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Fusion Non-unions

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Old 10-28-2008, 08:59 PM   #1
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Fusion Non-unions

For those of you that have had non-unions, did your surgeon go in and do a revision surgery? If so, how long did your surgeon wait to see fusion before he went in to the revision. Did he wait a year - two years?



Last edited by ms_west; 10-28-2008 at 09:02 PM.

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Old 10-29-2008, 07:26 AM   #2
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Re: Fusion Non-unions

hey pepper. my fusion in my c spine did not take and it took me 9 months of trying to convince my NSs NURSE that i actually needed to see him(she was a nurse ratchet from you know where?) but as soon as we confirmed the non fusion(the top endplate did fuse just not the bottom) i was back in the OR having hardware placed. it was less than a year,that much a do know for certain. the thing is,my MRI couldn't tell for certain whether i had fusion,the CT stated i actually DID fuse when we know i was not. it took very simple flex and ext type x rays to show the truth. the only way i know now for certain that i did was my third NS who did my spinal cord surgery saw the fusion with his own eyes. i guess you cannot get better than that.

honestly,if you have not yet fused in one years time,i seriously doubt that it would by itself. the addition of hardware is what helped me. but you don;t want to wait too overly long so the endplates just start to seal themselves off as far as having "something" that bone can grab onto and fuse to? i do hope things work out for you pepper. keep us posted. Marcia
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

Old 10-31-2008, 11:44 PM   #3
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Re: Fusion Non-unions

I had initially fused L5-s1 and had pain for 2 years post op. Once I had convinced Work Comp that I REALLY needed to see my Surgeon to take some xrays etc... (thanks to help and threat from my lawyer) we had discovered that I had a non union. My was also diagnosed by the simple flex and ext type xrays, and the mri and CT scan had both showed fusion, which of course was incorrect. My surgeon had explained that he would have waited about a year but could have been as soon as 6 months depending on individual progress. He also discovered that l4-l5 was also in need of a fusion as well. He then went ahead and fused L4-S1 with 2 rods and 6 screws. approximately another year later He went back in to retrieve the hardware since It was now pinching a nerve that caused permanent Left leg nerve damage. When he went in to retrieve that hardware he visually explored my fusion to confirm union. I have also discoverd L1-L3 is now severly hernitated and in need of some more surgery. (I am putting that off for now, I am soooo over having surgery's)/ Sorry to ramble on but I hope that some of this information may help to answer your question.

God Bless,


Old 11-01-2008, 06:11 AM   #4
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Re: Fusion Non-unions


Our stories are similar. I first had fusion s1/s2. 25 years later I had a laminectomy at L5/s1. Then a fusion L5/s1 then they removed the hardware on right side since it was laying on a nerve. Now the fusion appears to have fell apart and L4 has blown. Now they are talking about removing all hardware, adding bmp, then adding all new hardware from L4 to s1.

I do understand about being over surgery. I feel that way to BUT I have two small children and feel that I have to do everything in my power to get better. If this does not do it, I am over it all too.

Very interesting about the mri/ct scan showing fusing and there was not any. My CT scan shows no fusion, my mylegram shows no fusion. I am having an MRI done on Monday and seeing the surgeon on Friday to make my final decision.

Old 11-01-2008, 06:17 AM   #5
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Re: Fusion Non-unions

Thank you Marcia. My surgeon is also saying that I should have some fusion by now and the fact that they are seeing NONE concerns him since there was some fusion at L5/S1 before. He thinks it fell completely apart when he took out the right side of the hardware which was laying on a nerve. He wants to go back in and add bmp and add all new hardware from L4 to s1. L4 would be a new level which is now herninated and has slipped forward.

He feels my pain is coming from non-fusion and not being stabilized.

I think removing that hardware on the right side was a MISTAKE because everything came tumbling down!!

Last edited by ms_west; 11-01-2008 at 06:18 AM.

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