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I'm going in circles need suggestions advice

fitnessjunkieffitnessjunkie Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm a very fit healthy female where fitness basically rules my life.
I live for it. I have 2 young kids to run after and a business to operate.
I'm also back in school.

The problem is I keep re herniating my L4/L5 disc.
It was my fault the first time around. I went running roughly a week after surgery. I thought things would be okay, clearly they weren't.

Second surgery seemed ok, and I started back up with fitness 3 weeks later.
No running, just very light walking and PT exercises. I'm following my surgeons rules and doing everything very lightly. I use proper body mechanics and am aware of how I move,twist and turn.

So, now I am looking at a possible 3rd operation as I am convinced I have yet again re herniated. I'm looking for those that have had to go through with a 3rd surgery and did that successfully keep you out of the OR for numerous years?
I'm not so sure I want to have another surgery. There is so much frustration and the fact that I live off of pain pills to tolerate just normal day to day actives. I did try to do everything holistic first off and then became a slave to painkillers. Certainly not by choice but because it literally saved my living. I have no fear in the addiction aspect as I know exactly how to safely come off when that (fingers crossed) time comes.

I would like to hear from anyone that has been in my shoes.


  • Are you following your surgeons orders after these surgeries, because as far as I know, there is no turning, twisting, bending, and such for some time.You admit that you messed up only one week after the first surgery. After your 2nd surgery you say that, "I started back up with fitness 3 weeks later." Was this ok'ed by your surgeon?

    Your name suggests that you are a fitness junkie, and I can imagine that it would be difficult to be patient and allow your body the time that it needs to heal, but it is the same for all of us who need to learn the value of patience for proper healing.
    Welcome to spine-health :)))
  • you need to accept the fact that what has happened to your back means that your life will never be the same again. You may need to use something like an eliptical machine instead or jarring your back by running, etc. If you keep re-herniating your disc, it means you are damaging yourself. Eventually, you will have no disc left, you will have bone on bone, and will most likely need spacers and a fusion. You may be young and fit enough for disc replacement surgery if you just have one level. It's great to be fit, but not when you keep injuring yourself.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • What kind of surgery did you have on L4-L5?

    Running a week after surgery??? C'mon.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Your surgeon should be able to give you a good idea of what or why your disc continues to reherniate. Sometimes you can simply sneeze or bend over to tie your shoes and herniate or reherniate a disc. So your exercise regimen may not necessarily be the culprit. One thing you may run into, is that when a disc continues to reherniate, the surgeons tend to want to remove the disc and fuse the level. There are many folks who go on to have very successful athletic careers after having various spine surgeries, including fusions.

    I recommend making a list of questions for you surgeon and see if you can get some answers that will address your situation both long term and short term.

    People who are athletic prior to surgery, tend to find recovery easier and quicker. Attitude also has a lot to do with recovery and life after surgery. It is very possible to find your way and to redefine things as you go. Don't lock yourself into the thought that you have to give up what you love to do. None of us here know or have a crystal ball. Everyone's case is different, everyone's physiology is slightly different. Different surgeons have different protocols for recovery and it is smart to go with the person who has seen your spine and checked its strength and stability and knows you and your history.

    Welcome to Spine Health.


    Spine Health Moderator
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