In my experience, the chance of a recurrent herniation is about 10% across the board in an active population. You cannot fear that recurrence. Although the odds are different of course, this would be like fearing getting hit by a meteor when you walk outside. Could it happen-yes. Will it happen-unlikely.
Discs are resilient. You can have a tear of the annulus or a disc herniation and a microdisectomy and never have another problem with your back. You do need to stay strong in the core and avoid heavy lifting.
I can’t tell you how many countless patients have unbelievably miserable looking backs and have no symptoms. Don’t focus on what might happen but go out and live your life. Yes, you might again have to visit national health care with all of it’s pitfalls.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.