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Reherniation six years postop ... microdiscectomy scheduled

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Best wishes to you all as I'm somewhat aware of why you're here!

You'll see from my history below that I had open surgery six years ago. Somehow, after all this time, I've manage to re-herniated at the same level, same side, same symptoms only without the foot drop so far (knock on wood).

This past Wed. I woke up in severe pain, excruciating in fact, and could not stand or walk at all. I took two percocet and still was barely able to move using crutches. I was able to get to see a new neuro (we've moved since '03) yesterday. MRI and xrays proved the same level has herniated with large free fragment plus a fair amount of arthritis involving facet joint at L5-S1. Small herniation at that level does not seem to have grown thankfully.

Wow, a day-in-the-life of the wheel chair bound really was an enlightening experience. My heart goes out to those folks.

So, we left with presc. for MS-contin, Medrol dose pack and percocet for break-through pain and microdiscectomy scheduled for week following next, maybe sooner if my foot happens to drop.

They also scheduled an epidural for first of this week for pain relief so I can keep moving as pretty much recliner-bound right now. Is that a waste of time considering I'll have surgery a week later???

Has anyone followed open surgery with a microdiscectomy? How will he deal with scar tissue and the existing hemi from my first open surgery?

I'm wondering how recover will be. I spent six weeks in the recliner last time (I was told to get one before surgery, thankfully we did) with very slow progress walking and in PT. I guess I won't complain if this is about the same as pain relief as immediate, but I can't help but think recovery will go much better.

Any thoughts pre-surgery most appreciated.



  • I am sorry that you are going through this situation.

    Right before my first microdiscectomy I had my fourth ESI. At that time, I had not seen my surgeon who recommended surgery. When I hobbled into my pain management doctor, I was in so much pain that I wanted something done...anything. Looking back...I should not have gotten the injection, because I had already 3ESIs within 4 months time. The ESIs were not really effective for me (gave me about 50% relief). If I had known that my surgery was just in few days, I would have held out. I spent so much $$ on the injections-- just as much as the surgery.

    Well...this is all in hindsight. Right now you are in aweful pain, so the decision would be harder to make. If you know that the ESI will give you a lot of relief....then I maybe I would go for it.

    Oh....for me the ESI didn't kick until 3 days after the injection. Since you will get your surgery next week, you might only get 4 days of relief. I am guessing.

    I ended up having to redo my microdiscectomy because I reherniated in 9 days postOP. My surgeon cleaned up the scar tissue as much as possible.

    Good luck!
  • Sorry to hear you're hurt again. :(

    ESIs didn't work very well for me either. My Dr said it often takes more than 1 to get relief. -Hopefully yours will work for you though...I know how much pain you're in.

    That's great a recliner helped with your last surgery. I've heard other people on S-H say the same thing...but for me it's torcher...maybe because I'm only 11 days post-op.

    Anyways, I just want to wish you good luck with your surgery! Let us know how it goes. :D
  • I think I'm going to pass on the injection. What you both say makes a lot of sense. With not much of a guarantee that the first shot will work, it does not seem worth the bother, the pain(?) and expense.

    Erin, I'm in that same recliner tonight :) I've read it both ways too ... like just about everything else, it's all what suits the individual. Best of luck with your recovery!
  • I had a Discestomy/partial lami in 2002. Felt great until I tossed a suitcase in 2006 and had to go to PT/steroid route. Then was good thru Aug 2008 when I lifted a TV. Reherniated the same disc to the point of eventually not being able to walk on my leg in march 2009.
    Had the microd in march 2009 and am so much better. If I stand up/walk I am 100%. If I sit, I get the butt/calf pains. My doc says its my piriformis and need pt to stretch that out I guess and take the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
    He says since my nerve pains are now in different places than pre-surgery and the spot jumps around it's classic piriformis.
  • Well, things are changing rapidly for me with all pain gone, completely gone all on its own. I do have numbness across the top of my left foot and big toe and weakness such that I can not walk on my left heel so I'd say a 50% foot drop. Walking it sort of unsteady as if I don't have full control.

    My question is this ... would it be safe to assume that the herniated disc material could easily move back where it was last week, with a vengeance, at any time and it's best to go ahead with micro-D to get it out? I'd hate to forgo this only to wind right back where I was as soon as I try to do anything in the way of "normal" activity.

    Thanks for any thoughts on the matter.
  • Well, it's done, whew. Two level Micro-d with steri-strip closures. Guess I need to update that signature :)

    NS said it was "a mess in there." Not that there is no pain, but it's not bad enough to sit around in a fog, at least not right now, so have avoided any opiates since getting home. Really wish they would let me take naproxen (Anaprox), but said to wait a week. I think I'm feeling more inflammation in the muscle than anything else.

    Still lots of burning numbness and a weak foot, but my leg feels much more in control while walking than before the surgery. It took a year for me to really know last time how far my foot would recover so time will tell in that department.

    Take care all, Bucky

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