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Major changes in husband after fusion

HeidiLynnMHHeidiLynnM Posts: 445
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone ;) , as some of you know, my husband had a spinal fusion in october '07. He has been in horrible pain ever sense. He had another mri to see what is going on because his pm doctor ordered it.

Well, it shows that the hardware I believe has shifted (anterolisthesis) about 8 mm. It also says that he has disk degeneration at the same spot. That is L5 S1. It is also stating that he has mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing at L4-5. It also states that he has ligamentum flavum thickening there?!

His pm doctor told him that he needs to go back to see his surgeon. I guess that he will need surgery again he was told? :? . My husband is quite upset about this, and says that he won't do surgery again. I think that he is really scared.

He just had a emg the other day, and it shows severe nerve damage. Has anyone else had this happen? It is so hard having both of us in pain ~X( ~X( .

Thanks for reading, and I would love to hear any ideas or thoughts on this. Also, would a different surgeon work on him, or would he have to stay with the one that did the surgery?


  • all means , get another opinion....especially if your hubby is feeling scared about all of this. My hubby had 3 back surgeries , 2 were fusions and the last was to remove all hardware once he was fused....he didn't want any of these surgeries and said no to all of them until he spoke with the surgeon and saw for himself the "need" for the surgeries to be done....that may be where your hubby is at too. Having surgery is hard for anyone but for the men in our lives , I think that mentally , at times it can be harder because they put so much pressure on themselves to take care of their families , be the bread winner , be invincible , etc. , etc. , etc.....

    He has got you and you understand where he is coming from as far as his spinal issues go so he will be fine. Please keep us posted and if there is anything that I can help you with then please just let me know...take care...Miki
  • Just curious- did your husband use his own bone or did they use the new MBP MATERIAL?
  • How is your husband now Miki? You are so right about the men thing. He is so stubborn. I know that it is because he is scared. I am scared too! It is hard knowing that we will both be having surgeries(him again). I am just curious if he feels better now that the hardware is gone?
  • My husband used his own material I believe. They did use some bone from his hip. He has two scars, one looking like a hockey puck, and the other one straight down.

    They went through the muscles in his back for his fusion. I don't really know too much about all of this. I think that we should have learned more before he had the surgery. I am now learning for myself!!!!
  • Hardware movement is not uncommon, and not only is it a cause for pain, it can cause worse permanent nerve damage if not addressed, and may (without being more specific about which part of the hardware moved) actually prevent the "fusion" from happened where it should. He needs to see the surgeon again.
  • HeidiLynnM said:
    How is your husband now Miki? You are so right about the men thing. He is so stubborn. I know that it is because he is scared. I am scared too! It is hard knowing that we will both be having surgeries(him again). I am just curious if he feels better now that the hardware is gone?
    hubby feels great now....his surgeries were over 10 years ago and they have made a lot of advances in how they do things since then. He works 12 hour shifts , walks over 5 miles a day at work and only takes ultram every once in awhile....had he not had the surgeries then his spinal cord would have been severed and he would have ended up in a wheel chair....so it was all well worth it in the end. He felt a lot better after getting the hardware out because there was a situation with scar tissue build up that was causing him pain.....hardware out , no more pain. I hope this helps and if there is anything else that I can do then just let me know.....take care...Miki
  • Iwould say that I fully appreciate your husbands feras for more surgery. I felt so poorly after my 2nd surgery I swore no more, but I did recognise the need for my 3rd and knew if I left it I would be in bigger trouble by now, perhaps even in a wheelchair.

    If the hard ware has slipped it is not holding the vertebra in the best place for fusion and may increase instability. It use problems depeding on where the hardwear sitting...i.e. on a nerve.

    I had my nerves compressed for 6 months. No one at this stage will say I have damage...they need to allow the year of recovery time fisrt. Cherish22 explained this to me. PM her.

    As long as you are both confident in the surgeon go back and sharpish! If you are not, get a second opinion.
    Sadly, medicine is not an exact science and has many variables. Your husband has suffered one of the risks, but it still needs sorting. Good Luck and keep us posted.
  • I had heard, I guess from reading on various forums, that another doctor would not take you on if you'd had surgery, but I did not find this to be the case. I think this was more true in the past. Now even the doctors realize that we, the consumers, shop around just like we'd do for any other big purchase. Some specialists will not let you see another doctor within the same practice, but, even that varies from practice to practice.

    Your hubbie should definitely get another opinion. I would encourage you to go to an orthopedic spinal specialist if you saw a neurosurgeon the first time, or vice versa. They often have different ways of approaching the same issue.

    There is no reason for your husband to remain in pain when there is a solution out there that may very well improve his condition. Encourage him not to give up. In the meantime, it is not too late for you to continue to read and learn as much as you can pertaining to your husband's issues. Then you will be in a better position to make decisions the second time around.

    For what it's worth -- my second surgery was much easier than the first!! ;)
  • Brian (my hubby) is getting a referral to go back to the ortho that did the surgery. He is a wonderful surgeon. The funny thing is that I am going to see him on the 18th to get a opinion from him. I have been in a TON of pain :''( :''( :''( :''( .
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