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Epidural lysis of adhesions (LOA), also known as the Racz procedure, is a minimally invasive spinal surgery that removes built-up scar tissue in the epidural space of the spine. The epidural space is a tube-like structure that runs the length of the spine from the base of the skull to the sacral region.
Scar tissue can build up in the epidural space for a variety of reasons. Previous spinal surgeries or spinal injuries can lead to an accumulation of scar tissue. Most of the time, epidural scar tissue is harmless. However, in some cases, too much scar tissue builds up. When this occurs, the scar tissue causes compression along the spinal nerves, triggering inflammation and pain.
Besides scar tissue accumulation, your doctor at Kayal Pain & Spine Center may also recommend LOA to help treat other spinal conditions, including:
Lysis of adhesions is typically recommended when more conservative options, such as steroid injections or oral medications, haven’t been successful.
What to expect before, during and after LOA
The lysis of adhesion procedure is a fairly simple outpatient procedure because of the minimally invasive techniques used. The skilled and experienced surgeons at Kayal Pain & Spine Center can perform the surgery quickly and with little to no side effects.
Patients receiving lysis of adhesion are given local anesthesia, numbing the surgical site to prevent any pain. After a small incision is made, your doctor will use real-time imaging to direct a catheter to the location of the epidural scar tissue. Via the catheter, your doctor will inject a medication at the scar tissue site. This medication is specially designed to deteriorate scar tissue and reduce swelling, which can help alleviate pain. In some cases, the catheter itself will be used to break scar tissue apart, allowing the medication to work more effectively.
After the procedure, you will rest in the recovery area for a short period. This is an outpatient procedure, so you will return home the same day. Patients who receive lysis of adhesion are typically able to resume their regular activities the next day.
Discover the advantages
The most significant benefit of epidural lysis of adhesions is the pain relief that comes after the surgery. LOA can help reduce or eliminate chronic back pain caused by built-up scar tissue. While most patients don’t feel the positive effects immediately after surgery, they do experience notable pain relief within a few weeks.
The pain relief from LOA lasts for several months. You can extend your relief from LOA with ongoing physical therapy. The elite team at Kayal Pain & Spine Center provides comprehensive treatment and can help maximize the benefits after the procedure.
Because LOA is a minimally invasive procedure, you will also benefit from small incisions, shorter recovery times and minimal scarring.