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Old 03-16-2005, 11:15 PM   #1
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sandollar HB User
Exclamation Fusions only last up to 6 years???

Hey all ,
I was reading online at a Surgical Spine site ([B]for doctors[/B]), that the Lumbar TLIF and PLIF was only guarenteed to last for up to 6 years? could this be right? Has anyone else ever heard or read this anywhere?
It also stated than men should not have the Anterior approach to a fusion because there is a 75% chance of sexual disfunction.
I thought this was permanent (other than Surgically being switched to the ADR).
When I asked my Surgeon about the L4 that had a tiny tear, he told me there was a 50/50 chance it would not require surgery in the future, but according to this site, it is guarenteed that the disk above it will fail faster due to the stability of the fusion under it (more pressure).
It also went on to say that ESI injections would cause fractures in the other disks very quickly due to it breaking (something) down (forgot what they called it).
Anyone else know about a timeline for a fusion? It specifically mentioned only 1 & 2 level fusions.
Thank You,
Stardust

 
Old 03-17-2005, 01:30 AM   #2
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Re: Fusions only last up to 6 years???

GREAT Research Stardust, Thank you!


I was unaware of the time frame you've read.......very interesting though, I have heard of the male vs anterior approach and subsequent complications that could arise.

Thanks for the info
BW

 
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:18 AM   #3
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Re: Fusions only last up to 6 years???

Steroids eat bones. It's always something.
fly

 
Old 03-17-2005, 03:51 AM   #4
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Re: Fusions only last up to 6 years???

My daughter is slated for surgery on June 10th. Her dr has spoken about the fact that the disc above and below will now degenerate eventually. She is 15 and he was hopeful that she should get about 20 out of this fusion so she'd then be in her 30s. She was originally only going to have one level fused and he informed me on Tuesday that since they're now doing a decompression they now need to fuse two levels and will be doing TLIF. He should be calling me on Friday. I'll put this question on my list to see what he has to say. I certainly hope that's not the case since she's so young.

 
Old 03-17-2005, 07:17 AM   #5
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Re: Fusions only last up to 6 years???

From my experiences mine has lasted 2 yrs. Now the level above is going out!!!!!
hopefully the next will last the rest of my life.this is bab luck.i'm sure there is alot of good luck out there.

 
Old 03-17-2005, 07:30 AM   #6
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Re: Fusions only last up to 6 years???

I hope for your daughters sake this is not true.
I fell onto the site by accident and it said I had to log in to read an article so I did, it asked which area and I selected "spine", then it said for Doctor's only and wanted my profession so I typed in Ortho Surgeon (I know I lied ).
I got an email this morning saying the Director has changed my username to Dr. Terri ******, so I guess I'm in.
I figured in 6 years I would be pain free and could hold my grandbabies again and no more problems.
I have the L4 that has a tiny tear and is leaking a tiny amount of fluid into the spinal canal. I asked him to fix it while he was in there, but he said he couldn't due to it being Minimumlly invasive, he would not be able to see the L4 or the condition it is in.
After what I read I now know there is another fusion in my future on the L4.
When he told me there was a 50/50 chance of not needing a fusion there is the future, he should of said: There is a 50% chance I could deal with the pain and 50% chance I would be seeing him again.
Stardust

 
Old 03-17-2005, 07:44 AM   #7
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Re: Fusions only last up to 6 years???

This is not good news. I know that it was never mentioned (unless it was in very fine print) that mine would need to be re-done at any point. I specifically remember being given 2 choices... a less invasive proceedure where I would likely need it redone or a later fusion... or the fusion - I chose the TLIF fusion to avoid a later 2nd surgery. All in all I am not a happy camper... 6 years makes me 39.. If I feel 80 now, how old will I feel at 40?

All I can say is that I hope technology improves very fast!!!
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Old 03-17-2005, 08:24 AM   #8
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Re: Fusions only last up to 6 years???

That makes sense. I also had the TLIF, but he never said it MIGHT need redone in the future. The article also said the PLIF.
Mine was Minimumlly Invasive, so I figure I would be correct in saying I would DEF need another fusion in the future. If he said a less invasive surgery would likely need to be redone later on.
That's exactly what I had done.
But do to a severe adhesion problem, he refused to do the Anterior approach and did mention it would of been better, just didn't say why.
But I have had so many Abdominal Surgeries, I didn't care for Anterior anyway. Little did I know I will pay for it farther down the road.
I am only 45.
I am doing really great right now, so I am just going to concentrate on this one for now and deal with the latter, whenever it happens, if ever.
Stardust

 
Old 03-22-2005, 11:06 AM   #9
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Re: Fusions only last up to 6 years???

I hope the fusion's last longer than 6 years, I would hate to go through the surgery again, I had my L4 - L5 fused with cadaver bone replacing the broken vertabra, I still have severe pain when doing any kind of lifting, My doctor was going to give me more shots in the spine, I said no more. Now all I have is tramadol and skelaxin for pain, They dont work. Is there anything out there? My doctor said I had to live with the pain,

Thanks

 
Old 03-22-2005, 02:08 PM   #10
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Re: Fusions only last up to 6 years???

Sounds like everything I read is True. The reason a Fusion MIGHT last more than 6 years or so is due to our Rehab showing us the right way to do things during the healing process and it's becoming a habit, "being so cautious", so that part will help us.
I had the S1 & L5 Fused, but my tests also showed the L4 has a small tear and is leaking a tiny bit of fluid into the spinal column, the L4 also caused mild pain and both legs went numb immediatly after being touched during the Diskogram, it doesn't bother me now, But I do know it will need repaired in the future ("my luck within 6 years"). I did ask him to go ahead and fix that while he was in there, but he informed me that he was doing it minimumlly invasive and would not be able to see the L4, so he didn't want to bother with it now .
Thanks for the information.
Stardust

 
Old 03-22-2005, 02:28 PM   #11
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Re: Fusions only last up to 6 years???

Well, I for one certainly hope that isn't right. My first three level fusion is more than 6 years old and of course I've had more fusions due to inherited health problems as well as the damage done by two years of high doses of steroids so I could breath. Now that the doc has had to do a 10 level fusion, I wonder what is to be done if it is to last only up to six years?

Did the site say they broke apart or give more specifics about what they meant by lasting only six years? Somehow in all my research, I missed hitting that site, so hope I can find it.

Glad you posted that info. I'll certainly add a question for my return visit in less than two week and if I can find the site, I may have other questions. I'm not a worry wart so it doesn't panic me, but it is something I will ask about.

 
Old 03-22-2005, 06:39 PM   #12
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Re: Fusions only last up to 6 years???

I am going to go back to the site and find out more. I want to know what happens with our fusions, are they like plaster held together with a toolbox of goodies? Or is it REALLY as strong as the other bones?
I'll post back on this same site and bump it up for you all to find as soon as I get more information. I'll try to be back asap since we are moving on Thursday & Friday, so until I can hook my 'puter back up it will bug me too. I will be online tonight and Wednesday until time to tear the 'puter down. I could use the laptop I am on now, but all the information for me to log onto that website is in the desktop one.
Stardust

 
Old 03-22-2005, 07:34 PM   #13
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Re: Fusions only last up to 6 years???

I had my first fusion using my own donor bone back in 1983. It lasted until 1997 and may have lasted longer if it weren't for a couple of MVA's. I have no bulging discs above the L5 which was fused again in '97. I don't think anyone but God can predict who, or what will happen or when. If we are careful, avoiding heavy lifting and try to take care of our spines, it doesn't have to be one surgery after another. I have developed other problems now, but not bulging discs.

Carol
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Old 03-22-2005, 07:45 PM   #14
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Re: Fusions only last up to 6 years???

Hi Carol,
That's the same thing I was thinking, if you look back to post #11 here, But I still want to know more, whether it be the type of surgery or the type of hardware. It's important to know what NOT to do. So I'm going hunting for the site and hopefully I can find the reason they are saying they only last up to 6 years. I am wondering if the way they did things back in the 70's & 80's were better.
Stardust

 
Old 03-22-2005, 11:57 PM   #15
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Re: Fusions only last up to 6 years???

[B]I found it:[/B]
It won't let me copy and paste the article, However it said that the disk above a fusion has tremendous pressure and most of the pressure is caused [U]by bending[/U], therefore causing the disk or disks above the fusion to give way to the DDD & DJD accelerating the degeneration time.
Most fusions to repair a DDD & DJD are at highest risk as is the 2 level fusion more than the 1 level. The more disks that are fused, continue to increase the pressure to the one above dramatically.
Diskograms and Further Fusions are needed within the first 3-6 years, with the 6 year Degeneration causing significant Pain.
Loose screws are also a result of rapid degeneration (Crumbling), and may cause hip and leg pain, but can be quickly relieved by removing the screws once a Fusion is complete (at 1 year).
Results from the Anterior/Posterior or Posterior approach to a Lumbar fusion were the same. With 17% of the Anterior approach lasting longer with less pain.
Studies show men should not have the Anterior approach due to sexual failure, numbness, and total loss of feeling in the Genital area. There are no studies as to why this occurs, Women have an increase in sexual desire using the Anterior approach.
Even with these studies, The Posterior approach alone, caused no problems in the future with screw loosenings, Infections or scar Tissue. This being the future prefered method for a Minimumlly Invasive Lumbar Fusion.

(The 3-6 years is if DDD & DJD were the problem that caused the fusion, Mine was.)
Stardust

 
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