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Post surgery frustration...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:30 AM in Lower Back Pain
I had a severe rupture of L4/L5 repaired on December 29th. Up until a week ago I was very happy with the results. All of my right leg pain that I had for years was gone and the recovery was on schedule. Within the last week I have been having severe, I mean severe left leg pain that is radiating from my hip all the way to my foot. It is a relentless, all day pain that is worse than the problems I had originally.

I have since had a MRI and have scheduled an appointment with the surgeon to review it. Has anyone had this same expereince. I know that once you have one back surgery the likely hood of another one increases, but dang this is quick.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.


  • You don't mention what type of surgery you had to repair your herniation. With the little information that you provide I can tell you that if you had a Discectomy, most likely you have reherniated that area again. I have seen lost of people with Discectomies that endup reherniating within 6 months to a year and then they have to end up with a fusion. If you had a fusion there is always the chance of other levels herniating, so hopefuly you Doctor will give you the answers that you need really soon. Good luck to you.
  • ...it was a Discectomy. I have looked at my MRI with my Non-Doctor eyes and compared it to some others...it does not look good at all. I have heard, just as you say, that if I reherniate the same area then a fusion would probably be the next step as a second Discectomy almost always fails to relieve any discomfort.
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  • What kind of recovery is involved with a Lumbar Fusion? I know each case is different, but what would the average be?
  • I reherniated my disc 9days after my first microdiscectomy. A little over 5 weeks ago, I had a re-do 9 (same surg.)

    A fusion is a big leap from a discectomy. My surgeon did not want to do something drastic as a fusion, which could happen if I re-injure same disc.

    I have consulted with 3 other surgeons besides my surgeon. They all gave me 70-80% success rate for my second microdiscectomy. I don't think that a repeat discectomy always results in a failure. If that is a fact, then my surgeon should be reprimanded for malpractice.
  • Lovinggardener said:
    I don't think that a repeat discectomy always results in a failure. If that is a fact, then my surgeon should be reprimanded for malpractice.
    I should be more clear. That is what my Physicians Assistant and my Physical Therapist said. It may have been
    a way to convince me to take it easy.
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  • I just didn't want you to think that you will "have" to get a fusion.

    Good luck!!!
  • I had a 2 level on Dec 11 and am still recovering. It is usually considered 6 months to a year.
  • Here are a couple of images from my latest, post surgery MRI. Just curious as to what some of your opinions may be.

  • from experience, if you can have another discectomey, I would choose it over fusion. Fusion doesnt guarentee pain releif either and is a very last step I would take given the option. I had no options, so with more than one level involved I was just wanting to try to get some pain releif. Good Luck
  • Ask about artificial disc replacement. If you can find a facility/surgeon/insurance that do it in your area. Still pretty new and not all insurance companies pay for it and not all surgeons are trained to do it. Fusion should be your last resort.
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