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Annular Disk tear info, please !!!

wally2wwally2 Posts: 75
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I have had a ongoing herniated disk issue at L5 (I think), second from the bottom, for 12 years and recently was injured at work which caused a re-herniation and a cervical disk injury.

I had to have surgery (plate and screws) in my neck and while recuperating, the lumbar disk tore from too much twisting while recuperating. It released loads of chemical into my lower back which pushed my spine away and made my back crooked, they call it ( Temporary Painful Scoliosis).

Anyways, After 5 months, most of the extreme pain is gone, I can't twist at all and have to be extremely careful not to pull or push my body or lift over 20 LBS.

Has anyone been through the annular tear issue? How long can I expect it to take to be somewhere normal where I can do moderate activities again. My spine specialist advised it could be another year and I already know it won't heal. He also said it will dry up and is working on a sealant for annualr tears for FDA approval later on.

Thanks for any feedback......


  • I had an endoscopic microdiscectomy that removed most of the disc at L3/L4 and removed the tare. Good luck and please keep us posted.
    BTW- Have you thought about getting fitted for sacral lumbar back brace? It will help you not to twist or turn in ways that might aggravate it.
  • I am extremely careful not to twist since the original tear and now mainly get little flare-ups if I move the wrong way, such as pushing or pulling, or bending too far forward in a chair.

    Did they have to fuse your spine with a one level when they took most of the disk out? what do they replace it with for stability?
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  • It was not fused and there is nothing there to stabilize me. I am hoping and praying that I can bide my time until something with much better odds than fusion comes along. The back brace will remind you not to move the wrong way. They are really not all that uncomfortable to wear especially with a tight fitting tshirt on underneath. It may be just what you need to let it heal.
  • Thanks for the imput, Since your disk work, do you still have pain from the disk or is pretty much gone? Also, is the reason for the portion of the disk removal a result of the tear not healing? My Spine Surgeon advised it would heal in time but it gets confusing since I've heard from research that disks can't heal themselves.

    He is also the type of surgeon who does not like messing with surgery unless absolutely neccessary. I like and trust him and he previously did surgery on a disk in my neck in Feb. 2008.
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  • I had a discography that showed the annular tare and that it was causing some of my pain. I still have pain from facet arthropathy.
  • I have annular tears at three levels in my back. I suppose I have six tears, as the three discs are torn through from side to side. I don't have a reactive scoliosis problem, just severe pain. I've had two surgeons tell me there was nothing at all they could do for me -- I just have to learn to live with the pain or get a spinal cord stimulator. Since I seem to be getting worse and worse, despite every effort to find something that will help (ESIs, lots of physical therapy), I am considering a three level fusion with another surgeon who tells me he thinks he can help. Good grief, I surely hope he's right and I'm doing the right thing. I hope your pain gets better on its own. If not, they can do some IDET or something similar that will mend the tear in the annulus. Wish I could do that, but my discs are too far gone.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
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