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how much disc was removed?

greasyggreasy Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a discectomy and the surgeon said he removed 60% of my disk, which I thought was alot, but then again i don't know the norm. How much did you have removed, I know everyone will be different depending on the size of the herniation.


  • Greahsy,

    It does depend on how large the herniation is - my OS offered a discectomy, but advised against it because at the time he estimated 70% of the disc was out and he believed I would re-herniate or degenerate within a year's time. This was back in Feb. He also offered a Fusion and said it would make more sense, but still wanted me to try and wait it out. I did, until now - can't deal with the discomfort - I also have grade 2 spondy and am schedued for a TLIF on 3 Aug.

    Since you had about 60% removed I would recommand you take it easy to get the longest benefit from the procedure. Be careful so you can avoid a fusion if possibe. Hope you are feeling relief after the procedure - just take it slow. A good friend of mine had a micro-d and felt great - so great he was back on his motorcycle within two months - he is now in bad shape and facing a fusion.

    all the best, mike
  • I'm not sure how much of my disc was removed in my first operation. I had a microdiscectomy and foraminotomy in December 2007. They removed what had squished out onto my nerve. I got a good six months of relief out of that surgery. It wasn't until I had further problems and they did the discogram and CT Scan that they realized that all three discs had torn through the annulus from left to right on all three levels (don't ever fall backwards onto your lawn mower!!). It was then they realized there wasn't much they could do but fuse all three levels.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Signavy you really shook me up about your OS explanation. A fusion, I don't even know what that is yet but I'll look it up.

    My neurosurgeon told me before the surgery happened that I would be taking a chance of the disc above it herniating. I looked at the MRI with him on his computer and said it already is isn't it. He said yes and the white at the end meant it was probably tore right through but luckily compressing the thecal sac, at least for right now. I can just see it now, a year I won't even have a life, so depressing when already depressed. They cut my spinal cord so its leaking and have headaches all day and I am ready to go insane, wait a minute, I already am.
  • Hi Greasy,

    Don't get upset about something that may or may not ever happen! Nobody has a crystal ball.

    I would just like to point out that a friend of mine had a microdiscectomy and it lasted for 15 YEARS. He might not have ever had to have had another if he didn't play football and soccer all the time.

    I was told they can fix a disc TWO times, after that, then a fusion. This same friend also had a fusion, and while no picnic for a couple of months, is fine now; playing and coaching soccer!

    Take care and RELAX.


  • As Sugaree says you should relax and not worry about what might or might not happen - it is no way to live life. I just think that it is important to protect and preserve the work your NS has already done. Just recognize that your spine is not the same and be mindful about adding unnecessary stress. There are many pro athletes that have micro-ds and go on to continue to play their sport. Our discs are pretty tough, but when they have been comprimised I think it is smart to take it easy - especially while you recover.

    My herniation was really bad and my OS would have given me a micro-d if I wanted one - he just believed that I would re-herniate within a year - as it turns out I am glad that I waited because my disc just degenerated and that is why I need the fusion. Again, just to re-cap no one has a crystal ball and just so you know how unpredicable things are - I have another friend that herniated his L5 lost about 40% of his disc and did nothing in terms of surgery(this was 12 years ago) and he is still doing great. Just take it easy and don't push things to much. That said, I think you will be fine.

    All the best, Mike
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