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L3-L4/L4-L5 U Spinal Implants

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
In February 2009 my Mother had 2 spinal U implants at the L3-L4 and L4-L5 regions. Since the operation two bulbous areas have developed. The one between L3-L4 protrudes about ¼”. It is about 1” long and is very hard to the touch. The other protrusion is at the L4-L5 location and is definitely liquid, about 4” in diameter and protrudes about 1”. She has had much difficulty in seeing the surgeon.

Both are around the incision line. Her whole lower back and right leg are still painful to her. However when you touch the protrusions, they don’t appear to cause her pain. Any thoughts as to what is causing these problems and what should her next steps should be? She has an appointment with a different Dr. at another clinic set up but I want to be knowledgeable. She did not discuss with me the original surgery and is now looking for help, but at this moment I am just starting to gather information. Thanks to anyone who can assist.


  • i am not familiar with the term u implant but if in fact she had a fusion to stabilize her spine does that procedure sound familiar?
  • and there is fluid below the site of incesion she may have an infection...does she have a fever?
  • Hi Pete,

    Thanks for your comments. She gave us her x-rays today so I have a better understanding as to what has happened. She had two "Le U" (German made) devices installed, one in between L3-L4 and the other in between L4-L5. It appears that the lower one is not setting properly and is causing the hard protrusion. It is my understanding that the drainage pocket was caused when the Dr: violated the dura during the operation and the CSF is leaking. From my readings here it appears that this can be repaired with another operation or worse operations as she is 82. Any insight is a tremendous help.

  • I am not familiar with the implant you describe but I did work in spine surgery for several years.

    It does sound like the implant is migrating out, or did move out. Does it still seem like it is moving, or becoming more prominent? Or does it seem pretty stable?

    When was your mother's surgery? How is she doing? Is she comfortable with it being a little prominent? Or does it bother her?

    If it is not too bothersome, and doesn't appear to be getting worse, maybe it would be best to leave it alone. I know she can't want another surgery.

    The CSF leak is a different problem. These can happen during surgery, if the dura gets punctured.

    Again, how does your mother feel? Can she get up and around a little bit? When these are severe, they can cause horrible headaches when you stand up, and the headache goes away when you lie down.

    If she is not having headaches, many times you can give these time and they will heal on their own. If she is having headaches, or the surgeon thinks that the tear he made is too big to leave, she may need to think about another surgery to repair the dura.

    Sorry, it seems like I have more questions than answers.

    Keep us updated on your mother's progress.
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