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How Often Can the Same Disc Reherniate?


1.27 - How-Many-Times-Can-a-Disc-Herniate

There is no specific number of times a disc can herniate, although there are some factors that determine whether you could have issues with reherniations. This article describes the most common causes of reherniation and how to prevent it from happening.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Age is one of the factors that determines whether someone could experience more than one herniation of a spinal disc. Wear and tear on spinal discs over time may result in degenerative disc disease, a general term for age-related spinal disc damage. Depending on your lifestyle, age-related changes could lead to more herniations.

Lifestyle Factors

The things you do on a regular basis can also increase your odds of experiencing repeated herniations. Some of the ways you can reduce your risk of reherniation include:

• Eating foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables that naturally ease inflammation
• Getting regular sleep to give your spinal discs time to rest
• Properly lifting anything heavy—lift with your legs and not your back
• Using a lumbar support belt if you do a lot of bending, lifting, or stretching, either for household chores or work


There is some evidence to suggest spinal disc herniations may be hereditary to some extent. This factor may determine whether someone has a greater risk of herniation. However, simply having a family history of herniation does not automatically mean you will have spinal disc herniation issues as well or that you will have recurring herniations throughout your life. If spinal disc herniation runs in your family, check with your doctor on a regular basis. It is better to catch spinal disc issues sooner rather than later.

Reherniation After Surgery

If you reach a point where you decide to have
discectomy surgery for a herniated disc, you may be less likely to have further herniations. Even so, there is still the possibility of reherniation. While typically this is rare, it can happen if not enough disc material is removed during surgery. Reherniation can also occur due to poor posture, improper lifting, and other habits that are bad for the spine.

Keeping Your Spinal Discs Healthy

The most effective way to prevent spinal disc herniations from occurring and recurring is by making an effort to stay healthy. Spinal discs tend to benefit from a steady influx of water. It is a good idea to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day and to do routine posture checks throughout the day. Also, consider using an ergonomically designed chair and workspace if possible. The shoes you wear can also affect your spinal discs. Avoid heels that are too high so you are not throwing off your spinal alignment.


If you have a herniated disc, a doctor may recommend a discectomy as the best option. Although this is generally one of the most successful back surgery procedures, having a large hole in the outer ring of the disc more than doubles the risk of needing another operation. A new treatment, Barricaid, is a bone-anchored device that closes this hole, and 95 percent of Barricaid patients did not undergo a reoperation due to reherniation in a 2-year study timeframe. This treatment is done immediately following the discectomy—during the same operation—and does not require any additional incisions or time in the hospital. 


If you have any questions about the Barricaid treatment, ask your doctor or contact us at 844-288-7474.

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