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Revision surgery on the way

brokenbrianbbrokenbrian Posts: 69
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Not really sure what to do, but after my micro D on 7/19/10 it reherniated right away. I have met with a few other Drs since then. My original Dr didnt do anything to really make me mad, I just wanted to go a different route on my second surgery. Also the original clinic wasnt very easy to deal with. So my first was a micro D on L5/S1,. The new Dr wants to do both L5/S1 and L4/L5 which I agree on because Im getting pain down both legs, on from each disc. Only difference this time is its a open?, or traditional discectomy so he can see more. Im woundering if anyone has comment on doing both discs at once, and on the traditional vs micro approach.




  • before you go in for revision surgey .have you talked to your consultant about ADR? wheels you still have enough good spine left to have it ?? i had revision surgey 5 years ago and now i need ALIF surgey i cant have ADR as my spine is knackered and a fusion is all that's left .good luck
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Thats why it has taken me so long to get another surgery. Ive been trying like hell to get an ADR. But I cannot get INS to cover any, and theres no way I can afford it. As of now, Im 25 years old. I do have two 5 and 6 mm buldges that are affecting both my legs, mostly the left. The MRI shows a pretty dark looking disc but I have not lost any disc height. It took me awhile to get to this decision and ever since the surgery I have been back at the conservative treatment. I guess my thoughts are have the discetomy and stay away from fusion. I would like to say this surgery would last a lifetime and I can golf, 4 wheel, and do whatever I want. Realistically I would be happy if it got me out of pain, and give my nerves a chance to heal as much as poss, and gave me 5 years. Then the ADR's will advance more and hopefully be covered by fricken insurance.

    For now that is about the best plan I can come up with.

    Thanks -- Brian
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  • And I think your plan sounds very sensible!

    I am struggling after a failed fusion and my feeling is that the longer you can postpone it safely, the better. Reading around this forum to get an idea of the wide variation in results people get has done a great job of helping me understand the risks of spine surgery.
  • Sometimes I wish it hurt just a little more to help justify my decision. But as it is now, I cant do many of the things I want to, and most of the time it hurts pretty bad. I can for the most part deal with the pain. My concerns are nerve damage and after a few EMG's I already know I have damage. I just dont want it to get any worse. Also to get rid of some pain would be nice too.

  • I think your plan and approach is good.
    I went for a revision for many of the same reasons.
    Even if you can buy 5+ years....ADR may be more viable in the USA because they will know more about how to replace the material if it fails.

    My surgeon's approach (which is why I picked him for the 2nd surgery) was avoid any permanent surgery (e.g. fusion) until you have no other choices. Why? Because fusion is permanent. Because technology is always advancing so there will most likely be so many more options in a few years.

    Good luck
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  • I'm glad people seem to think this is a decent plan. I kept going back and forth on my plan, but finally this seems to be the best. As with all surgery I just hope thing go good and doesnt get any worse. I still have some tests and MRI to do and nothing is set in stone yet. Im lucky enough to atleast be able to be fairly mobile so I have some chores to take care of and that sort of thing. Unless I start to get better for some reason surgery will be in july or august.

    One last thing, can anyone comment on the tradition/open discectomy compared to a micro.


  • I had an open laminectomy/discectomy in 08. The incision on my back is about 4" long. I didn't have any complications with the healing process but the procedure didn't help with my pain.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Hi Brian,

    I wish I could tell you on open vs. Micro.
    Benefit of open I suspect is better visibility for your surgeon to ensure he 'gets' all the material that is pressing on your nerve. The downside, longer recovery from the actual incision would be my guess.

    Also, ask your surgeon about nerve monitoring. I will say my surgeon did this on my revision. I had a special neuro team watching my nerves. I was awake while they were getting me ready for this part so the guy explained that it was a mix of EKG type patches and accupuncture hook up. He said essentially the neuro team would watch as my surgeon operated and be able to tell him if he was causing the nerves to fire from 'irritation' as he was removing scar tissue and removing the material. I swear it is why my recovery went better b/c the nerve monitoring.

    Keep us posted!
  • Yes I agree that is an excellent question for you MD..I had neuro monitoring and was told the same thing...there is a team(mine was 2 people)and they watched this special monitor that told them exactly what my nerves were doing and MOST IMPORTANT if the MD was close to my spinal cord and they would be able to tell him to back away easily...they do poke you with these tiny tine needles all over from your head to your feet...not trying to scare you...just prepare you cuz I didn't expect all these tiny bruises all over my head...lol...it didn't hurt...just surprised me the first time I brushed my hair!!! Take care and best wishes for a quick and comfy recovery!!!!
  • Thanks for the advice, I meet again with this surgeon in early june. I will add this to my long list of questions to ask him. For now I just got to get some things done like painting the house. I donno if this happens to other people but I started a little painting yesterday and today I actually feel a little better than normal. But some days I will do the exact same thing and feel like a train hit me the next day. I cant seem to figure it out.

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