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Hi, I wondered if anybody could offer me some advice. I'm 25 years old and I've had 3 microdisceptomy operations the 3rd one been on 20th December 2016. I'm due to see my surgeon tomorrow for my follow up appointment. Since the operation I am still having severe leg pain down my left leg, to the point I can only walk for 5-10 minutes without been in really bad pain and having to sit down. I'm wondering if anyone has been in my situation before? And what the next steps surgery wise are, as I'm sure I was told that they could only perform the disceptomy a max of 3 times. I'm beyond fed up and feel like I'm losing hope. Pain killers just aren't helping even though I've tried so many different types to control the pain. Any advice what I should be asking for? Thank you

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  • Posted

    Gosh Sally. That is a tough road. I'm sorry. I have not been in that situation I have to admit.

    I would assume that 3 surgeries and the herniations that required them would have caused a lot of inflammationand potentially some damage to the nerve. In general, both of these take ages to get better.

    The only treatment that I can imagine might help would be either oral steroids now, or a steroid injection once the surgery site has settled down. These will help the nerve inflammation to settle down.

    Otherwise just make sure you are taking the most effective pain medication so ask your doctor about something like Lyrica to dull the nerve pain. It has significant side effects but maybe they would be worth the relief.

    Try to keep moving though. Not doing so will cause it's own problems as your core muscles atrophy and you can't stabilise the spine.

    Don't give up. I know that it can be easy to fall into despair. But remember that the back and nerves are both parts of the body that do just take ages to heal. The body does not have good systems for fixing them. You can't change that so just try to stay patient. Some days you just can't be positive I know. But do try to count the positives as they come.

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  • Posted

    May be they need to look at exactly what nerves are been compressed and by what disc s. Maybe spinal fusion is the way forward????
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    • Posted

      I guess if they have already operated 3 times, they have identified the disc with the problem. It sounds like the issue is that the disc is not sealing up after surgery and/or is coming under too much stress during recovery and keeps failing. It's unusual for it to go 3 times afaik but everyone's different. Given your young age, I guess there may be a genetic factor in the weakness of the disc. That is just speculation though of course. TBH anyone with a herniated disc probably owes part of the reason to their genes.

      Fusion might be the end game if the disc does not stabilise. That will eliminate the disc and so 'prop up' the spine, preserving the height and avoiding issues with the facet joints at the back of the spine. But it does mean some loss of mobility and the recovery is pretty long.

      I think the theoretical plan without fusion is to hopefully have the pain under control enough that you could start doing physio soon and build up enough core stability to stabilise the spine and preserve the disc, at least for a while longer. But you are in a lot of pain so starting physio sounds nearly impossible. You need the surgeon to give you something to deal with the pain in the short term. Like I say, maybe a major course of steroids can help there.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, I do believe it is genetic as my mum and aunt have suffered with the same when they were younger. I've never discussed a fusion and have just googled to try get information about what it entails but it isn't too clear. Do you know much about a fusion? My surgeon last time I saw him said he'd be very shocked if the disc was to move back a 3rd time, and to be honest I'm still hoping it hasn't but I won't know unless he sends me for another MRI! but the pain is just unbearable almost worse than before I had the 3rd operation! I did try pysio but it was just not possible with the amount of pain I'm in! Thank you

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    • Posted

      Scar tissue can cause immense pain too. Defo push for a MRI. Doctors can only go off satistics, we are all different so it's quite possible that ones there's a weakness some where it can continue to cause problems.

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