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Any success with 2nd MicroD?

Has anyone had success with their 2nd microD and not had to have a fusion in the future? I am 26 and herniated my L5 S1 last summer and had a microD. Well, 9 months later, here I am again. Same disc...different side than before though. (Not sure if that is good..bad...or what). To be honest though, I went back to living normal life and lifting heavy weights again.

I most recently hurt it lifting boxes for a yard sale. Of course, my neurosurgeon says there are no guarantees with this one and fusion would be my only option should it happen again. I"m scared to death of having a fusion, especially at how young I am! He gave me that option this go around, but I just don't know if I am ready for that! I hope I am making the right decision to try a microD again. Surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday.

I've done a lot of reading on here but can't seem to find anyone who has had permanent success with their 2nd microD.

Are you out there? I hope so!!

Scared and confused



  • but i had a microdisectomy and hemi-laminectomy back in 2010. 4 months later i had the revision. i had herniated a week post surgery, didn't know it for a couple of months though, until i had the new MRI done. 4 months after the 2nd surgery a new MRI showed it was herniated for the 3rd time. i managed another year and a half before i caved and went for the fusion. its been almost 2 years now since that, and while i'm not pain free, i am better than before the surgery. still have good days and bad days. but some of the problem could be the recent diagnosis of a connective tissue disorder. my surgeon thinks that's the reason i had all the disc problems in the 1st place.
    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
  • :( Anyone else out there willing to share their story?
  • PaulPPaul Posts: 730
    edited 05/07/2014 - 6:27 PM
    Ok, I'll share.

    I had a Micro-D. Then, I ruined it by repeating the same things that herniated my disc in the first place.

    You see, the disc is like a jelly donut. If you squish it, the jelly (called nucleus populsus) inside breaks thru the outer dough covering (called the annulus).

    3 things then happen: the nucleus material impinges the nerve root and also irritates it with chemicals. Also, the torn covering remains open since the nucleus material is sticking out.

    The extruded nucleus material needs to be grasped out of the opening, so it can close. Once the obstruction is removed, the opening closes by forming scar tissue over itself. Except that scar tissue is not as strong as annulus tissue which wasn't strong enough to contain the nucleus material in the first place.

    At a point that came much much much later, I finally understood all that ^. I finally learned that once a disc is compromised, it will always be compromised. It has a much lower capacity. So when I stopped lifting things, I stopped having trouble. It's been many years and knock on wood, it's hanging in there!

    My advice to you: Try as best you can to learn and accept the above. If you still end up having trouble afterwards, well you know you gave it a shot and can be at peace with yourself.

    And I agree with you about the fusion. I'm trying like heck to postpone it. So far, so good but I know I might have to face it one day.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Thank you for sharing, Paul! That is some hope! I am a week post-op today. I feel pretty good--thankfully the leg pain is gone! However, I'm still dealing with some numbness in my calf and foot. Hopefully that will eventually go away.... I'm going to try to do everything I can to avoid the fusion! Like not go back to heavy lifting/cross-fit. I'm still scared to death of re herniating...as I'm sure so many folks are. I'm glad to hear you've managed 6 years though!
  • My surgeon said a second microD on my disc would leave too little disc material behind. My L4/5 disc has been degenerative for 10 years now, I'm 36 now. And the surgeon doesn't feel comfortable cutting me loose after a 2nd microD knowing very well I will be back in less than a year. So, here I am, waiting for my surgery on 6/9/14.

    Thankfully my biggest issue with my back is not so much intense pain, but instability in my spine. Bending, lifting, twisting and anything that places a load on my spine will cause intense pain. I can "get by" living a life of zero activity, but that's not the life I want.

    So I'm taking the plunge hoping I can return to a normal active lifestyle.
    The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
  • My surgeon says they will fail 1000 out of 1000 times. I strongly disagree with him but to each his own.

    I would suggest getting several opinions from both neurosurgeons and orthopedic.

    It sucks that your surgery only lasted 9 months but I bet your 9 months of being pain free was pretty awesome.

    Best of luck,

    MircoD of L4-S1 on 3/5/2014

    MRI stating either re-herniation or post-op granulation tissue- 5/16

    Re-herniation confirmed, ESI on 5/29
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