Okay I have been trying to get straigh answers from doctors or nurses or anyone that will listen, but no one seems to know the answers. SO maybe someone here will. Whats the possibility of rejecting cadaver bone (used for bone graft) or the instrumentation used to fuse the spine? If this does happen can it happen anytime? 5 years post op? 1 year post op? 1 month post op? Or does it happen closer to the surgery date? Also is there a date when you can stop worrying about post op infections? Or infections having to do with the instrumentation or anything like that? Does infection normally happen closer to the surgery date as well? I just want to have all my information straight. Also if anyone does know these answers what are signs of rejection and/or infection? Thanks everyone!
I dont have alot of answers for you but I know that the hardware can, but unlikly, give you problems. I am one who has a loose screw . (we all get a good laugh at that one). As for screws being loose, it can cause pain when it jiggles around, but does not always mean surgery to repair.
I dont know about infections etc. but I know that mental health has a lot to do with the healing process and since there is nothing you can do to prevent any of the issues you are asking about, it can only hurt you to worry about it. I know it is easier said than done and I will keep your recovery in my prayers.
In all of my research and believe me there's been a ton since I've endured 8 spine surgeries, of which four were fusions of 3 to 10 levels, there's no discussion of rejection of donor bone, in the same sense as when my body rejected a prosthesis. The donor bone is treated, and neutral, so really it comes down to whether or not your body accepts it by completing the fusion.
According to my spine specialist, his only 5 patients who have had failed fusions over the years were first, smokers, and secondly a couple of them used donor bone rather than allow harvesting of their own bone. He harvested bone from my hip for the first fusion, which was done prior to BMP being approved by FDA. The other three, including my 10 lvel fusion last December, he was able to use bonie taken from the laminectomy which is done at time of the fusion, and that is mixed with the BMP, so no need to harvest my bone.
Some doc's prefer to use donor bone, others prefer to use the patients bone, but realize that although the risk of non-fusion is small, even the clinical trials admitted that the low percentage of failures were mostly from donor bone. Not to alarm you, because with BMP being used, the success is still about 98%, it's just that of that maybe 2% failure rate, most of that 2% is from donor bone. Not enough info though to say if it was because of donor bone or other conditions which the patient had.
Best recommendation I can make, is that if you are having fusion, have a spine specialist instead of a general ortho or general neuro surgeon. If you need only a one level fusion, you have a better chance of ADR or flexible Dynses fusion with a spine specialist.
Best wishes with you surgery and do let the group know how you are doing.
I can only add that I have 3 infections right now, all small ones in the Lumbar region. My Fusion was in February and a Revision was done in May and I am just now dealing with infections. After a 10 day course of Antibiotics, one of the infections doubled, The one in the Fusion Cage. So now he is going to do a CT-Guided Spinal Aspiration next week. The symptoms for me are Back Pain and a fever.