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Second discectomy

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Old 08-13-2004, 07:30 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 11
jnjwood1995 HB User
Second discectomy

I am scheduled for a second surgery on the 20th of August. I am wondering about the recovery. Has anyone had this done twice? I have been told that the second time may not be as easy to recover from as the first. Is this true? I am a teacher and am wondering just how long I will have to be out. It is for the L5-S1. That seems to be the board favorite. I wonder why this disc is so easily injured. I have no idea how it even happend this time. Please fill me in on the recovery process. I had the first surgery 2 and a half years ago, the recovery then was so quick and easy. I was walking a mile a night 2 weeks after. I am hopeful for the same type of situation.


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Old 08-13-2004, 09:36 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 408
standingman HB User
Re: Second discectomy

Jennifer--I can't be informative about all you ask, but the reason the lowest disks (5/1 and 4/5) get in the most trouble is because they are at the base of the spine, and thus have the most weight on them, supporting all the others. Still, there are exceptions, including me whose biggest problem is at L 2/3.

Regarding second surgeries, I believe there is more concern about scar tissue complicating the outcome, but this is an excellent question for your surgeon, needless ot say.

All the best with it,


Old 08-14-2004, 04:38 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 30
bufitfn HB User
Re: Second discectomy

Hi Jen, Sounds just like me! I had l5/s1 done in 3/01 and I ruptured it again in 11/01. I know you don't want to hear this, but I have been in pain since the day of the second surgery. It is not unbearable pain but it is there 24/7. I asked my doctor and he said the pain is related to the scar tissue from two surgeries. In my case it gets even worse, he said I have very little disc left so in time I would most likely need a fusion.
I hate to say it, but I am getting the pain down my right leg now and I'm sick over it because I don't want a fusion. I am getting another MRI soon. I hope to look into the new prodisc??
Sorry, I hope you make out better than me!

Old 08-14-2004, 10:57 AM   #4
injured betty
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,137
injured betty HB User
Re: Second discectomy


There is tons of information on the net in regards to this problem. The common theory is that we started out on all fours and being upright is not a normal position. This is why it feels so much better to be in the fetal position when your back is in pain. When you look at a spine in the doc office you will notice that the tail bone curls under. That starts around L5. As for the SI, there is an long running argument between phsyziatrists on the net where they argue the need for the SI joint and whether or not it should move and how much it does move. Another great observation that I have read on the site is asking why we even have an SI? It is not meant to move. Because we have a joint there, and it is not supposed to move, it is a weak spot in our body. There are muscles, ligaments and joints that all work in conjunction with each other. In order to keep them in working order, they have to be strenghtened. Ligaments stretch with time, muscles become weak if not exercised on a regular basis, and discs degenerate with age. The argument of the chiropractor would be to be kept in perfect alignment at all times to avoid problems.

If your core muscles are not in top shape, you can hurt your back by doing something as simple as bending down to pick up a piece of paper off of the floor. It isn't the piece of paper that gets you, it is the act of bending instead of squatting.

I was reading an article on the net the other night that an ortho had written. He stated that he puts emphasis on the point that a back patient must continue agressive PT for the rest of their lives. He states that that is one of the reasons for re-injury. Makes sense.

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