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Questions - had two lumbar surgeries already

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
First surgery was for severe L5 blow. Second was that it finshed blowing. That surgery was a piece of cake in June, it seemed, and I went to the YW and continued swimming classes thereafter to get strong and stay strong! I did not go to PT. The co-pay and so forth adds up, whereas the YW classes are so good. Thought it would all be fine. But, over the last couple of weeks, it has been really strange and painful. Like trying to lay down, it hurts, and other things. I am afraid to go to the YW NOW, until I get a better understanding of the MRI from the doctor. I am afrad of causing worse damage. I just don't know what to do.

Here I am again. Had an MRI yesterday, and I got the report. I have an appointment with the surgeon in a little over three weeks. That was the soonest I could get.

The last couple of times, the MRIs were so easy to understand, because they clearly said "blown disc" in the medical terminology. Naturally, I don't understand everything in the report THIS TIME! ~X( I saw my primary first, who ordered the MRI. Of course, the other discs other than the Lumbar were not included in the MRI. There was a previous T11 bulge that to me, looks like it is drying now. That was in the MRI but no results on any of the thoracic vertebrae were included in the report! It was requested to do the MRI of lumbar only... Also, in the previous MRI it said that L1 had a slight bulge and in this report, it says that the other things are "unremarkable" which includes that L1. Can a mild bulge heal on its own? My primary should be calling me back with the results. They will probably tell me to call the surgeon, anyway. I'll ask the primary - whoever calls back - what all the stuff in the MRI means, and she may just say "ask the surgeon."

I never heard of Laminar Defect before, and have been looking at the sight. So, I see - it can happen from surgery? And not just from an injury in one's teen years? It is on the right side of the L5 with 3 - 4 mm diffuse prominence of the right side of the disc. Also, why not on the L4 disc too? It is there - and says it is just L4 left laminar defect and it is outside of the IV foramen. I don't understand what that means. What's the IV foramen? I have found the meaning of foramen, but not sure what IV of it means. Will hunt and see what I can find. I'll also look in the posts, as they can be soooo helpful.

Also, can a disc re-herniate once it is desicated? In the final conclusion of the MRI, it states that there is a questionable lateral disc hernation in the left side, without mechanical involvement of the neural structures. It does look like a ruptured disc on the MRI which did surprise me. You know, after looking at a couple MRIs you get to understand what you are looking at and can recognize something isn't where it belongs or that is doesn't line up with the rest of the discs.

I am feeling all kinds of nerve pain or funny feelings, nerve related stuff in my right foot (heel, side of my foot, toes, arch, and so on). I am taking medicine for the nerve pain. That happened when I had the severe ruptured disc, and it has been just about a couple years since I have felt that. So it seems something is aggravating the sciatic nerve, or is it the laminar defect causing the nerve stuff in "gludious maximaus" area and front side of my right theigh, and so on?

Anyway, I said a lot in here. My guess is that I may be in for a fusion when I go see the surgeon! So, any other comments from others who have had such issues, would be great! Thanks!


  • Hi Missy - you have said a lot, but at the same time you haven't told us anything. You had two surgeries before, obviously at the L5 level, but what were they? Microdiscectomies? Laminectomies? Foraminotomies? What did you have done? What was the language that said "blown disc?" A laminar defect means there is something wrong with the bone that covers the arch of our spinal canal. Mild herniations have been known to "reabsorb or shrink back" into the disc space. Do you know for a fact that your disc was desicated? Discs can reherniate. Not all discs that herniate become desicated. IV most likely means inter or intra vertebral. I think your best bet would be to print out this post and take it with you when you see the surgeon. They can answer your questions while looking at the films and give you a good understanding of precisely what is going on in your back.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Linda, I have browsed and see that you are one of the pros on the forum.

    I may make a fresh post in the other forum, for stories of new people. And that may give anyone a chance to comment, and I'll have it better described. I thank you for commenting that I print my questions, and pass them onto my doctor!
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