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Old 01-25-2011, 03:10 PM   #1
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2nd microdiscectomy

Going back Thursday for 2nd microdiscectomy. 1st on 12/20 this time will be doing l4-l5, l5-s1. Any recommendations from people who have gone through this more then once?? Thanks!

 
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:34 PM   #2
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Re: 2nd microdiscectomy

What is your diagnosis?

 
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:39 PM   #3
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Re: 2nd microdiscectomy

Hi, abentancur. Gosh, you are so young to have so many problems. I went back and quickly scanned the MRI results you posted in December and I wonder if you would mind if I ask a couple of questions.....

Have you had another MRI scan? Are you seeing a spine specialist....a doctor whose practice is devoted to the spine? Most importantly, have you gotten a second opinion?

Since you have 3 discs that are herniated, I think it very important to get at least one more opinion as to what would be the best procedure for you. Having a second micro is something I would really think about. There's a possibility that with having 3 levels herniated, you might run the risk of instability. I am also concerned that the MRI showed central canal stenosis which means that the ruptured disc is putting pressure on the spinal cord. Do you have any leg weakness or pain that runs down the leg?

My fear is that you will have a second micro and then have another piece break off which would require more surgery. Has your dr. discussed that possibility with you? You can only remove so much of a disc ( or pieces of more than 1 disc) before running into bigger problems. I also went in twice to have small pieces of disc removed and my spine became unstable as there wasn't enough disc left to support the vertabrae and I then had to have a fusion to stabilize my spine and take the pressure off my nerves. I do have permanent damage of those nerves.

I really am not trying to frighten you but I do think it would be wise to get a second opinion, or at least discuss these things with your doctor and do some research before undergoing this second surgery.

Please keep posting and let us know how you are doing.

Carol

 
Old 01-25-2011, 07:23 PM   #4
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Re: 2nd microdiscectomy

[QUOTE=maltluver;4669711]Hi, abentancur. Gosh, you are so young to have so many problems. I went back and quickly scanned the MRI results you posted in December and I wonder if you would mind if I ask a couple of questions.....

Have you had another MRI scan? Are you seeing a spine specialist....a doctor whose practice is devoted to the spine? Most importantly, have you gotten a second opinion?

Since you have 3 discs that are herniated, I think it very important to get at least one more opinion as to what would be the best procedure for you. Having a second micro is something I would really think about. There's a possibility that with having 3 levels herniated, you might run the risk of instability. I am also concerned that the MRI showed central canal stenosis which means that the ruptured disc is putting pressure on the spinal cord. Do you have any leg weakness or pain that runs down the leg?

My fear is that you will have a second micro and then have another piece break off which would require more surgery. Has your dr. discussed that possibility with you? You can only remove so much of a disc ( or pieces of more than 1 disc) before running into bigger problems. I also went in twice to have small pieces of disc removed and my spine became unstable as there wasn't enough disc left to support the vertabrae and I then had to have a fusion to stabilize my spine and take the pressure off my nerves. I do have permanent damage of those nerves.

I really am not trying to frighten you but I do think it would be wise to get a second opinion, or at least discuss these things with your doctor and do some research before undergoing this second surgery.

Please keep posting and let us know how you are doing.

Carol[/QUOTE]
_____________________
Hi Carol

Thank you for posting back. I did get 2 new MRI's and they both showed a small fragment on L4-L5 which was where I had the original micro. I thought I had gotten L4-L5, L5-S1 done originally but it turns out I only had l4-l5 not l5-s1. This time around I will be getting l5-s1 done as well which wasnt touched the first time. I also got another opinion and he mentioned the same thing my doctor told me. I don't have weakness. The only thing weird which I mentioned to my doctor today was I started experiencing a new pain in my left leg when I've only been having the pains in my right. I am praying this is the last and final time I have to go under. I am young and active and pray to be on a road to recovery after this. Also the doctor I am seeing is an orthopedic spine specialist. He has 24 years of experience.

Did you have your 2nd micro shortly after your first?? Fusion is what scares me. He hasn't mentioned any risks I could encounter from going under again. I wonder if thats a bad thing, (that he didnt tell me).

Thank you for your post.

 
Old 01-26-2011, 07:36 PM   #5
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Re: 2nd microdiscectomy

Hi. I had a discectomy/laminectomy L4/L5 on July 3, 2009. About a week and a half later I had the same pain only worse. So my dr. went back in and did a second one to take more out. It was supposed to last around 10 years but I only made it until 2010. The pain did start going to the other side on me also (originally it had always been my left leg, then was hurting in my right leg). The pain sort of alternated between the sides. I recovered pretty well even after the 2nd discectomy. I went back to work about one month later, but now I think that was too soon.
I got to where it was hurting so bad in Nov. 2010 that I couldn't walk, then it let up for a few days. I went ahead and did the fusion because my insurance was ending on 12/28/10. My dr. said when he went in during the fusion, the disc was just brittle and dried out. I am 5 weeks post op today and am feeling a lot better. Good luck with your surgery.
__________________
'97-L4/L5 Disc ruptured-siatica left leg
'98-nerve blocks
'09-Diagn. w/ DDD & mild scoliosis
'09-nerve blocks
'09-PT
'09-Disc./Lamin.
'09-Discectomy
12/22/10-L4/L5 fusion XLIF (clamp)

 
Old 01-29-2011, 10:12 AM   #6
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abetancur HB User
Re: 2nd microdiscectomy

Hello all,

I had the surgery on Thursday and woke up still in pain in my leg. I am concerned because the first time I had the surgery the pain was immediately gone and it was only surgical pain. This time I have minimal surgical pain and painful leg pain. The doctors all told me they removed EVERYTHING from the nerve. They think the nerve is soar from having the disc on it and they also mentioned scar tissue could be causing the pain. They prescribed me neurontin for the nerve pain, a steroid, and a pain killer. Has anyone experienced this after their 2nd surgery? I am so scared. I pray this will all turn around.

Thank you
Amanda

 
Old 01-29-2011, 10:53 AM   #7
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Re: 2nd microdiscectomy

Hi Amanda. I'm sorry you are in such pain after your surgery Thursday. However, it isn't abnormal to be experiencing nerve pain when a nerve has been irritated prior to surgery. It can take some time for it to calm down...sometimes several months.

I hope the neurontin helps. Keep in mind that it takes time for it to build up in your system and start working. Your dosage isn't high, so there is plenty of room for it to be titrated up if you need to. Hopefully, you will be on the road to a full recovery soon. Give it time, don't push yourself, and follow your surgeons instructions exactly.

Please let us know how you are doing.

Carol

 
Old 01-29-2011, 01:46 PM   #8
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Re: 2nd microdiscectomy

Hi there. I can relate to this since I have already had two discectomy surgeries and will probably need a third. My first one went ok yet I was an idiot and didn't do what the doctor told me to do and tried lifting weights 4 weeks after surgery. BAD IDEA. So I immeidately had an emergency surgery to fix the L4/L5 disc again which went well for about 5 months until I started to ride my bike and felt a small pop. This was only a minor set back yet I tend to have these set backs more often now which really makes me angry. I have had two opinions and if I do get another one, I will be having the new surgeon do the surgery. I just started having leg pain but again, only minor. Its nothing that keeps me from walking or doing light lifting yet I am very stubborn and like to have pain free living. I am 37 and very active and I still think I should be able to do the things I want to do without having pain. Anyway, I don't think a second one could hurt. Mine did pretty well. I am like you where I DO NOT want any fusion done since I have heard both good and bad stories. I need more of a guarentee that it will help me for the long haul. I have 3 buldging discs right now in L5/SI, L4/L5, and L4/L3 area. Lucky me huh? I can manage pain pretty well but the nerve pain is really what I can't stand. I hate it. I have tried all of the other options such as steriod shots, PT, and the Chiropracters yet none of those really helped me. Surgery was my only option. I would recommend the surgery as long as you trust your doctor. Hope things get better for you. I am right there with you. Good luck.
Tim

 
Old 01-29-2011, 02:38 PM   #9
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Re: 2nd microdiscectomy

Hello Tim and welcome to the board. Did you have both discectomies at the same level or different ones? I ask because you really can't take too much of the disc material out without risking spine instability and you mentioned having a 3rd surgery.

Yes, lifting weights is definately not something anyone should do anytime soon after surgery! Even if you hadn't already had surgery, I would recommend not lifting since you have 3 bulging discs and that could surely cause the disc or discs to rupture. Once we become spine patients, we really have to make adjustments in our lives to accomodate our weakend spines.

I used to be an avid gardener, would spend the entire day outside planting, weeding, hoeing, etc. but I have had to give it up completely. It was really hard to do as I didn't look at it as work, but rather as relaxation, so losing that was hard to adjust to. You may have to do the same with weight lifting and try to find something that isn't so hard on the back.

I hope you will be able to avoid more surgery and that you will continue to post updates here. Best of luck to you!!

Carol

 
Old 01-29-2011, 03:04 PM   #10
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Re: 2nd microdiscectomy

[QUOTE=maltluver;4672520]Hello Tim and welcome to the board. Did you have both discectomies at the same level or different ones? I ask because you really can't take too much of the disc material out without risking spine instability and you mentioned having a 3rd surgery.

Yes, lifting weights is definately not something anyone should do anytime soon after surgery! Even if you hadn't already had surgery, I would recommend not lifting since you have 3 bulging discs and that could surely cause the disc or discs to rupture. Once we become spine patients, we really have to make adjustments in our lives to accomodate our weakend spines.

I used to be an avid gardener, would spend the entire day outside planting, weeding, hoeing, etc. but I have had to give it up completely. It was really hard to do as I didn't look at it as work, but rather as relaxation, so losing that was hard to adjust to. You may have to do the same with weight lifting and try to find something that isn't so hard on the back.

I hope you will be able to avoid more surgery and that you will continue to post updates here. Best of luck to you!!

Carol[/QUOTE]

Thanks Carole,
Yes I did have the same surgery at the same level. The first surgery he didn't take much out, just clipped off the bulging part on the nerve. The second surgery he did about the same. The MRI shows that there is still some more that might be able to come out yet and my doctor says a third would be the last as he didn't want to take much more out either. I was thinking about accupuncture. Have you heard anything about this procedure? Can it work for bulging discs? Let me know if you have an opinion. Thanks.

Tim

 
Old 02-16-2011, 03:01 AM   #11
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Re: 2nd microdiscectomy

[QUOTE=abetancur;4672338]Hello all,

I had the surgery on Thursday and woke up still in pain in my leg. I am concerned because the first time I had the surgery the pain was immediately gone and it was only surgical pain. This time I have minimal surgical pain and painful leg pain. The doctors all told me they removed EVERYTHING from the nerve. They think the nerve is soar from having the disc on it and they also mentioned scar tissue could be causing the pain. They prescribed me neurontin for the nerve pain, a steroid, and a pain killer. Has anyone experienced this after their 2nd surgery? I am so scared. I pray this will all turn around.

Thank you
Amanda[/QUOTE]

Hi Amanda,
WOW!! When I was reading your post, I thought deja vu!!!
There are so many similiarities there, I felt that I was reading a post I could've written myself!
I had a severe rupture of L4.5 (excuse my lack of medical terminology if I misspeak) which was compressing nerves (sciatica). The pain was intense and constant. NOTHING offered any relief from the time I ruptured it on 9/8 until surgery on 10/5. The Dr assured me prior to surgery that when I awoke in the recovery room, my leg would feel 'normal' again (maybe not 100%, but very close). He was right on! When I woke, I was amazed at how normal my leg felt! I did have considerably more pain in my back than I was expecting, but my leg felt so much better. Then 3 days post op, I fell down my stairs at home. I had a 2nd MRI done but there was so much swelling it wasn't easy to read. We did a couple of rounds steriods. We tried nerve blockers...I just generallly guess we were playing the time game to see what was going to happen in time. Well just before Christmas, he decided that there really wasn't another option but to go back in and take out more disc (or whatever it is that they take out).
Immediately after surgery, he told my husband that it was like taking a 'rock' (not pebble) out of my shoe. Well this time when I woke in the recovery room, I felt both back and leg pain. The leg pain was worse than what I had been experiencing before that second surgery (but less than the pain experienced before the first surgery) and has only gotten worse. Today is 2 weeks exactly since the 2nd surgery. I can't take any of the nerve meds. We tried 3 different ones and the side effects were just more than I could bare!
I too, am wondering the same thing and see that our experiences are very similiar! I am taking the steriods and pain killers but cannot take the nerve medications.
Please keep in touch. Our situations seem to be very similiar and there is a small amount of comfort in knowing that I am not the only one who is experiencing this after a 2nd laminectomy/discectomy.
Please update how things are going for you, if you would....
Blessings!!

 
Old 02-19-2011, 11:00 AM   #12
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Re: 2nd microdiscectomy

[QUOTE=hausofmouse;4685654]Hi Amanda,
WOW!! When I was reading your post, I thought deja vu!!!
There are so many similiarities there, I felt that I was reading a post I could've written myself!
I had a severe rupture of L4.5 (excuse my lack of medical terminology if I misspeak) which was compressing nerves (sciatica). The pain was intense and constant. NOTHING offered any relief from the time I ruptured it on 9/8 until surgery on 10/5. The Dr assured me prior to surgery that when I awoke in the recovery room, my leg would feel 'normal' again (maybe not 100%, but very close). He was right on! When I woke, I was amazed at how normal my leg felt! I did have considerably more pain in my back than I was expecting, but my leg felt so much better. Then 3 days post op, I fell down my stairs at home. I had a 2nd MRI done but there was so much swelling it wasn't easy to read. We did a couple of rounds steriods. We tried nerve blockers...I just generallly guess we were playing the time game to see what was going to happen in time. Well just before Christmas, he decided that there really wasn't another option but to go back in and take out more disc (or whatever it is that they take out).
Immediately after surgery, he told my husband that it was like taking a 'rock' (not pebble) out of my shoe. Well this time when I woke in the recovery room, I felt both back and leg pain. The leg pain was worse than what I had been experiencing before that second surgery (but less than the pain experienced before the first surgery) and has only gotten worse. Today is 2 weeks exactly since the 2nd surgery. I can't take any of the nerve meds. We tried 3 different ones and the side effects were just more than I could bare!
I too, am wondering the same thing and see that our experiences are very similiar! I am taking the steriods and pain killers but cannot take the nerve medications.
Please keep in touch. Our situations seem to be very similiar and there is a small amount of comfort in knowing that I am not the only one who is experiencing this after a 2nd laminectomy/discectomy.
Please update how things are going for you, if you would....
Blessings!![/QUOTE]


It is comforting to know that I am not the only individual going through this. As my surgeon advised me he has performed thousands of surgeries and has never experienced this before. After my last post I ended up getting admitted in the hospital for 10 days and no medicines were helping me, I was on PCA pumps and finally when they put me on methadone I started feeling relief. Now I am home and am on meds that don't help so I am constantly in chronic pain. I am now seeing pain management and will be getting nerve block injections starting Tuesday, a set of 3 for three weeks. I pray these help. I can't imagine this pain any longer. I Have to admit the pain has def subsided some since being in the hospital. When I was in the hospital my surgeon was ready to diagnose me with RSD because my leg had been super sensitive and hurt when you touch it, now it no longer hurts like that. The pain travels all over which is weird. It goes from my leg to my upper butt, lower back. I hope I can write good news after Tuesday. How are you feeling now? Any better? Have you seen a doctor again? What is your next steps? Have you looked into pain management? I hope you feel better soon! Keep me updated as I will do the same. By the way, does your pain med work for you? If so what are you taking? I'd love to have some relief. All the best.

 
Old 02-26-2011, 10:38 AM   #13
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Re: 2nd microdiscectomy

[QUOTE=abetancur;4688340]
It is comforting to know that I am not the only individual going through this. As my surgeon advised me he has performed thousands of surgeries and has never experienced this before. After my last post I ended up getting admitted in the hospital for 10 days and no medicines were helping me, I was on PCA pumps and finally when they put me on methadone I started feeling relief. Now I am home and am on meds that don't help so I am constantly in chronic pain. I am now seeing pain management and will be getting nerve block injections starting Tuesday, a set of 3 for three weeks. I pray these help. I can't imagine this pain any longer. I Have to admit the pain has def subsided some since being in the hospital. When I was in the hospital my surgeon was ready to diagnose me with RSD because my leg had been super sensitive and hurt when you touch it, now it no longer hurts like that. The pain travels all over which is weird. It goes from my leg to my upper butt, lower back. I hope I can write good news after Tuesday. How are you feeling now? Any better? Have you seen a doctor again? What is your next steps? Have you looked into pain management? I hope you feel better soon! Keep me updated as I will do the same. By the way, does your pain med work for you? If so what are you taking? I'd love to have some relief. All the best.[/QUOTE]

Hi Amanda,
did you get your nerve block injections yet? How did it go? Has it been giving you any relief? Just wondering did your Dr tell you how they diagnose RSD? Sorry for so many questions...

I am feeling about the same. I have been working very hard on trying to think positive which I will admit it very hard at times. I went for my 2nd MRI since my surgery on 2/2/11 earlier this week. That did not go so well as the NS said they needed it w/ contrast and they were not able to get the contrast in me because my veins kept blowing. My arms look terrible!! I am scheduled to go back on Monday for a 3rd MRI because the NS says they must have the contrast in order to see what it truly going on (I may have possibly ruptured the same disc a 3rd time).
To answer your questions for me...I am feeling about the same, I will see the Dr next week after my next MRI (which I am absolutely NOT looking forward to!) The Dr has not suggested pain mgt yet. They did just refill my pain meds as they had given me a 3 week supply when I was discharged from the hospital. My pain meds work so so. It takes the edge off but does not take the pain away. I have to be careful though because I cannot drive while taking it. So if I absolutely have to drive, I stop taking it about 10 hrs prior to driving which is rough because then I have to wait even longer for any relief when I start it back up.
hope you are feeling at least a little better

 
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