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3.5 months after Micro D

brokenbrianbbrokenbrian Posts: 69
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
A posted awhile back about how I had a micro D on 7/19/10 and within the first few weeks I was reherniated. Since then I have been doing alot of decompression on the DRX 9000 machine. I am definently feeling better. I will have to go in for an MRI soon and see if it has shrunken any from the 5mm it was a few weeks after surgery. I hope that there are still things that are healing because my back hurts more than before surgery... but I guess its mostly a soreness.

Anyways my doctor mentioned a revision micro D and If it was gonna happen the best time would be middle of November (for work and insurance purposes). I guess what I'm trying to say in this long rant of mine is I donno if I should live like this in hopes that it doesnt get worse or if I should get the revision??? btw I just turned 25 and have had l4/l5 and l5/s1 herniated for just about 3 years now.

Also I have talked to my dr and he is leaving it completely up to me and isnt trying to force a decision. I know that at the end it will be my choice, but I would sure feel better if anyone would give me their opinion.

Thanks-- Brian


  • Hi brokenbrian,

    You are right that it will be your choice in the end.
    I guess my question is - what are your symptoms?

    I ask b/c I was like you. I reherniated with a few weeks of the microdiscectomy. To be honest, I think the other piece was there an just came out after they sewed me up.

    Anyhow, I got all sorts of opinions -> revision, fusion, wait it out. I did a ton of research and even reached out for a remote opinion to cleveland clinic.

    I think you need to consider your symptoms, not just the MRI results.

    1 - is it lower back pain?
    2- is it leg pain?
    3 - is there leg or other numbness?
    4 - how bad on a scale of 1-10?
    5 - what meds are you taking to get through the day or week?

    I ask these because they will help the surgeon's give you insight.

    For me, I opted for the revision because I still had extreme leg pain, back pain, and significant leg/buttocks/foot numbness. If I just had the back pain, no sure what I would have done.

    I guess if you can answer these questions I can give you guidance.

    But remember typically they'll do the microD 2x and after that most surgeons will tell you the only option after that is Fusion. I have heard some doctors will do microD 3X but not sure.

    The key is that technology is always advancing.
    My goals at 40 are probably different than yours are at 25. I had goals to keep running but after the herniation...I had goals of just ensuring I could stay active (hiking, biking, swimming, walking) even if I had to give up running. I also didn't want a fusion. I wanted to take the least invasive course of action to try to buy me time until technology advances. I hope I never need another surgery but each day is a new day. If I do, I hope there are better options than fusions.

    Just curious ->are ESI injections an option for you? You might want to ask before going with revision.

    I'm 9 months post-op of revision and I have improvements over the 1st surgery but I'm still in daily pain. I'm pleased with the results because I can now walk without a limp and work again without being on pain meds.

    On the down side, I still don't have any feeling back and still have daily pain (but I use tylenol/Advil to manage); I'm definitely not where I wanted to be but better than I was before and after the 1st surgery.

    I'll try to pop in to see if I can help you with things to consider after you reply to my questions.

    Oh - definitely get a few opinions. I got 7 before my 2nd surgery but I'm an "avoid surgery if possible" type of person.
  • Thanks for the reply, I should have been a little more specific in my post. My pain is always changing. I still get pain in my foot/leg but nowhere near as bad as before. Sometimes it hurts in my foot, and sometimes my leg. But there are still times when I feel almost completely normal. I am a pretty active person, I always have weekend projects and I like to work on my cars and fix them up.

    Right now AI can live with the pain. I guess the thing that scares me is that although I can manage (even tho it still sucks) what will happen when I stop doing my treatments and get back to some of my weekend projects.... Its probably gonna get worse.

    I have sold my snowmobile and gave up golfing... 2 things that were really hard for me to do. But I cant just "take it easy" and have everyone do things for me like they have since july. I need to get to point were I can do things the smart way and not be in alot of pain right after if that makes sense. I know thats probably alot to ask for I just need to find a way to get out of pain for atleast a year, hopefully more. And I agree, technology will get better and we will all have more options.
  • If traction is helping you, you might look into the Saunders Hometrac unit.
    I bought one on eBay (under $200.00) and it helped me in a previous bout with pain.

    I have had traction on VAX-D machines, the Triton table, and another brand I can't remember righ now. The office visits were pricey, so I got the home version. It sure feels like it pulls the exact same as the pro tables in the offices.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Well it looks like I will get one more MRI this saturday and meet with the dr monday. Still not sure whats gonna happen but if I have to get the revision I will be as positive as I can be and hope it works, atleast for a few years. They told me if it doesnt than fusion and I just cant do it.
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