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Please help.....Surgery for 3 Herinated Disc?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,002
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello, I seemed to have lost my post so I'll write another one.
I going to a surgeron in Atlanta, GA and I was wondering what will they do for me. I would like to know what I am getting myself into before I see him. I would like to get educated about different surgeries. I have L-4 thur S-1 that have herinated and I'm in severe pain all the time. My accident happened back in 2007 at work. I've gone through the ESI and Myleogram test that did show I had herination but at that time it wasn't that bad but now almost two years later its gotten bad. I'm taking Fentanyl Patch 25mcg, Neurotin 300mg 3 pills 3 times a day, Zanaflex 4mg 2 times a day and Mobic 2 times a day. But I have breakthrough pain most of time.

Oh yeah and I been to two other surgerons and they will not touch me. They tell me it is very hard to recover and you'll be in pain. I told both of them I'm in pain already what more pain can I be in?

So my question is have any of yall had surgery for three herinated disc what kind of surgery did you have? How long did it take to recover and had your pain subsided?

I can't even pick up my kids or do house chores and I'm only at work for 4 hours. I can't live my life like this anymore and neither can my kids!

Please help Thanks in advance!


  • Are you consulting with spine specialized surgeons?
    Try to deal only with surgeons that do spine surgery only.

    I have had 2 surgeries so far, one at L4-L5 and another at L5-S1.
    On the MRI, my L3-L4 is also herniated, but it is not generating any pain.
    This was found by way of a discogram as Robin mentions.

    The technical name of the procedure I had is
    "endoscopic transforaminal lumbar discectomy".

    A small 3mm incision was made on my side(the side I had pain on).
    Small endoscopic instruments were placed thru the lateral foraminal openings (no bone was cut out/removed) of the vertebra.
    Material from the center of the disc(known as populsus) was removed to make room. Room for the herniated populsus outside of the disc to receed back into.
    This relieves pressure on the nerve.

    A small bandaid was placed over the incision and that's it.
    An outpatient procedure. I went in at 11am and was released at 5pm.

    For the most part it solved my problem and am pain-free.
    However, I will always be a spine patient and have adjusted my life accordingly.

    Many do go on to lead normal, active, full, happy lives with no restrictions.

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • I agree with Paul - make sure you are talking to spine specialists (surgeons).

    And just because you have 3 herniated disc doesn't mean all three are causing you pain.

    I had microdiscectomy on my L4/L5 disc. Although I had other slightly herniated discs, the previous mentioned disc was the only one causing pain.

    Post surgery I'm off all my pain meds and I was on Vicoden, Motrin, Gabapentin and religiously taking those on schedule to prevent break through pain. I also had an epidural.

    Look for the best surgeon you can get, and get many opinions. Get references like crazy from friends and even find Physical Therapists in the area who can recommend a good surgeon. They see post surgery results in their patients.

    The fact that two surgeons turned you down is important you listen to that also when weighting the new opinion with it.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your pain. I hope you have someone at home helping you and I hope you don't feel you need to have a perfectly kept home while your hurting. I let things go while I was injured and I'm glad I did. Somethings are just not worth it, and who's to judge you.

    Take it easy, ask others for help even if it means asking others to make meals for you. While I was recouping so many friends and church members brought me food that I had to ask them to stop because my refrigerator was full. But I learned to put my pride away and accept help and it did make life easy.

    Good luck and God bless. I hope there is someone out there with the talent to help you.
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  • I had an accident too and I had three herniations. Only one had to be fused. I believe I rushed into my surgery because I could not stand the pain anymore. I agree that only a spine specialist or neurosurgeon should touch you. To be on the safe side I would ask for them to use my own bone if I had to have a fusion. You might get relief from the discetomy, which I had first. I'll pray that you do.
  • the gold standard for disc pain is a discogram. That is the test that show if the discs are causing pain. If you have a tear, not matter how small, it can cause pain. I dont know what they will do, but that is the only test that diagnosed my 3 level torn discs. Good Luck and sorry I couldnt be more help,
  • I got a call from my lawyer yesterday to tell me to make an appointment for the consult with a doctor who does operate on the spine only. My workers comp doc referral me to him. I hope I can get the next availiable appt due to my pain. W/C doc talks like he's the best of best so that is what I wanted. I've been like this for almost 2 years and it isn't getting any better only worse.

    I was told about the three level disc that were herinated and it might be only one or two that may be my source of pain. I pray that I have found the right doc for me since the other two docs were from the W/C board.

    Melto9 and Cece I have lots of church family praying for me and they call to get an update or while I'm at church they will come and ask me how am I doing. I use to go down to the front of the santuary to worship but now I just sit in my pew. I know God knows my heart and I do try to stand in my pew, but their are times I can't even get up to go to the bathroom. I miss my old life, but will welcome my new one as a blessing. I'm so happy I wasn't paralized when I had hurt my back. God will heal me in his own timing not my own. Thanks for the prayers.

    Thanks again!
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  • Hi there maybe I can help. Last summer I fell in my back yard and herniated L2-3, torn the annulus in L3-4 and had a huge bulging L4-5. I was in excruciating pain. I ended up going to a physical therapy program that incorporated spinal decompression therapy, physical therapy, and chiro. This was a 12 week program but worked. It was hard and pain ful but at the end of the 12 weeks I was ready to join the gym, that is until my neck problems came back worse. I never had any lower back issues until that fall and I can't say enough about this program. I was fortunate enough that my insurance covered it as I know it can be otherwise expensive. Now if only I had such good outcomes with my neck, but thats a whole different story. I don't know if this is available where you live. i live in Mass, but the big spinal decompression machine they use is new technology and very good as long as the people using it know what they are doing.
  • I had multiple chronic disc bulges, and disc herniation/buldge at L4-L5, basically the disc was a huge blob ramming my nerve causing severe right leg sciatica.

    The buldges were from L2-L5 but L4-L5 being the issue, we fixed them all with a PLIF L2-L5 to prevent future surgeries.

    Not sure if that helps any, L5-S1 might be a diff issue, not sure what fusion issues would be caused if thats the answer forya, not sure :D.
  • thanks but what is PLIF?
  • Hi Doxie,

    Church familes are great! Ask them for meals to be brought to you. I did!! And I received some great meals! Now that I'm well I'm ready to help others and already have helped others.

    At my church it's not only about bringing meals, but help to purchase groceries (and now grocery stores do deliver for a fee). But you can ask someone to come by and tidy up or vacuum. I don't expect anyone to do maid service w/o being paid, but small things church helpers don't mind doing. Even mowing your grass now and then if you can't afford it!

    And I couldn't kneel during service and sometimes sitting hurt, so don't be afraid to go stand in the back of the church and don't worry about kneeling. That's the last place people should judge (but sadly sometimes it is the first place).

    God does know your heart and your circumstance. Take it easy, slow down and pray for God to lead you to the right surgeon possible. God uses surgeons to do his work too!
  • I love talking to another Christian who loves God! My church has over 800 members and only 650 of them attend but most of them watch serivce online now! Its LifePoint If you would like to see sometime ok. I've been praying for God to heal my body and ever one else around me believes the samething. I can't sleep so I'm up talking on the net. lol I tried to water the plants today but when I got to the third one I could feel the sharp pain so I had to quit and try to finish later. We have Peace Lillies and they all have blooms right now. I just brought another one home yesterday from work. She was going to throw it away and I said I will take it so she gave it well I paid like ten dollars for a peace lilly she was going to toss out the back door. Well I'm going to call the lawyer tommorrow to see where I am at with the Surgeron doc. I am so ready to see him.

    WEll gotta go talk later!

    God Bless!!!!
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