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Second Back Surgery

Sammi_7SSammi_7 Posts: 2
edited 12/29/2015 - 12:06 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm wondering if anyone else has had this experience...I had a huge disc rupture at L4/L5 in May of 2011. I had surgery in early June and had great results. My surgeon said it was the largest most unique rupture he had ever seen. For the past year and a half I've been having trouble again. I went to pain management in February 2015 and had an MRI. It showed a large bulge and tear at L4/L5 and a smaller bulge at L5/S1. PM Doctor said I wasn't surgical and did a steroid injection. It did help some with the leg pain. He proceeded to do test injections to see if he could numb the nerves causing the pain. He says that I said I had 75% pain relief (keep in mind I was loaded up on versed so a flogging would have felt good). He wanted to burn the nerves but insurance would not approve the procedure. Too experimental. So I decided to have my records sent to my previous surgeon. I went in and had spine X-rays that showed the 2 discs had collapsed. I had a surgical consult where he said I needed a fusion at both levels. Insurance is giving me a hassle, saying that it's not indicated because the diagnosis of arthritis is overriding everything else. It's not indicated unless I've also had previous back surgery which I have on the same site. Has anyone else experienced this? If so did you have a fusion for your second surgery or another decompression?

Welcome to Spine-Health

While you may have provided us with some information, there is always more to provide.

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
    . How long have you been using this?
    . Results
- 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.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

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Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

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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 it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s 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.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 12/29/15 18:06est

Thank you!
Age: 37
Age of first surgery: 32


  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 724
    Your surgeon is probably right in that you need fusion. It's quite common that after having a discectomy or decompression surgery that sometime later a fusion surgery is needed. That is... the discectomy only removes the herniated portion of the disc and leaves that particular disc segment compromised (for the rest of your life) versus a healthy disc... which then with normal wear and tear of time and straining of your back can lead to further deterioration of the disc just like your MRI now shows with collapsed discs.
    Harry - 63 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • Liz53Liz53 MissouriPosts: 142
    similar but different
    I had a microdiscectomy May 2013 for an extruded disc fragment. They said my disc had healed and now I have horrible leg pain just like before. I have had two epidurals and two consults. Both Drs say another microdiscectomy in my case. My disc is otherwise healthy but I am concerned in the future it will herniate again. A fusion was not suggested for me.
    I just want to find a way to relieve the pain.
  • I knew the second I saw my MRI that I'd need a fusion. My doctor agrees but insurance is saying no. We're in the middle of sending additional info and then an appeal. I should mention I'm 37. I was 32 for my first surgery. I can remember the sound and the feeling of the rupture like it was yesterday. Gross!
    Thank you!
    Age: 37
    Age of first surgery: 32
  • can you ask him to perform a discogram?
    This can't be happening
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