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Dr. Frank
Dr. Frank, Board Certified Physician
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 8999
Experience:  Board certified general Adult Neurologist, with experience in experimental neuroimaging and neurodiagnostics.
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I blew L4/L5 disc in 2012 with nerve entrapement to the

Customer Question

Hi, i blew L4/L5 disc in 2012 with nerve entrapement to the Left. Cold numb foot, nerve pain around calf, through thigh and sciatic. I dragged myself around for 4 mths and decided to get it repaired when i Realised it was not getting better! Had the disc shaved & the nerve released. Two weeks after surgery i sneezed twice and Blew the disc Again. Went through the whole procedure Agsin as well as attending rehab. The wound dehyssed from a staph infection. So the year after, when my neck collasped, i went to a different hospital with a different surgeon. For a 2 lvl fusion lvls 5/6 & 6/7 even though 3/4 was bulging as well. The neuro said he didnt want to do 3 lvls at once because more could collapse above and below? Does this sound Right?? Im still in Pain 16mths later; burning pain into left shoulder and neck. Was on 10mg targin BD and lyrica and 6 panadol oesto. Now Ive popped L4/L5 Again. Large disc protrusion to the left with disc height. The Surgeon has recommended to Shave the disc for the 3rd time. Does this sound right??! Wont i lose more disc height. What are other options?? IN PAIN & confused!
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 11 months ago.

Hello. to answer your questions, You cannot do 3 levels from an anterior cervical approach usually (ACDF). It requires a posterior approach and possibly the placement of pedicle screws and retaining rods. So the neurosurgeons statement about collapse is appropriate. In terms of your lower back issue. Failed back syndrome is the risk, especially given your history of the infection. Scar tissue in the local area makes reoperation difficult and may cause additional scar tissue to form, hence statistically only about 10% of patients report improvement after the third surgery, as a general number. I would suggest an MRI with gadolinium if not done to identify scar tissue and its relationship to the disc problem under investigation prior to any further surgery. Please get back to me if I can help from here, or remember to rate my statement if satisfied as that is how I am compensated for this work thanks *****