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Old 03-25-2010, 03:37 PM   #1
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4 Back Surgeries and Still Waiting for Full Fusion

Hello Everyone.

I've been away from the Boards for awhile -- trying to get my life back to some normalcy.

I had lumbar laminectomies in 2003 & 2006, and a 2-level fusion (L4/5 S1) in March 2008. I never fused and developed a large cyst which damaged two screws and had to be removed. In January 2009 I had a re-do of the March 2008 procedure.

It is now March 2010 and I'm still not fully fused. I have a lot of bone formation on the left side, but very little on the right side and I'm still suffering with nerve pain which can be quite bad at times.

I'm trying not to get discouraged, but some days it's hard.

Has anyone else had problems with fusing?

Thank you.

 
Old 03-29-2010, 09:55 AM   #2
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Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still Waiting for Full Fusion

I'm really sorry to hear you're going through so much pain and frustration. I was told by a recommended neurosurgeon that she felt that surgery was not an option for me, I'm still in pain and scared silly about having surgery ( my family is pushing me to find a neurosurgeon who will). I'm on medication that I don't want to be on but have no choice because of the pain. I hope this all gets sorted out for you. I'll keep checking to see how things are for you.......take care

 
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:55 PM   #3
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Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still Waiting for Full Fusion

Have you ever used a bone growth stimulator? I have one now post lumbar fusion and also used one after my neck fusion.
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Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 04-08-2010, 01:52 PM   #4
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Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still Waiting for Full Fusion

Yes. After the surgery in January 2009, I wore a bone growth stimulator everyday for 4 months.

Don't know what will happen if I don't fully fuse -- I think I've been avoiding asking my dr. that question.

 
Old 04-08-2010, 04:16 PM   #5
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Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still Waiting for Full Fusion

[QUOTE=DAJ819;4212059]
Has anyone else had problems with fusing?

Thank you.[/QUOTE]

Yes, my last fusion was a redo. I have had 8 seperate operations in all:
Frist, was L5-S1 where the fusion took good, but the hardware was causing problems. But this was when the hardware was stainless steel, weighted 7 lbs and was bulky
Second was L4-L5 and was pretty non eventful
Third was L3-L4 which at first felt great, but then a year later, I started to have a lot of pain in the fusion area. An MRI confirmed that the fusion did not take and the hardware was loose. This was probably caused because the doctor had incredible problems working on this area and the surgery lasted 9 hours. The doctor was trying to preserve flexibility for me.
Fourth was a re do of L3-L4 but we told the doctor to fuse me solid first and not worry about flexibility. So far, so good, but chronic back pain is still a challenge.

They had me wear a bone stimulator device which is very expensive but supposedly is very effective at helping the bone fusion grow. I also was order to be much more sedate. So far so good.

Tom

 
Old 04-08-2010, 04:17 PM   #6
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Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still Waiting for Full Fusion

[QUOTE=DAJ819;4221897]Yes. After the surgery in January 2009, I wore a bone growth stimulator everyday for 4 months.

Don't know what will happen if I don't fully fuse -- I think I've been avoiding asking my dr. that question.[/QUOTE]

My doctor had me wear it for the full 180 days that the stimulator is set to work. It is not a pain to do since I just put it on every morning while drinking my coffee for the 30 minutes.

 
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