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Recovering from Microdiscectomy...just found out I'm pregnant

Hi y'all,

I have been on these boards for a while and found them to be a great help after my recent Microdiscectomy (in July 2013). I changed my username as I don't want to be searchable.

I just found out yesterday that I'm pregnant. I'm 42, and prior to the back surgery I was recovering from a shoulder surgery.

Besides the fact that this is pregnancy is an accident with a capital A, one of my biggest fears is that it could affect my back or that the delivery itself could cause another herniation. I have had two microdiscectomies and my surgeons have said that I simply have a "bad back" and that I will likely need future surgeries. I have a very narrow spinal canal and permanent nerve damage in one leg from Microdiscectomy #1.

My husband says that my health is his number one fear when it comes to the pregnancy, and I am inclined to agree. And yet there is a part of me that wonders if I should go through with it, since I got pregnant on birth control and it feels like a one-in-a-million chance that happened at this age. We did not want kids but it's hard to wonder if perhaps we were supposed to have them.

So I am wondering for any of you who have "bad backs" and have had kids, what was the effect on your back specifically?

Tomorrow I will see a doctor and will try to outline my history to her in the hopes that I can have a frank discussion.


  • I have two kids... never had a micro D, but obviously I've had lots of spine surgeries, and even with a fully fused lumbar spine, I am still able to enjoy and take care of my kids. Best of luck to you.
    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.
  • RollercoasterRollercoaster Posts: 3
    edited 11/08/2013 - 11:30 AM
    Thank you so much for your comment.

    I was hoping more people would chime in, as I'm very interested to hear if there is a higher chance of reherniation during delivery or afterwards, while taking care of the baby. I have had two microdiscectomies and can't have any more -- the next step will be a fusion. So I am scared of A) living with terrible back pain during the pregnancy itself and B herniating somewhere along the way.

    Has anyone else gotten pregnant before they were fully healed from surgery? What did you do to accommodate your situation? Brace, position during delivery, C-section, etc?

    I have yet to speak with my surgeon and my GP just dismisses my fears with some BS about how the reason we are pregnant for 9 months is so the spine can stretch to accommodate. That's great, but unless someone can tell me that having a baby does NOT increase my odds of herniation I don't know what to do and unfortunately there are no clear cut answers.
  • First of all congratulations on your pregnancy.
    May God bless you with a happy, healthy baby.
    I would think your doctors will brainstorm together and come up with the best plan for you and your baby.

  • hollypophhollypop Posts: 86
    edited 11/08/2013 - 1:59 PM
    Write down your questions and take them with you. Be business like and don't let them try to Molly-coddle you. If you already have a gyn doctor, call and make an appointment, bring your questions with you. Ask for a referral to a high risk pregnancy doctor or identify one and self-refer yourself. Nowadays many pregnancies are carried to term successfully despite the mother's having significant medical problems, and there's got to be a road map for managing labor and delivery as well. But your description of your GP makes me think that you are going to have to become more assertive in finding an OB Gyn doc who can give you some idea of the activity restrictions, etc., that might be recommended.
    Ask about the effect of any medications you need, on the fetus and the pregnancy.
    When I had my pre op appointment for my back surgery, I asked how they kept the breathing tube from falling out once they turn you over for the operation. I didn't care that it sounded silly. I wanted to know. Write down questions, ask, and press for a high risk OB referral.
  • Thank you Hollypop -- I have an appointment with an OB next week and another appointment with a different GP. At both places I will be armed and ready with questions. The first appointment with the GP (I just moved across the country, so she was a new doctor) was useless as I was so stunned by the confirmation of the fact that I'm pregnant that I didn't ask nearly as many tough questions as I wanted to. This time around I will be very clear. It's a challenge since no-one here knows my medical history. I am also waiting for my spine surgeon to call me next week. Hopefully all of those factors and a plan will make it easier to make this decision.
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