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Old 04-30-2010, 12:47 PM   #1
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Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

I just saw an endocrinologist today, Was given IV reclast 2 months after triple lumbar fusion, Rods, Screws, cage. I am 10 months out with no bone, no fusion, using bone growth stimulator, taking 50,000 units Vit D 3 times a week and high doses of calcium.

Forteo has just been recommended. I need bone badly, had osteopenia prior to surgery. Am concerned that I could be going from bad to worse with yet another drug, at least this one does not last one year. Has anyone taken Forteo after failure of fusion or bone growth???

I am also concerned re: side effects. I have not seen any one who has had major back surgery, failure of fusion or bone growth, or their response to Forteo.

 
Old 04-30-2010, 02:12 PM   #2
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Re: Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

I am pleased to respond positively to your inquiry. Following my first surgery (multiple fusions with all the hardware) nothing grew, fusion never occurred. Two years later, while on Forteo I had two more surgeries (hardware removed and replaced, this time the entire length of my spine). Thanks entirely to the Forteo everything has fused, bone has grown where it was wanted. The surgeon and I could not be more pleased with the outcome!
Best of luck to you! Carol

 
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:04 PM   #3
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Re: Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

Turtlelady,
I'm really glad to hear about your success. I've sort of decided not to have back surgery unless it's an emergency because of my really low bone density. It sounds like you were on the Forteo at the right time, after surgery. Are you pain free now?

I've never had surgery but I haven't experienced any side effects to Forteo except a little irritation on my skin where I do the injections.

 
Old 04-30-2010, 11:29 PM   #4
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Question Re: Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

I will be having a fusion probably within the next month or so on L/4, L/5. I also have Osteopenia with low bone density. Would it be better for me to have "Reclast" (a once a year drug), or should I have Forteo by injection once a week? I cannot take those kind of drugs by mouth because of stomach issues, but I do take "Evista" every day. I heard that Reclast can give you flu-like symptoms every day for a long time. I also have been out of work from a fractured T12 for 5 months. I actually had the procedure " Kyphoplasty" for that, but have suffered with the lower lumbar ever since I had the Kyphoplasty.
I'm having a "Disco-gram" this next week. Any suggestions? I'm a female age 59.

 
Old 05-01-2010, 09:18 AM   #5
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Re: Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

Thanks so much for the positive information re: secondary surgery with bone and fusions while on Forteo. I just sent in my prescription today, and will start on Tuesday, my learning to inject day. I am an RN and will keep folks posted on my response to forteo, and follow up xrays, the one year xray is due july 1st, by then I will have been on forteo 2 months, do you know how quickly you saw bone growth. You are a glimmer of hope and I am happy that your spinal fusions did fuse. Are you taking anything for maintenance???

 
Old 05-01-2010, 12:28 PM   #6
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Re: Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

Taape:
We timed the surgery to maximize the benefits of the Forteo.
At this age I doubt anyone is pain-free, but the back pain is minimal
(I do need a new knee, unfortunately).
I was told my first surgery was an emergency because of severe stenosis.
Now I've got my doubts. I went to the Hospital for Special Surgery to have the damage repaired and they performed miracles!
Flgram:
Yes, thanks. At this point I am on Strontium Citrate and Silica (in addition to the usual - Calcium Citrate, Vit D, Magnesium) and a certain amount to prayer.
I am looking forward to the FDA's approval (maybe July?) of the new Amgen monoclonal antibody product (Denosumab) which sounds very promising.
I don't have any means of monitoring my progress (or lack thereof) other than the bone marker chemistry tests. Dexa's are of no use (between the extensive arthritis and the erector set of titanium the readings would not mean much). I haven't broken anything new since the Forteo and that is good news. (No side effects either, incidently.)
Good luck to us all! Blessings Carol

 
Old 05-02-2010, 05:11 PM   #7
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Re: Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

Carol, Thanks so much for your words, my Dexa as well was on my hip, couldn't do my back due to the titanium rods, 8 screws, cage and new surgery. I go on Tuesday to learn about the injection process, should not be bad. What time of the day did you inject. It seems most are doing it at night due to nausea. did you have any leg cramps and how soon ( months ) did it take to show new bone/fusion formation???? As a nurse I know that osteogenesis takes a long time, but was it 3 months after starting, 6 months, or what??? Normally there is noticeable bone deposit and early progress with fusion in 3 months, some times partial in 6 months with a normal person.....but we arn't in that group. Kathy

 
Old 05-02-2010, 05:39 PM   #8
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Re: Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

No nausea, no cramps, no side effects whatsoever. I injected first thing in the morning and scarcely ever felt it. I had the 2nd and 3rd surgeries about 10 days apart (because of massive blood loss) exactly half way into the Forteo. How long it took to take effect, I could only guess, but I was monitored with CT scans every 3 months the first year and the surgeon was extremely pleased the first followup in marked contrast to my first surgery where nothing much ever happened (I was in a massive brace for a year and a half and terribly fragile). Miraculous stuff (at least for me!) this Forteo.
God bless!

 
Old 05-16-2010, 06:02 PM   #9
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Re: Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flgram View Post
I just saw an endocrinologist today, Was given IV reclast 2 months after triple lumbar fusion, Rods, Screws, cage. I am 10 months out with no bone, no fusion, using bone growth stimulator, taking 50,000 units Vit D 3 times a week and high doses of calcium.

Forteo has just been recommended. I need bone badly, had osteopenia prior to surgery. Am concerned that I could be going from bad to worse with yet another drug, at least this one does not last one year. Has anyone taken Forteo after failure of fusion or bone growth???

I am also concerned re: side effects. I have not seen any one who has had major back surgery, failure of fusion or bone growth, or their response to Forteo.
Hi:

Sorry to bother you with this question, but what does "Forteo" mean?

I am the wife of 40 year old man who suffers from failed back syndrome. I am just trying to educate myself with every aspect of this condition. --it is either this or loose my mind watching my husband suffer in pain. I choose to become part of the informed, cutting-edge, post failed laminectomy crowd. I am trying to find a surgeon to "re-do" the mess that is my husband's first fusion.

Best of luck to you. May your journey to a pain-free place, be quick and permanent!!

V from Connecticut

 
Old 05-16-2010, 07:59 PM   #10
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Re: Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

Forteo is a recombinant human parathyroid medication which is used to stimulate bone growth. It involves daily self-injection, usually for 18 months to 2 years. It carries a very, very small risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer). For me it was quite miraculous.
I also had a failed fusion which left me in horrendous pain and visibly deformed.
I strongly recommend you see the folks at Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC.
They gave me back my life. No more pain or deformity and the fusion has been totally successful. You cannot ask for more!
Good luck!
Carol

 
Old 05-16-2010, 08:24 PM   #11
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Re: Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlelady View Post
Forteo is a recombinant human parathyroid medication which is used to stimulate bone growth. It involves daily self-injection, usually for 18 months to 2 years. It carries a very, very small risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer). For me it was quite miraculous.
I also had a failed fusion which left me in horrendous pain and visibly deformed.
I strongly recommend you see the folks at Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC.
They gave me back my life. No more pain or deformity and the fusion has been totally successful. You cannot ask for more!
Good luck!
Carol
Hi turtlelady--

I just sent in my husband's papers to the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC this past Friday. I am waiting for an appointment for him there. If you wouldn't mind, would you be willing to tell me which doctor you saw at the HSS. I want to choose the right one this time around. My husband has a failed lumbar fusion (two levels).

I am glad to know that your surgery went so well....I would just give anything if I could get my husband out of this horrible, horrible pain. I love him so much. This is actually killing me to watch.

I thank you in advance and so does my husband.

Valicia

 
Old 05-17-2010, 06:49 AM   #12
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Re: Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

Dr Girardi was my surgeon but there are many top spine surgeons there. I don't think you can go too far wrong at that place. The standard there is very high. If anyone can fix your husband, it's HSS. I look forward to hearing good things from you also. Being on the Forteo after the surgery I believe really added to the success of the fusion this time around. (I am fused all the way - from cervical spine down to sacrum and I am almost completely functional now.)
I wish you the best of luck. I know what you are going through.
God bless! Carol

 
Old 05-17-2010, 08:09 AM   #13
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Re: Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlelady View Post
Dr Girardi was my surgeon but there are many top spine surgeons there. I don't think you can go too far wrong at that place. The standard there is very high. If anyone can fix your husband, it's HSS. I look forward to hearing good things from you also. Being on the Forteo after the surgery I believe really added to the success of the fusion this time around. (I am fused all the way - from cervical spine down to sacrum and I am almost completely functional now.)
I wish you the best of luck. I know what you are going through.
God bless! Carol
Thank you so much Turtlelady. Dr. G is who I had picked on Friday. I am really so very desperate to see my husband come back to me. I miss us. He is in pain and I am the wife of "failed fusion" husband. It is our whole life. If I can get into Dr. G and if he is willing to "redo" this surgery, I will be on my way. I am so afraid that the HSS will turn my husband away.

I am sick thinking about "what if they refuse to treat him."

I know that my husband is suffering, but so am I.

Valicia

 
Old 05-17-2010, 02:12 PM   #14
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Re: Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

I can't imagine them turning anyone in your circumstances away. If you can get past the front desk people Dr. G. is not only an amazing surgeon he's also a very decent human being, infinitely more accessible than the neurosurgeon who botched my first surgery.
I know, too, just how hard it was on my family before I was repaired.
If you would like, contact me through private messaging and I can give you more detail.
I wish you both all the best. It will be good to get this behind you and get on with life!
Carol

 
Old 05-17-2010, 04:41 PM   #15
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Re: Forteo - lumbar fusion, no bone or fusion

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlelady View Post
I can't imagine them turning anyone in your circumstances away. If you can get past the front desk people Dr. G. is not only an amazing surgeon he's also a very decent human being, infinitely more accessible than the neurosurgeon who botched my first surgery.
I know, too, just how hard it was on my family before I was repaired.
If you would like, contact me through private messaging and I can give you more detail.
I wish you both all the best. It will be good to get this behind you and get on with life!
Carol
Hi Turtlelady:

I hope that you are right. I have great insurance and everything--its just that two doctors (who are not the same calibur as Dr. G) said that they didn't see anything that they could do for my husband. It is like a punch in the stomach to hear that. My husband also wasn't told that smoking reduces the success of a fusion by 50%. He will soon be nicotine free--I want to be able to tell Dr. G that he is officially a non-smoker.

I would like to contact you through private messaging, but I am a "nubbie" on this healthboard. I will wait until my status changes or my appointment time gets closer.

I really appreciate being able to "speak" to you like this. I don't want to loose hope and I certainly don't want my husband to loose hope. Last Friday, he told the ortho that we saw that "he didn't want to live like this anymore." The ortho said the following: "Be that as it may, I don't see anything that I can do for you. Why don't you go back to the doctor who performed the original surgery and let him take a look at his handy work." I thought that my poor suffering husband, who had to try so hard just to walk from the car to the office, was going to just wilt away and die right there. He is this strong, tough, former builder of homes. But, this pain can realy bring you down to size and the doctor was harsh.

However, it was this doctor that also said, "I would take him to the Hospital for Special Surgery." That was Friday. I sent in the papers to HSS on Friday. I spoke with you yesterday. Today, HSS called my husband and started the intake information.

Hopefully, Dr. G won't brush him aside. Four years of suffering. I really am even afraid of seeing a better day in my mind--you know, in case we don't get any better days.

Speak with you soon.

Valicia

Last edited by harmonv; 05-17-2010 at 04:53 PM. Reason: typos

 
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