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24 week post op check- not so good

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,899
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a CT scan yesterday and saw the surgeon today gfor the 24 week check up.
At 12 weeks I was fusing well and we were very hopeful for good recovery. However when he looked at the scans today he said that there is only a tiny bit more fusion then at 12 week. Certainly a lot less then he would have expected and hoped for. :SS
The fusion that is there seems to be in the centre rather then the edges, so even with the BMP it hasn't fused properly.
I am to have an MRI for to see what the canal is like as I have some (not a lot ) of numbness in my feet and he wants to make sure the canal is clear. He also said there is a loosening of one of the lower screws which can both cause and be a reason for the non-fusion of L5-S1.
So next step after the MRI is another scan in 3 months and if it hasn't fused by then he said it wont and he will have to go back in and re-fuse, put a new screw in and clear the canal (if necessary).
So I praying that the fusion speeds up between now and then!

I asked why and he said there is no reason, just some people dont, I stopped smoking & walked +++.
I keep thinking of things that have happened and could it have caused this but I'm sure it didn't and that I am probably wasting my time worrying.

Thanks for listening.
Blessings Sara. O:)
I'll go back to being positive now that I have this out of my system. :)



  • Sara,

    It can still happen - so think positive. My thoughts and prayers are with you! >:D<

    Delaware Girl
  • Sara, I am so sorry you didn't get better news at your appointment. Was the 12 week check a CT or a regular xray? I asked my surgeon if fusions can regress and he said yes unfortunately. At 8 weeks I have none between my L4-5, but it was early yet. Did you discuss bone growth stimulators or perhaps the NSAIDS issue? I will send you some positive thoughts and prayers your way. >:D< Sue
  • Delaware girl, yep that is what I need to do now.
    Cali- Sue, The 12 week check was a CT scan and though the fusion has increased since then it is only minor.
    I didn't mention bone growth stimulators but I haven't heard of them being used in OZ either. I did ask about the NSAIDS and he said no problem especially as I needed them to be able to walk and thus stimulate the fusion.
    I really wasn't prepared for this as I read the scan report and it sounded quite good to me so was suprised when he said he was really dissapointed in the amount of fusion so far. I had gone in expecting to hear I'm all fused!
    We did decide to stop the Lyrica as I have put on weight, and am very teary and I dont think it is making any difference, so better off without it.
    Oh well nothing to do now but wait.
    Thankyou both for the support. :*
    Blessings Sara O:)

  • sara . . . that's a tough thing to swallow right now. but . . . . .God would not give u anything that he thought u could not handle. go with it. live each day to the fullest and deal with d day (doctor day) when u need too.

    keep us posted
  • ps . . .are bones suppose to fuse from side to side?? how are they suppose to fuse??

    just curious i have a cadaver bone graft. waiting for it to fuse also!! what great fun!!
  • Hi Sara,

    I hope things improve and you don't need additional surgery. At least there is some fusion and there was some additional so its not all negative. "glass half full instead of half empty". Even though location could be an issue, I would suggest you check on bone growth stimulator use where you are. At this point anything that would help sounds like a good idea.

  • give it more time hun.
    you know and i know that reading on here it can take up to a year or more. your just stuck at a "time zone" right now.
    just with like people loosing weight.
    some fusion right now is better then none at all like mine was.
    so think positive like you always do!!!!
    no need to get down.
    if your pain is undercontrol, and your not suffering in anyway continue on girlfriend.
    we will be right there with ya!!

    im very surprised at the NSAIDS intake. as i have read so many times it slows fusion. :jawdrop:
    but of course what ever your dr says do.

    hang in there girly all still sounds just fine. i know you were expecting more, but we all cannot expect perfection all the time with these darn fusions..

    your awesome, always will be. so just think positive thoughts and not negative or what can happen in the future..

    lots of love
    terri :X :* >:D< :* O:)
  • I am sorry to hear your appt did not go as you had hoped. I know you are always so positive so keep that spirit that you have and hang in there. You will be in my prayers as well. While I was reading these other posts I happened to think of how a child has growth spurts and maybe our bone fusing does also and yours will come next month or next week. They saw fusion at the last appt and still some at this one so don't let it get you to disappointed. Keep the faith!
  • I'm sorry, too, that the news at your appointment wasn't as good as you expected. But, hey, some fusion is better than none at all, right? Keep on doing your walking and doing what you know you can do. I will be keeping you in my prayers. You have been through so much and yet you have been so supportive to the rest of us. We're pulling for you girl. No worries...right? RIGHT!!!
  • Angleback,
    Sorry to hear this. Talk about not fair!

    Keep off the NSAIDs - My surgeon won't let me near them!

    You know it takes ages...i hope that your next visit will be ok.

    Eat well, foods rich in green leafy and proteins. Sleep well. Breathe deeply.

    And cross your fingers and toes! >:D<
  • Maybe, just maybe, this is just the news you needed to remind you that you are still in the process of healing. You are one of the most positive people on SH and I know you will continue to radiate with good positive energy. Don't give up and with all our good vibes, prayers and love you will get through whatever comes!

    fuse on Sara!

  • Really sorry to hear about your setback Sara. But don't give up all hope yet, fusion can continue up to a year (or two, according to others). You have been very good doing all the right things, and you certainly have a very positive attitude, so let's hope your next visit will bring better news. But even if not, well, you have weathered this major surgery before, I am sure whatever else you will need to do to get better, you'll do with flying colors.

    My thoughts are with you,

    Gentle hugs,

    p.s., Roxy, my OS said fusion starts from the bottom and works its way up, and that is how it was for me.
  • Sara -

    I haven't been on the site for awhile and this was the first post I read today. I am so sorry to hear about the doctor's report. I know from watching my husband through his fusion that news like this can be so emotionally draining and the waiting game is exhausting. Keep your spirits up as best you can. I'm thinking about you.

  • this morning and thought OK I neeed to start drinknig the wheat grass jusice. I was having it pre surgery and when ever I was at the shops but I haven't been going to the shops much lately. Wheet grass is the most highly alkaline substance we can have and it also assists in carrying oxygen through the body. So I will make a point of going to the jusice bar every day and having a shot. (shot glass)

    I do feel better today, especially after reading all your lovely posts so thank you so much for all your support.

    LJ, I will check out bone growth stimulators here and be ready to ask the Dr about it when he calls me after the MRI

    Roxy - the fusion begins at the ends of the vertabrae (each side of the removed disc) and keeps growing till it joins together, then it expands to grow up the side of the vertbrae where the lamina has usually been removed and has been replaces with rods. There is a really good video on here, showing step by step.

    Terri, i was thinking of you last night and wondering if you had fused at all, so did you fuse if L4-5 but not L5-S1- that is weird! I take the NSAIDS because I have lupus, fibromyalgia and hip replacements and would pretty much not be able to move if I didn't. I think that is why the Dr added the BMP to give the fusion an extra boost. I think I will drop off one of the celebrex and see how I cope.
    He did say it was more important to keep walking and have then then not have them and not walk.

    Yes, I do think I have to treat this as just a plateau period (growth spurts etc) and just get on with it. I am waiting for Workers Comp to let me know if they will pay for the gym for me. That would and will be wonderful as it is so much easier to walk on a treadmill in air conditioning then in the hot sun. I can also then use the bike etc.


    Blessings Sara O:)
  • sara
    thanks girl i will watch the video. hey . . . u must be into natural healing. the wheat grass juice . . .i love it. u must be familiar with the ph of the body. there is a great book i read called THE PH SOLUTION. i have been into the natural cures for a while. u into it??
  • are you really sure?

    Surely that'd be like smoking? I mean there is so much evidence to support NOT using them.
    Can you not struggle with the Lupus to give the fusion a chance?

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