Scar tissue always occurs after surgery. Most of the time, the scar formation is minimal and has no bearing on the outcome. There are unusual occasions that scar can form and tether the nerve root. This can induce nerve pain. There is no way to predict beforehand that this scar will occur.
Scar in the muscle almost never causes long-term pain. If an ALIF surgery is performed, scar can occasionally cause bowel adhesions.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.