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"failed" discectomy l-5 s,1

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Old 03-07-2007, 06:57 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: ma. usa
Posts: 8
sheri123flowers HB User
Question "failed" discectomy l-5 s,1

hi everyone , im new here i am 8 weeks post op from a l5 s,i discectomy, since the surgery i have gone back for an epi. injection, this did nothing. when the dr. ordered the injection he told me if that failed to work , he would like to talk about a fusion.. im scared stiff. im not even close to being back to my normal self since surgery. just lower back pain and leg pain all day and night. does anyone know what the outcome could be with a fusion after a discectomy. if i dont get this done, will i be in this pain forever? if i refuse it, can i go back to work and be ok? will it do more damage? i know alot of questions but ive been going nuts out of commission. need my life back! asap.
any responses will help me greatly. thanks to all

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Old 03-07-2007, 07:32 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Berryville, Virginia
Posts: 2,382
Justoneofus HB User
Re: "failed" discectomy l-5 s,1

Hi sheri. sorry to hear your disectomy doesnt sound like it was even a marginal success. There is no way of any of us knowing the answers to the "what if" questions you proposed. We are all different and our pain levels are just as unique to us also.

Keep in mind that You are the captain of the ship and only YOU decide what surgery is done and what is not done. You can hold off for ever if that is your preference. But you WILL KNOW when the time is right for any further type of surgery.

You will have to gauge on how well you are doing or not and also with keeping very good communication with your surgeon. Getting you well is a team effort between you and the surgeon. I can't stress that enough.

I wish I had a crystal ball and could tell you what will or wont be, but I don't own one. I do hope that you will improve that maybe the disectomy will buy you some more time before a fusion is needed if at all. Hang in there.
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

Old 03-08-2007, 03:08 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: western us
Posts: 7,267
ms_west HB User
Re: "failed" discectomy l-5 s,1

Personally I would consider a second opinion.

Old 03-08-2007, 04:06 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 14
OM28 HB User
Re: "failed" discectomy l-5 s,1

Don't even consider a lumbar fusion UNLESS you have very significant instability. They simply do not work and that is the opinion of all the outcome studies. THere is even discussion of Medicare stoppping to reimburse for fusions since so mnay are being done without any relief.

Move on to another doc but the sad fact of the matter is that only 2-3 % of back pain patients require surgey but the US experience is that something on the order of 11% of patients undergo surgery.

Old 03-08-2007, 04:56 AM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: ma. usa
Posts: 8
sheri123flowers HB User
Re: "failed" discectomy l-5 s,1

thanks for your input, dont i wish i owned a crystal ball myself lol.... thanks again

Old 03-08-2007, 04:57 AM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: ma. usa
Posts: 8
sheri123flowers HB User
Re: "failed" discectomy l-5 s,1

wow. i didnt realize any of this info. good to know thanks so much for the reply.

Old 03-08-2007, 04:38 PM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: ma. usa
Posts: 8
sheri123flowers HB User
Re: "failed" discectomy l-5 s,1

thanks for the reply, what are the options of dealing with the pain? you said suregry is rarely needed yet dr's dont hesitate to open us up. i know i dont want a fusion, just wonder if i will ever beable to go back to my job i previously did etc.. like this. if i would hurt myself or do more damage after the discectomy. i certainly cant take narcotics for the rest of my life i cant even handle them now. lol... may as well swallow jelly beans.. thanks again for your reply...... hope your doing well.

Old 03-09-2007, 02:54 PM   #8
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 55
bailey17 HB User
Re: "failed" discectomy l-5 s,1

I saw your post and thought I would add my 2 cents. I too had a failed micro-D on L5-S1. I had that done on June 1, 2006 and I was never 100% afterwards. The pain got worse and worse. My Dr had me on prednisone step down pack, pain meds, anti inflam. meds and Physical therapy. When all of that didn't work he suggested we try a laminectomy. I just had that done on January 25, 2007. I am so glad that I did it! I feel like the old me again. I am back at the gym, I am pain free and I feel fantastic. I know that not everyone will respond this way but I just wanted to let you know that just because the discectomy didn't work doesn't automatically mean fusion. Only you and your Dr can make that call but in my case a fusion wasn't needed just yet. Best of luck to you. I hope you find relief soon. I know how frustrating all of this can be. Karen

Old 03-09-2007, 03:08 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Howell, Michigan
Posts: 248
crookedback HB User
Re: "failed" discectomy l-5 s,1

Hey Sherri... I too am being told I will need fusion at S1-L5 & A trim hopefully at L5-L4. Look for my post previously labeled "why wait?" as it has many good comments about surgery pros & con.

Take care & keep talkin & I would get a 2nd opinion (1 neuro & 1 ortho) to get both angles... Dave!

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