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Disk removal ONLY

Hello. I am new to this forum. I have had lower back pain for a couple of years. I was told it was a bulging disk and did PT. If I walk often and do my PT exercises my pain is manageable. Last week I had bladder surgery and they found that my L4-L5 disk was extremely large and almost completely covering the nerve root. The neurosurgeon could not believe that I did not already have permanent damage. Here is my question...the neurosurgeon wants to go in THIS WEEK and remove the disk completely only. He isn't planning on fusing the vertebrae or adding an artificial disk. Has anyone else had this done? It seems like you need something there, but the surgeon told me no. I would appreciate any surgery insights! Thanks!



  • I think I saw a few posts like that but it seems most of us only have a portion of the disc removed. If you are confused make sure the doc or at least his nurse gives you a full explanation of the surgery. In my case I wanted to know exactly what they were doing to me. Its important.

    Good Luck
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • I've not heard of this, but I'm not a neuro surgeon either. I'd ask for some specific details, as in... what is going to prevent the two bones from rubbing together. Good luck with your surgery and recovery!
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • I had a microdiscectomy last month on L5-S1. They only cut out the piece of the herniated disc that was sticking out. I have done a lot of reading on-line and don't recall seeing disc removals. I did look into disc replacements, and discectomies. I agree with the posts above: ask lots of questions, and do as much reading as possible on the internet. Good luck!
    Microdiscectomy L5-S1; Jan. 28, 2013
  • Thank you for your replies. I haven't really found anyone who had this either. I asked the surgeon why he was doing it this way and he said that my disk was pretty degenerated anyway and there would not be any difference between no disk and the way mine had degenerated (if the herniation went down). He just said he thought this way was better. Unfortunately, this has been a hurried job idea due to insurance changing at the end of the month and the way my nerves looked completely compromised on the CT scan. We have mostly just spoken on the phone and a quick 10 minute eval he did of me between his rounds. I decided tonight to put off surgery for now. I am going to try to talk to the surgeon again tomorrow morning. Like I said before, if I keep up with my exercise, the pain is manageable and I can do most things that I want to do. He is just worried about permanent damage, but I hate to have surgery and be in more pain or be more limited then I am now.

    I have read A LOT on here and learned a lot. I have also watched many of the videos. I also have not found out much about complete disk removal. Does anyone know of any other reputable websites with good info? Thank you for the replies. I will keep reading through the forums more carefully now and see if there is something I missed.
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