Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

revision microdiscectomy

I am a 59 years old male. I had a microdiskectomy at L5/S1January 2011. Here it is two years later and L5/S1 has herniated again. I have the MRI and I can clearly see the herniation. I will be meeting with my neurosurgeon this coming Tuesday. The pain in my left leg is absolutely unbearable making it exceptionally difficult to walk. Slight numbness in my left foot. Exactly the same symptoms that I had two years ago. I am pretty sure that my doctor will recommend a revision surgery. I am very well read on spinal health. I fully understand the risks and I know that I will very likely have a good outcome the second time around. But, at the same time it is surgery. And things can go wrong. So I'm just a little bit nervous. That's all. I just wanted to get that out.


  • Sorry to hear you will need another surgery ! I know sometimes they can't save the disc and that's when fusion is usualy brought up by the doctors, With some luck another micro D surgery can resolve your issue,

    But don't be suprised if fusion comes up at your dr visit , It will all depend of course on the MRI and doctors opinion if he can save the disc or not,

    Best of luck, Hope they can resolve your issue without any complications, Just stay positive and try not to worry,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • sounds like your syptoms are similar to mine (see my recent post). pain is an awful thing, especially when it affects your back & leg. my advise for what its worth is - stay strong, listen to all the options, dont ruch a desicion. hope it all works out ok. cheers
    v boardman
  • steven61ssteven61 Posts: 37
    edited 03/09/2013 - 11:54 AM
    I am so sorry to hear this. What do you think caused the re-herniation? I am 5 weeks post-microdiscectomy and hoping to avoid another one. I am struggling with how much sports to return to eventually. For example, I still haven't decided if I should give up tennis or not. Thoughts? Thanks
    Microdiscectomy L5-S1; Jan. 28, 2013
  • Steven - I have no idea. It just came up out of the blue over the course of the last couple of weeks. My first one went smooth as butter. Recovery was quick too. If you are 5 weeks out, I would continue to take it easy for a while and don't over do it. Bottom line, follow your doctors advice. Everyone if different and I don't think its a one size fits all kind of thing. How are you feeling 5 weeks out? Probably pretty good I would guess?
  • Yes, sometimes it does seem to just come out of the blue, although often it is a cummulative result of lots of little things--sitting, posture, lifting, sports, etc. I feel like my surgery has had mixed results so far. It was supposed to help the sciatica pain first and foremost, and that hasn't changed all that much. I can't sit comfortably at the dinner table for more than 10 min. But my back pain is much better, and I can walk for an hour with no back or leg pain. That is a huge change. I am still hopeful because I can at least still see improvement every week. Last week I was cleared for phys therapy and to return to the gym. I am really looking forward to getting back in shape. Little by little I will get better, but it is hard to know if I will return to last year's "normal." Good luck to you!
    Microdiscectomy L5-S1; Jan. 28, 2013
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    edited 03/10/2013 - 12:58 AM
    I re-herniated l5-s1 with in a month of my surgery, My surgeon gave me the choice of fusion or micro. I chose the later. That gave me about 7 years before my disc collapsed which I currently need a fusion but am at a standstill due to other health issues.
    Good luck
  • ouchmybackoouchmyback Posts: 16
    edited 03/10/2013 - 3:18 AM
    Susan - Wow. Within 1 month? Very sorry to hear that. My 1st one lasted 49 months. I was GREAT for all that time. Now I'm back in the same boat. On a scale of 1 to 10 my leg pain moves between 7 and 10. Walking around the house is VERY painful. I see my neurosurgeon this Tuesday and my guess is that he will recommend another micro-D. in the meantime I am taking all kinds of prescription drugs. And the pain meds only help a tiny bit. I am just anxious to get through this and be over and done with it. But at the same time the thought of another surgery and its associated risks is making me a little bit anxious.

    Sorry to hear that you need a fusion. But from what I have read about L5 S1 fusion success rate is quite high. How are you getting around right now?

  • Hey there, I had my initial MD in August 2009. I actually never felt better and at 2 weeks, they were surprised but we stayed the course on recovery until week 10 when I couldn't take the pain. MRI showed another herniation just as big as the first. Long story short, there were mix feedback on if I re-herniated or if the initial herniation was so big that the next piece came out when they turned me over after surgery.

    Anyhow, do not be surprised if they suggest fusion but do your homework. I had the revision and know many people similar to you that had the revision and have been doing quite well. I know that down the road there may be a fusion but so glad I opted for revision (which was Feb 2010). I only pop on these boards occasionally but wanted to tell you that I was sorry to see possible revision but seeing as you got relief the first time, stay positive that the revision will work!!!

    Good luck.
  • OK. I'm going in for my revision microdiscectomy this Friday. Wish my luck.
  • Dave, good luck with your surgery. I am hoping everything goes smooth as can be for you.

    Steve, I am now over 6 mo post-op and I can tell you in my big picture I was nowhere at 5 weeks. Other than the initial surgery site recover IMO 5 weeks is still like the 1st stage of recovery. I am now plaing basketball fairly regularly. Although I am still not going "all out" and prob only play for 1/2 hr max per session I can do a little more every time. I do not think you have to rule out tennis by any means, but it may still be months before you can even run around the court. But if youy are patient and continue to strengthen and heal i def think you can get back to it eventually. As always stay in contact with you docs & PT before any increases in activity!!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • steven61ssteven61 Posts: 37
    edited 03/13/2013 - 5:42 AM
    Dave: good luck with the surgery on Friday. I hope it goes smoothly. Do send updates on your progress. Have you had several MDs at different levels? It seems like you mention one that lasted 4 years, but this most recent one was only a little over two years ago.

    It is great to hear that some of you have gotten years of relief from the MD, even if it eventually led to a fusion. And Ben, thank for sharing that 6 weeks is nothing in the big scheme of things, and that you are back on the basketball court. I saw my physical therapist for the first time yesterday, and he too said that I shouldn't give up on tennis just yet. If in 6 months I am pain free and back in good shape, it can be considered. So, for now, patience, patience, stretch and strengthen. It is time for my morning walk. It is a beautiful sunny day!
    Microdiscectomy L5-S1; Jan. 28, 2013
  • Steve - Nope. I've only had one MD. That was a little over two years ago. So tomorrow surgery will be my second on the same disk. I'm spending today getting mentally prepared. I'm actually feeling pretty good and confident about it. I'll update as soon as I am able.
  • Surgery was a success. It went very smoothly and took less time than my doctor had originally anticipated. But I can tell you I am feeling much worse this time around then I did the first time. Most likely due to the trauma and the scar tissue on my nerve root. But I am hoping and expecting that with time that part will heal up. Left side of my foot still a little numb but not as bad as when I went in. I am still experiencing a little bit of pain in my nerve from my buttox down to the back of my knee. Although not near as much as post surgery. Walking is definitely easier now than it was 24 hours ago. And of course I am still experiencing some pain at the actual surgical site. I realize that at less than 24 hours it is way too early to make any kind of judgment. I know a lot of healing still needs to take place. So none of this really surprises me, but I have to confess that part of me was hoping that I would feel as good as immediately as I did with my first surgery. Also, an odd thing, I am feeling much more emotional right now.
  • catfishmanccatfishman Posts: 185
    edited 03/16/2013 - 4:32 AM
    ouchmyback, hang in there its very early like you said, hope the best for you.
  • Dave: Glad to hear that the surgery went well. It's an emotional roller coaster. That is totally normal. We are dealing with fears about the future, wondering how much pain we might continue to have, hoping that we will be able to return to our old normal, and taking tons of drugs to deal with the pain from the surgery. You have plenty of reason to be emotional. And in spite of the fears, we have to remain positive. It is challenging.

    I am coming on 7 weeks and still have sciatica pain in my leg and foot. But I took a wonderful two hour walk though the orange groves today with my daughter and dog--that is the longest walk I have managed so far. I also was able to watch my other daughter in a tennis match more comfortably than last week or the week before. And all that with basically no more pain meds other than regular ice and ocasional ibuprofen. So, it isn't perfect, but it is progress. Hang in there! Steven
    Microdiscectomy L5-S1; Jan. 28, 2013
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Glad your surgery is over and you are on your way to recovery. Time and patience is what you need now
  • It has been almost 2 weeks since my second MD at L5/S1. The continuing sciatic pain has been horrible and there is still numbness in my foot. So much so, that we had another MRI done to see what things look like. To me, it looks the same as the MRI just prior to the surgery. But I am told that the bulging material that I can still see at that location is not disk tissue, but instead is most likely scar tissue and/or a hematoma. I was very glad to hear this! And the good news is I can absolutely say that I am getting better day by day. Yes there are times when I have a "flare up" and have to reach for the narcotics, but that seems to be happening less often lately.

    So bottom line, I remain hopeful and I am grateful for the excellent skill and care I am getting from my doctor and his staff.
  • steven61ssteven61 Posts: 37
    edited 03/30/2013 - 3:53 PM
    Hi Dave: It sounds like you have had your ups and downs. Sorry to hear it, but glad that you are remaining positive. It is interesting to hear about your post-op MRI. I imagine that in addition to scar tissue and a hematoma, there can be swelling as well. Like you, I still have some sciatica in my leg and tingling/pain in my foot--and I am 2 months out. Although I continue to improve slowly, I worry that it might not fully go away. But at least I am now back in the gym and little by little regaining all of the muscle that I lost over the past 6 months. Keep in touch, Steven
    Microdiscectomy L5-S1; Jan. 28, 2013
  • Steve - cant begin to tell you how much it means to me to hear from you. Yes I still do have swelling but it is slowly reducing. And at the same time my sciatic seems to be getting worse. As little as a few days ago I could sit in my car and at least drive comfortably. But not now. I can feel every little bump in the road.Very uncomfortable, almost intolerable. Come mid April my employer is expecting me to drive to business meeting in Toronto. That's a 4 Hour drive. If I had to do it today I don't think I could make it. But maybe in a couple weeks things will be different. So, right now I can't even put my shoes on by myself. I am fighting back the depression. It's 4:47 AM and I haven't been able to sleep all night. I just took an Ambien and a Norco. Maybe those will help. It's a journey, I know. But right now I'm feeling pretty dark.
  • Dave: I am so sorry to hear that your sciatica is getting worse. I wonder if you are trying to move forward too quickly? It is amazing how doctors are so different in what they ask of us and how they expect us to recover. My doctor insisted that I not drive for 4 weeks. It was hard not to, but I respected his wishes. And once I started driving again, I tried to keep it under 5-10 min. Now, at 2 months, I have gone about 30 minutes, and it has been ok. Interesting that I am more comfortable sitting in a car than in a normal chair... But I could not imagine a 4 hour drive. Hopefully you will be able to postpone that if need be. I just canceled a work trip out of the country in the third week of April. No way could I deal with a 10 hour flight.

    I hear you on the shoes as well. My wife and kids helped me for the first couple of weeks. I recall it being a milestone when I was able to sit in a chair, pull one leg up on top of the other, and tie my own shoes. You will get there.

    You are bringing back all of my memories from 6 weeks ago. It looks like a took the Norco for two weeks, but then as I stopped I started having trouble sleeping. So my doctor prescribed restoril, which I took for a week, and then as needed. A few weeks after that I decided to stop the Nortryptoline as well which I had been on since before the surgery. At about 6 weeks out, I was down to only Ibufrofen and ice. Soon after that I also cut back on the Ibu and now only take it as needed. It is all very slow and gradual.

    It is easy to get depressed. Hang in there, and focus on the improvements. Sometimes they come a day at a time, but the further out from surgery you are the more the pace of improvement seems to slow. For a while I still felt like I was better every week. Now I need to focus on improvements relative to a couple of weeks ago. At least they are still there!

    Go slow with work. I start back part-time this week. I am anxious, but planning to take it as slowly as I can. Good luck!
    Microdiscectomy L5-S1; Jan. 28, 2013
  • I don't know if this will be helpful, or silly, but here is how I first managed to put on my shoes by myself: using good body mechanics and keeping my back very straight, I squatted down so that I could pick up my shoes next to me. No bending forward, and back straight. Then I would stand, walk to a chair, sit, pull one foot up on top of the other leg, put that shoe on without tieing, and put it back down (since I had the other shoe in my hand and couldn't tie yet). Then I would pull up the other foot and cross it over my leg, put that shoe on and tie it. Then pull up and tie the first one. All along you have to be very careful not to bend forward or twist. Hope this is helpful!
    Microdiscectomy L5-S1; Jan. 28, 2013
  • I am 45 years old and reherniated L4 and L5 again after having Microdisctemony in December 2013. The surgery was best thing since chocolate covered raisins was discovered. I felt so good, I went back to umpiring baseball and resuming normal activities with no pain. I know I wouldn't be able to run again, but was able to throw baseball with my two sons, fishing and even played some tennis. However, I recently have a major herniation as a result of having back agitation and then sitting down to fast and the back seized. Sound familiar. Well, I am going back again for same microdisctemony. This time, my felling of worthlessness is magnified to the point of depression. I work for Child Protective services and it's unbearable not holding my own and feel like I am letting my two boys and wife down. I am too young to deal with this, however I loved being off all the pain medicine, steroids and muscle relaxers for the past years after the first surgery. How do I become super smart in protecting future fusion. I love reading everyone's blogs. -sam
    Sam P. Charbonneau
  • mattg38mmattg38 Los AngelesPosts: 10
    ouchmyback - It's been three years since there was activity in this thread - how did your revision surgery go and how was recovering from it?  Hoping it all went flawlessly!  

    I'm finding myself in a similar situation, considering a revision microdiscectomy.  Would be curious to hear more!
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Hi Matt.....
    As you noted, this is an older thread.
    May I suggest that you start your own discussion re your concerns, questions you have, etc....

    More members will likely see you and be able to respond with their shared experiences.

    Thank you!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • mattg38mmattg38 Los AngelesPosts: 10
    Savage- thank you, I previously started a new thread on the topic:


    Just trying to connect and get more activity.
  • ginger65gginger65 EnglandPosts: 13

    Dave, good luck with your surgery. I am hoping everything goes smooth as can be for you.

    Steve, I am now over 6 mo post-op and I can tell you in my big picture I was nowhere at 5 weeks. Other than the initial surgery site recover IMO 5 weeks is still like the 1st stage of recovery. I am now plaing basketball fairly regularly. Although I am still not going "all out" and prob only play for 1/2 hr max per session I can do a little more every time. I do not think you have to rule out tennis by any means, but it may still be months before you can even run around the court. But if youy are patient and continue to strengthen and heal i def think you can get back to it eventually. As always stay in contact with you docs & PT before any increases in activity!!

    Hi Ben I just read your post and what you said about being 5 weeks post open ....I am now 6 weeks post far lateral micro discectomy and feeling a little down with my recovery as I still have discomfort in my back and numbness in my left leg and foot etc .and wonder if there is any difference from before sometimes ...how many weeks did you take to feel significant improvement ?.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.