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Possible malpractice?

My name is Paul I'm a first time poster but a long time follower.
In 2011 I had L4/5 microdiscectomy. It reherniated in 2013 and I had surgery again. The incision location was the same and it was about 1 ½” long.
Both times I was able to recover 100% pain free.
Last summer I injured my back again and the MRI showed that L5S1 was now the problem. After trying epidurals like I did before I was not getting better and had to go for my 3rd microdiscectomy.
I thought the incision for a L5S1 would be a little lower than a L4/5 but it’s exactly in the same location. I’m a couple of days away from my post op appointment and I’m still very sore I can’t tell if the pain I had before the procedure is gone but now I can not stop thinking that I had surgery at the wrong level.
The only two reasons I can think of for using the same incision is not wanting to leave the patient with another scar or being a good entry spot because of muscle group location in our back. Either way that's a lot of stretching to be on top of the affected area.
Has anyone had different adjacent level surgeries done at different times using the same incision?
Thank you for your help.



  • My first surgery produced a 10 inch scar, and a revision later went through exactly the same location, to minimize further scar tissue.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    edited 01/29/2016 - 3:08 AM
    said, that is very common. With four lumbar surgeries, they basically used the initial incision area.

    I would think anything about malpractice, unless you have some facts that they did something specifically wrong.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Anyone else had different adjacent level surgeries done at different times using the same incision?
    Please tell me about it.
    Thank you
  • Hi lusonet.

    I've had two lumbar surgeries, first one at L4/5 and the next one two years later at L3/4. The first one left a pretty long scar, probably about 7", as they had to remove the lamina also. Anyway, my surgeon also used the same incision. I'm not sure if this makes you feel better because my scar is longer than yours.

    From what I gathered from my surgeon, having problems at L5/S1 is more difficult than any of the other lumbar levels. When he noticed that my surgeries were putting pressure on the levels above but my L5/S1 was ok, he was relieved. So I think if you are still having some pain it's probably due to the area of your surgery, not due to having the wrong level done.
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