs, they are a slippery slope. What works today won’t work tomorrow. And this doesn’t even begin to touch on the crazy numbers of side effects.

  121. Amie

    So glad to read this! I had 2 very serious infections in my right bicep muscle 2 years ago, which was cut out. The large, wide painful scar is a result of the necessary surgery. I had a consultation with a plastic surgeon today to see what could be done about the scar and reduction of pain due to the size, shape and depth. Sadly, I was very disappointment in his response. I was told that he would “scrape” the top and attempt to reduce the size but would not be able to remove the scare tissue due to nerves in the area. The scar tissue being so extremely tight and deep is what’s causing the pain. Can you point me in the right direction as to where to go from here? I will also look for a second opinion because I can’t be the only person out there with this problem. Thanks!

  122. Sarinda

    Hi Dr. Schierling, I have been having symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in the lower leg, from knee to ankle, for the past year since a re-occurrence of a suspected calf strain from the previous year (MRI showed no viable tear in the first year of treatment, and there was no trauma to the calf when pain came on, I also had a DVT test).
    Could scar tissue have been the cause of the re-occurrence of suspected injury as it was not elastic enough to deal with resuming exercise, and now be the cause of the PN symptoms which are hindering a full recovery due to muscle weakness and pain? Would having a sports therapy massage on the calf help iron out any scar tissue and increase blood flow, or would this aggravate the nerve symptoms further?
    My Doctor has prescribed painkillers, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants to deal with the pain but is unable to give me an answer on what the underlying cause of the pain could be. I was referred to a neurologist who checked my reflexes and informed me I didn’t have a trapped nerve, but gave no further explanation of what else could be going on.

    • Hello Sarinda,

      First, go to my Doctor Schierling dot com site and be sure to read my material on PN. Scar Tissue (Fibrosis) could certainly be a factor in your symptoms. The problem is that it does not image well. Has anyone told you that this could possibly be compartment syndrome? As for massage, I cannot really tell you whether it would help or not. Doubtful it would cause problems, but there is always that possibility.

      Dr. Russ

  123. jonathan

    Hello I had surgery on my right lower leg. I wasn’t given any rest and the surgeon told me I could walk on it. Months after I started having tiredness and weakness on my leg. Did get some what better but it got worst when I was very active. Started with extreme pain leg would bee tingling and .Numb very sensitive to touch. I had an mri show nothing But scar tissue build up. I been getting lumbar injection to help with pain but no longer is effective. I been use capsaicin creams to help me. Relieves muscle and skin tension. Because of the place the scar is at. I can’t sit or stand for longer 5 minutes without a lot of pain. I know you’re very busy I appreciate all response.

    • Hello Jonathan,

      The problem with situations like this is that the very surgeries that doctors use to remove scar tissue, turn right around and cause scar tissue — sometimes worse than before. Fortunately, doctors are more likely today to warn patients of this than they used to be. Tough to say with your particular case, but depending on how deep the Scar Tissue is, Tissue Remodeling might be of help.

      Dr. Russ

  124. Erin


    I had an MRI to see what was going on with my knee. Turns out there is a good amount of scar tissue left over from a LR that I had done 10 months ago. I had my chiropractor order the MRI and he said to just ride it out and it should break down itself. Its been bother me for about 6 months now. I didn’t know if I should keep riding it out or go back to the OS and see about surgery to remove it. It limits my ROM some (with extension) and bothers me after about 20 minutes of sitting, and sometimes gives me a hard time falling asleep at night. Thanks!

    • Hello Erin,

      I cannot answer that question specifically, however I can tell you that removing scar tissue surgically tends to cause more of the same, which is why more and more doctors are not doing it.

      Dr. Russ

  125. Judith

    My daughter has been suffering with severe pain of her left leg for 2 years and could not find the cause. A friend was telling her about somebody who had surgery on scar tissue and a bell rang for her. 20 years ago she had multiple blood clots in that leg and they had to open large areas of her veins both on the inside and outside of her leg. She laid for 8 days with the leg packed before it could be sutured shut. Now she realized that the outer thigh area that is hurting is EXACTLY where the scar is. It’s about 12 to 15 inches long. Is there any hope that some kind of surgery could be done on this scar?

  126. Michelle


    I have had two hip surgeries on my left hip for labral repair. The pain on the side of hip seems to be unbearable! I had a cortisone injection in which the dr broke up some of the scar tissue and a week later am in so much more pain. What do I do about this painful scar tissue? Thank you so much for your time.

    • The single biggest problem with surgical removal of Scar Tissue is that it tends to heal with Scar Tissue, which frequently causes more problems than before. Make sure to go over to my Doctor Schierling dot com site and read all my blog posts filed under inflammation. Inflammation always leads to Fibrosis, which is the medical name for Scar Tissue. Solve the inflammation problem, and you have at least helped your cause.

      Dr. Russ

  127. Linda

    Hi. I’m 36 years old and had a c-section about five years ago. About 3 months ago I started to feel pain underneath my c-section scar and when I touched it it felt like a huge pimple. I thought it would go away and waited a couple of weeks. Finally I got concerned and went to my gynecologist. He assured me that it was scar tissue and not to worry about it. I am however worried and not sure if he is indeed correct. Does scar tissue hurt and can it feel like a giant pimple which hurts more once you press on it?

    • Hello Linda,

      There could certainly be Scar Tissue there. However, the whole “pimple” thing is not very familiar to me. There is no telling what this might be, although your dr does not seem to deem it serious (translated; ‘dangerous’). Scar Tissue can hurt horrendously. In fact, it was Dr. Chan Gunn, the famous neurologist from the Seattle / Vancouver area who invented modern dry needling, that said Scar Tissue can be over 1,000 times more pain sensitive than normal tissue.

      Dr. Russ

  128. Dan

    My mother in law received an electric shock from an iron which failed to disconnect and caused entrance and exit burning of the wrist / thumb joint. Nearly two years down the line and many consultations scans etc surgery has been ruled out due to the scaring being H shaped and surrounding the nerves. She suffers considerable pain in her arm which swells after modest activity. She also feels pain in her hip and lower back which the consultant believes to be linked. She is being referred to OT and Physio but my question is are there any foodstuffs, vitamins alternative medicines that will reduce scar tissue and or soften etc etc?
    Any advice would be gratefully accepted.

    • Electric shock is a whole other problem altogether, as it can cause so many bizarre processes. Many people claim that they get help from proteolytic enzymes. Not sure what to tell you here, but wish her well.

      Dr. Russ

  129. Cherie

    Good morning! I am a 31 year old female suffering with abnormal chronic pain. I have had several surgeries and always recovered fairly quick. This last one turned my life upside down. I’m fairy confident in your theory with scar tissue especially since the last surgery was breast augmentation with implant exchange due to capsular contracture and my surgeon said he had to remove extensive amounts of scar tissue. I could go on n on bit would appreciate some help. Thank you much.

    Cherie lynn

    • Hello Cherie,

      Not sure how I can help you with me here and you wherever you are. Just understand that surgery to remove scar tissue always causes more of the same — often times worse than the original. Unfortunately, I have seen any number of augmentation surgeries end up in major failure either due to Scar Tissue, or due to autoimmune reactions to the leaking material.

      Dr. Russ

  130. Darren

    Hi I was wondering if you could help me or point me in the right direction. I had a lateral release right knee and the scar tissue/operation has caused hyperalgia as I can’t carry out hip extension with knee flexion so back running is impossible only take 400m to get pretty bad fascia pain. Treatment conservatory laser, myofascail release, interx, shockwave therapy, neurokinetic therapy, guided injections coritisone and PRP to ITB/Gredy Tubercle. Possible option is to look at local injection along the scar to see if there is temp release and then isolate nerves and partially desensitise them sorry name for this I can’t remember.

    Is there anything else I can try or do feels like I just want to tear/rip the fascia apart as the pressure build it is quite bad.


    • Hello Darren,

      Cold Laser is the best modality I have found. Make sure you try some form of ASTM ISTM ASTM. As crazy as it sounds, I would try a thirty day elimination diet (or Paleo Diet) just to see if there may be some occult inflammation stirring the pot.


  131. Chloe

    I have scar tissue mass on my ankle. Now my calf is starting to ache on that same side. Directly related?

  132. Norman

    I had an ORIF on my left ulna and radial bone in 2013 and the hardware removed in 2014. However till today, there is much pain in the ulna bone when it bears weight – such as in a plank position or military leopard crawl. Is there an idea if the pain is due to scar/ bone or any other thing? And if the pain would go away with any therapy or strengthening or any methods?

  133. Julie

    I have had two back surgeries on my l4/l5 disc (2009 and 2010). I was rear ended in my car on July 14th. It’s now November and I’m still in a lot of pain and discomfort – my PSIS joint and my sacro iliam (sp?) are messed up and my hips (iliam crest area) hurt and feel tightened up when I sit or stand – even for short periods – I have pins and needles under both of my feet (this is strange but sometimes it’s only one foot at a time that gets the sensation). I’m very worried but my MRI showed clear? The next step is a mylogram and Emg which are painful and may not even solve the problem. I have a bit of a foot drop on my right side and I’m so scared it will get worse. Is this possibly from my scar tissue. My doctor is very good and well respected in my community – he is watching me and PT helps relieve my pain… I would love to hear your input on this though. I’m not very good with research and would love to read any articles you have on the subject. I actually found this just by a few clicks on my iPhone – I don’t even know how to get peer reviewed articles. Any help is appreciated – this has worried me…. It’s been almost 5 months!

  134. Ronan

    I have had an ulnar nerve decompression dine 6 months ago. I can feel my nerve on the affected side and it feels like a tight piece of string compared to the opposite side. This is even when the arm us pretty straight. Iv had no luck with nerve glides. Could it be scar tissue?

  135. Sherri

    My husband had a hemorrhagic stroke 3 yrs ago. He had cyberknife radiation which caused scar tissue which has now caused vision issues due to his brain swelling caused by the scar tissue. Steroids are not working. What can be done?

  136. Kathy

    My son had HD when he was born, he has had been cut open from rib cage to rib cage and chest bone to willie winkie. He has had several surgeries since birth, he has had pain in his stomach for many years. He is now 33 years old and the pain in his stomach has become so bad that it drops him to his knees. The doctors have gone in and freed up the scar tissue about 3 years ago, but that only took the pain down a little foe about 2 months and then the pain was back in full force again. They say they don’t want to go back in because it would only make more scar tissue to develope. Will the pain continue to get worse or will it level out at some point, he is already in so much pain..
    Thank you

  137. Michele

    1 year ago I had a subclavian bypass due to steal syndrome. Now my scar causes me severe pain. Burning, pulling and extreme sensitivities over the whole area.

  138. Tonya

    I have had 4 blood clots. It is not inherited. It came out of no where. They said I had blood clot disorder, Lucas, and have really bad scar tissue throughout both legs. I’m always in pain and I go September 8th to see my vascular surgeon again. I’m really tired of hurting? What can they do?

  139. Rebecca

    I have had several surgeries on the past 4 years. I’ve had my right lung tacked up due to spontaneous pneumothorax . I’ve also had my gallbladder removed. The lung I’m told by my lung Dr has a lot of scar tissue due to the surgery and the talc they use to tack it up. Removing any of that scar tissue will only make it come back larger. I have a nodule that is slightly displacing one rib. But they can’t cut it because he said it would make it worse. So my question that in hoping for an answer is, when my gallbladder got taken and the lung surgery done, I have this reoccurring pain and pressure feeling under my right breast and above where my gallbladder was. Could this n be a wad of scar tissue? It’s annoying and painful.

    • Hello Rebecca,

      Could be. Make sure to read my blog category on Inflammation over at my Doctor Schierling site. I have about 4-5 recent articles on the link between Inflammation and Fibrosis (Scar Tissue).

      Dr. Russ

  140. Caryn

    suffering terribly pulling pastey feeling througout my vaginal area pelvis and groin,been through every tesdy all normal,,,had hip surgery 2 yrs ago,,,i am at my wits end,,,,they tell me it is in my head,,,,

  141. Stacy

    Hello, i am anxious to learn about scar tissue. I have had 5 hand/middle finger surgeries in the last 6 months due to mrsa infection. I am in constant pain when I extend my fingers. feels like something is pulling in the palm of my hand. My motion isn’t very well but still in PT. could the pain be scar tissue? and when is it okay to have scar tissue removal?

  142. Gina

    i had gastric bypass 11 years ago and lost about 120lbs. I had a full body lift (with a brazilian butt lift) to remove my excess skin about 7 years ago. I developed a giant ball of scar tissue (about the size of a baseball) inside on top of my right butt cheek right below my lower back. little by little i would experience pain. i could never have anyone massage me by that area because then i would be in pain for weeks after. over the past month and half i have been in an extreme amount of pain from it. and it is even causing siatic nerve pain. i keep going to different doctors and they keep telling me it is not hitting my siatic nerve but i know it is. it is my body i can feel it touching it. i don’t know what to do i can’t live in this pain anymore. i just want this scar tissue out of me. please help me. i am in recovery for almost 5 years as well so i am not taking any pain meds for this horrific pain.

    • Hello Gina,

      Not sure what is going on here, but this sounds like a medical problem — something you should talk to our doctor about. It sounds like something that might require surgery — not something I could help you with.

      Dr. Russ

  143. George

    Hello. I am a 45 year old male and have been living with extreme pain for the last 6 months. I have massive scaring on my left thigh from numerous injuries including 3 surgical procedures from a broken leg to place pins and rods from my knee to my hip. I had all these removed after a year to maintain my military status. All of these injuries and surgical procedures took place between the age of 15 through the age of 18 and have been to the same area. The scar is about 7″ long and 2″ wide at top narrowing down to a little less than an inch. About 1″ above the top at the widest point, there feels like a hard ball just under the skin. Touching this “hard ball” will make my entire leg go numb and feels almost like the pain and sensation as if you hit your funny bone in your elbow. Except it’s my entire leg including the toes. I have been to several Doctors and numerous visits to the ER due to pain. I started of with 1 Doctor who recommended I see another Doctor who recommend I see another…and so on and so on. All the Doctors have been doing their best to maintain the level of pain by prescribing strong pain medicine (OXYCODONE) and medications to control nerves (Gabapentin). They also have ordered MRI’s on lower back and hip, Cortisone shots, Epidural Flush, Bone Density test, Nerve tests, EKG,…… All the while I keep telling them about my scar being the root of the pain. I seen a Doctor on Tuesday, June 30th, 2015. I’m all out of pain medicine. The pain is so great that I can hardly walk, but I pace the floor when I’m in tremendous pain. So there I was hobbling back and forth this Doctor’s examination room. His statement was that my pain is more acting than reality. He went on explaining that “with all the test so far look good, that in his opinion, there’s no way I can be feeling that much pain from scar tissue”. “It’s just not medically reasonable.” To say the least I was upset, but more importantly, I was crushed. Lost in a sea of pain and hopelessness.
    Please understand that I do not like taking medication. I do not want to be on any medication. I want to be normal again. The medicine I do take is just to help me get by. My main goal is to get the pain under control or eliminated naturally or medically. I just want my life back.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Hello George,

      Scar Tissue is a big deal. Head over to my Doctor Schierling dot com site and look up my article “SCAR TISSUE
      WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?” It sounds like you may have some sort of nerve entrapment in said Scar Tissue, which is not terribly uncommon. By the way, you just described the Medical Merry-go-Round that most patients ride prior to finding a solution. You’re going to need to find someone to physically work on that scar (or do it yourself) and see if breaking it up a bit will help you.

      Dr. Russ

    • Marilyn

      Hello, my name is Marilyn and I think I understand what you are going through. I cannot recommend anything to you because I’m just like you, in the process of seeking help from my doctor. I am 57. When I was 11 years old, I had a large mole removed from my left let that would have been labeled cancer by today’s standards. The mole was very deep, a lot deeper than they expected it to be. I have a 7 inch scar on my leg (thigh) that looks like a bolt of lightening because they had to make many incisions to remove the mole. After the surgery, my leg actually “sunk in”. Have you ever watched the TV show “House” about the doctor who had the muscle removed from his thigh? That’s how I feel. About 10 years ago I started with numbness going from my knee up my thigh. It did not hurt, but my leg would go numb from the knee up. The numbness would go away when I sat down and for a few seconds it would feel like pins and needles. Over the years, this got a little worse. I went to a couple of specialists who told me that over the years, due to scar tissue, I was having more problems with numbness and pain. I was told the scar tissue that had built up over the years was compressing on the nerves causing them to not function correctly. I was put on Gabapentin (I’m sure I spelled this wrong) which is for nerve pain. As time went on and things got worse, they added Vicodin. Now, neither medication really helps me and recently I’ve been in a great deal of pain with it now moving further up and around to to very top of my left leg and going into my lower butt area on the left side and a little into my lower back. I’m not really sure if the back problem is because of how I walk or not. Even going to the grocery store exhausts my leg and it’s killing me by the time I’m finished with my shopping. Just like you, the medications are just helping me get by and I mean barely get by. I’m not sure what is next, but you have my prayers because I think your situation is similar to my own. If I can give you any good news after I consult my doctor/doctors, I will let you know.

      Sincerely and with Prayers,


  144. Pam

    I had surgery for a 1st metatarsal repair and akin procedure 9 months ago and my screws and plate pretude out my skin in a lumpy format, also they rub on everything which makes it very painful. My surgeon has said he is to remove them sometime this year but all of a sudden I have got extra sensitivity sharp electrical sensation on touch to anything from socks to tights along my scared area, could you explain the reasons behind this please and will removing my screwsand plate make it improve?

  145. dee p

    Dr Russell, I have a complex history I developed debilitating sciatica through my left leg Nov 2012 &had a microdisectomy Feb 2013 L5-S1 which 80% improved the sciatica but mismanagement of pain relief sent my nervous system haywire, I lost coordination of my legs which shook and I was barely able to walk with a frame. I was 32. After 2 years of rehab I’ve “retrained” my brain to walk with a cane however I’m left in chronic lower back pain and am allergic to NSAIDS but take multiple strong pain relief/nerve meds. Is there anything I can do to reduce my pain? Also at Xmas my appendix ruptured which I had removed. I fell 2 weeks ago and tore muscles under my ribs I then got a virus so the muscles are only just galling then today i bent sharply and my osteo says I tore the scar tissue from the appendectomy. I’m in agony and unable to sit up or laugh. Any help on dealing with this including verification it is what he says or any of my other matters would be greatly appreciated! Thank you

  146. Merissa

    Dr. Russell,

    I called around to find a Chiropractor and was told they dont do what I need done. I was told I need a Rolfer. I was also told my insurance wont cover massage and I cant afford to pay for it myself. Devastated I called back my doctors office and begged my doctor to get me into the surgery sooner. The thought of being in this much pain is more than I can handle. Im going to have the laparascopy surgery done next week. I just hope I dont need a hysterectomy. He said it was a possibilty but for me its not. I still want to have one more child if I find the right man and get re married. I am so nervous. I just cant take the pain anymore. I really appreciate all your advice. I may still need massage if it comes down to a hysterectomy. I just hope their is some pain relief if I need time to save up to afford it. Thank you again for all your help and time.

  147. Merissa

    Dr. Russell,

    I had a sonogram and everything looked good. My Doctor said that he believes it is scar tissue or possibly adhesions since the pain is so bad. If you think tissue massage will work, I am going to give that a try. I’m glad there is another approach besides surgery. Thank you so much for responding and caring enough to help people. You have a good heart. I wish you the very best! Thank you again!!

    • Although I have occasionally seen issue with massage due to roughness that could only be characterized as brutality, even intense body-work, when done properly, really only has an upside. Try it and see what happens. The problem with surgery to deal with adhesions is that it causes more adhesions. Make sure you go over to Doctor Schierling dot com and check out my blog posts on the relationship between Inflammation and Fibrosis (the medical word for Scar Tissue).

      Dr. Russ

  148. Merissa

    Dear Dr. Russell Schierling,

    I was reading through your articles that were very informative. I am a single mom with 3 kids and the past few months I have been having horrible pain. I am having horribly severe pain and pressure. It feels like I am sitting on my bowels. The pressure is so intense. Nothing seems to relieve it. Pain medication masks some of it and makes it more tolerable. I had three C-sections and went to the Ob/Gyn. He thinks it is scar tissue. You said that by trying to fix it that they create more. How can I help this? Do you have any ideas? Does it sound like it could really be scar tissue? I don’t want to cause myself more problems and really do need to be able to work. It is really limiting my life. If you have any suggestions please let me know? I really appreciate your time. I know you are really busy, I am just scared of making the wrong decision and can’t stand this pain anymore. The doctor has me scheduled for surgery in two months. I don’t think I can stand anymore pain or being stuck on pain killers for another two months. I really just want to be out of pain. Any help is really appreciated. Thank you!

    • Hello Merissa,

      Your doctor might mean that the problem is due to something like Endometiosis. There is actually brand new evidence showing that a Gluten-Free Diet helps the majority of you dealing with this problem. If the problem is Post-Surgical Scar Tissue caused by the incision, this can often be helped via massage, Tissue Remodeling, etc.

      Dr. Russ

  149. Kimberly

    Thank you for this information. In 2008 I had laproscopic surgery on my knee. It was funny feeling afterwards, the surgeon said there was nerve damage because if you scratched one area you felt it in another. And there were spots I felt nothing (right around the incision sites). Now, 7 years later, I am feeling an intense burning where before there was no feeling.

    • Hello Kimberly,

      As you have read, Scar Tissue is different from normal tissue in a wide variety of ways. Make sure to head over to my Doctor Schierling site and read the article, “Knee Surgery Causes Knee Arthritis”

      Dr. Russ

  150. Mallori

    Hello! In Nov. 2012 I was in a go cart accident and my arm didn’t break but a lot of damage was done. I have a clump of scar tissue (that I think it is) above my elbow for years. It’s always been uncomfortable for people to touch it or to bang it up against a wall. But yesterday I got 2 shots, one in my right arm and one in my left. My left arm is fine, but my right arm is not. The doctor put the shot literally right above the scar tissue and she even said “the needle doesn’t wanna go in” but just continued to push it in. Today my arm is swollen and red around the puncture. It is very sensitive. I really don’t know what’s going on.. Can you explain possibly if it even has anything to do with the scar tissue?

    • Hello Mallori,

      Scar Tissue is tough, dense, tissue. Every question will be answered if you head over to my site and read the Chronic Pain page and Fascia page — both on the top menu.

      Dr. Russ

  151. April

    I had 4 c sections, I’m I’m severe pain, all I can think about is the pain, is burning so bad and shooting pain like lightening I take lots of nsaids and they don’t help at all, what can help me??? Doc won’t take it out, feel so helpless all the time

  152. Monica Scott

    In 2010 I fell off my bike and bashed the ribs on my left side. They healed in about 6 weeks. In 2011 I had a WLE, cavity shave and radiotherapy on the same side due to breast cancer, and was left with a big area of scar tissue. On Jan 24th I injured my ribs again, and they aren’t healing well. I assume that’s because of the first accident, the cancer and radio. It’s 9 weeks and I’m still in pain, but today a new pain started, more like a nerve pain, sporadic painful twinges. I think it’s because I drove my car yesterday and put strain on the scar tissue. Does this make sense? Any advice you can give would be welcome.

    • Hello Monica,

      It certainly does make sense. I would suggest that you start by looking at these two posts (HERE & HERE).

      Dr. Russ

      • Monica Scott

        Hi Dr Russ
        Thank you for your reply. I’ve just spent about 2 hours on your site – information overload! I think I’ve learned a lot but I’m not sure how to proceed. I’m going to my doctor on Monday, and I’m going for a bone density scan to check how much damage the radio has done to the ribs. Hopefully I will know more after that. I haven’t been going to my yoga classes because of the rib injury, and am stiffening up, but I’m trying a few gentle stretches. I’m already taking calcium, magnesium, Vit D, O3 and turmeric. Not sure what else I can do except wait. I have a friend suffering from fascitis in her foot and will pass your website info to her.
        Thanks again, Monica

      • Hello Monica,

        THIS POST on Osteoporosis might be of interest to you.

        Dr. Russ

  153. Cheryl

    I had a 2nd surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.I do have a winging scapula.
    Because the long thoracic nerve was damaged in surgery. I wake up every morning and my chest is tight and sore. I have a hard time taking my first deep breath because of this. Its like i have to stretch everything in there. I also have a problem with sudden braathlesness when i lift my arm up like to try and fix my hair. It is the surgery side and i cant lift it all the way. This breathing problem is also when i bend over. It doesnt last long i just have to take a deep breath most of the time and then im fine. I have swelling on that side also. The surgery was in october.
    Can this all b from scar tissue already? He actualy cleaned alot out during the surgery and said it was hard like cartilage. If its scar tissue what can i do?

    • Hello Cheryl,

      I have actually seen several cases of TOS SURGERY causing all kinds of (debilitating) Scar Tissue. Watch my blog because I have someone coming tomorrow morning from Dallas for a second treatment and I think there might be a video to show. If so, will be up over the weekend or early next week.

      Dr. Russ

  154. Beck

    I had minor surgery couple of years ago for abscess in rectum area that got infection and had to be drained. Now scar tissue flares up and get puffy and is very bothersome ( i am assuming). This is normal???
    I had told Dr. great now I can get back to walking and he said the scar tissue will be painful?

    • Hello Beck,

      Scar Tissue can be extremely pain sensitive. If you search my Doctor Schierling site, you’ll see the research that shows Scar Tissue can be over 1,000 times more pain-sensitive than normal tissue.

      Dr. Russ

  155. Lisa

    I had bladder surgery in 1967 at the age of 6. I never had any problems until about 10 years ago. I was at work and had lift some very heavy objects in an awkward way. Gradually I started having pain in my abdomen. It got so bad I could barely stand up. I actually passed out a couple of times. The doctor said it was from the pain. The pain lasted for about 8 months. The doctor could not figure out what was wrong with me. It happened again about 2 years ago from lifting something. Now, I don’t lift anything over about 15 pounds and I’ve been okay until a couple of weeks ago. I was doing some yard work and was pulling some weeds and now the pain is back. I believe it is scar tissue or adhesions but everything I read sounds like most people have the pain all the time and it’s not related to doing anything, like lifting. Could this be scar tissue? And what can be done about it?

    • Hello Lisa,

      It certainly could be scar tissue and sounds to me likely. The only real question is where is it coming from. If it’s an abdominal fascial thing, it would be very treatable (several articles on this topic at my Doctor Schierling dot com site). However, if the problem is scarring around the bladder itself, I’m not really sure how to go about solving that.

      Dr. Russ

  156. Jan

    I am 34yo female that had a C-section and tubal ligation 10yrs ago and 3yrs ago I had a partial myomectomy. At my pubic line there is scar tissue that I have a lot of pain during my menstruation, lower abdominal exercises, and some pain after sex. I take ibuprofen a lot during the day and still have pain. I have tried to talk to my gyn and pcp but to avail am I getting close to an answer or anything else… please help with questions I maybe not asking.

  157. Shanett Gaston

    I am a mommy that live in Houston, Tx. that had an emergency c-section 14 year ago, and over the year I have been having serve pain from the scar tissue. I can say over the last 6 year I have been in so much bad pain, that I have to take 2 aleve in the morning time when I wake up ( not wash my face or brush my teeth etc. but take the pill first) and 2 at night and sometime 1 800mg. ibp. I know that it is not good to doing this because I can cause me to have kidney problem, stomach problem in the long run, however this is the only way I am able to function daily. I have been told to lose weight in my stomach, which I did, but that didn’t help. I have been to doctors and had ultra sound(s), which they have told me that it was serve scar tissue, and I might need to check into getting it remove by a plastic surgery. If it was possible financial wise I would do it, but I’m not able too. but I have good insurance but that is consider to be cosmetic. I am having a hard time finding a doctor that specialize in OB/GYN scar tissue. I need help!!!!!!!!!!!Please give me some good advise on what I should do, because I’m so tried of hurting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  158. markbeekmans

    Very helpful this site. I appreciate it very much. Nothing worse than to live with pain and unfortunately (too) many people have to suffer that burden. Like my mother after a total hip replacement. Her scar is so centavo that you can nearly touch it and she has to protect or cover it with special tissues just to bear the clothing on it. Obviously she can´t have any pressure on it, not sit or lie on it. Very frustrating since no one seems to be able to diagnose her correctly let alone help her.

    I´d like to ask (sorry if the answer is somewhere on your site) if the scar tissue is seen on some scan (MRI maybe). the size of it and if it is deforming any surrounding nerves? If any nerves are blocked or restrained from the scar tissue? How is it diagnosed?

    Thanks in advance.
    Mark Beekmans

  159. Stephanie Gorham

    I had a bunionectomy a year ago on my left foot. The scar is still very sensitive and painful to even the lightest touch. I use a topical compound on it that the podiatrist prescribed but it only lasts a few hours. What is your opinion as to what might relieve my pain. It is clearly nerve pain attached to the scar.

  160. Michele

    I had open heart surgery and 3 ports in my right side of my chest and I have so much pain they say its scar tissue that im having in my right breast.. All they doing for me is givin me Flexeril. Nothing seems to work.. the pain is unbearable. at times.. can this really be scar tisssue

  161. renaecummings

    Very interesting and informative reading! My daughter (24) has been dealing with (undiagnosed) chronic lower back for nearly 6 years. MRI’s and CT’s reveal a degenerative disc and a bit of arthritis, but “not to the extent that it should be causing this much pain” and definitely not severe enough to warrant disc surgery. She has had no specific injuries to her back. She has tried multiple PT’s with various treatment philosophies, chiropractor, steroid injections, oral and topical pain medications and muscle relaxers…the list goes on. Some have offered short term pain relief (only hours) but nothing helps long term, and nothing gets to the root of the problem, which no one has been able to diagnose. In the last three months her pain has escalated so that she can’t work and not even the strongest pain meds offer any relief. We have asked repeatedly about scar tissue and we always get the same dead-end response, “It’s possible.” No one (except one PT who tried massaging the areas because she said there was SO much scar tissue there) has elaborated on, pursued, or suggested how to deal with this “possible” issue. My daughter’s 6 abdominal scars and 3 lower back scars are from surgeries occurring when she was1-9 years of age. She is extremely frustrated and losing hope that someone can find what is wrong with her and/or reduce her pain so that she can return to her normal activities/life and function on a daily basis.

  162. Matthew Roos

    Hello, I am interested in learning all I can about scar tissue. I am a chronic pain suffer from Adhesive Arachnoiditis from ether several SCI’s or from 4 back surgeries. I am not concerned with how, why or when I developed Arachnoiditis or who maybe responsible for it because I ultimately am.
    I know that it is scar tissue trapping and in tangled the nerves in my lower spine L4-S1 where I am also fused. I have constant pain with shooting sharp pain in my left leg lower back to toes and lower back to knee right leg.
    I have been told my body forms more than average scar tissue, based on what I don’t know.
    I guess what I am wanting to know is… does the scar tissue inside of my lower back possibility continue to grow or can everyday activities cause stretching and tearing of the scar tissue causing more scaring ??

    • Hello Matthew,

      I just had a similar conversation in the office yesterday. I do believe that some people are not only more injury prone than others because of differences in Connective Tissue. I also know that everyone heals differently. As to what is going on in your particular situation, it would be tough to venture a guess. Were I you I would definitely look into COLD LASER THERAPY.

      Dr. Russ

  163. Rosanne

    Dear Dr. Russ,

    I had a hysterectomy 4 weeks ago and everything related to the procedure is healing well, However on the left side of my groin I have been receiving numbness, soreness and most importantly a very sharp localized pain in the area. My doctor said that it is deferred pain from scar tissue resting or growing around a nerve. Can you tell me if this pain will go away once I have been fully healed, will it take longer to heal or is this something that I will have to live with for a very long time (or the rest of my life)? Is there a solution for this problem?


  164. Mary Strong-Spaid

    Interesting. I am told I have interstitial cystitis. Lots of scarring on inner bladder wall. No one seems to know exactly what caused it. Doctor wants to do a “hydrodistention” to break the scars and bring the bladder back to a more normal (larger) size. I am afraid to let the doctor do this, because it doesn’t make sense to me. If scars are forcibly broken open, when it heals…won’t it make even bigger scars?

  165. Carolyn Smits

    I have been reading that scar tissue can be 1000 times more sensitive to pain than normal tissue. Causing Supersensivity to pain. My 40yr old partner has had 3 operations on his hip. The last one was a Tendon Release. He’s now in more pain than ever & unable to sit, stand or walk for more than 20mins. His surgeon now thinks he has nerve damage – Can any thing be done to help him ?

  166. Laural

    Hi; I know of this tissue first hand. I had received 5 c-sections in my life. When I had my second c-section the old scar was removed and I had no problems. But on my third, fourth and fifth they never removed the old scars. They had cut along my “fold” as well. I ended up with three scars at different angles that crossed over each other. Periodically I would have such intense pain in one specific spot that it would cause me to double over in a fetal position until it would subside. It had nothing to do with any certain movement or anything it would just do it without warning.
    When i would go in to talk about this problem with my doctor they would always assume I was just trying to get a tummy tuck… so the doctor finally said I will do a scar revision but I will not do a tummy tuck. I said I don’t care about that just make the pain stop.
    I went in for the surgery (I was to be awake and given drugs to relax me and they used lidocaine injections around the site to numb it. With a laser knife they began cutting away the tissue. Everything was fine until they reach that spot where the pain would be. I felt EVERYTHING. He tried to numb me again and it did not work. I felt every cut in that area. It was the worst pain I had ever felt in my life.
    I know that some military wives would go in and make bogus claims in order to receive plastic surgeries but they should never assume that everyone is lying. I am now experiencing the pain again but I am scared to even discuss it with my doctor. I do not want a repeat of what happened.
    What is this type of scar tissue called? Since I am creating it in my outer scars could there be some of this tissue inside as well causing the pains I feel so deeply? (I have also had 2 laparoscopic procedures, a nephrectomy and a nephropexy).

  167. Nicholas Henchal

    Dr. Schierling, Could scar tissue cause extremely high values on a nerve conduction study test? I saw that you mentioned pain impulses could travel faster, could general electrical impulses be carried faster as well?

  168. Reial

    Well we have been dealing with our daughters issue of pain due to an injury to her foot over 2 years ago. The razor sharp edge of a cafe table sliced down and through just shy of the bone in her pinky toe,removing a small chunk of flesh. We took her to urgent care but they could not stitch it up because they said there was not enough flesh to close it, so we would have to wait for it to heal with new skin.
    Well she has had swelling every since and pain in her foot, ankle, knees, hips and even back. She has been going to Chiropractor, DPM, PT and nothing seem to make this go away. If she stand for more than an hour there is swelling and pain.
    We have bought custom orthotics,tons of compression socks, she has taken water pills, takes ibuprofen, she goes to PT and see an LMT. We even took her to a vascular surgeon and they did the venogram and they could not find the cause of the swelling. He gave us a loose answer that it may be lymphedema or secondary lymphedema, but he was not sure. We are so irritated because one doctor says it could be May Thurner Syndrome but a very mild case. It’s like every one is guessing and know one understands the pathology of the injury. This happened on her 20th birthday and she never ever had a history of swelling prior to this.
    But even if she did have any of the above diagnosis via hereditary placement, would she be at higher risk of having increased swelling and slower healing?
    The area on the top of her toe is hard as a stone. I think that may be scar tissue that is pressuring her nerves and maybe blocking the blood flow. The store and manufacture of the table stated that her injury could not be causing her problems. So we have had to pay for all of her treatments. They did offer us a $50 in store gift card. We just want her to be able to fix this issue so she can lead a normal life.
    Most doctors are not into the holistic aspect nor pathology of a condition. It is all about, surgery or drug treatment.

    • Wow, how generous. A $50 certificate. Honestly Reial, it is tough to tell you anything about this without looking at her, but it certainly could be scar tissue blocking neuro / vascular tissues. Cold Laser or Tissue Remodeling would be good ways to go if this is the case.

      • Reial

        Thank you for your direction this will help us present some alternatives to her doctors. Everyone is stumped and we just want to see if we can stop the swelling.

  169. jOEY


  170. Tom

    I thought scar tissue didn’t have nerves in it and was numb. Where can I read about this super sensitivity scar tissue has?

    • Hello Tom,

      You are very correct that Scar Tissue can be numb or present with other paresthesias. Most of the time, these are from visible scars that are caused by injuries, accidents, or even burns. Sometimes, however, the Scar Tissue is super-sensitive. Although I do not see severe cases of this on a daily basis, they are more common than you think. Look at JILL’S RECENT TESTIMONIAL. She could literally not stand to be touched or she would be in severe pain for 2-3 days. There is lots and lots of information in the scientific literature about this. The first time I heard of it was from the venerable Dr. Dan Murphy —- one of the world’s foremost experts on whiplash injuries.

  171. This is good information if it’s true and I believe it is. However, it’s not about me, but about a friend who had a breast reconstruction operation because of breast cancer. The cancer is gone but the pain from the operation began about a year after the operation. The scar tissue is terrible and sits against her chest wall against her right rib cage. I saw it and was shocked. It’s like a cluster of scars impacting one another in something resembling a skewed target and flat against bone. She was given Oxycontin for several years and the pain got no better and scared her until she was finally taking 360 Oxycondone a month, 15 mgs per pill plus 120 Morphine at 60 mgs per pill. She wasn’t getting better and the pain wasn’t going away until finally the reduction in drugs which Washington State insists upon was worse than the chest wall pain. Your article gives her hope and she was amazed. I thought an operation to remove much of the scar tissue and somehow integrating health tissue into the operation, but that would take a true medical artist, obviously the plastic surgeon who did the initial operation was more a butcher than an one who practiced medical arts.

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