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I think I Reherniated for a 3rd Time

So long story short, I'm almost positive that I have herniated for a 3rd time in this same year. I have had two microdiscectomies and a laminectomy (May 30th and Aug. 14th). I've been doing well up until today (well, had nerve pain in my foot, but that was more like the nerves starting to heal.) Then out of the blue today, my back started hurting a lot and I could no longer stand for more than a couple minutes on my left leg. I was out running errands, doing absolutely nothing strenuous when all this happened. By the time I got back home, I couldn't even put any weight on the left leg without excruciating pain in my leg (nerve for sure) and up into my back (that's new).

I called the neurosurgeon and they scheduled me for an MRI but it isn't until next Friday, unless there is a cancellation. I have to use crutches to get anywhere and that is painfully slow. I am almost positive that a fusion (L5/S1 has been my problem area both times prior to this) is in my future and I am terrified. If you've had a positive fusion experience, please let me hear it. I don't want to read anymore horror stories.
Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014


  • Also I know several people who have done a single level fusion and had 12 yrs before the next level went and they were able to help that with a discectomy . Single level fusions are usually very successful it is when two or more levels are fused that the level above and below herniate. I have been researching this for 4 yrs. and was a massage therapist with some osteopathic training for 26 yrs. before my injury so I have a good grip on knowledge about injury and anatomy.
  • smartens162smartens162 Manitoba, CanadaPosts: 361
    but there was a woman I came across the other day who had 3 discectomies in less than a year and was checking in to give a positive update - she was living life and having no ill-effects and wanting to let people know there was hope! I am headed for a discectomy October 29 at L5-S, severely ruptured and living with it for 6 months now (in Canada, things go much slower here)! I hope you will find some lasting healing and success with your recovery, take care!
  • lisamhllisamh Posts: 11
    edited 09/16/2014 - 4:39 AM
    Hi there
    Sorry to hear you might of reherniated for the 3rd time its really down heartening when you think things are going well and then it happens again but hang on in there if it has then you have been through this twice before so know exactly what to expect I know that doesn't make it any easier but you will get through it again . I had 3 microdisectomys / laminectomys within 5 mths last year and now doing great so for me 3rd time was a charm and I now have my life back often fusion is offered at the 3rd herniation but my neurosurgeon wanted to avoid this and tried again so glad he did as not sure about the fusion side of things many people have had different outcomes from it some positive some not so but for myself I really wanted to avoid the fusion after doing my research I'm a nurse and work at the hospital so on my feet alot I'm 9 mths post op now from the last operation and things are really good numb calf and slight back pain mainly in a morning when getting up as soon as day goes on back eases my back will never be as strong as some people as you well know and we have to be a little more cautious of it but all I can offer you is advice on things do get better and I know at the time it doesn't seem that way and if there is a chance you could have a microdisectomy again before the fusion scenario comes up then you might just be third time lucky like me good luck
  • I had 2 discectomies earlier this year then a fusion 5 weeks ago. It's only early days but for me the fusion was worth it. I have minimal nerve pain now (possibly permanent due to time taken to seek treatment & time to diagnose & not to mention the fact it hasn't settled from surgery yet). I still have some lower back pain but my surgeon thinks it just scar tissue flair up & will settle. As I reherniated within 4 weeks both times my surgeon didn't feel another discectomy would be successful. Recovery is slow but I am more able now than I have been for a long while.

    Good luck with your MRI. It's frustrating & disheartening to reherniate but keep your chin up :)

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