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3 failed back surgeries

ronnie66rronnie66 Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi there,

I am 35 yrs old and have had 3 back surgeries over the past 2 years. the first was a discectomy 2-was disc fragment and the same with the 3rd. now after an MRI i have another small bulging disc L5-S1 and another small bulge below that. i have to see my surgeon in a couple of weeks. Pain meds Oxycontin 20 mg 3x daily, oxycodone 5 mg 2x daily and gabapentin 300mg 3x daily. not really working. I am taking aqua therapy 3x weekly and no relief. i know before i had my recent MRI my surgeon said there is no way a 4th surgery would be possible but i an hoping that after he sees my new MRI he will change his mind. I am in pain 24 hr a day, there is not a time when i am pain free or have even the slight bit of relief. I am out of my mind and don't know what to do anymore? Anyone else out there like me?



  • If you have 3 failed microds at L5/S1 why would you bother trying it a 4th time? There isn't much left to work with. Seems kinda pointless to me. Your present method isn't solving your problems. Trying a microd is always a safe bet first time, sometimes second time around. Surprised he even went a 3rd time. Fusion is the next likely solution. Not that it fixes everything. But when the disc is gone, it's gone. You need some space between the bones.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I had 4 failed fusions and it took the 5 th one to get it right. The surgery for me was not a option it had to be done due to the dangers I was in. I am so glad I had it done. Do I still have pain? Yes. It is not the horrible crushing pain that I was having prior to surgery. And yes I am finally successfully fused. The decision to have surgery is a personal one that only you and your Dr. can make
  • Read again Susan. He is talking about have 3 microdiscectomies, not 3 fusions. Very big difference. After 3 microd's they have removed, shaved, cut up a lot of disc. Not to mention he has fragments, so more loose disc. They don't grow back. Once most of it is gone and you loose that spacing. Cutting it more doesn't make anything better.

    You had 4 failed fusions. Very different surgery. They are not cutting more and more bone away. They're trying to glue and screw your bones together.

    If you had a 5th revision and it worked then you got really lucky. Most with failed fusions have a hell of a time fusing even on the second try. You are an exception to the rule and damned lucky. Tell me how many other people have posted on this forum being successful after the 5th attempt? Go ahead, show me even 1.

    Good for you if it worked.

    Just out of curiosity why did the 1st 4 attempts fail and 5th one worked?
  • They might have had to ad in other levels would be my guess. Its hard to find a dr that will revise 1st failed fusion sometimes. I dont think i ever heard of anyone else having 5 revisions unless other levels ended up giving out after the 1st fusion.

    So i am sure there were other complications that came in to play with the 5 surgeries to get everything resolved. You got very lucky you had good outcome. Happy to hear a good outcome after they went in so many times.

    As my last Neuro said to me. The more we have to go in there the more damage can be left behind from the surgery. I suffered nerve damage already from my first surgery. So in my situation i am fused solid. No movement at the level. Everything else looks good.

    All it takes is the 1 time to sustain the nerve damage. After that no surgery is going to help you. After 3 surgery i have my confirmation this is as good as it gets .

    Now its in my hands if i can beat the pain on my own with medications, or take there advise going to the best in the area for 3rd trial of the scs or the pain pump,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Ps. Yes i agree with Zo6. You can only shave the disc so much before its shot! Its done the 1st time some get lucky and it helps get it off the nerve. My cousin she got very lucky and was able to avoid fusion with the micro d. But as dr,s told her if it bulging out and it has to be shaved again then they wont do it. Just fusion after that.

    So if anyone was lucky enough to get releif with micro d. Always be aware and dont over do it because you on your way to fusion wonder land if you blow it out"
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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