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Scar Tissue Formation

Scar tissue is formed in response to inflammation from tissue injury, and is the body’s way of healing that injury. Surgical procedures and radiation therapy both contribute to tissue damage which can cause inflammation to accumulate in tissues surrounding the treatment area. The scar tissue that forms in response to this inflammation is one of the reasons for the restricted movements that can occur following surgery or radiation therapy. Scar tissue, if left alone, will tend to shrink on itself over time, thereby causing the tissues to shorten, restricting mobility of that body part, sometimes permanently. There are physical therapy techniques that can assist in loosening these soft tissue restrictions to allow optimal mobility through the healing process. It is important that intervention occur early in the process of scar tissue formation to insure that tissues heal with appropriate flexibility and mobility. The specialized physical therapists at Oncology Rehabilitation Specialists know the stages of tissue healing, they understand the different effects that chemotherapy and radiation therapy can have on the timing of healing, and will provide the appropriate intervention at the appropriate time to maximize mobility without compromising the healing process.