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2nd time L4-L5 Disectomy

mon82mmon82 Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had L4-L5-S1 disectomy in December 2008. The pain has returned unfortunately. Did my MRI and it showed L4-L5 herniated pretty bad. L5-S1 isn't as bad. Now I have bad pain shooting down my left leg, in addition to the tightness and pain in my lower back. Before the surgery, I didn't have the shooting pain down my left leg and foot but it was really bad when the pain hit me - it would put me down for days and i couldn't move until the inflamaion went down.

At any rate, I went for epidural injection two weeks ago. Nothing really changed. Pain was not there for 3 days and then it came back. I'm going for another one this Friday.

My surgeon told me if epidural doesn't help, then I may need another disectomy. I asked him about a fusion; he said it's much more serious surgery for the conditions of my lower back.

Wanted to ask out there. If you had a 2nd discectomy, how was the recovery? How have you been since then? Of course, I know each of us is different and the stats say 15% of first time patients with discectomy end up getting a second one. I know that I can't predict if it will herniate again after a second surgery, but just wanted you to share your experience if you had the same thing and how it's been.

Thank you. Best to all of us who suffer with back pain. :(



  • Im on my second one and doing pretty good so far. I reherniated right away after my first surgery. And went just over a year before I had the second. I did see small slow improvements over the last year but it just wasnt quite enough.

    I think its always best to go with the least invasive. If you decide to have another discectomy you could get a few good years out of that and technoligy could advance and you might have more options. If you do a fusion there is no going back.
  • Mine was doing good 2 years post op, but then I did something stupid one day and blew it out again. Had it not been for that, I would have been fine.

    For maintenance, I was/am using a home traction device.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • I'm 1.5 years out from my 2nd MD at L5S1 and I'm doing ok. I never got any feeling back but got significant strength in the leg back and the leg pain drastically reduced.

    Recovery is different for everyone. For me the recovery on the revision was easier than on the initial one. Not sure if it's because I knew what to expect or if it is because they did nerve monitoring on the revision since they knew they were dealing with a larger herniation & scar tissue.

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