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How many mm? What size herniated dics?

The past few years I've had leg pains in my left leg that bothered me. I'm very active (work out a lot and active in martial arts, 48 year old male, 5'10" , 165#). I few weeks ago the pain increase significantly and moved into my left butt cheek. After one week I bent over to pick up out 5 lb. dog and it dropped me to the ground. Sever pain in left butt cheek and shooting down the leg. X-ray showed nothing. MRI showed a herniated L5-S1. I was on meds for two weeks before getting into specialist who said it was a 10mm herniated disc which is apparently very large. During that time meds helped pain but I lost most feeling in butt cheek and backside of leg down to my foot. He was able to get me into surgery the next day (which was yesterday) and removed it. I had more feeling in foot when I left surgical center than when I went. First day after surgery I'm feeling ok. I was just wondering how big of a area was removed from others? My mom is a nurse and she said the surgeon brought in was was taken out and showed her and it was pretty big. Thanks. JB


  • Jbspine hi. Welcome to SH
  • 10 mm Is pretty big.

    Please be careful in your recovery, as 25% of people (apparently) with large pieces removed via microdicectomy, re-herniate at average time of 3 mths and recent research shows that those with lower BMI are even more likely to re herniate.

    Good luck to you.

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  • tran92ttran92 Posts: 183
    edited 12/17/2012 - 1:31 PM
    10mm is a decent size. although i can top that one, twice.... my 1st microdisectomy at L5-S1 was 2.5cm give or take. (and yes i meant cm, not mm) needless to say, herniated the same disc a week after surgery, but didn't know it at the time. 4 months later and a revision surgery, my herniation was 5cm by 5cm. so about 2.5inches by 2 inches. basically took over about 90% of my spinal canal that time. sad to say, i had the fusion at the same level 6 months ago, because it had herniated a 3rd time.

    good luck with your recovery.
    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
  • Hi,

    When we say 10mm is it transerse, height, or thickness?

    I just had my MRI report with the following:
    L5-S1: There is central and right paramedian sub-ligamentous disc herniation indenting the thecal sac and compressing the right S1 nerve root into the right recess. The disc herniation measures 1.8 cm in transverse, 1.2 cm in height and 0.6 cm in thickness.

    Would like to know if this is considered big?

    Thanks in advance for any help!
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    welcome to spine-health
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  • My disc at L5-S1 was 3 CM. yes cm, not mm, but 10 mm is a fairly large disc. In contrast to having severe pain, which I did, I also lost function to my left foot.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,528
    When you take a close look at a disc herniation there are two major components that are used to determine the severity of the herniation.
    Now there are other factors, such as any disc impinging on a nerve root, but for now, I will leave that out.

    Many doctors use the MSU Classification of disc herniation. There are two components

    Size = Grade
    Here they use Grade 1, 2 and 3. Where 3 is the largest of the disc herniation. If you were to imagine, the different levels. Level 1 being a small bulge not covering much distance, then up to 3.

    There Zones A, B, and C. Two C's on either of the disc, two B 's and the A in the middle.

    Combine the two to better understand the severity of the situation. You would need to view some diagrams to better understand this. Plus there are other variables in place. You could have a C1 herniation a A3, AB2, etc

    Thats why I leave the decision to diagnose the severity of the disc in the hands of the doctor.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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