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Childbirth after Microdiscectomy

Erin986EErin986 Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a microdiscectomy on L4/L5 in January 2009. I'm now 5 months pregnant (Due in March 2010). When my OB was getting my medical history and I told him about the surgery, he said there may be a problem with me getting the epidural, but said we would discuss options later down the road. I'm really starting to worry about this. Has anyone been pregnant after a microdiscectomy? Were you able to have an epidural? Were there any difficulties surrounding delivery that were caused by the back surgery?


  • Hi Erin,

    I had surgery at L4L5 in Jan 2008 and am 30 weeks along with my pregnancy (third baby). I had the same concerns re the epidural and have since found out some useful info.

    My OB got me an appointment with the anaethestist and he checked out my scar and said putting in the epidural wouldn't be an issue as they go in at the L3 level. He explained that they couldn't guarantee that it would be 100% effective as internal scar tissue may block the numbing solution on either one or both sides. He said there was 80-90% chance of it being as effective as a normal patient but the chance was there that it would only provide partial pain relief.

    My main concern was if I need a c-section, would I need a general as the epidural wouldn't work, but he expained that for a section they give you a spinal block which goes slightly deeper into your back, so bathes the actual nerves in the numbing solution so there is no chance of it not working.

    I am going for a growth scan at 36 weeks to see how the baby is measuring, and my OB wants to do a section if the baby is measuring big but will let me have a chance at a natural birth if it is measuring small or normal.

    I injured my back origininally when I was delivering my second baby, he was big and his shoulders got stuck. When they flexed my legs back to free him thats when my disc went out, so they are reluctant to risk a normal delivery if the baby is looking big this time. They have been very reassuring that this is a rare complication and I am confident that my back is strong enough to go through the birth, it is more worry for the baby not being OK that might make me go for the c-section.

    If you have any other questions or worries please let me know, I am happy to chat.

  • Thanks for the info! I can't imagine dealing with the pain of a herniated disc and then the surgery with a baby at home! I hurt my back when I fell on some ice, and after 2 years of "alternative treatments" decided to do the surgery and get my back in good shape before getting pregnant. Have you consulted with your surgeon any since you got pregnant, or just with your Ob and anaethestist? I've worried about the increased pressure on my back from the weight gain and possible problems with the epidural, but I never thought about the strain on my back from the actual labor.
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  • Hi Erin,

    I wouldn't worry too much, my neurosurgeon knew I was planning another pregnancy once I had fully recovered from the surgery and he said that I shouldn't be at anymore risk of back problems than the usual aches and pains most women get. My back does feel achey sometimes but no worse than it did in the other pregnancies before I had a back issues.

    I don't anticipate the labour being a problem for my back, I will try to keep moving as much as possible and if I can, give birth upright or on all fours. Even if I end up flat on my back I think the disc will be OK as I have done a lot of strengthening work since the surgery to build up my muscles and flexibility.

    I know there are no guarantees for any of us but I am cautiously optimistic that all will be well.

    Best of luck for the rest of the pregnancy

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