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L4/L5 disc reherniation

BackoffBBackoff Posts: 5
I had a microdiscectomy (L4/L5) in Feb 2011 and now (Sept 2011) it has been confirmed that the disc has reherniated. My surgeon has recommended that we repeat the surgery ASAP. Realistically, how likely is it that reherniation will occur after this second surgery and is fusion inevitable at some point?


  • I'm sorry to hear about the re-herniation. How soom after did you know something was wrong? Did you still have pain after the surgery?
  • Welcome to spine health. Glad that you could join us, though sorry that you have pain.

    It is really hard for us to know about the odds of reherniating again after a second microdiscetomy. I know that there are members on here that the second time was the charm. Unfortunately others have herniated again and then had fusion.

    Did your doctor discuss fusion with you at all, either if a second ones fails or instead of a repeat discectomy?

    I too was wondering when you knew that something was wrong. I had a two level discectomy/lami in July. I am worse than before. I am having an MRI next week to see what is going on.

    Surgery is a very tough, and personal decision. Hard when you have just gone through it 7 months ago.

    Wishing you all the best.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • hi there. thanks for the reply. i was never fully pain free after the surgery but did get immediate relief from the surgery. but about 6 weeks after the surgery the pain began to get a little worse (but not to the same extent as pre-surgery) and has gradually got worse. I had a nerve root injection at the end of June and had about 3 days relief from that and then the pain returned. It has been affecting sleeping recently and an MRI last week revealed that the pain is being caused by a reherniation. My surgeon has said that that repeating the surgery is the best option. If it doesn't work he said he wouldn't do a 3rd microdiscectomy. Hopefully it will work!!
  • Hi Karen. thanks for the reply. I hope the 2nd one will work but like others here I thinking i'll have the surgery and hope for the best. The surgeon has said that that repeating the surgery is the best option. I then asked him if it fails would I require a fusion and he said that if it doesn't work he wouldn't do a 3rd microdiscectomy. I didn't ask about going straight to a fusion instead of 2nd microd as I would like to see if it will work anyway (as fusion is more invasive).

    As I said above about 6 weeks after the surgery the pain began to get a little worse (but not to the same extent as pre-surgery) and gradually got worse.

    I'm sorry to hear about your pain. Surgery is a tough decision but dealing with pain every day of your life is also very tough. Hopefully the MRI will make things clearer. thanks again for your reply. Joe
  • I've heard either re herniation or scar tissue can be the problem. Did the MRI show any scar tissue?

    I'm sorry the first one didn't work. Hopeing the 2nd one will be the charm.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I am one of the ones like you that re-herniated after micro. My surgery was on l5-s1 and re-herniated at about the 3 month mark. I was not ready to do the fusion so I chose another micro. That was in 2006. I currently need a fusion, not from re-herniation but from collapse. My neck is fused from c3 thru c7 and i will delay this fusion for as long as possible.
  • Post Deleted. Member provided detailed medical diagnosis and advice

    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Administrator 09/22/11
  • Hi OC714,

    there was some scar tissue in addition to he herniation apparently - fingers crossed for number 2!! thanks for reply
  • Hi Susan, your surgeries sound like they were tough going. Yes I'll be trying to avoid the fusion but we'll see how it goes I suppose. Good luck and thanks for the reply.
  • i reherniated about 6 months after my discectomy, and had surgery about 2 years later. bummer, eh?
  • hey there,
    i had L4/5 microdiscectomy in March 2011... and it made things way better. For about a week! And then it got WAY WORSE. Total blowout re-herniation. So i had to repeat surgery 5 weeks after first one in April. Now it is 6 months later. I was pain free for a couple months. Then it got worse after active summer. Worse as in, some return of sciatica, cramping in butt.. Since then, more PT, massage, etc. Lot of swimming. Some acupuncture lately, from a guy who specializes in pain relief, has really helped. Getting more fit helps. Honestly, it seems to be a 'flare up' of nerves, I was managing it with NSAIDS, but now it seems to level off, and though i have minor pain and some numbness, its not too bad. I am careful, maintain good posture, exercise regularly, avoid high inflammation foods, etc. And maybe long term low level discomfort is my destiny, and that is fine with me. ANything but the debilitating pain I had! So, I figure, I'll ride this out long as I can... Some gentle back care yoga is feeling good, found a class...maybe that second surgery will be the ticket, but then, be sure to keep your core strength up, be CAREFUL, swim, make it an opportunity to embrace health and wellness to avoid that spinal fusion.... and good luck!
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