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Re-herniated Disc

  Quick question for you good doctors; once a disc is herniated and a discectomy / laminectomy is performed, is that disc more susceptable to re-herniation than a disc which had no prior herniation?  Thanks much.  Mike.
Dear Mike,
The quick answer is yes.  Surgery to remove a disc involved opening the annulus.
The annulus is a fibrous band that holds disc material in place in order to
do its job in cushioning the spine.  At surgery typically only a portion of
the disc is removed to allow the rest of the disc to continue its job in
cushioning the spine.  This hole in the annulus remains after surgery.  
At times patients can re-herniate disc material in the same region.  Extreme
bending and stretching can initiate or worsen this problem.  A fraction of
these patients will require a second operation for recurrent disc herniation.  
A few of these patients will eventually need a fusion procedure because of
instability in the segment due to loss of disc material.
Hope this answers your questions.

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