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Laminectomy, Fusion and now Disc Replacement


Long story short I had a l4-s1 discectomy in 1993 at 17 years of age (bad idea in hindsight) due to back and leg pain. Since then I encountered persistent but tolerable pain until October 2009 when I was admitted to emergency department due to losing all feeling in my left leg and extreme back pain. l4/l5 disc exploded, and emergency laminectomy done. After this surgery my pain was terrible, 7 out of 10 most of the time and tried all kinds of injections and therapies with no success or respite.

So in July 2012 I had an l4/l5 ALIF done. Unfortunately since this surgery my pain is even worse, something I thought was almost impossible. Subsequent scans show surgery successful as far as healing and bone growth etc, but my l3/l4 is now crumbling under the additional stress. I have had l3-s1 degeneration for many years but now it has gotten to the point of unbearable. Basically cannot sit, stand or walk for longer than a couple of minutes. I rehab as vigorously as possible, and am in good health in general. Unfortunately I live on painkillers.

Now I am having an l3/l4 disc replacement done 23 May 2013 and was wondering and hoping whether any other people out there had had similar experiences, hopefully with a happy ending. I do not expect miracles, just a semblance of a life. I have a beautiful 6 month old daughter and gorgeous wife and would like to enjoy my life with them.


  • What has your surgeon said about this? Are they recommending any further surgery?
  • I have now had the disc replacement 3 days ago and was hoping to hear from people with similar experiences
  • I am in a similar situation, but my back just started falling apart from both ends (lumbar and cervical) in the last 2 years. Had my first microdiscectomy in 2011 at l4/l5 due to cauda equina syndrome, and another lumbar surgery a week later to repair leaking spinal fluid. In 2012, I had an ACDF and corpectomy (fusion and removal of vertebrae) from c6-t1. This year, I had another microdiscectomy due to cauda equina syndrome, plus I was told a month ago I needed a cervical disc replaced because of adjacent segment disease. My doctor can't figure out why my back is falling apart so fast at my age (only 33). Now my right arm is atrophying, so I made an appointment to see my surgeon sooner rather than later. I hope I will have the surgery sooner rather than later as well. Hopefully your pain is better now that you've had surgery again.

    On another note, sometimes people just don't respond to posts on here. I've posted 2 in the last month, not a single response.

  • Thanks alot for your response, hope your situation improves. I am 11 days post op and am in tremendous pain, but I am quite hopeful that it will improve in the end. At the moment cannot sit for longer the 5-10 minutes.

    Disappointing lack of responses, but I guess that is the way she goes.
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