L5 S1 partial discectomy: I saw my spinal... - Pain Concern

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L5 S1 partial discectomy


I saw my spinal consultant yesterday and he asked me what I wanted to do! He said I could continue physio and medication which wasn't helping me,a spinal injection which probably wouldn't help as my disc L5s1 is bulging both sides or an operation.I told him I'd like an operation to have a chance of getting a life back as I've been like this for 5 years now,so I'm going to have a partial discectomy done within 6-8 weeks!!

13 Replies

Hi Kris

I had a partial distectomy which last 10 years then had a further distectomy and another 10 years down the line a spinal fusion.

Kels1974 in reply to Welsh-1

What was your pain like after your partial discectomy please? Were you pain free for a while?

Hello Kels,

Same here with my discs.....had bad sciatica attacks, emergency room. Morphine. It quiets down. Long time problem. Last MRI shows its getting worse. Stenosis and arthritis added to disc herniation. Cannot walk for extended time without pain, phys therapy 3x week. My Orthopedist prescribed a series of three CT guided steroid epidural injections to the nerve root. Had them done, 2 weeks or 3 weeks apart. Procedure not very painful. So far its helping me a lot. Hope it lasts, they do surgery as the last option if nothing works. Not taking my Tramadol and oxy anymore. Did u try epidural steroid? The regular trigger pt cortisone injection from my phys Dr. Did not work.

I wish you a terriffic outcome. No more pain feels so good!

Hi there, I had 3 microdiscectomies at this level. I had herniated badly. I presume a part discectomy is the same thing. My story was somewhat unusual but there were other people who had the same op and they were fine afterwards. If you have no complications it seems that you have little pain and back to doing things like you did before any of the pain started.

Plz let me know outcome because I have the same

Be aware that this operation usually helps with sciatica, and helps less with back pain. I don't want to scare you, but I'd do a bit of research, first. I wish I had. In particular, ask your surgeon how many he's done, and what his success rates are.

My outcome was really bad, so the risk of ending up like me is low, but I wish I'd known this beforehand, so I'm putting it out there. I had a left lateral microdiscectomy at L5/S1 11 years ago. Almost pain free when I woke up from the surgery, but 6 weeks later I developed some new pain, which increased over the subsequent weeks. I grew a lot of scar tissue, and have chronic pain, sciatica, and back spasms due to it. My right leg contracted until I couldn't walk, and I spent 8 months in physical therapy. I'm still in too much pain to stand/walk for more than 15min on good days. I'm unable to work.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/275... : Discectomy:

Leg pain recurrence: At 1 year: 20% At 3 years: 45%

Lower Back Pain recurrence: At 1 year: 29% At 3 years: 65%

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl... : 70-90% have a good to excellent outcome. See table 1.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/255... : 4.3% unsuccessful.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/302... : Outcomes after microdiscectomy favorable for sciatica. Back pain typically decreased as well. Common complications: recurrent disc herniation, disc herniation at another level, wound infections, and durotomy with spinal headache.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/264... : Lumbar microdiscectomy complication rates for 3 types of microdiscectomy:

Complication rate open microendoscopic percutaneous


New/worse neuro deficit 1.3% 3.0% 1.6%

direct nerve root injury 2.6% 0.9% 1.1% Hematoma 0.5% 1.2% 0.6%

Wound complications (infection,

dehiscence, orseroma) 2.1% 1.2% 0.5%

Recurrent disc complications 4.4% 3.1% 3.9% Reoperation 7.1% 3.7% 10.2%

Any 12.5% 13.3% 10.8%

Good luck!!

Emma2017 in reply to waylay

I woke up paralysed on one side. Regained full feeling after about 4/5 months but the leg stayed weak. Got slowly stronger when it went again and then after just 2 weeks it went again. Still having problems now and walk with a crutch but am improving. Most go ok though.

waylay in reply to Emma2017

I'm sorry. :/

Kels1974 in reply to waylay

Nightmare ☹️

Emma2017 in reply to Kels1974

Yep but don’t forget mine was a chance in a million so don’t let that put you off.

I got my operation date today 12th October,it's a bit of a longer wait than the consultant said but at least now I have a date!

Hi sorry to hear of your pain , unless you have nerve damage that’s getting worse I wouldn’t do surgery. I’m 7 years on from my microdisectomy and feel surgery just increased pain. Please read all sides of pros and cons. Surgery isn’t always the answer

Thanks I don't have any other options as I have no quality of life.

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