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MicroDisectomy - Disk herniation L5-S1: Needs Advice



  • I have L4/5 and L4/5, SI injurey, possible degeneration of my disc disease. My Doctor has me going to pt and pain management,injections and so on. So for nothing is helping, in lot pain. I go back to him on nov,23. Does anyone have advice.
  • I had surgery on a herniated disk at L5/S1 in April. I was loosing function and feeling in my right leg pretty rapidly, so didn't see any other choice. Since the operation my leg has gotten much better.

    When I was deciding my surgeon did say that most docs avoid this surgery because of the level of difficulty. The difficulty being that access is hampered by the illiac crest. He had to shave some bone just to get by in my case.

    Like I said the leg is much better, unfortunately I've re-herniated the same disk a mere 8 months later and will be seeing the surgeon next week to discuss a course of action.

    My advice would be to do your research and ask a lot of questions, so that you fully understand all of your options. If you feel like you're not getting the right answer after you do that, chances are you probably aren't.
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  • I did not answer sooner. I just found this question. The microD did help my leg pain but it did not help my back pain at all. I do know that anytime you have surgery at one level it puts more strain on the level above and below so there is a greater chance of having issues at other levels. I would definitely try every conservative treatment available before ever considering surgery. Surgery holds no guarantees. But if there is no other option and the pain is intolerable (that is the point that I reached) than I would have to consider surgery. I read some where that a study was done on back surgery patients and it was found that most back surgery patients had the same or worse pain at the 5 year mark than before surgery. Good luck making your decision. I know that it will be tough.
  • I had a microdiscectomy L5-S1 end of August.
    I had little choice as I ended up bed ridden.
    A trip to ER, double dose of steroids and no improvement. I had extreme numbness and loss of strength in my left leg. I actually had numbness in my perineum (groin) area so they were quite nervous about bladder/bowel nerves being impacted.

    It's 3 months and I'm doing marginally better but my situation was extreme. I don't regret the surgery b/c of my situation but do wish I had time to do the research on what to expect.

    The surgery, itself, is not that risky (true microdiscectomy is only about 1 1/2 inch incision) and low risk of blood loss.

    I wish I had made it to the doctor before the final 'incident' . . .which was a 'stretch' one morning upon waking up.

    Very personal decision. My personal perspective is that if you can consult with dr . . .try for conservative treatment while you can.
  • kumar,

    I'll be honest with you. If you have some quality of life, then try the conservative routes before having surgery. I ended up having discectomy b/c I was bed ridden on L5-S1 and L4-L5. My L5-S1 reherniated after lifting a 5 gallon bucket of water resulting in another surgery 3 years later.

    I would recommend a pain management doctor and explore the avenues you can take to manage your disc. There are plenty of therapies out there that can help! If they feel you aren't making progress, they usually will refer you out to a surgeon if necessary.

    Good Luck!

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