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L4/L5 reherniation after microdiscectomy -- 16 year old

buffysummersbbuffysummers Posts: 2
edited 01/20/2016 - 7:47 PM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi guys! I'm only 16 years old and have already had one (failed) microdiscectomy/laminectomy and I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice as to what my next move should be.

Just as a little bit of background, I've had lower back pain since the age of 14 when I got my first MRI done which showed a small herniation at my L4/L5 level. I had three steroid injections (with 6 weeks of PT/rehab) done but each would wear off after about 6 months. My pain was steadily increasing and new MRIs showed that the herniation had increased and that I had gotten sciatica in my right side. I played competitive soccer and tennis and was an EXTREMELY active kid, but I had to quit soccer and put strict limits on the amount of tennis I played because it caused be so much pain. Over the summer (16 years old by this point), based on my increased discomfort in everyday life due to pain, my regular back specialist referred me to a surgeon to see if I would be a candidate for surgery at my age. I had the surgery done on 10/6/15 and reherniated within 4 weeks.

Now my pain is unbearable and 10x worse than it was before surgery. The herniation is pressing my nerve up against the side of the bone that had a piece removed and instead of a small amount of sciatic pain, like I had before surgery, I now have pins and needles down my entire right leg, a stabbing pain on the right side of my lower back, numbness down my leg and in my toe, and sometimes I feel like fire is running over my calf, shin, and foot. My overall quality of life has decreased. I'm unable to make it through a full day of school. I can't sit for more than ten minutes at a time and walking and being on my feet for too long also aggravates the pain (I can't win!). Even laying down just emphasizes the pain.

Now I have to decide which corrective surgery to get. The options my doctor has put on the table are a repeat microdiscectomy or a discectomy & spinal fusion, which I am very hesitant about (especially at my age). I was just wondering if anyone could offer up any suggestions or advice they might have on the topic, and what worked best for y'all!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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