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Doctor insights on: Back Surgery L5 S1

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Back Surgery (Definition)

Any surg that enters the muscles & beyond. Usually means involving work on the bone structurs disks r considered back surgery. They include a multitude of procedures. 2 ...Read more


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I'm having pain in my lower left side mainly when I lay down. Had back surgery 4yrs ago l4, l5, S1, could this cause my pain? Can a bad mattress causeit

I'm having pain in my lower left side mainly when I lay down. Had back surgery 4yrs ago l4, l5, S1, could this cause my pain? Can a bad mattress causeit

Yes, need evaluation: A bad mattress, muscle spasm and adjacent level disease are just a few of the possibilities so you should be thoroughly evaluated. I recommend you see your spine surgeon again and updated imaging and more PT may be the next step. Keep us updated. ...Read more

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I've had 2 back surgeries- a microdiscectomy at L5/S1 & L4/L5. I've got scar tissue & am still in pain. I use TENS, inversion, PT, Neurontin, Norco, Cymbalta, and am trying injections. Any new ideas/tx for me to try? I'm only 23 & I feel like I'm 80.

I've had 2 back surgeries- a microdiscectomy at L5/S1 & L4/L5. I've got scar tissue & am still in pain. I use TENS, inversion, PT, Neurontin, Norco, Cymbalta, and am trying injections. Any new ideas/tx for me to try? I'm only 23 & I feel like I'm 80.

Adhesiolysis: Cassara 1st NO more surgeries on your back.
FInd an Anesthesiologist in your area who will do a minimal risk type of epidural injection BUT without steroids. This injection is called lysis of adhesions or Adhesiolysis with a medicine called "Hyaluronidase". This injection will break up the scar tissue that has entrapped the nerves in your back. It must be performed with physical therapy ...Read more

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I have serve back pain 2 months after back surgery. I had L5 and s1 disc removed. Now I'm in worse pain then before. Is this normal?

I have serve back pain 2 months after back surgery. I had L5 and s1 disc removed. Now I'm in worse pain then before. Is this normal?

Back pain: Not normal but a common problem. After the herniated disc is removed, a recurrent disc or collapse of the disc space can cause new back and leg pain. This can lead to a repeat of the nonoperative measures such as physical therapy and cortisone injections. A back brace may help. Emotionally it is very deflating because you feel that you are back at the beginning of the process. It will get better. ...Read more

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What to do if I had back surgery 10 months ago I'm in a lot of pain can you please explain my l4/l5 & l5/s1 MRI report to me?

What to do if I had back surgery 10 months ago I'm in a lot of pain can you please explain my l4/l5 & l5/s1 MRI report to me?

Spine Pain Options: This chronic pain in the distribution as you suggested is the result of an irritated nerve or facet joints or other injury typically in the lumbar spine (low back) which are caused by herniated disks, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease, etc requiring further evaluation by a spine specialist and may be candidate for facet injections/radiofrequency ablation and epidural steroid injection. ...Read more

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Do I need another back surgery? I have a herniated disk at l5-s1, I've been suffering for over 3 years now. I had a surgery in november of 2009, all that was done was scraping the calcium off of the nerve to relieve sciatica. It all started again 6 mont

Do I need another back surgery? I have a herniated disk at l5-s1, I've been suffering for over 3 years now. I had a surgery in november of 2009, all that was done was scraping the calcium off of the nerve to relieve sciatica. It all started again 6 mont

Pinched Nerve: Sounds like you have a pinched nerve in your back. I would suggest seeing a pain/spine specialist to evaluate you further to evaluate what level and what can be done to treat you. There are interventional treatments besides medications and surgeries that might reduce or eliminate the pain altogether. ...Read more

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What are cures for chronic nerve pain caused by back surgery scar tissue pressing on the nerves. L4, l5, l5, s1?

What are cures for chronic nerve pain caused by back surgery scar tissue pressing on the nerves. L4, l5, l5, s1?

If all other causes: Have been ruled out then time and medication can help along with various pain management techniques ranging from injections to a spinal cord stimulator. ...Read more

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I have disuse atrophy in my right leg, and foot, due to nerve damage in l4/l5 s1.Had a failed back surgery 02'13. Will I lose ability to walk one day?

I have disuse atrophy in my right leg, and foot, due to nerve damage in l4/l5 s1.Had a failed back surgery 02'13. Will I lose ability to walk one day?

Varies: It could potentially still improve. If you have not had it, I would recommend an NCV and EMG test just to make sure there is nothing else contributing to your condition that may be treatable; for example peroneal nerve impingement at the fibular head. ...Read more

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2 back surgeries in ~1 month. Wondering if increased swelling@L5-S1 from overdoing it could cause severe burning/cramping pain behind knee, in calf/ankle, & thigh? Have to lie down & hard to walk/sit.

2 back surgeries in ~1 month. Wondering if increased swelling@L5-S1 from overdoing it could cause severe burning/cramping pain behind knee, in calf/ankle, & thigh? Have to lie down & hard to walk/sit.

This may be related: To anyone of several possible causes. Sometimes, even though the nerve that may have had some compression on it does not immediately respond to surgery or if you had surgery especially 2 so close that just manipulation of nerve may cause inflammation. Also one has to make sure you did not develop a blood clot in leg post op. You should discuss this with your surgeon. Scar tissue can form now. ...Read more

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2months after spine surgery (microdiscectomy L5-S1), started pt and I'm feeling great...can I wear high heels?

2months after spine surgery (microdiscectomy L5-S1), started pt and I'm feeling great...can I wear high heels?

EZ does it: Very high heels could put unwarranted strain on your lower back. Start with a pair with 2-3" heels, wear them for a few days and see how your back reacts. Go back to flats if your back begins to hurt. Gradually increase the height over time, slowing down if you experience discomfort in your back.

Thanks for trusting HealthTap! ...Read more

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I herniated a disc in low back, now I have lost the sensation to pee will they have to do surgery on me? I have previous herniations at l4-l5 l5-s1

I herniated a disc in low back, now I have lost the sensation to pee will they have to do surgery on me? I have previous herniations at l4-l5 l5-s1

Highly likely: You need to contact your spine surgeon or go to er asap if you are having difficulty controlling bowel or bladder (starting or stopping), preferably a large enough hospital that would have 24hr MRI access, as this would be the test of choice to see what is going on, and so surgeon can decide if might improve with steroids / conservative mgmt, or will need surgery. ...Read more

Dr. Brian Le Dr. Le
2 doctors agreed:
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23m s/p l5-s1 discectomy w/ daily moderate-severe back pain & radiculopathy both leg. What is my next treatment option? More epidural? Fusion surgery?

Dr. Brian Le Dr. Le
2 doctors agreed:
23m s/p l5-s1 discectomy w/ daily moderate-severe back pain & radiculopathy both leg. What is my next treatment option? More epidural? Fusion surgery?

Failed back: It appears that you have failed back syndrome. Please see a pain specialist for evaluation and treatment. You might benefit from additional therapy, medications, injections like epidural steroid injection or spinal cord stimulation. ...Read more

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23m-rupture discs w/ 5mm retrolisthesis (l4/5&l5/s1) s/p discectomy surgeon doesn't want surgery, 2nd opinion recommended hybrid lumbar fusion. What should I do? Daily pain 6+/10 back & both legs 2yrs

23m-rupture discs w/ 5mm retrolisthesis (l4/5&l5/s1) s/p discectomy surgeon doesn't want surgery, 2nd opinion recommended hybrid lumbar fusion. What should I do? Daily pain 6+/10 back & both legs 2yrs

Be careful: Make sure seeking advice from well-trained spine surgeon. The pathology you mention will not necessarily cause the symptoms you list. Let's say you have herniated discs/lumbar stenosis, nerve impingement, then that will explain your leg pain. And after failing appropriate conservative management decompression surgery will help. But be very careful with surgery for back only pain -- esp.@ 23Y.O. ...Read more

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Hi I had lumbar disectomy surgery on my L5 s1. If still possible I can come back in my jiu jitsu and octagon fight?

Hi I had lumbar disectomy surgery on my L5 s1. If still possible I can come back in my jiu jitsu and octagon fight?

Talk with surgeon: I find it hard to believe that the person who operated on you hasn't discussed this and made recommendations. If they said no, then don't search online for an opinion from someone who doesn't really know you. ...Read more

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Surgery L5-S1.Now pain set in. Now in only a few mins pain is a 9. Large area of back becomes numb as pain increases. From waist to ribs in back.

Back pain: The back pain you are having may be related to some other nerve roots, to the muscles that help strengthen your back, or perhaps some other problem. L5-S1 should not affect numbness to the level of your ribs, that is why a new issue could be happening. It is not likely though.

What kind of surgery did you have? How long ago was it? Do you have any treatments for your symptoms? PT? ...Read more

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I have a herniated disc at l5-s1. I suffer frecuently strong back pain. Planning to have surgery but I'm not sure what to do. What do you recommend?

I have a herniated disc at l5-s1. I suffer frecuently strong back pain. Planning to have surgery but I'm not sure what to do. What do you recommend?

Back surgery!!!: When faced with this question know that not all back pains are caused by a herniated disc & not all herniated discs require surgery. Guided pt, injections & other options may help. In severe cases, in cases where conservative care failed, in cases with neurological deficit, surgery may be the best & only option. If surgery needed, ask questions; don't be afraid to get pain relief sooner than later. ...Read more

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I have a stable L5 s1 grade 2 spondylolisthesis and it is causing me leg and back pain. Should I get a fusion surgery? Or just decompression surgery

I have a stable L5 s1 grade 2 spondylolisthesis and it is causing me leg and back pain. Should I get a fusion surgery? Or just decompression surgery

Fusion: Decompression alone is unlikely to resolve the issue and is likely to worsen the situation in the long run. Furthermore there are now more options then just posterior fusion, an anterior approach may also be an option but a good surgical opinion or opinions are needed. ...Read more

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What are the possible risks of NOT having surgery when anterior lumbar interbody fusion with posterior fixation is indicated (ALIF L4, L5, S1, fix L5-S1?

What are the possible risks of NOT having surgery when anterior lumbar interbody fusion with posterior fixation is indicated (ALIF L4, L5, S1, fix L5-S1?

Depends: Have you tried nonsurgical options? Surgery is typically indicated if you're having neurologic dysfunction and/or chronic intractable pain from a serious disc herniation and have failed to improve with conservative options. At your age make sure that you've had a couple of opinions and have tried nonsurgical options including physical therapy, medication, and possibly injections ...Read more

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I have a herniated disc at l5-s1. I suffer acute back pain crisis frequently. Should I resort to surgery?

I have a herniated disc at l5-s1. I suffer acute back pain crisis frequently. Should I resort to surgery?

Sciatica: True sciatica is leg pain that shoots from back, down the leg past the knee. This mimics the path of the sciatic nerve, thus it's name. Young patients more likely to have herniated disc. Older patients, pressure from arthritic spurs. All can be treated non-surgically if not getting worse. Physical therapy, tylenol (acetaminophen) or aleve, nerve blocks, the combination works 80% of the time. ...Read more

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Been having mid-lower left side back pain, had surgery in 2010 l4 l5 s1 now l3-2 shows on MRI could this pain be from the injury or something else?

Been having mid-lower left side back pain, had surgery in 2010 l4 l5 s1 now l3-2 shows on MRI could this pain be from the injury or something else?

Probably: The L 2-3 nerves supply the lateral hip and anterior thigh, so it could very well be coming from that. I would not hesitate to be seen if you are having problems. ...Read more

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Which surgery should I have done 1st and why? Surgery in spine to replace disk at l5-s1 (bone on bone now) or surgery to correct cystocele & rectocele.

Which surgery should I have done 1st and why? Surgery in spine to replace disk at l5-s1 (bone on bone now) or surgery to correct cystocele & rectocele.

Depends: Neither is an emergency, so which you have done really depends on which one bothers you more. I don't believe either surgery will affect the other procedure in any negative way, but you should discuss with both your spine and general surgeon. ...Read more

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Pcp & chiro agree I should consider surgery for lower back l3-4 bulge l4-5 herniation l5-s1 bulge. I'm scared what do I need to know and consider?

Pcp & chiro agree I should consider surgery for lower back l3-4 bulge l4-5 herniation l5-s1 bulge. I'm scared what do I need to know and consider?

Ask: Ask for an opinion from a reputable neurosurgeon or ortho that does back surgery. Most bulges are treated medically unless there is nerve damage that might become permanent. With time the disk will dehydrate and diminish in size with decrease of symptoms without surgery. ...Read more

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I have pain only in my feet. Had MRI of Lumbar shows L5-S1 broad disc buldge and l4-l5. Have had pain for 18+ months. Meds don't help. Surgery?

I have pain only in my feet. Had MRI of Lumbar shows L5-S1 broad disc buldge and l4-l5. Have had pain for 18+ months. Meds don't help. Surgery?

Foot pain.: We should be looking for a source of pain in your distal leg and feet rather than in the spine. You may want to see a specialist in neurology or physiatry or even podiatry. Surgery would only be done to correct an anatomic abnormality that produces symptoms. ...Read more

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My lumbar l5-s1 disk herniated lead to cauda equina syndrome, I did my surgery, bladder still not emptying and after surgery my body is very weak.?

My lumbar l5-s1 disk herniated lead to cauda equina syndrome, I did my surgery, bladder still not emptying and after surgery my body is very weak.?

Speak to your: Surgeon about repeating a MRI with contrast to evaluate surgical outcome to make sure adequate decompression and no recurrence or new disc issue. Sometimes, there may be ongoing issues that may or may not be permanent and a urodynamics test may help to evaluate this situation further if MRI is negative. ...Read more

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Lumbar MRI showed N impingement @ L5-S1 & poss surgery'd be microdiscectomy to remove extruded part w/ min recovery. Now symptoms indicate L3-L4 impingement too. How would this change poss surgery/recovery?

Lumbar MRI showed N impingement @ L5-S1 & poss surgery'd be microdiscectomy to remove extruded part w/ min recovery. Now symptoms indicate L3-L4 impingement too. How would this change poss surgery/recovery?

Back surgery: You need to ask your surgeon, however if MRI was fairly recent and showed no problems at L3/L4 then answer probably no change. Pain could be from the extruded fragment migrating slightly and/or inflammation. If you were to have additional disc problems at L3/L4 then surgery somewhat lengthened but really shouldn't affect recovery much. ...Read more

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Having scoliosis surgery and fusion to thoracolumbar spine to pelvis and l5/s1 decompression with multilevel osteotomies. What happens in surgery?

Having scoliosis surgery and fusion to thoracolumbar spine to pelvis and l5/s1 decompression with multilevel osteotomies. What happens in surgery?

Lumbar scoliosis: Simple. Incision made in back to visualize spine to be fused. Length of incision appropriate for fusion. The facet joints are removed and the bone prepared for fusion. At l5-s1, facet and disk removed, and spacer placed into disk along with bone graft. Multiple laminectomy and facet excisions (osteotomy) to make spine more flexible. Rods/screws placed to maintain correction. Bone graft placed. ...Read more

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I've got two herniated disc in my back that happen on the job injury. I've had one surgery back in March 2014 microdistemcy by disc blew out so now they wanna do a back fusion on L5-S1 which was denied by workman comp and my pain level stays at 9 and I'm

I've got two herniated disc in my back that happen on the job injury. I've had one surgery back in March 2014 microdistemcy by disc blew out so now they wanna do a back fusion on L5-S1 which was denied by workman comp and my pain level stays at 9 and I'm

WC Denies Fusion: Are you having more leg than back pain? Fusions typically work better for patients who have limb pain greater than back or neck pain. Maybe your adjuster will agree to you undergoing a 2nd opinion to determine if that surgeon's plan of care is in agreement with your current surgeon's recommendations. Fusion hardware, in some patients (not on purpose), has contributed to increased back pain. ...Read more

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MRI scan shows posterior disc protusion at L5 S1 level after medication/ rest it is fine very litle pain now at lower back/Leg. Doc says surgery?

Your choice, BUT: If you give it time, the disc will desiccate and shrink over about 9-10 months, but if it is causing unbearable pain and causing progressive weakness and muscle atrophy and threatening bladder function, best to have it fixed. ...Read more

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I've had 2 surgeries on l5/s1, first through the back discectomy then a fusion through the front. What poss complications can I hv during pregnancy?

I've had 2 surgeries on l5/s1, first through the back discectomy then a fusion through the front. What poss complications can I hv during pregnancy?

Not much: If your fusion is solid you should be ok with your pregnancy. As you gain weight you may be more prone to back aches or disk problems at l4-5 so stay in shape if ok with your obgyn. Also because of scar tissue an epidural at the time of delivery may be difficult and if you need a C-section your scar may not heal as well or a hernia can develop since they went from a similar approach for fusion. ...Read more

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What is surgery for L5 s1 isthmic spondylolisthesis like?

What is surgery for L5 s1 isthmic spondylolisthesis like?

Fusion: The success is higher with a fusion in this case. Whether there should also be a decompression depends on the findings on clinical exam and on imaging of any significant nerve compression. Overall, success rate should be 90% if not a smoker. ...Read more

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Moderate sized broad based right para central profusion on L5-S1. Dr says surgery is only option but that won't take away all the pain. Other options?

Consider this:: 1. Does the disc compress a nerve root, and if so, are signs of weakness, numbness, and muscular atrophy occurring? 2. Is bladder/bowel function OK?
If so, could wait it out as over 9-10 months, many of these discs desiccate and shrink. Conservative physical therapy could work in meantime. Do NOT get inactive, as that will make all worse. ...Read more

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Does an extruded disc fragment, very painful, require surgery, and fusion surgery l5-s1 help with the pain?

Does an extruded disc fragment, very painful, require surgery, and fusion surgery l5-s1 help with the pain?

See a back surgeon: This is a complex issue and is highly dependent upon the actual lesion, the patient and the extent of symptoms. Surgical fusion may or may not be helpful, and sometimes makes things worse. Find a highly recommended surgeon and let them evaluate and recommend management. Good luck. ...Read more

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I had a microdiscectomy of l5-s1 about a two years ago and the pain I worse now then it was before the surgery. Any suggestions what I can do?

I had a microdiscectomy of l5-s1 about a two years ago and the pain I worse now then it was before the surgery. Any suggestions what I can do?

Neurosurgery eval: Neurosurgery evaluation, MRI of the lumbar spine to look for a re-herniation or residual nerve compression. Emg may help to check for any denervation. If no surgical issues found, keep body mass index (bmi) below 30 and add isometric exercises to strengthen the paraspinous muscles. ...Read more

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I have bilateral degenerative changes at l5-s1 level w/a grade 1-2 spondylolisthesis found 9/2012 has become worse will I end up needing surgery?

Spine Surgery: Spine surgery is reserved for individuals that have unrelenting pain that has failed conservative care or who have a progressive neurologic condition due to the spinal changes. Many individuals with your radiographic finding are pain free. If worsening would followup with your doctor or see a surgical or nonsurgical spine specialist. ...Read more

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I was diagnosed with spondylosis l5/s1, which is now affecting my nerves I've been advised to have surgery but how bad can it get without surgery?

I was diagnosed with spondylosis l5/s1, which is now affecting my nerves I've been advised to have surgery but how bad can it get without surgery?

How bad is bad?: Surgery for your condition, or almost any other spinal condition is indicated by several things. First, intolerable pain (which is a subjective, non-measurable quality)
if pain is the only issue & you can adapt to it, don't do surgery
second, is functional loss which means impaired walking, severe leg weakness, bowel/bladder problems or severely restricted spinal mobility). ...Read more

Dr. Edward Hellman
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Orthopedic Spine Surgery (Definition)

An orthopedic surgeon who further specializes in the ...Read more