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Old 12-25-2007, 07:27 PM   #1
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Has anyone had any type of surgery for torn discs?

I have been trying for the last 1 1/2 years to find the source of my back pain. About 2 months ago, I had a discogram that showed 2 badly torn discs. The 3 previous MRI's did not show any real disc degeneration or narrowing. Both discs have pretty good height.

I was wondering if anyone has had any type of surgery strictly for a torn disc. It could be a fusion, IDET, nucleoplasty, SED(selective endoscopic discectomy), or other. I would like to know and also find out your results. I am seriously looking at surgery for myself. One problem is that I also have leg symptoms...extremely limited range of motion, tightness, weakness, inflexibility in buttocks, both hips, and both legs. Don't know if this is related to disc tears, but many of the legs symptoms started at the same time as the low back pain.

 
Old 12-26-2007, 05:12 PM   #2
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Re: Has anyone had any type of surgery for torn discs?

What type of procedure(s) is your doctor wanting to do for the torn discs?

 
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:24 PM   #3
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Re: Has anyone had any type of surgery for torn discs?

I think generally a micro-D is the way to go, unless there's an additional problem such as a spondylolisthesis, which would continue to force the disc into a bad place.

I got Micro-D to fix a herniated disc, but the disc ruptired again, mostly due to a spondy. I had a fusion to correct it 2 months ago and so far it's working great.

You probably already know that they don't really "fix" the tear - they remove the part of the disc that'd protruding into your nerve and hope it doesn't push out again - which it might if you have alignment issues. There are other factors such as your age and general condition, your weight, whether you smoke or not, and previous failed surgeries which would make a doctor lean towrard a fusion rather than a micro-D.

And remember that a micro-D is generally to address the leg pain and not so much the back.

Hopefully some other folks will chime in.

Good Luck,
David

 
Old 12-26-2007, 06:57 PM   #4
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Re: Has anyone had any type of surgery for torn discs?

I don't have a herniated disc...that is, I don't have a disc pressing on a nerve...at least that's what the MRI's seem to show. I have what's called an annular disc tear. The pain is supposedly coming from the disc itself because it is so badly torn.

The surgeon I saw lives over 500 miles away and I will be seeing him in a few weeks. In the letter he sent after he got the disco results, he basically said 1) do nothing(maybe more PT...I've done that til it's coming out my ears with no improvement), 2) spinal fusion, or 3) artificial disc replacement.

I'm most interested in finding others who may have had some type of surgery strictly for torn discs without any other condition.

 
Old 12-26-2007, 08:20 PM   #5
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Re: Has anyone had any type of surgery for torn discs?

A torn disc and a disc herniation can be quite similar. In both cases the outer lining of the disc has been compromised. From your symptoms it seems as if you may have some kind of disc material that escaped or can't be visualized and is impinging on the nerves. Otherwise a tear in a disc alone would not likley cause pain and the symptoms you are having - it would just be a weak disc. Unless the tear also has caused a shift in your spine (instability).

So much to consider (sorry) but be sure to ask questions about why he thinks surgery is an option - and what they would do. If the disc tear has caused spinal instability then fusion surgery would indeed be an option.
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:09 AM   #6
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Re: Has anyone had any type of surgery for torn discs?

Also keep in mind that an MRI/CT SCAN/Mylegram, do not always show everything. I recently had surgery and even with all the preop scans, they went in and found that additional areas that looked good on scans needed decompression.

Has he done any other test beside a mri?

Have they suggested any epidural injections?

Also before jumping into major surgery especially a fusion, I would strongly consider a second opinion from a spinal surgeon (orthopedic with additional fellowship in spine surgery of two years or more) or neurosurgeon.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

Last edited by ms_west; 12-27-2007 at 03:09 AM.

 
Old 12-27-2007, 08:09 AM   #7
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Re: Has anyone had any type of surgery for torn discs?

I had two L1-L2 torn vertebrae, the procedure they did on me was Plasma Disc Decompression, right after they did a Diskogram. This surgery was very painfull, both procedures/surgery were done simultaneously since the surgeon nurse/office clerk had messed up my appointment. I would not recommend PDD to anyone, my back pain has been worse, even though the MRI done after this procedure no longer showed a tear in my L1&L2. Now they have me on joint blocks (why I don't know all part of workmenscomp situation. Just be careful and do research anytime they do anything. I am up against this that if I don't do what the neurosurgeon says then my workmenscomp is null and void.

Good luck and just be careful.

corinne

 
Old 12-27-2007, 07:47 PM   #8
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Re: Has anyone had any type of surgery for torn discs?

The torn discs were discovered on a test called a discography. They inject a dye into each of the 5 lumbar discs and see if there is pain produced and take a picture with an x-ray or CT scan. My pain showed on 2 and the x-ray also showed the same 2 to be badly torn. A badly torn disc can produce what is called discogenic pain...pain from the outer part of the disc itself, which has nerves.

I have a disability score of 58 on the Oswentry(sp?) disabilty index. Severally disabled. Scores of 61 or higher are considered to be completely disabled.

So I am seeing several doctors' opinions, but I'll also take a chance even if the odds might be against me because I can't continue to live like this. And painkillers give me some bad side effects and don't do anything to help me function better. Nothing to reduce the incredible muscle-type weakness, tightness, inflexibilty from my back down to my feet. They might help somewhat with the back pain. When this started last June, my symptoms were 75% back and 25% leg. Today it's about 40% back and 60% leg. And the pins and needles in the feet didn't start til about 8 months after my back problems began. Thought it might be from hamstring stretches I was doing, but an EMG(I forgot, have had 3 of these...all with different results) I took today showed my peripheral nerves in the feet are OK. Doctor says it must be coming from my back.

Since July '06, I've had a discogram, 3 MRI's, tons of PT, 2 epidurals, facet joint injections, an SI joint injection, a CT myelogram, an MR neurogram, a pirformis muscle steroid injection, various x-rays, etc. Nothing has helped at all.

Last edited by tomtom27; 12-27-2007 at 08:04 PM. Reason: other information

 
Old 12-27-2007, 10:18 PM   #9
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Re: Has anyone had any type of surgery for torn discs?

That is great that you are getting multiple opinions and that you have tried the other things. You should feel confident in your decision.

And I want you to know that I took a chance on my last surgery as well for the same reasons as you. It is too early for me to really know the full outcome of my surgery. My surgeon isn't positive but I perfer to cling to HOPE. Good luck, keep the faith and I will be praying for you!!

 
Old 12-30-2007, 03:12 PM   #10
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Re: Has anyone had any type of surgery for torn discs?

Thanks, Pepper, for the kind words...and same to you.

I still can't believe that more people on the boards haven't posted as to having some type of surgery for a torn disc(annular disc tear, IDD-internal disc disruption, probably a few other name for same thing). A few months ago I posted a question and I thought that Tux974 was having nucleoplasty. He posted once about his results. I would like to hear from others. So if you've had a spinal fusion, IDET, nucleoplasty, SED(selective endoscopic discectomy), or other surgery for disc tears, let me know.

Last edited by tomtom27; 12-30-2007 at 04:39 PM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 12-30-2007, 11:00 PM   #11
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Re: Has anyone had any type of surgery for torn discs?

Hi Tom. Sorry, I didnt see your post or would have chimed in sooner.

I had a fusion due to a torn disc ONLY. It was not due to the disc bulging at all. The disc went undetected for over 3 years of MRIs. The discogram also is what found the torn disc. It was badly torn on the inside and literally had no fluid left in it. It was nothing more than an empty shell. My surgeon was stunned to find it and also that it was still intact and was almost at full height as well. But that left me with possible collapse at any moment and thus my spine was technically unstable.

I had horrific sciatica and nerve pain down my legs into my feet. I could barely walk by the time surgery came.

I had a one level, posterior minimally invasive fusion done at l4/l5, with no donor bone taken from my hip. They removed the disc, then put a cage into the space, with bone they took out of my spine ground up and put into the cage along with a bone growth protein known as BMP. Then have 2 rods and 4 screws to secure me tight!

I am 85% improved and I was only given 50/50 odds of it helping me with my pain. I could immediately tell that my sciatica was gone after waking from the surgery. It was instant relief.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:15 AM   #12
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Smile Re: Has anyone had any type of surgery for torn discs?

[QUOTE=tomtom27;3368382]Thanks, Pepper, for the kind words...and same to you.

I still can't believe that more people on the boards haven't posted as to having some type of surgery for a torn disc(annular disc tear, IDD-internal disc disruption, probably a few other name for same thing). A few months ago I posted a question and I thought that Tux974 was having nucleoplasty. He posted once about his results. I would like to hear from others. So if you've had a spinal fusion, IDET, nucleoplasty, SED(selective endoscopic discectomy), or other surgery for disc tears, let me know.[/QUOTE]

Hi Tom, I check back once in awhile because I see not much goes on here. As for my update it has been 8 1/2 weeks and nothing for improvement. I will say it has not made matters worse so thats a good thing! As for the proccedure for me was not bad at all Discography with the Nucleoplasty together. I saw my Surgeon 2 weeks ago and he said not to throw the towel in just yet he has had patients that have taken 4 to 6 months to feel improvements. I see on here some have had terrible outcome, I think having a good DR with plenty of practice and experience doing the procedure is the only way. I think I got lucky with that. It has not helped me yet but at least like I said it has not gotten worse. Hope this helps. I do check in so post and I'll be happy to respond. I truly which more positive outcome cases would come back to update people like us who are curious to know not just people that have terrible outcome or no help at all. I check in at least once a week and promise to update either way.
I forgot to add that Nucleo is only suggested for contained herniations not disc tears.
Tony

Last edited by tux974; 01-03-2008 at 11:34 AM.

 
Old 01-06-2008, 05:00 PM   #13
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Re: Has anyone had any type of surgery for torn discs?

Thanks to all that have replied...hope to hear of more that have had a surgery for disc tears.Thanks.

Last edited by moderator2; 01-06-2008 at 07:24 PM.

 
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