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Disectomy/Laminectomy Failed?

Phoebe2010PPhoebe2010 Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone, I hope I have posted this in the correct place.

I'm new to the forum and have spent the passed few days looking through lots of posts hoping to find some advice and further information.

In Feb 2010 I had a disectomy/laminectomy at L5/S1. All went well and although a slow recovery with permanent numbness to right leg, I thought I had put my back problems behind me. Unfortunatley in Oct of this year I had to have a hysterectomy which had been delayed due to my back op. That surgery went well until one and a half weeks post op. My back pain started again and I tried to ignore it until I couldn't really carry on with it. Really shocked when doctor said that I could be having a recurrance of the previous problem. I thought that once I had the back op, that would be the end of it. Obviously not. She has requested another MRI and I presume will see what that shows. I can't believe how awful this year has been. Was looking forward to putting 2010 behind me! The pain in my back has brought back lots of painful memories.

My question to you wise folk is, can a disectomy/laminectomy fail and would they repeat the same op or do something else. Also, I have noticed that the numbness in my leg seems to be spreading.

Thank you in advance for any help, advice or experience you could give me.
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Comments

  • Hi Phoebe....gosh I'm so sorry to hear of what a crazy year you've had. It is possible you could have reherniated at the same level. As a matter of fact, it's even more possible within the first few months after the surgery.


    I'm not a doctor, but having reherniated, I can tell you that yes, they can redo the surgery. Some doctors will suggest fusion and others will suggest revision surgery (basically they re-do the surgery). My spine was stable aside from the reherniation. My disc was showing degeneration but all since the reherniation was on the same side (impacting my left side) and same level, it was worth redoing the microdiscectomy (same surgery as you but smaller incision). I had my 2nd surgery in Feb 2010 and am doing generally well.

    Keep in mind, I had some pretty bad nerve damage which still hasn't recovered BUT the good news is my leg strength has recovered and I no longer walk with a limp.

    Hopefully you are just have an inflammation and have not reherniated. But if you did, they can redo the surgery.
  • We have to understand disc anatomy and the technique used by the surgeon. Check out www.chirogeek.com to get a good base.

    Sorry to hear of your troubles. Out of my last 39 years, 2010 has been my worst so far. I'm with you on seeing it go!
    -----------------------------
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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  • DNice said:
    Hi Phoebe....gosh I'm so sorry to hear of what a crazy year you've had. It is possible you could have reherniated at the same level. As a matter of fact, it's even more possible within the first few months after the surgery.


    I'm not a doctor, but having reherniated, I can tell you that yes, they can redo the surgery. Some doctors will suggest fusion and others will suggest revision surgery (basically they re-do the surgery). My spine was stable aside from the reherniation. My disc was showing degeneration but all since the reherniation was on the same side (impacting my left side) and same level, it was worth redoing the microdiscectomy (same surgery as you but smaller incision). I had my 2nd surgery in Feb 2010 and am doing generally well.

    Keep in mind, I had some pretty bad nerve damage which still hasn't recovered BUT the good news is my leg strength has recovered and I no longer walk with a limp.

    Hopefully you are just have an inflammation and have not reherniated. But if you did, they can redo the surgery.
    Thanks so much for your reply. Just feel a bit of an emotional mess just now. Its the not knowing that is the worst. Not sure when I will get an appointment for MRI so just got to sit tight and wait.

    I thought that my walking with a limp was behind me, but its back again due to the pain and the increased numbness. :( Nevertheless, looking through the posts, I can see that there is people suffering so much more than me.
  • Ditto to seeing out 2010!!! Hoping that 2011 will be the year I get my life back!
  • Phoebe2010...I know how you feel. You know there are other's worse than you but you also know you, personally, can feel better.

    Don't feel bad worrying about yourself. Everyone is at a different phase. It stinks knowing you can feel better so it's ok to worry for your situation.

    The waiting stinks. I think the worst part when I was feeling lousy was 'wondering' what was going on. I was almost relieved when I found out I re-herniated because now I could "do something about it".

    I hope you can get your MRI appoint and consult soon! I only come back to the boards a few times a week but I will try to keep an eye out for your posts.

    Keep your chin up!
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  • Saw doctor today to discuss my MRI results that had come back.

    It appears that I have re-herniated at L5 and now at L4 too. The report went on about narrowing of this and that but I find it difficult to interpret. There is also 'modest' degeneration of the lower 4 lumbar verterbrae, whatever that means.

    I just can't believe that i'm going to have to go through surgery again in less than a year. Feb 2010, discectomy and then hysterectomy Oct 2010.

    I asked the doctor if he knew what the surgeon was likely to do and he didn't have any answers for me. Just got to wait to hear from the hospital for an appointment to see the consultant.

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