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3 Months Post L5-S1 Fusion X-rays have me concerned... [images]

BrihtwulfBBrihtwulf Posts: 69
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I just had some x-rays done to look at my back's progression since my fusion surgery. The images looked a little strange to me for a couple reasons, and I'm not sure if things are the way they should be. I plan on getting with my family doctor on Monday to see what she thinks, but I also thought I would post here to see if anyone has input or has experienced anything similar.

Here's what has me thinking: in the frontal image, it appears that my hips are even horizontally, but the hardware is tilted to the left (right in the image). In the lateral image taken from the side, it appears as if one set of the screws is further back (sticking out) more. I believe it is the right set of screws. I'm wondering if any of this looks off or unusual to anyone else...

Since the surgery, I don't have the same leg and buttock pain, but the back pain continues with only a little change for the most part. I know it's not the objective of fusion surgery to completely stop all the pain, so I'm not entirely surprised there. I just wonder if there's something that's not being completely explained to me concerning the state of my spine and hardware. It also doesn't seem to show any evidence of bone growth, which I thought at 12 weeks wouldn't be the case.

-JJ

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Comments

  • Did you get a side view of your xray? I remember having mine done 2wks post op and I had a screw that didn't look aligned with the others but surgeon told me it looked ok. I'm sure if there is a problem you will be told right away. Good luck and I hope it's nothing. Did your surgeon request the xray and if so did you go over the xray with them yet?
  • I haven't had lumbar surgery, but I had a 3-lvl ACDF almost a year ago. In the first xrays I saw after my surgery, my hardware was also tiled a little. I asked about it and my doc said it's very normal for the hardware to be put in at an angle, although I can't remember why.

    So, for what it's worth...
    Cath
  • Hi,
    I can understand your concern over the placement of your hardware as I too have poured over my CT scan looking for clues as to why I have so much on going pain at 8 months post-op. One thing I have found interesting is that your S1 screw goes through the vertebral body as does mine. I've asked two different docs (Orthos) whether this is normal and they don't think that this is a problem. I've always wondered if this is contributing to the pain down the back of my legs since the surgery. The pain is only brought on by movement so I continually wonder if the screw is striking something. I have been told by my NS that NO this should not be the case.

    I guess us laymen can't put too much stock in analyzing our own scans. Your hardware looks quite a bit like mine other than the fact you have a different "spacer" in between L5/S1.

    Sorry I can't be of more help. I guess I just wanted to say that more than likely everything is placed correctly and that your doc (or another doc) should be the one to answer hardware related questions.

    Good luck and I hope you start seeing some fusion signs soon. Has your NS or Ortho mentioned using a bone growth stimulator? Maybe this would help your fusion process.
  • are at a tilted angle as well. Thanks for this post. I will be sure to ask my NS why she placed that way. I am sure there is good reason other then just for the heck of it!

    Good luck with your recovery
    S~
  • I wonder if you can help. I had an L5S1 fusion and continue to have pain. When I look at the films, one of the L5 screws is placed in the disc space an not in the vertebral body. The surgeon says the screw is placed correctly and because of the cancellous bone and blah blah blah. The only reason I grew suspicious was because a 2nd surgeon I sought out for an opinion said the screw wasn't placed correctly. I went back to the first surgeon and he said nonsense. I can't find however, any pictures of a fusion where a screw is placed in the vertebral space during a fusion procedure. btw-I was told I have a solid fusion and the point would be moot anyway. but....
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