BACKGROUND: Epidural fibrosis is a challenging topic in spinal surgery. This phenomenon constitutes one of the main reasons behind postlaminectomy syndrome or failed back surgery syndrome, which leads to persistent back and leg pain in association with compression and/or stretching the nerve root or the dura. The exact mechanism of action in epidural fibrosis is complex and remains uncertain. Excessive deposition of collagen, fibronectin, and dermatan sulfate, known as the "extracellular matrix," and decrease of tissue cellularity results in epidural fibrosis. The most investigated and important actor in epidural fibrosis as well as in other forms of aberrant wound healing is presumed to be transforming growth factor-1 beta formation. Tamoxifen (TAM), a synthetic nonsteroidal antiestrogen used in breast cancer, is also effective in inhibiting fibroblast proliferation via downregulation of transforming growth factor-1 beta.