Two discectomies Since June and 2 further prolapses.

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Hi, I have had 4 disc prolapses since February 09. The first time was when I jumped out of bed quickly. I went for physiotherapy and after about 7 weeks the pain in my leg disappeared and it seemed that the prolapse completely healed. On April 10th I was just reaching to a shelf to get something and it felt like I had been shot in my back. The pain was intense and immediately i also had right leg pain down to my foot along with numbness in the right side of my foot. I went to see a consultant who arranged an MRI scan which identified the prolapse. He arranged for me to have a discectomy on 19th June 09 as it wasn't getting any better after about 4 weeks. By the time the date came for the op I was feeling much better with little or no pain but decided to go ahead with the op anyway. I walked 2 miles to the hospital with no pain at all. After the op things were ok until about 5 weeks later when i felt a gradual increase in back pain which then manifested in to leg pain again. I was in bed for 2 weeks as the pain was that bad in my right leg and foot that I could not walk, I had a further MRI scan which identified that the same disc had prolapsed again but worse than before. I had another discectomy on 4th August and walked out of the hospital pain free and on top of the world. I took 3 weeks off work, did no driving, followed the exercise plan and took easy but kept mobile. I went back to work on 24th August and 1 week later the same thing happened i felt a gradual back pain then the leg pain started again. I rang the consultant who arranged an MRI scanwhich identified that the same disc, albeit there not being much left of it, had prolapsed again. I have been off work for 3 weeks as the pain in the back of my thigh is so bad that I cannot walk more than 30 yards without stopping or drive at all which i need to do for my job. My healthcare company will only now cover me for a Rigid Spinal Fusion as they say I have a chronic condition while the consultant disagrees and says I have been unlucky as only 6% of patients have a recurrence. He wants to wait 3 or 4 weeks to see if it corrects itself. But since I went to see him 3 days ago the pain is worse. My doctor has put me on Dihydrocodeine, Pregabalin, Diclofenac, Lanzoprole, Paracetamol and Diazepam. The pain almost completely disappears when I lie down but I want to be up and about. I don't know whether to opt for the Spinal Fusion or another discectomy. Has anyone else been in a similar position? sad

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  • Posted

    my back \"went\" 5 years ago when i was 28 from turning over in bed,that was the start of my nightmare it took me 3 years to see a surgeon and then i had 2 discectomies within 3 months of each other i was due another surgery a few months ago but its on hold at the moment as i have failed post op suregry and another surgery will make my back more weaker and i am virtually housebound now. my surgeon has stated to me that if i have fallen into the small group of people who fail discectomy surgery then i will almost be likely to fail the fusion and they will not under any circumstances perform this surgery...so i am stuck in limbo land.... and will warn you to think hard of this next surgery as like you i hardly have any disc left but it has made me so weak...good luck and keep us updated.
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I had two ops in quick succession, the first a microdiscectomy, but they messed it up and I had a huge dural tear, which they didn't spot. It made me very ill and a few weeks later i had a second emergency op at which time they took more disc as well. My concern from reading your post is the risk of extensive internal scarring, which can happen from having several ops in the same place, but the risk is worse if the ops are within a short(ish) period of time. The reason being that the surgeon will be cutting into tissue that is still swollen and recovering from the previous surgery. I now have significant scarring around the S1 nerve rootlet and a lot of neuropathic pain in my leg. Basically, having gone through a stage of painful pain it moved on to constant burning the whole length of my leg, plus some numbness. this is permanent and they cannot operate to remove the internal scarred tissue, because that in itself will create more scar tissue.

    I mention this, because you may want to discuss the risks with your surgeon. He may well shrug his shoulders and say there are no guarantees, but he should be able to give you some statistics. The damage is permanent.

    I think that we all go into surgery hoping and praying that it will all go okay. And for a lot of people it does, but from what I have read where there are subsequent problems post surgery, they are not evenly spread over the population of all patients and it seems to be a few that cop all the problems. Just be careful.

    Good luck!!!

    TFU

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  • Posted

    Hi there... I to have had the op in April of this year and have also had a pain from then. I have never got rid of the pain when I,m sleeping in bed or trying to relax. I also get stabbing pains from time to time in my right hip together with numbeness in my right leg and pins and needles either in my right or left foot. However I find that keeping active and not giving into the pain helps. I do a lot of lifting at my work, getting out and about such as walking or when I feel upto it I try to cycle. I do lots of housework or gardening. All of these things can help along with the exercises that I got from the physio. It dulls the pain and stops me from stiffing up. I do appreciate that the pain can be excrutiating as that happens to me (usually first thing when I get out of bed) but I walk up and down until the pain dulls to a level I can cope with as this can take up to half an hour or more. I did visit my doctor a few weeks back and am now back on cocodamal and gabapentin tablets. I am due to see consultant again this comeing week but it seems to me that you have to try to keep active as well as cope with the pain. I feel that in this day of age something better could be done but I also appreciate that if they are doing all they can so that they dont damage any nerve ends or the scar tissue can grow back even more after each op then my spine and whats left of my disc is more important and I will try to take better care of it and do all I can to help reduce the pain myself. Maybe you need to get up out of bed more and try getting mobile. Gradually the pain may decrease and when you get these bouts of pain just do your exercises and take your pain killers. By reading other peoples messages we all seem to have something simillar. Hope you get better soon . bye
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  • Posted

    Hi , I have had discectomy in both my neck and the lumbar region. The neck discectomy went very well but i had fusion so now have restricted movement and occasional bouts of pain in my neck and sometimes headaches. I cope with that very well. The surgery in my lumbar region ( i forget which discs it was) went ok but left my left leg very weak and with nerve damage. In my experience i think the surgery cures one thing and causes another but sometimes the problems after surgery are easier to manage than the problems before surgery. I have currently another bulging disc which i am managing with help from the pain clinic as i will only go through surgery as a last resort because of the fear that i may lose use in my left leg altogether. I take gabapentin, meloxicam, omeprazole and top up with tramadol when i have particularly bad days. I also have a cordal epidural once a year ( had 3 now) which does give some pain relief even if only for a few weeks. I think the best way to manage the conditions we have are to just take each day as it comes and live at a more gentle pace. Exercise definitely helps and you will feel much better if you keep mobile. I walk my dog every morning, very slowly and we don't go very far but it has definitely helped my back. I have at times been on crutches because staying mobile has been difficult but i know it's better to be mobile than lie in bed. I hope my experiences don't dishearten anyone who reads this, it's not the end of the world, you just have to learn to accept and adapt to a different way of life. I am 45 years old, i still have a happy life and i just take each day as it comes.
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  • Posted

    Dear Danny,

    I certainly feel for you.My husband had terrible leg pain for nearly a year and rattled with painkillers and then he took a bottle of oramorph around with him every day until they finally did an MRI which identified a prolapsed disc.Last friday he had the disc partially removed and was pain free for two days.On the third day he sat down in a chair that was given to him by the physio and it was too low.As he thumped down in the chair,he was in severe leg pain again.Today,an MRI has shown yet another prolapsed disc.I see that you and he are within the very unlucky 6%.I didn't look at the date of your post so if you see this could you please respond and let me know how you are doing now?This is a nitemare at the moment as I'm sure you're very aware.

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  • Posted

    I had a discectomy in 1998 after agonising pain for 2 months. For the first few weeks things improved and was able to potter around with only limited pain. Then it all went badly. In 1999, whilst travelling to Suffolk from Birmingham I suffered severe pain again. I collapsed at my friends house and was eventually hospitalised for 2 weeks. Since this time I have been in a lot of pain, especially when I walk. To bring things up to date, I had a MRI scan again and now have a second prolapsed disc, and worse They have said that surgery is unlikely to help! I am pain everytime I go out, bend, twist and turn. I am desperate for my specialist to do something, and will ask her this when I see her in 6 weeks time. I am really down as I already suffer from Clinical depression and panic attacks, and this news does not help.

    Dave

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