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2 previous surgeries L4/5-what are options now?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
I have had 2 previous disc surgeries at L4/5 and am experiencing pain again. I recall that the NS told me that if I needed surgery again would probably be a fusion which I don't want. Does anyone have experience with a third disc surgery at same place or is an artificial disc a possibility? Any ideas and experience would be appreciated. James


  • i dont have your single disc problem but i believe adr is an option to you. adr has been approved by government. there are certain conditions in that if you have adjacent level problems you may not qualify. look for a spine surgeon with sufficient experience in adr......pete
  • Pete- I had previous surgeries at Mayo Clinic- don't know if any of the docs there do this or not. How best to find docs that are experienced (and open ) to adr? thanks
  • i am in the same situation as yourself regarding 2 previous operations ..and i have been offered a fusion .BUT all of my medical friends and family have urged me NOT to go through with it ,maybe you should get more information and make up your own mind but i would advise against
  • Thanks for the comments- I agree that fusion is not a good solution. Wondered if anyone had 3 disc surgeries on same location before they started talk of fusion or if 2 was the typical "limit". I will keep everyone posted on progress.
  • Hi, there.

    I have been told the same thing... I've had two diskectomies at L5-S1, and now have herniated the same disk again.

    My surgeon told me he'll do two diskectomies at L5-S1, then the third time is fusion. He also said ANY of the other levels (including your L4/5) he only does one diskectomy before going to fusion. Not sure why...

    He did say I was at greater risk to herniate higher up after fusion, especially since I already have a bulge at L4/5.

    I'm in significant pain but am trying to hold off. It's been three months and has gotten somewhat less painful, so I'm going to wait and see how I am at six months, which is apparently the magic number. After six months he said many patients don't get full pain relief even after the fusion.

    Good luck.
  • The reason why they cannot continue to do disc surgery is because they run out of disc to remove. There is literally nothing left and you are left with a bone on bone situation, which as you can imagine is very painful.

    You need to have some procedure to replace the disc so there is a spacer between the bones. If you are a candidate for ADR, that might be an option. Otherwise, fusion is about the only thing left.
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