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  • Not fused at 6 months post op NEED ADVICE

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    Old 07-16-2005, 04:24 PM   #1
    MKP
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    Not fused at 6 months post op NEED ADVICE

    I went in to see the surgeon on Thursday. He said that I had fused nicely at L4-L5 but when we were looking at the CT, L5 and S1 had barely done anything. A tiny bit of the donor bone had grown into S1 but was no where near L5. He prescribed me a bone growth stimulator. Has anyone ever taken a whole year to fuse? He said if I wasn't fused at 1 year the would go inand do an anterior fusion. He acted optimistic but something about him made me feel like this wasn't going to take. I am only 33 and I don't smoke. Any tips would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Megan
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    Posterior Fusion L4-L5-S1 (January 28th, 2005)

     
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    Old 07-16-2005, 08:49 PM   #2
    Quietcook
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    Re: Not fused at 6 months post op NEED ADVICE

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    Last edited by Quietcook; 07-18-2005 at 05:54 PM.

     
    Old 07-17-2005, 01:02 PM   #3
    MKP
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    Re: Not fused at 6 months post op NEED ADVICE

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    Megan

    Posterior Fusion L4-L5-S1 (January 28th, 2005)

    Last edited by MKP; 07-17-2005 at 01:05 PM.

     
    Old 07-17-2005, 01:04 PM   #4
    MKP
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    Re: Not fused at 6 months post op NEED ADVICE

    I hope this can answer some of your questions. Yes, my surgeon is an orthopedic surgeon with a spine fellow. I am a registered nurse so I would not go to just anyone. He is probably noted as one of the best spine surgeons in the city. I was told that I was not a cantidate for an artifical disc after he did my discogram. I don't know if it was nerve related or not. I was having huge problems with left leg pain. As fot the donor bone question, he used some sort of product that arrives to them ground up, that has be tested and sterilized. I have no other idea why my own bone was not used. Maybe because of my age? In between my discs there is something placed there which can be seen on an X-ray. Would this be BMP?

    My main question is, is it normal for a fusion to take longer than 6 months in a 33 year old at L5-S1?
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    Posterior Fusion L4-L5-S1 (January 28th, 2005)

     
    Old 07-17-2005, 06:30 PM   #5
    Quietcook
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    Re: Not fused at 6 months post op NEED ADVICE

    MKP,

    Donor bone has to be sterilized, but nothing that I've read in tons of materials says that BMP must be treated as it is a brand new product and is sterile to begin with. BMP is a product, something like super glue, in which ground bone is mixed with right there in the surgical area, sponges soaked in it and then placed within the cages. On x-rays you will see the cages between the vertebrae as they now provide the spacing that was done by the disc. There are various types of cages, and I have 4 different type in my spine now.

    Some doc's simply prefer to use donor or autograph bone. Prior to BMP, they had to take bone from the hip, but when fusions are done, a laminectomy is typically done at the same time. That pevents additional problems later, and allows for better alignment of the vertebrae, and that bone removed during the laminectomy is used with the bmp.

    Don't know why you weren't a candidate for ADR, but at least with the levels L5-S1 we're not talking about a lot of flexing. At 33 I would think you would be in better shape than myself and age was not a factor in why I didn't get one at 58. I know people younger and much older who have gotten the ADR. I was holding out myself this last time for an ADR as they had begun using them in patients who had already had fusions like myself. I was 51 before I ever had a back problem and turned 59 after this last surgery. Fact was, the condition of the rest of the support system being shot ruled me out. All those years of heavy work finally got me, then a wreck which broke one fusion causing the other parts to eventually crumble in the next months.

    According to my spine specialists, it's rare to him to remove hardware for less than 3 levels being fused; did your doc say he would leave hardware in or remove it later? Don't know about most doc's, but my doc said that his experience has been that he has rarely needed to remove hardware on patients who had less than 3 levels fused. On the other hand, while we had to remove the hardware in all my three level fusions (because as I became more active muscles rubbed over the screws and hurt), with this 10 level fusion, we intend to leave the hardware in. Removing 3 levels was typically a 45-60 minute outpatient surgery, but this would take hours. Even so, at least even though your fusion has not cured, your hardware will keep things stable.

    As a nurse, you know that you and the knowledge you have makes you your own best advocate. BionicWitch has a thread at the top of the boards about New Info. It provides the web site for spine universe which is excellent for researching the different types of spine surgeries. Also, if you do web searches using terms such as spine health or spine fusions using a period and no spaces between the words you should find some good info, plus even check out the various clinical trials sites. Using these terms you will find a number of sites which are very informative. Likewise, after you visit such sites, perhaps you will make a list of questions about your particular procedure that you would like your doc to answer at your next visit.

    Best wishes and let us know how you are doing.

     
    Old 07-17-2005, 06:41 PM   #6
    sandollar
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    Re: Not fused at 6 months post op NEED ADVICE

    Hi!
    My Fusion was at the S1 & L5 also and my Surgeon told me not to worry until it has been 1 year, sometimes certain area's can fuse slower than others.
    StarDust

     
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