Re: 3rd Very Extensive Spinal Fusion (2 failed)
I'm fused T4-S1. Like IBake, I don't bend or twist. I have to be very careful and have a 10 pound lifting restriction. If I lift more than that, I can feel it. I'll have worse pain for several days and I'm always afraid I may do permanent damage if I overdo it.
For me, though, this was definitely a good move. I have a lot less pain than I had before. I'll always have pain, but it's not nearly as bad as it was before my surgery. I'm thankful every day that I had this surgery!
Were you told that you had fused prior to the hardware breaking? If you hadn't fused, I guess the stress to the hardware must have caused the breaks. Is your doctor planning to do anything to help fusion get going? My doctor used BMP (a synthetic bone protein that is packed around the area during surgery) and gave me a bone growth stimulator to wear externally. He also used the 360 approach, that is, going in through both the back and front. It's a harder surgery, but it has a higher success rate.
If you smoke, you definitely need to stop while you're trying to fuse. Also, avoid all NSAIDS like ibuprofen. Smoking and NSAIDS are shown to interfere with the fusion process.
I hope the third time's a charm for you. Hang in there!