Posterior hardware or wait it out to fuse?
I'm 4 mos. postop from ALIF surgery on L4/L5. My NS put in the BAK cages filled with BMP. I went back to work at 8 weeks and was doing mediocre. Two weeks ago, woke up in tears and more pain. Thought I'd herniated something. Had MRI, myelogram, and CT. There's a moderate bump of something into my spinal canal at L4/L5 but it's not the metal spacer. I have no fusion showing up and one of the cages has moved. So my NS says the increased pain is the movement in between the vertebras with the cages. He says I have two options, to wait 6 mos to 2 years to fuse adding a bone growth stimulator to wear or he'll do another surgery Posterior hardware to tighten things up. He seems to want me to wait it out, but I'm trying to work and continue my life and I'm having so much trouble. I'm sometimes taking twice the amount of pain killers that I normally do.
Has anyone here had fusion surgery with cages and BMP only and no hardware? I'm feeling like a weirdo, cause I can't find anything on the net about a case like mine. Most have at least a plate anteriorly added for support. I'm leaning towards wanting the supporting hardware put in, so I guess that'll end up being like a 360 degree, just 4 months in between the front and back surgeries.
Is there anyone here that's waited to have the posterior part of a 360 awhile after their ALIF?? What's the recovery like? I've already had the disc removed and cages in, so is inserting screws and rods going to be as bad a surgery and recovery??