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Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?


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Old 10-17-2006, 10:30 AM   #1
redbullwings
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Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

Hello Everyone
I had rods put in my back 1 year ago. I crushed my 6t and my doctor did bone graft and took bone from an other part of my body to put around the crush vertibra. My doctor told me it could take years before my back was healed. I am assuming she means being fused. She also told me the only way to know if it fused is to open my back up to be able to tell if it worked. Is that right? MRI and CT can't tell them that my fusion worked? And If it didn't fuse and may never what should be done next. My doctor also told me in my 3rd month of recovery that the pain should be depleting and that I would feel less and less pain as months go on. Well thats not the case at all. I still have alot of pain all the time. So could this pain mean it didn't fuse? Thank you and HAVE A GREAT DAY !!! JEN

 
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:36 AM   #2
shawley
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Re: Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

Red thats a very good question . I here so much bullcrap anymore I don't know who to believe, I was told it should be fused around the 12 month period if its going to fuse , then I here people say it takes longer..I dont know either..I do know I had 2 nonunions(didnt fuse) waiting on my 3rd to fuse here...

 
Old 10-17-2006, 10:44 AM   #3
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Re: Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

How did you know they didn't fuse?

 
Old 10-17-2006, 12:05 PM   #4
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Re: Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

I'm confused....I had a fusion L 3-4 in August and the beginings of bone growth could be seen on my digital x-ray. He said fusion should be evident on x-rays. They can see my cervical fusion from 2 years ago, on an x-ray or at least they told me they did.

 
Old 10-17-2006, 02:33 PM   #5
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Re: Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

Hi there,
My knowledge is that you should definitly be able to see any sign of bone fuison on x-rays or ct scans. MRI's on apparantly no longer and good to those of us that have hardware in us and this because it interfers with the Magnectic imaging. The hardware becomes quite blurry and for that reason (so I've been told) only x-rays and ct's are the only way for us to be tested. It seems to me that you should know whether or not you are fusing. If your pain has improved at all then that should be a sign of fusing. If you are still in the same amount of pain prior to your fusion then you may not be fusing. If you are really wondering then ask your doc for an x-ray. Good luck and all the best. Beachgirl.

 
Old 10-18-2006, 11:01 AM   #6
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Re: Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

[QUOTE=redbullwings]How did you know they didn't fuse?[/QUOTE]
I guess by the x-ray ? My doctor tried to point out bone , but all I seen was a little spot that looked a little milky, I guess it was bone but not enough at all.

 
Old 10-18-2006, 07:48 PM   #7
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Re: Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

My daughter's dr told us the same thing, that the only sure way to know it's fused is to go back in and look. He laughed because he won't do that unless she has problems. He has shown me three different times where there was evidence of new bone growth on the xrays. It shows up a bright white. cas

 
Old 10-18-2006, 08:23 PM   #8
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Re: Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

you know it worked when your not in pain anymore.

 
Old 10-19-2006, 06:00 AM   #9
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Re: Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

JB you sure about that ? I would hate to have to have another surgery.
My doctor is pushing for the spinal stim for me , said it will take care of my leg pain,,I forgot to ask what about my back pain ?? Never did say if I was fusing yet or not. I don't think they like to tell you your not.

 
Old 10-19-2006, 06:02 AM   #10
shawley
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Re: Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

[QUOTE=caszyman]My daughter's dr told us the same thing, that the only sure way to know it's fused is to go back in and look. He laughed because he won't do that unless she has problems. He has shown me three different times where there was evidence of new bone growth on the xrays. It shows up a bright white. cas[/QUOTE] High Cas , was the fusion a solid white or milky ? My doctor showed me a little milky spot between the screws and said I was fusing,,(before my 3rd surgery) I don't think they sure half the time.

 
Old 10-19-2006, 10:00 AM   #11
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Re: Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

[QUOTE=shawley]JB you sure about that ? I would hate to have to have another surgery.
My doctor is pushing for the spinal stim for me , said it will take care of my leg pain,,I forgot to ask what about my back pain ?? Never did say if I was fusing yet or not. I don't think they like to tell you your not.[/QUOTE]

Well even if you fuse 100% and are still in pain I consider the outcome to be unsuccessful.

 
Old 10-19-2006, 08:00 PM   #12
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Re: Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

Shawley, I thought the areas her dr showed us were bright white. The last time we looked at xrays was in June and he felt she was pretty well fused then at one year. But again, even her dr told us that the xrays don't tell all.
cas

 
Old 10-20-2006, 06:29 AM   #13
shawley
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Re: Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

cas all I seen in mine was a milky little tiny spot near the screw. I haven't seen my new x-rays. He doesnt show them to me anymore ?? I'm still having the tired heavy hurting feeling in my back but all he wants to do is try the spinal stim ?? Frustrating !!!!

 
Old 10-20-2006, 06:44 PM   #14
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Re: Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

I can imagine your frustration. It seems like you have tried all. I do worry about my daughter as she gets older. She is doing fabulous now, but I know she may very well be in bad shape again in the years to come. I guess that's just the mom in me worrying about things that may happen. She wants to be a dr because she says she know how it feels on this side and can be compassionate. So we'll see what happens. Take care and I do wish you and your back the best. cas

 
Old 10-30-2006, 11:04 AM   #15
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Re: Fusion How Do You Know It Worked ?

I would NEVER let them open me up again! But I do know that they have motion MRI's that can show you if the new bone is moving with the spine, and therefore, has FUSED with the spine. I do not know if they are everywhere, but I know they have them here in So. CA. Doctors are kind of RUDE after the surgery, I noticed mine was, I think they get nervous when you keep coming back and complaining about pain. I'm still in pain and it will be 2 years on November 11th.

 
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