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Failed Microdiscectomy

I went to see my Spinal Surgeon today for a six-week MRI review who confirmed what I believed for some time. My microD has failed in that my L4/L5 has a moderate post surgical bulge with fluid from the surgery causing moderate nerve compression. He said I now have the following three options: 1) Conservative care, from which I would most likely not be happy with the result. 2) Another Microsurgery,which would remove more bone from the Lamina, with a 70% success rate or 3) a TLIF fusion with a 90% success rate but a longer recovery which would take 4 weeks to "feel good". I am unsure which of the two surgeries is a better option and of kind of scared of fusion. So right now I am going to just ride it out since I see the doctor again in 4 weeks but I was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience.
microdiscectomy 7-2014


  • In doing.some.research for other I have come.to the conclusion that the old fashioned way also.called the golden standard fusion with your bone or a.donor bone works the best
    I.was.shocked at how many micros had to be done the old-fashioned way with great results and less lawsuits.
  • I had microdiscectomies 8 weeks apart and although I've since had a fusion I wouldn't say either of the microD's failed. Both surgeries for me were successful, I just reherniated (no reason I should have).

    I'm sorry to hear that yours was unsuccessful.

    In regards to a TLIF, I'm early days yet, only 3 weeks post op for single level fusion. I think I've done the right thing. I feel a lot better this round than I did either of the last two. The recovery is definately longer, I'm looking at eight weeks to generally be able to do things and three months before I can return to work.

    Each person is different & I hope you end up with the outcome you need.

    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • Hi Veronica;

    The reason I say my surgery failed is that my disc seemed to bulge again shortly after the surgery so apparently I was not a good candidate for the Micro D. My surgeon did give me the option of having a surgery done removing more bone from the are which would alleviate some of the pressure which he said would give me the "most bang for my buck" as an alternative to fusion. Was your fusion down as a minimally invasive procedure or full? My doctor told me if I had a fusion it would require a 3 to 4 day hospital stay which leads me to believe it would be an open back surgery. I am a really not in rush to have such an invasive procedure done at this time so I may go with the other less invasive one when the time comes. Glad you are feeling better and hope you continue on the road to a full recovery!
    microdiscectomy 7-2014
  • Owie_999OOwie_999 Posts: 176
    edited 08/31/2014 - 5:03 PM
    I had a minimally invasive TLIF. I was told I would have 2 incisions about an inch long. For some reason (I will ask at my follow up next week) I have 1 incision about 2 & 1/2 inches long. I had surgery on a Monday afternoon & went to rehab on the Thursday for a week. Rehab was optional but my surgeon really wanted me to go. It was more about me not going home & doing more than I should (I have a 14 year old daughter with a moderate intellectual disability who requires assistance with self care). I'm glad that I went. I had daily physio & hydrotherapy & came home with good program's for both. I do physio exercises daily & hydro every second day plus walking. I've been told that I'm not to bend, lift or twist for a min of 8 weeks which is only 2weeks longer than with the microD. I'm hoping to get cleared to drive next week. I will also clarify sitting, I've read in my paperwork not to sit for more than 15mins & sit to comfort. I've compromised & sit to eat & if it takes longer than 15minutes I don't stress. My post op pain is less this time round & I started on less pain killers which I'm weaning myself off. I'm only 3 weeks post op so it's early days but I feel really good, nerve pain is gone, I still have a weird ache in my hamstring & my right foot goes numb if I walk too far. Both those are things I can live with although I think they'll diminish in time.

    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
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