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

Spinal fusion L-5/S-1 anterior/posterior approach not going ideally!Removing screws is the plan and

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello my fellow achers,
This is my first post as I have no idea how to obtain the answers I seek.
Last December I lifted a frenzied dog at work as I am a certified veterinary technician. Trying to stabilize the dog from falling I felt something give way in my back and KNEW it was not good.
I was diagnosised with spondololithesis,herniated disc and ddd. My fracture was bad enough I could not work without having surgery as my spine was so unstable.
Being 35 I figured that there was no time like the present and just needed the pain to end and get on with my life.
Workmans comp hooked me up with a great surgeon out of Mass General and surgery was done June 3rd,08.I cried for 48 hours as no pain control could combat the pain.I was on heavy heavy doses of opioids for 2 months post op and was immobile basically up to 3 months.
I started PT and its been torture and my pain is consistent and I have no stamina and no pain free movement.
My surgeon ordered a CT and due to that has ordered an MRI and lidocaine injections as he believes that a screw or screws are causing my continued pain.
His plan is to manage my pain and to remove the screws...
A lot of what is happening post op I really feel I was left in the dark about.I also had no idea how dibilitating this procedure would leave me until I heal.Now I am to have another surgery to remove the screws and Im just ~X( !
I was under the impression that the fusion can take up to a year.So does that mean I get to suffer as I am until fusion is complete and them they will remove the screws?
At this time I know I am unable to work as it hurts to do trivial things.To be productive is to be in pain.Now with the recent findings is recovery even further off?
How stable will my spine be if the screws are removed this early?
Any insight would be appreciated
Thank yah and please feel better


  • I'm so sorry to hear of your pain and your condition. Most of these questions can only be answered by your doctor. If you're anything like me, you forget to ask the things you need to know when you're in their office, and they are certainly not forthcoming with information. Make yourself a list of the things you want to know before you go in for your next visit. I would imagine that, if they are considering removing your screws, your fusion must be progressing well. I had fusion showing at my second post-op visit, which I think was two months out. When I was there for my 10-month visit, he said I was nearly completely fused. I don't think they'd remove your screws if they felt you'd be unstable.

    You're so young to have this sort of injury. I hope they are able to help you and get your pain under control. All the best to you.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Welcome to Spine Health. I can sense the frustration, pain and a need for answers in your post. You came to the right place to get support and understanding. I am so sorry to hear you are in so much pain after surgery.

    I was told that once you fuse the screws serve no purpose anymore anyways. This was from my orthosurgeon. He said they are only put there to stabalize your vertebrae while you are fusing. 2 out of the 4 screws I had put in during my L5/S1 anterior fusion are now broken at the L5 level. I had my surgery 7/1/08 and I am still in constant pain. I'm actually worse off than before surgery. I have a feeling it has something to do with the screws but is just my opinion. My orthosurgeon assured me that the broken screws don't need to removed.

    I'm not sure how long you would have to wait to have the hardware removed. I would imagine you'd have to wait until you are fused but am not sure. You would have to check with your surgeon. I agree with Linda that you should make a list of all your questions and take them with you to your next appt. There is a lot of helpful information on this site.
Sign In or Register to comment.