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Reherniation after Surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Been reading and hearing about reherniation often after surgery which requires another surgery...any reason why?
Ideas would be appreciated. :)

Knocked off my bicycle by another cyclist in 2000, landed on right buttock,elbow, helmet cracked but not skull!
Had MRI's in 2002 and this past January.
1) diffuse disc bulges at L3,L4, L5 with mild stenosis
2) bulge at L5-S1 space with mild degeneratate facet joint disease and disc material extending into left neural foramen, encroaching on exiting nerve root.
3) Had 3 epidurals over six months in 2003.
4) Have had Chiro treatments since Dec.2007
5) Had EMG in Feb,2008 Neurologist said my reflexes were normal
6) Take Ibuprofen 200 3x day and when needed oxycodone/acetaminophen. Use Melatonin to help get to sleep.
Walking more than 30 minutes causes sciatic pain down to right foot. Sitting in forward bent position causes pain in buttock and lumbar area.

Lumbar disks do their own dance without my consent. Sciatic screams when I beat my feet on the pavement.


  • From what I understand, it's possible to reherniate after a microdisectomy due to bending and/or lifting something heavy. I have also heard of people reherniating (especially not long after the surgery) due to twisting. Maybe some people here can elaborate on this; my physical therapist told me the following:

    1. Most people rehernitate in the morning, usually within a few hours after waking (so be most careful in the morning).

    2. The rule of opposites apply, so if the disk you had surgery to remove the part of the disk that was pressing on the right side of the nerve, be careful after surgery of leaning or lifting on the left side. (This one wasn't that clear to me how it works.)

    3. It's repeat bending that will do the harm.

    4. Your disk has jelly-type stuff inside of it that gets thicker as we age. When you have a microdisectomy, they cut off the part of the disk that was protruding. Until the scar tissue builds up, there is no real protection on the disk. When you bend or lift something heavy, the inside jelly can squeeze out and press on the nerve again. (Can anyone explain this better?)

    5. To avoid reherniation, avoid bending at the waist by kicking one of your legs up behind you when you bend over (called the "Golfer's Lean" because it's what golfers do to pick up golfballs).

    6. It takes three months for the chopped off part of the disk to develop some protection. Six months is better. One year is even better. But it's possible to reherniate even years after the surgery.

    I hope this helps!

  • Here is a wonderful opportunity for me to share my stupid mistake and possibly help someone else. LOL.

    Haylie has a lot of good points.

    I had my major herniation on the right side. Had my MicroD in May, and in September, I was shaving my legs, sitting on the side of the tub, and I bent over too far to the LEFT side, and reherniated, almost fell off the tub, and I ended up having my fusion which was scheduled for a month later, the next week. Lol. Bad idea. I try not to bend too much anymore, but I don't have a single speck of my L4-L5 disc left, thankfully. They did a radical discectomy with my fusion, and I have hardware, but bending at nearly 6 weeks post op is still not recommended Lol. I'm TRYING to be well behaved this time. It's just hard, at 22, and a single mom, to be so limited. I HAVE to bend somewhat to get my son ready for school, to get him dressed, he is still is diapers, etc... But I do what I can.

    Definitely be careful about bending. I didn't bend fast at all... In fact, I SLOWLY inched forward and then all of a sudden it just hit a point where I FELT something give and the worst pain ever went shooting down my back and leg.
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  • I wish I knew more about reherniation before it happened. My rt L4-L5 herniation was fixed in surgery as well as L2 to L5 with a tethered cord and lipoma.

    Of course, I reherniated the L4-L5 disc on the opposite side to the left and then my NS declared I had failed back surgery syndrome. It is now a large broad based posterior L4-L5 disc problem.... #o jade
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