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    Old 03-11-2013, 11:40 AM   #1
    ISIE53
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    3rd spinal fusion

    Hello, has anyone out there had 3 spinal fusions? My first was at duke in 2008. A screw broke off and a second dr had to refuse my spine from s1-l4. One year later i herniated l2-l3 completely. I just had l2-l3 fused from my side 2 weeks ago (because of the scar tissue in the middle of my back). I have been in constant pain for 5 years and i am hoping this fusion will end the suffering and i can get off these fentenyl patches. I know from experience it takes a whole year to heal from these fusions. Has anyone out there experienced anything like this, and how long did it take for the pain to subside? Thank you for any response.

     
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    Old 03-11-2013, 04:45 PM   #2
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    Re: 3rd spinal fusion

    Welcome to the board.

    In other words, you never had any pain relief after the first fusion back in 2008 and your pain has continued ever since? How soon did the screw break after the first surgery? Do you know if you have an incomplete fusion from the first surgery and revision?

    Last edited by teteri66; 03-12-2013 at 09:20 AM.

     
    Old 03-11-2013, 11:51 PM   #3
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    Re: 3rd spinal fusion

    The screw broke off about 4 mo. After surgery and the doctor would not believe that i was in severe pain. He did not put the right size titanium condusive to my bone mass and weight. No i really do not know. In my opinion the mri only shows so much. Once they get in there its a different scenerio. I strongly feel the dr should have fused me completely the first time and i would be alot better off. The scar tissue that forms everytime they open you up causes alot of pain afterwards in some people for the rest of there life and they must have a nerve stimulator implant to control the pain. I had to have surgery because upon waking up one morning i was completely paralyzed from the waist down. Took 3 days for my legs to come back. I was a sales rep for kraft/nabisco and was hurt pushing a loaded pallet out of a forklift's way. Also 70% of people with fusion, herniate one level up 1 to 8 years later. My neurosurgeon even told me this. It usually does not go beyond l2-l3. Hope this helps some of you, and i do know what i am speaking of. I HAVE BEEN ON FENTENYL PATCHES 75MCG FOR 6 YEARS AND ROBAXIN AS NEEDED. RIGHT NOW I HAVE A LARGE PAD OF ICE ON MY BACK AND IT HAS TAKEN THE PAIN AWAY 100%. I JUST HAD 3RD FUSION 2 WEEKS AGO.

    Last edited by ISIE53; 03-11-2013 at 11:56 PM. Reason: MEDICATION

     
    Old 03-12-2013, 09:33 PM   #4
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    Re: 3rd spinal fusion

    I am so sorry you have had to go through so many surgeries.
    I have never been told or read that 70% end up having a herniation above the fusion, that is discouraging to me.

    How did you know your screw broke and do you know what caused it to break, was it something you did?

    I am just hoping to learn from you for my own recovery.
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    Old 03-12-2013, 09:51 PM   #5
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    Re: 3rd spinal fusion

    That statistic is much higher than anything I have read or heard. I do know that there are conflicting statistics...so it is hard to know for sure...but there is no doubt that from a mechanical point of view, fusion puts more stress on the first moveable segment adjacent to the fusion.

    This is one reason people who have L5-S1 fused have trouble with SI joint pain and piriformis pain...until the body gets used to the new positioning and the SI's new "job." It took me almost a year to make the adjustment and that was working with my Chinese medicine/rearranger guy!

     
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    Old 03-13-2013, 10:18 PM   #6
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    Smile Re: 3rd spinal fusion

    [QUOTE=workinmom572;5146038]I am so sorry you have had to go through so many surgeries.
    I have never been told or read that 70% end up having a herniation above the fusion, that is discouraging to me.

    How did you know your screw broke and do you know what caused it to break, was it something you did?

    I am just hoping to learn from you for my own recovery.[/QUOTE]

    Please do not be discouraged. Everyone is different. The mri showed the broken screw and I did nothing to cause it. I have learned to be very careful lifting, bending, pulling and pushing. Seems once you have a fusion you must be very careful if you do not want another one. That is my opinion. Let other's carry the load. Protect yourself if you can.

    Last edited by ISIE53; 03-13-2013 at 10:20 PM.

     
    Old 03-13-2013, 10:29 PM   #7
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    Re: 3rd spinal fusion

    I went to my neurosurgeon today for removal of the staples. I am very happy to report that I am feeling very good pain wise. This is a first for me. I am praying that as the healing continues I will be pain free. Then I can work on having brain surgery in Pittsburgh, Pa, to cure my Parkinson's disease which I have had for 5 years now. I am waiting patiently for the FDA to approve the funding for the procedure which the Dr asked me to be in his trial studies. I am very thankful for this answer to prayer.

     
    Old 03-14-2013, 02:15 AM   #8
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    Re: 3rd spinal fusion

    Wow ISIE53, you are such a trooper in all this! What I read in your post is your strong will to have some normalcy after all that surgery. You are one step ahead of me as I will be going for L-1 & L-2 XLIF within the next few months, as the rest of the rest of the lumbar was fused last year. I saw that you were on the patch and I am concerned about the pain after surgery as I have been on opiates for the last year. I don't think my pain guy will prescribe the patches and that first week after surgery is hugely painful so that is my concern. How was the recovery pain different after the two different types of surgery? XLIF vs. PLIF

     
    Old 03-15-2013, 10:22 PM   #9
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    Re: 3rd spinal fusion

    Well it is my opinion that after the first fusion the pain never went away and got worse because of the broken screw. The new dr took all the hardware out and did a rebuild from s1 up to l4, but the l3 l2 disks were bad and he should have just gone up 2 levels while he was in there. So the back pain never went away. After reviewing the last mri l2l3 was completely herniated, bone rubbing on bone and nerves. So he went into my left side and fused l3 l2. I am post op 3 weeks and as long as i don't do to much walking i am pain free. Putting ice on your back 3x a day helps tremendously. If you need pain medicine the doctor will give it to you. I wear a 75 patch and was on dilaudid for 1 week. Soma w/codiene and 2- 750 robaxin (muscle relaxers) help with breakthrough pain. It takes 8-12 months to fuse completely. Take care of yourself. Please.

     
    Old 03-16-2013, 08:07 AM   #10
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    Re: 3rd spinal fusion

    Once people make the "transition" from over-the-counter pain products into prescription pain meds they seem to forget about the effectiveness of the use of ice or a cold gel pack. I was guilty of this as well....after my last fusion I had really horrendous pain in the front of my thighs that IV pain meds were not touching. I ended up wearing large ice bags that wrapped around my thighs while in hospital and it was the only thing that brought relief.

    I've found that for some nerve pain, ice is much more effective than any pain medication.

    ISIE53 ~ Glad to hear you are doing well after your surgery. I hope this will resolve at least most of your issues.

     
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    Old 03-16-2013, 08:39 AM   #11
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    Re: 3rd spinal fusion

    So true terri, I picked up a large ice pack at my PT place snd it did help a great deal. PT doc claims its proven to help in healing process too.

     
    Old 03-16-2013, 09:26 AM   #12
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    Re: 3rd spinal fusion

    [QUOTE=teteri66;5147671]Once people make the "transition" from over-the-counter pain products into prescription pain meds they seem to forget about the effectiveness of the use of ice or a cold gel pack. I was guilty of this as well....after my last fusion I had really horrendous pain in the front of my thighs that IV pain meds were not touching. I ended up wearing large ice bags that wrapped around my thighs while in hospital and it was the only thing that brought relief.

    I've found that for some nerve pain, ice is much more effective than any pain medication.

    ISIE53 ~ Glad to hear you are doing well after your surgery. I hope this will resolve at least most of your issues.[/QUOTE]

    Terri, I assume you were in the military. I was a dental tech during Vietnam war.

     
    Old 03-16-2013, 10:07 AM   #13
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    Re: 3rd spinal fusion

    ME?? No. What makes you think that?

     
    Old 03-16-2013, 12:02 PM   #14
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    Re: 3rd spinal fusion

    So sorry. It says senior veteran under your name.

     
    Old 03-16-2013, 11:23 PM   #15
    teteri66
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    Re: 3rd spinal fusion

    Oh...that just means I've posted a lot on the forum! I was just curious what I'd said that made you think that!

    How are you feeling by now?

     
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