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L3/L4 disc removal, concerned about space between levels

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Had second discectomy, same level. I am concerned about the space where the disc was removed from. Would there be instability in the area? Anyone with experience of this concern. I am hearing from rumors that people would not do this surgery. Another concern is about bending accident and causing trauma to the region.

Thanks
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replied September 9th, 2011
Hi Ashmeed,

I have had a microdisectomy in 09 for a herniation at L5-S1. I also have DDD in the same disk. I have re-injured and reherniated the same disk and my doctor recommends a fusion vs another disectomy. His reasoning is that it will continue to degenerate and I will eventually need a fusion anyways.

But it is not uncommon for one to have 2 disectomies. It probably depends on the size of the herniation and the amount of disk removed during each surgery.

Good luck,

Melanie
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replied September 10th, 2011
Hi Melanie,
Thanks for your input, I had a follow up yesterday with my surgeon and he explained exactly what he did. There is no DDD in the area. He did laminectomies on L3 & L4, took out the entire disc to prevent reherniation and cleared out the nerve roots at L3,L4 & L5. Especially at the L5 in lieu of the collapse by taking out the disc. Also he said fibrous tissue will fill in the area. He is happy with the progress so far and will be starting rehab during the week. Thanks again

Ashmeed
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replied September 10th, 2011
Good luck with rehab, I am glad that you have an answer from your concerns. I am curious, did he place bone or a cage within the space where he removed the entire disk?

Take care!

Melanie
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replied September 11th, 2011
Hello again,
Thanks! They did not use any bone or a cage, that was the reasoning for my concern. He explained there are three points for instability on the spine, if you address two, then they will either fuse or use a cage. He said that fibrous tissue will grow and fill the space. They cleared the L3/4/5 nerve roots to prevent going back in later on, since the vertebrae will drop as the disc is now removed. Also he mentioned with partial discectomy there is always a great chance for reherniation, which happened to me right after my first surgery. Hope I didn't scare you with this, every person body reacts differently depending on their activities and lifestyle. All we can hope for is the best possibilities. Quick question, do you have pain or are you uncomfortable?

Ashmeed
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replied September 12th, 2011
Hi Ashmeed,

oh yes, I have a lot of pain. My pain is probably 5-7 daily. My pain is less numbing and pins and needles and more pain, deep ache, throbbing ache.

The pain is in my low back where the disectomy was and often feels stiff and stuck. But the pain radiates to my rt buttock and thigh. It occasionally travels to my outside calf and occasionally the rt side of my right foot. It worsens throughout the day.

In addition, I broke my tailbone and pelvis from a fall 9 weeks ago, so that is healing as well.

My biggest fear is that the pain isn't coming from the disc, but possibly si joint. I have had si injections which relieved pain while numb and I have had RFA in my rt si joint-which helped quite a bit for about a year.

Unfortunately si joint issues mimic herniated disk issues and many drs really aren't educated regarding the si joint. My dr is pretty knowledgeable and feels the fusion would be best, but in my heart of hearts-I think it's si joint or both.

I have pain meds, but try to avoid them as much as possible. I take Lorcet 10/650 once a day (after 4 hours of a sitting job) but it only takes the edge off.

Hope that helps. Please, by all means if you have any suggestions for me, I am open to any.

Melanie
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replied September 16th, 2011
i also had this operation last 2007. so far, i feel relief unlike when im not operated. the process is called "Microdiscectomy". But sometimes i felt some more pain but its tolerable. My surgeon was Dr. Mario Ver of Saint Lukes Medical Center. He was also one on the team that operated FGMA last Month.
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replied September 20th, 2011
Hi Melanie,
Sorry about not getting back to you earlier. From your story, you have multiple issues as to your pain. I am heeding my doctors' advice and using the walker to prevent falling and doing further damages to the area. They don't want me sitting for any long periods. I have mentally preped myself to stay put for the rest of this year (rehab exercises only). I have no pain, just muscular soreness from surgery and stretching. Sorry I don't have any advice but don't over work youself, I know how it was when I was working. I did the same and that is part of the reason for my condition. If I do come across any info I will let you know. I do hope you will get relief soon.

Regards
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