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6 week X ray report

mommatialuvmmommatialuv Posts: 269
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone, I just had my x ray that I will take to my 6 week appointment on Monday, it reads:

2 view lumbar spine series shows surgical hardware at l4 l5 and s1. The l4 vertebral body is 4 to 5 mm anteriorly positioned in relation to l5 similar to the previous MRI. There is loss of disc space height at this level. No compression fractures.

Now I know we are not docs here but something seems wrong with that to me. Even though there is no mention of the l5s1 space, I take that as a good sign,that it is probably where it should be at this point. I am concerned about the l4l5 space/slipage. I thought that was fixed, it sounds to me like that is incorrect. There is also no mention of fusion at all, I have been reading here long enough to know that 6 weeks may not be long enough to see fusion so that does not really worry me. The MRI referrd to was pre-op. If anyone has had a similar x ray report or has any opinion, please post it for me. I will discuss all of this with my doc on Monday, but I am worried something has gone very wrong. As always thanks for your input/opinions.
God Bless, Shirley


  • If anyone would respond, anyone with words of wisdom or encouragement, I would really appreciate it. I'm really scared that I will need another surgery and am not sure I can handel it at this point.
    Thanks, Shirley
  • I will respond with words of encouragement, but I don't know how accurate what I'm about to say is!! I have spondy too. When they perform a fusion, there is a limit to how much they can pull the vertebra back into place so it aligns perfectly. It results in the loss of the spinal curve, etc. My GUESS is that the surgeon did what he could to align the vertebrae when he performed the fusion, and pulled them into place as best he could ***without causing OTHER PROBLEMS. (***this is important).

    Absolutely do not be upset by a report. The words used are subjective -- let your doctor determine what is going on by reviewing the films, not by a report which may or may not even be accurate. (I recently posted with my experience with a standing MRI.)

    I think my spondy is probably still off by about 4-5mm and my fusion is just fine. What is important is that there is space for the nerve to exit through the foraminal opening; this space is help open by the fusion and my spine has been stabilized. I believe that is what your doctor will find with you too.

    As you stated, we are not medical professionals...so I am just guessing here....(But, I bet I'm right!! ;) )

    Don't worry...it uses too much energy. Try to think positive thoughts and surround yourself with positive people and energy. It truly will help your healing.

    Hugs --
    xx Gwennie
  • It sounds more like your L4-L5 is still positioned in a similar placement as it was prior to your surgery. It's a pretty small difference if you're considering the 4mm measurement. I don't think you have to worry about it being a slip, more that the vertebrae are just in the same front-to-back position as before. If there were an issue with the hardware from the fusion, there would be signs of the screws sliding. They often call that "windshield-wipering" where the screws sometimes tilt around in problem cases.

    Since there is no mention of the hardware having moved/slipped, I think you can just take the reference to the L4 vertebrae as the doctor reading the X-ray making sure to note the position and that it is basically unchanged. I would ask your doctor about it since you're concerned, but I don't think there is anything to worry about.

    In regards to the bone growth, 6 weeks is usually the earliest you would be able to see it on an X-ray but as you know it often times takes much longer. I can understand your concern though. I'm over 3 months out of surgery and there isn't visible sign of growth yet. Just keep following up and see how that goes. Good luck!

  • Britt and Gwennie thanke for taking the time to post, I never thought about it the way you explained it. You guys have helped relieve some of my worry. I guess part of the problem is that I still have constant pain even with my meds, dont get me wrong the meds are helping but my energy level is generally around a 3 of 10. I still use my walker whenever I leave the house and my "outings" are never more then 30min to and hour and always include sitting for a meal. I feel like am healing so slowley. I get so lonely here during the week, home alone for 10-11 hours every day. I cant drive because of the meds, and can only walk to the mailbox (about 4 houses down) with my walker. I will talk to my doc about my sadness also on Monday. I guess seeing the report and films(yes I have them and I can see clearly, what is described in the report ) was like the icing on the cake. sorry this post is so long, thanks again for your responses.
  • would this windshield wipering you mention look like and X of sorts on the side view x ray? anyone who knows, feel free to answer. Thanks, SHirley
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