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Post spinal fusion accident

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had L1 S5 spinal fusion around 4 years ago which was a complete success. I had suffered Cauda Equina Syndrome and was very lucky to make a full recovery. My surgeon stated the L2 disc was not in great shape but he was reluctant to also fuse that due to the related loss of mobility.

Unfortunately I recently slipped and fell, hitting my lower back on a stone step exactly where I had my surgery.

I now have a lot of lower back pain, a return of sciatic pain down my left leg and fairly limited movement (can't pull my socks on etc).

My doctor has given me pain killers/anti-inflammatories and told me to rest but I am obviously very concerned I have caused further damage to my lumbar region.

Any thoughts or advice greatly appreciated.


  • I am so sorry to hear this. I dread the possibility of falling. Hopefully, you have not done yourself any permanent damage and the course of treatment prescribed by your doctor will take care of the pain. I would assume that at some point, if your pain does not subside, they will do an MRI or other test to see if you have any substantial new damage? Ice can be your friend also. Try icing several times a day and hopefully, you won't need further surgery of any sort.

    All the best,
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Oh yes - ICE!!! Particularly right off the bat in the beginning here.

    I assume you had hardware put in before? I so I know that my NS says once it's fused you can do just about anything and it'll hold.

    Of course, I take that with a HUGE grain of salt! Too many people here that have broken hardware.

    Also - that L2 (I have an L3 -same issue) it's usually not a matter of IF but WHEN.

    I'll be hoping it's not your WHEN now. Best of luck - keep us informed.
  • i have fallen numerous times (on my backside - quite hard) since my L3-5 fusion in 07. It hurt badly, and I too was concerned. I just rested and upped my pain meds for a short time.

    If you really think you damaged something, insist on a new mri. If nothing else, it will hopefully set your mind at ease.
  • My surgeon told me that once the fusion is complete, the fusion is stronger than the rods. The rods break if fusion hasn't completed at a particular level. Still, knowing you've fused completely is difficult. I've heard of patients being told they're fused then 2 years down the track break a rod, only to find out there was a patch of non-fusion there. You wonder when the worry stops.

    I hope you don't have anything nasty happening there Pablo, and that your pain eases quickly.

  • Welcome to Spine Health, PP,

    Falling was my biggest fear following spinal surgery. The first time it happened was just recently, 1 1/2 years after the fusion, and the only thing bruised was my ego. However, you probably know that once you have a fusion, the vertebrae above the hardware become quite vulnerable and sometimes suffer damage. As far as having another level of fusion makes you lose mobility, based on my own experience, I don't notice much difference even though I had a 3-level fusion (L3-S1). I guess we learn to compensate for it. I just tell you this, as not to be scared whatever your surgeon will suggest, as far as he can promise improvement.

    best of luck,

  • Thanks so much for all your replies and opinions.

    I am seeing doc again tommorow as pain still quite acute and feels same as just before my disc totally prolapsed last time.

    Will keep you posted.

    Thanks, Pablo
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