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Disk replacement?

Just curious if anyone here has had lumbar disc replacement surgery?. If so how did you recovery go?

I've had 2 discectomys at the L5-S1 level and have DDD and Stenosis. After my second surgery my back pain, foot numbness and sciatica were gone for about 6 weeks and then it returned just as bad as it was before my surgeries. I'm about to complete intense PT where they use RX lumbar machines etc and am pretty close to my target goal set by my dr. as far as weight goes. but my pain seems to be getting worse. I had a checkup with the dr. about half way through my PT program and was told that if I did not see improvements by week 6-7 (which is next week) that he was going to send me back to the surgeon to see what my options are. They were hoping that by strengthening my back muscles and core muscles that my pain would get better which it has not. I'm to young for a fusion (28) and the pain is affecting my daily life and its greatly affecting my work.

Anyone who has had a disc replacement please tell me how it worked out for you.



  • I am 32 and I'm scheduled for a fusion on Monday. My surgeon doesn't do ADR because much of the research shows, especially in the lumbar area, that they don't work and may cause even more problems I know there are many people on this site that have had them so hopefully somone will be able to help you out. Good luck.

    Single level L5/S1 360 fusion with 6 screws and a rod (10/29/12)
    Diagnosis: Grade 1-2 spondylolithesis, Pars Defect, L5/S1 disc tear anterior and posterior, DDD, spinal stenosis
  • Sorry to hear that you have already had two microdiscectomies and now need another surgery, especially at your age. I had a discectomy/lami, which did not improve my problem at all, so I agreed to have an adr 8 months ago as my doctor thought that it would be better than having a fusion ( I am much older than you ..41)

    Unfortunately, for me, I am in the same boat as before surgery. The adr did not help me at all. I know that many people have alot of success with adr, but I was not one of them. Please be sure to get a couple of opinions before you have surgeryfrom fellowship trained neuro or othopedic surgeons. Do you know what shape your facet joints are in? This can make a difference on how successful adr is. I have moderate facet hypertrophy, which my doctor was not concerned with, but I know many surgeons will not place an adr if you have facet trouble.

    Wishing you all the best. Please keep us updated on how you are doing.
    >: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
  • This is what I've already had done: Hemilaminectomy, Microdiskectomy, Bilateral. I had this same surgery a month after the first because my disc reherniated the day after my first surgery while the PT had me up walking. I've tried the steriod injection which actually made me feel worse. I am a little over weight but the back pain makes it difficult to do anything about it. I'm ready to give up and just accept the fact that I'm always going to be in pain and wont beable to do some things I used to beable to do.
  • Well saw the Spine Dr. at my PT office today. We discused what was going on and the fact that I do not feel like i'm getting any better. He came to a conclusion that at this point in time I'm just spinning my tires doing PT. He wants me to visit my my surgeon again and see what my options are (if there are any).

    I've been taking things pretty easy at work and really not doing much other than advising some of the newer/younger employees. Well the last couple days I decided to try a full work load just to see if maybe I was a little better or not. I can say with total confidence that my lower back pain is no better then it was before I started the MED-X Therapy. After an hour of doing "Normal" work my lower back felt like it was on fire and as if someone was sticking a knife in it and twisting. my toes also became numb. I have an appointment with my surgeon on the 12th so I guess I will see what the next step is then.....
  • I believe its "Artificial Disc Replacement"
  • I had two level ADR L4/5 and L5/S1 6 weeks ago and feel great so far! I'm in UK so not sure how common it is where you are. But, for me, it has changed my life already :-)))))
    I had tried Physio and various other non invasive methods for years before going ahead with the op so knew I had no choice but surgery, I didn't want a fusion, especially at 2 levels, selection for ADR and having the right surgeon, is, in my opinion, the key to a successful outcome ! Do your research beforehand so you know what to expect, personally, it's the best thing I've ever done :-)))
    Surgery = 2 level Active L replacement discs
    L4/5 L5/S1 Sept 2012, feeling great !
  • Thanks for the encouraging news Buckaroo. I will find out on the 12th if my surgeon thinks I'm a good canidate for the ADR or what other options I may have. I've read that people who have stenosis arent the best canidates for it, but I've also read that it does help stenosis patients in most cases. So we shall see.
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