I've had one disc operation so far for a herniated disc. I'm worried about this happening again. How often does this happen?
The best way to treat disc herniation to prevent recurrence still remains a mystery. Some studies show no difference after 10 years with or without surgery. Recurrence of this problem is reportedly as high as 50 percent. This means that you have a 50-50 chance of disc herniation. Most likely, it will happen again at the same level and same side as the first herniation. Some doctors advise removing the entire disc to prevent this from occurring. A new method of disc removal may help change this. It's called microdiscectomy. A needle is guided by X-ray imaging into the disc space. The complete disc is removed. Sometimes, the vertebrae are fused together at that level to prevent motion. Studies to report the success of this operation are just beginning to be published.