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Old 09-08-2007, 03:09 PM   #1
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reversal of a spinal fusion-- anyone ever hear of this???

This may sound crazy but I was wondering, if a fusion makes your pain worse and the docs don't know what is now "causing" the pain since the fusion is solid, can they do a reversal of the fusion and put in an artificial disc? I know it would involve a big operation with no guarantee
( what IS a guarantee when it comes to any spine surgery?). Anyway, has anyone ever attempted this with either success or failure? Maybe the absence of movement at that level puts so much added stress on the other levels that there's pain. Does anyone know a place or surgeon who does this?

 
Old 09-08-2007, 04:02 PM   #2
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Re: reversal of a spinal fusion-- anyone ever hear of this???

Wow, what a concept! Wouldn't that be miraculous? But, in answer to your question, no....I don't think they've come that far yet. I don't think they have the answer as to why a fusion is successful and yet the patient continues to have pain, sometimes worse than before. That happened to me, too, with my second fusion at L5-S1. I'm fused as solid as can be, but the pain just got worse and I finally ended up having a morphine pump implanted. That helped a great deal. I know there are theories such as "overstimulated" pain receptors that keep firing even tho the cause of the original pain is gone. Maybe some day, spine science will catch up to our needs.

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Old 09-09-2007, 04:59 AM   #3
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Re: reversal of a spinal fusion-- anyone ever hear of this???

Never heard of this either, but one never knows how far medical science will go in the future.
I was told before my fusions on my neck that 1. My pain will be better.
2. My pain will get much worse, or 3. I will stay the same
with the surgery.
So having surgery is not a cure to get rid of pain, I think it just prevents further damage as to our spinal cords and nerves.

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Old 09-09-2007, 08:54 AM   #4
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Re: reversal of a spinal fusion-- anyone ever hear of this???

My surgery was 9 hours on 2 levels plus pelvic plates/clips. I have prosthesis (sp?) instead of vertibrae and artificial discs. My hip bone was taken to fuse anterior part of the spine. I have a lot of hardware, cage, etc.
My surgery failed and I am facing now 4 level fusion. Still leave in pain - where pain is coming from? Some Dr believes it's above 2 levels, some Dr's believe it's mechanical... And of course a lot of scar tissue and nerve damage...

 
Old 09-09-2007, 10:02 AM   #5
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Re: reversal of a spinal fusion-- anyone ever hear of this???

I don't believe there is any going back after a spinal fusion. Sorry but there is no undo. This is one operation that should be undertaken with great consideration as it is so final and it so completely changes the natural anatomy of the spine.
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:15 PM   #6
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Re: reversal of a spinal fusion-- anyone ever hear of this???

Wow, I never heard of undoing a fusion. I don't think that's possible. That would mean basically chipping away all the bone growth that wouldn't normally be there. Can you imagine the nerve damage from trying to do that? The patient would end up paralyzed, more than likely! Whew! No, this is one where there's no turning back.

Emily

 
Old 09-10-2007, 04:41 AM   #7
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Re: reversal of a spinal fusion-- anyone ever hear of this???

No they can't but you can try the adr and if it doesn't work then get a fusion. A sucessful fusion will be bone fused together, and if it sucessful once its fused its fused.

 
Old 05-29-2009, 02:31 PM   #8
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Re: reversal of a spinal fusion-- anyone ever hear of this???

A cervical fusion has been removed.

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Old 05-29-2009, 07:00 PM   #9
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Re: reversal of a spinal fusion-- anyone ever hear of this???

There is a big movement in the filed of spine surgery to repair spines without fusions. Laminoplasties and inverse laminoplasties are the big surgeries now to open the spinal canal and allow the cord to move away from the disks or osteophytes. They don't involve fusions. More are on the way.

But the big problem is that most spine docs are honest with the odds of relieving pain with a fusion. The failure rate is about 70% in lessening pain. It's about 30% in stopping the progression of numbness. My neurosurgeon actually told me that....I was amazed! The previous 3 spine docs I had seen didn't. One of the reasons I went with him.

So only about 30% of patients who get fusions have less pain and the other 70% are the same or worse. Once a nerve is damaged, it's hard to get it back. After years of hearing that we should wait as long as possible before getting any surgery on the spine it now seems that if you develop nerve compression pain, surgery should be done within the first year if you want a chance of the nerve to heal. After 1 year, you might as well wait as long as possible as it's probably not going to get any better.

Now they tell us!!!!!!!!!!!!

But reversing a fusion wouldn't help if the pain is from permanent nerve damage. Sorry.

Jenny(fused C3-T1 and going for more)

 
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