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microdiscectomy second time around

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm curious to know what folks' experience has been with repeating a microdiscectomy. I've read and been told by docs that the success rate drops the second time around.

So - If you have two microdiscectomies on the same disc - Did it help? Did the pain go down? Did your functioning get any better? Was it worth it? Would you have done it again given how things turned out?

I had an L4/L5 microdiscectomy last year. It seemed to go fine at first, but 10 weeks out I got bad sciatic pain again. A few docs thought it might be scar tissue, but lately my second, third, and fourth opinion docs all seem to be leaning towards not enough bone and disc was taken out the first time around. So one option is to repeat the microdiscectomy. The sciatic pain drives me nuts, but on the other hand, I'm not sure I want to risk a bad outcome a second time and possibly make things worse. Thanks.


  • Nothing like having to go through a procedure twice. I had a microdiscectomy, but when it failed, ended up having to have a fusion. I suppose, had I been given the option, I would have repeated the microdiscectomy rather than to have a fusion. Whatever you decide, I hope it works out for you.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • A week before it was 6 months since my MicroD, I started having intense nerve pain in my right foot and leg, with some pain around the L5-S1 area of my back. My NS put me on 6 days of Lyrica to see if that helps and what happens when I go off of it. If it's better, then we'll know the nerves are just coming back to life. If it's not, he thinks it's likely I've reherinated my disk. I am praying the Lyrica makes a difference, but new pain seems to be proping up, like in my right hip.

    I, too, am wondering what will happen. The disk when they operated last time was 1 centimenter into the nerve, and the nurse said it was completely flat and cutting into it. This means the nerves may really be coming back to life in a big way, but if not, is there enough disk left to even do another MicroD?

    If they do another MicroD, will they cut into the scar that's already there? Is the recovery time different? What is different the second time around?

    What is the determining factor in having to have a fusion instead? Is it because there is not enough disk left?


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