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  • Anterior Lumbar fusion using "PEEK" cages

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    Old 12-06-2006, 04:26 AM   #1
    Porter107
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    Anterior Lumbar fusion using "PEEK" cages

    Seen my Surgeon(s) yesterday (Orthopedic and Vascular) to finalize the pre-op physical and lab work. What a long day! It started at 5:00AM and finished at 9:00PM (travel time included). Anyway...the visit with the Vascular surgeon was really a waste of time. I was scheduled to see him at 12:00PM but because he had an emergency and was unable to be there, they wanted me to reschedule until next Tuesday! I told them about how far I have to travel to get there, and they decided that I could come back at 4:30PM to see him. So went to my next appt. with my Ortho, was fitted for my brace and discussed the surgery with the Dr. then went to the Hospital to get pre admitted, have lab work done and have a chest x-ray. I then had to go to the Social Security office to get an application, ([I]not that I am thinking disability, but have to apply for it in order to receive the short term disability benefit through my employer[/I]) [B][I]had to wait in line for about 30 mins[/I][/B]) I then went back to the Vascular surgeons office at 4:30PM for my appt. They took me back to the exam room right away, which I thought was terrific since I felt as though I was going to die from pain !!! My wife and I sat there for about 2 hours waiting for the Dr. (oh they did take my vitals in the mean time and made me put on the "Paper" shorts). When the DR finally arrived, he introduced himself, told me what he was going to do as far as the surgery was concerned, explained how long my incision would be and then left! All this took about 5 minutes? and I am still wondering why I had to wear the shorts?...
    Anyway, My Ortho surgeon said he would be using the "PEEK" cage and plating for my fusion (L4-L5/S1) along with BMP. Has anyone had fusion using this type of implant and what was the outcome? I have done some reading on it and it sounds promising, still I would like to hear from someone that has actually had this procedure and get thier view.
    I apologize for the long post, but needed to vent a little. It was a bad day. Thank goodness that portion is over. I know the worst is yet to come, but the next time I have to travel that far it will be to have the surgery so that I can start the recovery process.

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    Old 12-06-2006, 07:29 AM   #2
    zeroman
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    Re: Anterior Lumbar fusion using "PEEK" cages

    I had a double fusion with cages and BMP, no other hardware. im not sure what brand the cage is, Ill have to ask at my next visit.

    at 5 months one level has shown signs of fusion and hopefully my next visit will show signs at the other level.

    the success rate with BMP is very good, better even than using your own bone. at 5 months i feel pretty good. fixed my leg pain 100% and lessened my low back pain by 80%, maybe more as the pain I now have is probably just recovery pain and its not that bad.
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    back surgery in JUN 06 - two level ALIF (L3-4-5) with cages and BMP - SUCCESSFUL!

     
    Old 12-06-2006, 09:47 AM   #3
    Tucsonlady40
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    Re: Anterior Lumbar fusion using "PEEK" cages

    Hi Porter,

    Just reading your post and wanted to say, I'm sorry for what you had to go through yesterday. I truly believe that alot of Dr.'s (of course not all) are in such a hurry that they've just learned to toss out their bedside manner. No respect or compassion for your pain not to mention the long drive that you had to do and then come back because he had an emergency.

    I've not personally had the bmp or cages with my fusion, but I've read about alot of success stories. I'm sure you'll do great with them.

    Heck it wasn't until after my surgery, that I even learned about BMP. It was here on this board that I've learned about most that I do know and ALOT of researching.

    Anyway, good luck to you on your surgery, I'm sure you'll do just fine.
    Bernie

     
    Old 12-07-2006, 06:56 AM   #4
    Porter107
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    Re: Anterior Lumbar fusion using "PEEK" cages

    Thanks Bernie and Zeroman for your replies. I have been reading extensively
    about this fusion device as well as BMP. From all I have read, it appears to be very promising. I am praying that it will be a successful surgery and that it will be permanent. Although I am a little paranoid about the surgery, I am also wanting it to be over so I can begin recovery. There are so many thoughts and feeling going thru my mind right now, but I am trying to be optimistic about the entire process. Again thanks for your response. It is appreciated.

    Porter

     
    Old 12-07-2006, 04:03 PM   #5
    Steve N.
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    Re: Anterior Lumbar fusion using "PEEK" cages

    Since you are also a male, I have to ask this question. I have been putting off a 3 level anterior/posterior surgery for some time now. One of the aspects of the anterior procedure that bothers me the most is the potential complication to men called retrograde ejaculation. Did the vascular surgeon talk to you about this issue and if so, what did he say? I have read that the occurance of this is nearly 10%.

    Did you have any discussions with your surgeon(s) regarding this?

    Thanks for your reply and best of luck on your operation.

    Steve

     
    Old 12-07-2006, 08:31 PM   #6
    Porter107
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    Re: Anterior Lumbar fusion using "PEEK" cages

    [QUOTE=Steve N.]Since you are also a male, I have to ask this question. I have been putting off a 3 level anterior/posterior surgery for some time now. One of the aspects of the anterior procedure that bothers me the most is the potential complication to men called retrograde ejaculation. Did the vascular surgeon talk to you about this issue and if so, what did he say? I have read that the occurance of this is nearly 10%.

    Did you have any discussions with your surgeon(s) regarding this?

    Thanks for your reply and best of luck on your operation.

    Steve[/QUOTE]

    Steve, the Vascular surgeon never mentioned it at all, in fact I only spoke with him a very short time (about 5 mins). After reading your post I of course became concerned so I have done some research on the Internet. From what I can find on this subject, Retrograde Ejaculation can occur due to manipulation of a certain nerve near the spinal column that controls that function. What I have read states that it occurs in about 1% of the surgeries and fortunately is not permanent (lasting up to 4 months). I will certainly address my surgeon about this possible complication and get his perspective on what the odds are for it. I will also do some further research into it to get as much info about it that I can. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Porter

     
    Old 12-07-2006, 08:45 PM   #7
    zeroman
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    Re: Anterior Lumbar fusion using "PEEK" cages

    Steve, my vascular surgeon infomed me of the posibility of retrograde ejaculation. its a very small risk and even if it does occur, it almost always corrects itself within a few months. however in the event it does happen and doesnt correct itself you wont be able to have children.

    my vascular surgeon has done literally over a thousand of these operations since early '80s (hes the "prep" surgeon who opened me up and shoved my guts out of the way for the spine surgeon he partners with) and he said its hes only aware of it happening once with him and it later corrected itself. perhaps it actually happened more but the patient was not aware of it because it corrected itself before the patient resumed sex.. usually its recommended not to have sex for 6 weeks which could easliy be enough time for it to correct itself. I cant recall exactly what the odds he gave me were but I though he said less that 1%.. not sure as I dont intend to have any children so I just kinda blew through that part of the discussion.

    if it does happen its painless and he said Id never even notice feeling wise, it feels like a normal ejaculation however sperm goes into the bladder instead and is later voided during urination.

    in short its very rare but he said he has to make sure Im aware of the risk in case I want children. if thats a concern you should donate to a sperm bank.
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    back surgery in JUN 06 - two level ALIF (L3-4-5) with cages and BMP - SUCCESSFUL!

     
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