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have you tried discectomy before fusion?

salty444ssalty444 Posts: 149
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Just wondering how many here have had dome sort of discectomy before their Dr recommended fusion. I feel like I'm doing really well less than a week out from l5 / s1 discectomy. Just curious is all. Is a discectomy really a short term fix or will it last a long time?


  • I think that depends on why you herniated in the first place. I was in a bad car accident that herniated my t1/t2. I didn't need a fusion because of the rib cage attachment already there. Because of other complications I think I reherniated.

    If your herniation was a sudden trama that doesnt affect your vertebra you will probably be fine with just the micro-d. Of course if you need to avoid doing what caused your herniation. If there is other damage or if removing the disc causes instability you might need a fusion.

    Did your doctor talk to you about fusion at all? I've heard of some people who try the discectomy first hoping it will work.

    WHen you say you feel less well is it general pain or are you getting your pre-op symptoms back? Remember at some point the meds they put in your incision will wear off and you will feel worse for a few days. For most this seems to hit around week 2-3 depending on what they put in you and what else you are taking.
  • I'm going for follow up the 26th. I am on flexeril, and I have lortabs, oxy IR, percosets. Norco, you name it I have it.... I make sure pain is gone
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  • I agree it depends. I have a stable spine and herniated a disc that was showing signs of DDD. My disc above it is slightly bulging but generally my back is fine aside from this misfortune.

    I am hopeful this fix is long term.
    I know people that are 2, 3, and 10 years out of microdiscectomy (which I believe is similar to discectomy but just using smaller incision) and are still fine. They have all told me the key is they had to adjust their activities and are still careful on bending, twisting, lifting but that in general they are pleased with the choice.
  • between a discectomy {i have has 2} and a fusion {i need one} if your surgeon is wanting to do one or the other .i would get yourself another opinion before you agree to anything ..its like the difference between an oil change and a full service !!and im discectomy was a disaster {hence the fusion}.proceed with caution!!!}
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