Re: 2nd fusion in two years
I don't think there is any way to predict, as there are so many variables. Did you have a difficult time with the first fusion? Was it done from the back side?
My second fusion was a similar deal to what you are having and I found it less painful...and I had one level done the first time, and then it was added on above and below for the 2nd fusion. Since the screws were not compatible, my surgeon had to remove hardware, and then insert new screws and connect the whole thing with new rods.
My recovery has been very slow, for a number of reasons, but it has not been painful. The surgery itself was so much easier than the first time -- (at least for me--the surgeon had several unexpected surprises) -- I felt quite well the next day. I was in the hospital 3 nights, and released on the morning of the 4th day.
My surgeon was very, very conservative with my rehab, as we all considered this my last chance to resolve my pain issues, and none of us wanted me to do anything that might cause any nerve pain.
In a way, recovery should be at least as long as the first time because you will find that you now have a large, immovable area in the middle of your back that cannot and must not bend or twist. This immovable area will put additional stress on the adjacent disc segment where they meet, so you will need to be additionally careful, especially while everything is healing.
I guess the reason I said it was easier the second time is because I was pain-free for the first time in over five years. I could stand and walk again without pain, which is something that never occurred after my first fusion.
One reason why I think it was easier is because, after going in over the same incision for 3 times, I think there was less sensation than there was after the first surgery.
In any case, I don't think it will be any worse. When are you having surgery?