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Options after 3rd Microdiscectomy

Hey everyone, I'm new to this, although I shouldn't be. I am 32, and I had my third (in 19 months) microdiscectomy in August, after reherniating L5-S1 for the second time. Sciatic pain returned 6 weeks post op, and can't shake it (swimming 3x week, PT, exercises). Just scheduled yet another MRI to see how large reherniation is now (had MRI 2 months post op, neurosurgeon saw reherniation then). I've read "3 surgeries and fuse", but do not want to fuse so early in my life. Any comparable stories out there?


  • Yes. I have had three surgeries on L5-S1. One micro and then reherniated 2 weeks later and had surgery again (which the doctors count as one). A year later I reherniated and had another micro. This time I had 3 years of total recovery. Then 2 months ago I got sciatic symptions again and the MRI showed a new small hernitation on the other side of the disk. Surgeon said he expects it to heal in another month or two and he is sending me for an epidural injection. I asked him how many Microdiscectomies I could get and he said as many as I choose. He said its always my choice if I want Micro or fusion. He said many people choose a fusion when they are herniating every 4-5 months. So if a Dr. says you have to get a fusion make sure to question that.
  • i herniated l5-s1. 6 months of conservative treatment and i went for the microdisectomy. herniated a week post-op. didn't know it, but new MRI few months later, and i was back in for surgery at the 4 month mark. never got any relief after the 2nd surgery and a new MRI a few months later showed the disc was herniated again. Managed to go a year and a half before i caved and went for the fusion. i had almost no disc left, bone on bone, and back pain was driving me insane. i'm a year and a half post fusion now, and my back still hurts, but maybe no as bad as before surgery. took well over a year though to be able to say that. i'm only 41 now.
    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
  • I have always heard two micros then a fusion. That's what my NS told me. I immediately herniated the disc above my original fusion. I just went ahead and had it fused too. Didn't want to two discectomies then a fusion. My L5-S1 is bulged now, when it goes its another fusion. Now I am just waiting to have my permanent SCS implanted.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
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