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Reherniation after Microdiscectomy

MiagiladyMMiagilady Posts: 3
edited 02/13/2015 - 5:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm new to this website, so hi everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful day. I had a microdiscectomy for herniated L4--L5 on 1/19/15, and then I reherniated and had to have a second microdiscectomy on 2/10/15(a couple days ago). I have still been having horrible right leg pain since the 2nd surgery. The pain feels worse than before the 2nd surgery. I'm going for an MRI this afternoon to see if I reherniated again. I was told I will have to have a fusion if it did reherniate. I'm very scared bc either answer from the MRI scares me. One I reherniated or two my nerve is that messed up which is causing the horrible pain. I'm so sick of being in pain, this has been going on about a year now. My life has been turned upside down. Any advice would be appreciated. I'm so scared :(

Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. Isolating spinal problems can almost be like the game of Clue. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,
Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
    - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

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  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
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What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 02/13/15 11:35


  • Coltsfan78CColtsfan78 Posts: 182
    edited 02/13/2015 - 5:57 AM
    Well, I can completely sympathize (unfortunately). I had a similar story, except with my L5/S1. I ruptured that disc three times within the span of 8 months. I had two microdiscectomies and then opted (although I really didn't have any other true option) to do a fusion (TLIF). I was terrified of having a fusion and I do understand that it has plenty of risks and downsides, especially at a younger age. I was 35 when it was done and while it wasn't a lot of fun and definitely a much longer recovery than the other surgeries, it did at least fix the structural problem. A facet joint was full of arthritis and that, along with some scoliosis, just did me in. I could have had 6 microdiscectomies, but I would have continued to herniate because there was a larger issue.

    I hope that your MRI shows what it needs to show. If it's "just" nerve damage, there are medications that help. I tried Gabapentin for months all the way up the highest possible dose and it just didn't work, but Lyrica has helped me with my lingering nerve damage (I have some issues in my foot that are quite likely permanent). With regard to nerve damage, as scared of having a fusion as I know you are, it's still better to fix the problem rather than let it linger and cause nerve damage.

    Best wishes.
    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
  • I also understand your problem. I had a laminectomy in Nov 2014 and then a microdiscectomy in Nov 2015. Since 2nd surgery I have had new symptoms and now the old ones are coming back as well. I have a MRI next Monday and am not looking forward to the results either. However, at 54, I think I would rather have the problem fixed instead of waiting.
    2004 - 2005 - 3 surgeries in 18 months to fix/fuse C6-C7.
    Nov 2013 - Laminectomy from L3 to S1
    Nov 2014 - Micro Discectomy L4 L5.
  • So I had the stat MRI yesterday and then had an appointment with my neurosurgeon to get the results. I haven't reherniated which is good news. I asked what is causing this extreme pain that I'm having still in my right leg. The pain is shooting through the lower portion of my leg, I feel it the worst behing the calf and ankle. It feels like my leg will explode. It gets the absolute worst at night and when I wake up- 10/10 pain. She explained that it is collapsed between the L4-L5 disc space due to the two huge herniations that spilled out that she then removed during the 2 microdiscectomys. So there is much less fluid then normal between that disc space. The collapse makes nerve irritated as well by narrowing the canal(don't understand exact science- need to research). So I may still need a fusion if this pain does not calm down on its own she explained. The surgeon wants me to wait 6 weeks and see how the pain eases, and if it is still high then we will have to consider the fusion. The fusion would help ease this pain she said, but I want to avoid fusion at all costs. I want this pain to ease, I don't want fusion. Also I am currently taking Lyrica, was started in about a month ago. Advice? Thank you
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