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I think that I may need surgery again?

HeidiLynnMHHeidiLynnM Posts: 445
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:46 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone :H .

I had a microdiscetomy (sp) in june, and I am now in a lot of pain like I was before the surgery, in a way worse. I am wondering if anyone has reherniated their disk again after this surgery? I have a very big feeling that I did, I am in a lot of pain. It did go away for a little while after the surgery, but the last few weeks have been bad.

I am going to see my surgeon on the 23rd, it is a week earlier than planned. I called, and told them that I am in a lot of pain. Can they see if there has been this happening through a xray? I know that I will be able to get one of those, but I will have to get approval if I need another mri. I am very worried that I will need a fusion now :T . I am very scared of that, but I can't take this pain anymore.

Any ideas would be great. I got hurt on the job almost 5 years ago. I waited a long time to get surgery, I tried all of the non-invasive surgery, injections before I decided to do surgery. I now feel like I did a big mess of things. I did my best not to bend, lift for awhile, but I am a mom. I can't not do that forever, and I thought that I was okay to start back to my normal life, but I see that wasn't true!!!!!


  • Heidi,

    It is true that you can reherniate the area again. However till you see the surgeon lets just hope it is not. In the mean time try and find something more positive to focus on. As far as blame don't blame yourself for what has happened, you can't live your life in a bubble. I applaud you on the other hand for sticking with conservative therapy for so long and avoiding surgery. So don't beat yourself up over what happened. Honestly it if it did happen maybe now is the best time and not a year from now or so when you would be truly feeling better.

    Good luck on the 23rd and try to think positive thoughts that you won't need the fusion surgery. Just keep us posted.
  • Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. I just seem to blame myself for a lot! I wonder if it is a mom thing? Anyhow, I guess we will see what the doctor has to say. I don't like this pain at all, it is starting to get old. I am sure everyone else understands along with you :)
  • I haven't had back surgery yet, but had cervical surgeries. I know what "pain returned" is like, and yes it is scary. I know it's hard, but try not to put the cart before the horse. Hopefully your appointment will yield some answers one way or another. I am sending you positive energy in that you will hopefully find it is something that can be treated to make you comfortable.

    And too I agree, blaming yourself? Try not to do that. You just had major surgery, and even if you did every single thing you were told to do, stuff can still happen. You know, like the phrase "Bad things happen to Good people?" I know its hard, but try and give yourself a break and the benefit of the doubt. See what your doctor finds out - we pay them big money for what they know, and what they can do...right? :) Gentle support *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hey there...yes you can reherniate. It's especially more likely within the 1st 3 months.

    But don't worry just yet. Maybe it's just an inflammation? Or a muscle strain. To tell, they will likely send you for another MRI with and without contrast (so they can distinguish scar tissue).

    If you did reherniate, they can perform the procedure again. It's called a revision Microdiscectomy.

    I'll be on later this week. I'm 6 months post op of a revision MicroD on L5/S1.
  • p.s. I agree Brenda on not blaming yourself.
    I tried to figure out what I did to reherniate and the doctors assured me, it was likely nothing I did, it's just a statistical thing.
  • Bingo on that!! "statistical thing" I was having a Lyrica moment and couldn't think of a generically GREAT way to describe it! Statistical is perfect! :) My brain says "Thanks" DNice! :) *hug*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I just wish the statistical thing would work in my favor when I played the lottery instead!
  • I am hurting a lot tonight :( I may have to take some pain meds. I do take tramadol, but it just doesn't cut it anymore. I hope that I will find the answers! If I indeed reherniate, why would they do a revision of the discectomy? I have a lot of back pain too. That has always been there with this. As far as not blaming myself, I thank you guys for explaining it to me. I did feel like it was my fault. I am so glad that there are others to talk to that know just how you feel!
  • Heidi,

    I was told - mind you this is from my possible revision for my neck - they don't always take all the disc material out, hence the re-herniation if indeed that is the case. Remember, "No cart before the horse" okay? My surgeon told me they would have to remove the plate and screw and the graph originally used for fusion so they can regain access to the level that there are problems in. Once they fix what they need to, they insert a new graph or cage etc., and lock it all back down. This is just a basic explanation that I can think of.

    With multiple levels there is more involved. For mine it will be anterior and posterior entry to fix and stabilize (3-4 levels), so it's different there. I've put 2 links that might help you, but again don't try and think bad without knowing for sure yet, okay? The first one is an article on here, and the second a members experience with it.



    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • sad to say that i also reherniated about 8 months following a lumbar surgery. i had a fusion within 2 years of this. i did nothing that i can think of to bring on this recurrent disk. good luck to you, i feel for you.
  • I herniated the level above my fusion at about 2 months post op. I was at PT when it happened. I was doing everything text book. It was just one of those things.

    I'm like DNice, just wish I could experience this kind of luck with postive situations.

    I'll be thinking of you! Wishing you the very best!
  • Just popped in to check in on you.
    Again, no worries until you see the doctor.

    My surgeon tells me if occassionally I need meds, it's ok. I find that during my period I have to take a light muscle relaxer or tylenol with codeine.
    He tells me worry if I start increasing the frequency more than just occassional b/c I overdid it.

  • Unfortunately like the others have said it does happen. But I've also had surgery and irritated things to the point where I thought "oh crap it ruptured again". But it turned out to be just inflammation. From what I've been told your nerves have a memory so to speak they can get imflamed and it feels exactly like it did when the rupture happened. Do you have any weakness or numbness? Don't loose hope it just may be inflammation I will pray that is the case. You asked if a regular x-ray can see anything...in my experience no. They can help see some alignment problems from what I've heard like slipped discs. MRI's and other tests allow you to see whether or not the nerves are being compromised or not. Try not to put the cart before the horse, I know easier said than done! Hopefully your doc can give you some answers on the 23rd. Take care and let us know how it goes...
  • I had a micro-d in December of 2007. I had nearly instantaneous pain relief and it lasted about six months. Then one day, out on a walk, my right leg just buckled out from under me. Al the pain was back plus a whole lot more. I ended up having a three level fusion after that. If a disc is badly torn, as mine were (in half, right through the annulus), more of it can squish out and bother the nerves. Sometimes, when it's just a piece off the outside, removing that little piece will do the trick.

    I truly hope you don't need more surgery, but it can be a possibility.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I am getting the numbness in my feet again, along with major pain. I am having to take my stronger pain meds. I don't normally like to do that but I am hurting a lot these days. I guess we just know our bodies, and the difference in pain. I know that this isn't healing pain at all :(

    Isteller- why did you end up needing a 3 level fusion?
  • Hi Hidi,

    I am in the same kinda position! Micro-d In Jan and have just had a 2nd MRI to confirm I have re-herniated. I do hope for your sake that you haven't but do not blame yourself if this is the case.

    Are you in the UK?
    I am a little confused about the Fusion business! Is this better off if the micro-D did not work?

    Hope you are feeling ok today and getting pleanty of rest.
  • I don't get it. The lumbar failure issues seem to be the levels above, but the cervical the levels below? Weird. I hope you know SOON what the heck is going on. Please try and stay positive. If lucky, PT might be all that is needed? I'll send positive energy your way in the hopes it can be fixed without surgery. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • HJ_Sparks...to answer your question, it really depends. I'll pop over and check out your other post.

    I reherniated. I was told revision MicroD but my surgeon recommended I get a 2nd opinion because, as he reminded me, he's human and not God. Long story short, I got about 7 extra opinions. Some said Revision MicroD and others fusion.

    I did a lot of research and picked the surgery that was best for me based on the information. Neither is better or worse...they are different and really depend on your situation.
  • Surgery 16 weeks ago-feeling fine and horrific pain the past 2 days
  • So this kinda sounds like my last year.

    I was in a car accident in november of 2008, and have had pain since then, but last August it got really bad. I tried everything before going to an orthopedic dr. MRI revealed my L5-S1 disc was out 8mm. So atleast i wasnt crazy.

    Cut to Jan '10, when i started with a set of 3 epidurals. first 2 were great, 3rd felt like the dr broke the needle in my spine. Different dr time, and new mri and xrays revealed that i need a microdiscetomy. End of Feb i got it done, a month later I was back in pro-operation pain, new MRI. It re-herinated. March did surgery #2.

    Pain got better then got bad again, and in the end of Apirl, i had to call the firemen to help me get off the couch to go to the hospital. I could not move. I ended up getting an infection and had to have another emergency surgery and 6 weeks of iv antibiotics. So the pic line came out in the begining of June, but the leg pain never went away. And yesterday I had to get more blood drawn and another MRI.

    Apperantly if the infection comes back, i will have to get it fused right away, if its not the infection i can gamble and see if t will fuse on its own ( 60% chance say my infectious disease md).

    But to answer the question, yes it can re-herniate, and it feels like it did prior to getting the surgery, but watch out cuz its easy to get an infection with the surgery. And you eventually become more tolerant to pain, cuz i was on the really strong stuff, but now i will only take otc meds.

    I dont call this hope, it call this trying to survive.
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