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Is it worth keep getting surgery endlessly or is it better to leave alone?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
Hiyay everyone here? ;) here are some questions I have thought about recently. 8>

Does any one here who has had a microdiscetomy, just stay with the one surgery and leave alone? If for example you have the operation for the most common L5 S1 problem. And still get the leg pain after . Is it actually better to then leave the nerve alone and let it heal itself ? :?

I have noticed reading through that most who have this surgery go on to have more operations, and then it gets even heavier stuff going on. Is it worth it? Or does it just never get better? If you can control the leg pain with minium dosage tablets and are not having the life threatning lost bladder control, which requires emergency treatment. Is it worth putting ourselves through endless surgerys that have to keep being repeated? :< It actually scares me when I read what some of you people have to put up with all that stuff that goes in the back. Does anyone actually have good success with the operation?

Nerves can actually heal themselves and if you have degenerative discs as well are we not making it worse each time the surgeon goes in ? I just wonder these things, Does anyhow know the answers here please. Has anyhow actually only had one procedure and it worked at least for 10 yrs or more??????? :/ :??


  • I had my second microD because I was in such severe pain when I stood up I'd start to black out at times. Then if I would try to walk from my bedroom to say my kitchen I'd get horrible pain and have to just lay right down on the floor on my right side. My left side is the bad side so if I lay on my right I get relief of pain. This was while taking prescription pain medication I still had this much pain.

    If I had minimal pain that was controlled by pain medication then I would not have had a second microD. My disc did herniate again not long after the surgery but the herniation was small according to my doctor and I have improved to the point of not needing any pain medication anymore.
  • Hi,
    My opinion is that the fewer operations you have, the better. I had L5-S1 microdiscectomy in Feb 08. The nerve takes time to heal and still says hello from time to time. I found a way to manage the pain with few meds or NSAIDS, and I believe the longer I can hold out for any future surgeries, the better. My Doc says there will be enormous advancements in back treatment coming online in the next 10 years and on. Just look at where we are since 10 years ago.

    Of course, if the pain is so bad, or the first surgery didn't work at all, it's probably necessary to go in again. Just my humble opinion.
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  • The 1st surgery I had - it was that or lose feeling in my left leg + take 8 vicodin a day to control the pain. It truly was the last resort. I still have not gained back all of the feeling in my left foot from the nerve damage.

    I have re-herniated the same disc, and I am doing all I can to avoid surgery. It may be inevitable, but it is, once again, a last resort. For me, its the disc pressing into the nerve that causes the worst pain; I'd be thrilled if it healed itself i.e. dissolved on its own.

    To your question "does it just never get better?" If there is one thing I have learned, is that everyone reacts differently to meds, treatment, surgery. Some may have one surgery and that's that. Some will continue to have issues, maybe their whole lives. Its hereditary for me, who knows what's in the cards. I educate myself and take care of my body as best I can.
    Jan 2009 L5-S1 ALIF
    May 2017 ALIF L4-L5 with PLF rods added L4-L5-S1
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,349
    This is a question that is unique to each individual and only your immediate doctor(s) can give you the most professional and medically view answers.

    I am a believe in trying to avoid surgery to start with. You should always explore all the conservative treatment first and only when all of those do not product results, should surgery be considered.

    It is true that to a degree nerves can correct themselves, but if you have a badly damage or dead nerve, nothing is going to make that come back. Considering this, if you have a condition , where the nerve root is being impaired by a disc,
    I would think surgery would definitely be in order.

    But as I said, the decisions for surgery vs no surgery is something you need to discuss in detail with your doctor.
    You have to weigh all the options and understand the reasons why you should have the surgery and what happens if you dont.

    I've had 7 spinal surgeries. They were all needed but I have wonder manytimes, 'WHATIF' I didnt have Surgery #2 or #3, would I have needed the others?

    I wish I know the answers to that.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I am not far out from my surgery, but here is my take. This was my 3rd bout of disc herniation. I hurt so bad that I would have done ANYTHING just for the hope that I would be in less pain. I am so fortunate that everything went well. It is like night and day. I had my 6 week check up. My doctor told me that I might have permement numbness in my right foot. I went from Sciatica pain at about 9 to 2 and back pain at about 7 to 2. My doctor asked me over and over, where did the pain bother me the most, in my leg or back. For me, it was ALL about the sciatica pain.

    Good Luck!
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  • Thank you for your comments . >:D<

    I had a microdiscetomy operation on the 18th August L5 S1. I am not sure really whether I would say the outcome worked for me.

    At 4 wks I had an MRI that showed a vast amount of scar tissue. I then had the scan because still have the leg and bum pain I had before. The disc is fine; no herniation.

    Although the surgeon explained everything to me and I did all my research before and I knew the outcome is not always positive. I wanted to go ahead because also the pain I had from the nerves was murder. And the scan showed very compressed nerves. I felt confident to go ahead thinking well if it does not work at least I might be little less in pain.

    I also knew that some have scar tissue. But no way did I think I would get any . As I was completely active all and still am . I thought from what I read that you only get it if you lay down. Does anyone know much about ?

    So my feelings now I don't know yet as its still early days to say if I will get better. To be honest I am okay and the pain is okay as long as I take my dose of Lyrica which works well so I can't complain.
    So what do you think ?

    I would appreciate it any information on this problem and whether any one else has this scar tissue?

  • Hi,I read your post and understand your concerns. I had a micro discectomy four months ago, and was doing ok for the first couple of weeks, then slowly the pain started coming back. I know I would have went through the surgery, because I couldn't even sit or stand without extreme pain. Couldn't sleep well because I was in pain and couldn't even turn over in bed.

    As I said the pain has come back, today was not a good day at all, pain has been a 10 and increasing. I go to the see the neuro surgeon on the 19th of this month. I'm sure I'll have to have another MRI to check things out. I don't know if I should have a second surgery either?? I was so hoping that I would be one of the lucky ones and just have the one surgery, but things are not looking to good. I don't want to think about being in pain like this forever, I'm only 45,to me that's young, lol
    But anyway yes it's hard to make a decision as wether to have more then one surgery.

    Blessings go out,

  • I too had a L5-S1 2 level fusion with rods and screws due to ddd, and spinal stenosis. It was okay for a few months and then started to come back. I ended up going through al the steroid shots and finally got a spinal cord stimulator, which has helped for a year.
    Now I have pain in the side of my quad and in my left buttock. Not sure if this is new disc pain or if I just over did it and irritated the scar tissue from my surgery.

    If anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears. I wish they could remove the scar tissue, but they said I would just get more.
  • HI cindy

    I am so sorry for you . Do you take any meds for the pain? I think it would be best to have a scan again so the doctor can see what the problem is . Before you make any decisions I would wait and see. It might be scar tissue like me.

    o be honest I find that doing the exercises and walking helps me tremendously and keeping active and not letting it get to me to much. But first you need to be able to control the pain good luck with the doc .
  • Zolenniaq,
    If you go with the notion that a cure is possible for all pain, then inevitably you may continue to have procedures on the understanding that eventually some improvement would be found. It may be viewed that those who go on to have additional surgery have some success and an element here that have had repeated surgery which has not been successful like myself are not reflective of the whole.

    Statistics would indicate the success rate of collective procedures and we are not looking for a consensus of opinion that reflects directly to the success for us as individuals. The notion of continuing with procedures may seem to take the patient away for the initial objective of a cure for all and that element of increased pain as a consequence factors in determining if we should have the process in the first place or not. We could and do live with pain but would we risk that being increased in the hope of overall improvement.

    My success or failure is not directly related to the success you may have, fusions collective and historically have been very successful and a failure rate however small is a factor and more important when it is you that falls within this minority.

    I would never dissuade my personal circumstance from not encouraging others to take every opportunity for improvement, that gives us hope for the future, managing chronic pain can be effective and it takes time and considerable effort, success and regression. My professor told me additional surgery would not improve my condition, I could have continued looking for that illusive improvement, I have this condition and am working with all my ability to manage it more effectively and proud of what I have achieved in difficult and challenging circumstances.

    Take care. John
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