Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Haven't fused after 1yr 1month hmmm

sagehenssagehen Posts: 221
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have not fused after a year...(2 level alif) I think that is why I am still in so much pain.I have been having excruciating lumbar spasms for 2 weeks.I will be getting a lumbar epidural on Friday,as well as cervical facet injections.Maybe that will do it for me. I am concerned about the nonfusion though...I have never smoked.My Dr told me I have "very strong bones".I haven't been able to find much information on this,so if anybody has any,I'd really appreciate it.Thanks....Sagehen


  • 1. have you been using a bone stimulator?
    2. Is there any evidence of fusion? at any level?
    3. Are your screws loose?
    4. Are you taking calcium & Vit D supplements?
    5. Are you avoiding bending, lifting & twisting?
    6. Are you avoiding anti-inflamatory drugs?

    I know from Chris' experience just how frustrating it can be. I hope you are just a slow fuser and it still happens.

  • I can understand your frustration. I am a little over 10 months post-op, not fully-fused yet and still have pain as well. My fusion is close to complete, but not quite there yet.

    At my last appointment, the surgeon said in some cases it can take 1–2 years to achieve a complete fusion. What is important is I continue to show new bone growth, so there is no reason to think the process has failed. For some reason, it is just taking longer for me.

    Regarding the pain, I recently had a myelogram/CT scan combo done which came back clear. My surgeon therefore believes my pain is being caused by fatigued muscles. He suggested adding bike riding and/or swimming to my exercise program to work the muscles a bit differently. I have been riding an exercise bike twice a week and it seems to be helping.

    It is possible that you are just one of the people who take longer to achieve a complete fusion. Ask your surgeon about how your bone growth is progressing over time.

    Regarding your epidural and facet injections, did your doctor recommend these procedures after conducting some tests such as a myelogram/CT scan/MRI? If not, it may be a good idea to do that in an attempt to identify the pain source before trying to treat good.

    Good luck. I hope you feel better soon.

  • I'm sorry for your pain and frustration. In a way, I am with you. As I have no new bone growth, and only resorption around my cage, my NS has told me he does not expect full fusion for 2 years, maybe more. :W

    You didn't mention if you are showing any kind of progressive bone growth (it would be a slow growth in your case after a year, I suspect!). I expect you must be showing something, or I would think (hope?) your doctors would be saying/doing more than just injections, such as a bone growth stimulator. :?

    Hang in there, and try to be strong. B) I know that can be difficult, but if you need help being strong, you can always come here, or if you feel depressed, call a therapist! Please, keep us informed of your progress. >:D<
  • Hi Terri,
    No,I don't use a bone stimulator,yes there was some indication of bone growth at 3 months,but nothing more,no I don't have a screw loose(except for the ones in my brain!)and I do take a multi-vitamin,and I have always drank alot of milk,the BLT..well...I have probably broke those rules,and I do not take my diclofenac. So.....I guess I will just play the waiting game.
    How did the Dr decide that Chris' fusion was a failed one? How is he feeling now? It is miserable,Terri,he's fortunate to have someone that cares and is concerned about him.
    Hope you guys have a good summer, Sagehen
  • Hello Mark,
    I've got a question for you,do you get muscle spasms?And if so did your Dr give you any advice on that?I am sure my muscles are fatigued,reacting to the spasms.It's a vicious cycle! Walking feels good for me,but...after about 2 blocks I will get a spasm that will drop me like a truck hit me.
    I did have an MRI on my neck,and my PM Dr is the one that suggested cervical facet injections,but my NS wants the lumbar epidural,based on my pain levels. It's hard to believe fusing can take 1-2 years,but considering what our bodies have gone through,I guess I should be more patient with my old bod!
    Hope your exercise program helps alleviate your pain,and thanks for the reply. Sagehen
  • Sagehen,

    My muscle spasms occurred between 5 weeks and 4 months post-op. Since then, I really can't recall having them anymore. At the time, the doctor gave me a prescription for a muscle relaxant, but it didn't seem to help much.

    I think fatigued muscles are due to the surgery itself, plus the additional period of inactivity afterward.

    The only advice I ever got about muscle spasms and muscle pain in general is if you start feeling discomfort, stop whatever activity you are doing immediately. It sounds logical, but can be impossible if all you are doing is sitting or laying down!

    I hope you can get past this period of increased pain soon. We all know how debilitating that can be.

    Best of luck.
Sign In or Register to comment.