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Pain at next level after 2 level fusion 23 months later

keith_45kkeith_45 Posts: 71
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Has anyone started having problems at next level after having their L4-S1 fusion. Just had a Mylogram done last week and it showed the L3-L4 level bulging on front and rear side. Still showing signs of Degeneration which was there on X-ray when I had my fusion done which has been almost 2 years. Discogram back then showed no pain at that level but now has decided to get attention. Back to 1-3 pain pills a day and another ESI on monday scheduled. Does it ever stop once it starts?


  • In 2003 I has a fusion, with rods and screws, at L2-L4. Once recuperated I went back to my gardening, had another child...etc... basically went to my old ways and abused my back. Below the fusion took the brunt of the force, and just 2 months ago finally went for another fusion, this time a 2 level ALIF from L4-S1.

    Not trying to scare you, but once there is a fusion we need to re-think how we do things (I didn't first time around). Also, some of us have a genetic predisposition to our discs degenerating faster than they should. Now during all of the latest lumbar nonsense I found out that my neck is a complete mess: herniations, DDD, kyphosis....you name it!

    My Surgeon is baffled why this is happening to me at 44 years old, but it is.

    Just be careful:once there is a fusion, the discs above and below take a lot of abuse.

    I hope I have helped in some way, take care,

  • Lisa is absolutely right. I'm surprised though, that YOU are surprised, but only because this should have been one of the first things your surgeon discussed with you before your fusion. My surgeon mentioned that before I ever scheduled surgery and has continues to mention it every time I go in for a follow-up.

    I'm 30 yrs old and 3 mo post-op, and that is the biggest concern both my surgeon and I have. He said I could go back to sports (I used to play softball) in the spring, but I have decided to give it up, in order to protect my back and hopefully preserve the health of the discs above my fusion.

    So to answer your question about whether it ever stops...well that depends on a lot of factors, but biggest of all is how you treat your back and what kind of abuse the other levels get, after fusion.
  • 2 years ago I had L3-4 spinal fusion,and 2 weeks ago I had anterior/posterior spinal fusion at L4-5 with restabilization of the L3-4.It is possible I contributed to it---moving rocks,moving furniture,lifting grandkids,and also because first surgeon took out alot of bone---my new surgeon said I was very "wobbly"--I am 59 and have osteo----my point is,like my fellow spineys said---it is not uncommom to have problems down the line after a first fusion because the area surrounding does bear the brunt.Hang in there,and keep us posted
  • I understand it moved my pivot point once I fused the bottom two disc's and yes my Dr. did inform me of this since this disc was degenerating at the time of my fusion. He had me put it off as long as I could stand it but my life style had gotten so bad I had it done to help ease the pain. I too was 45 and thats pretty young to go through fusion surgery. I have changed the way I do things and try to be safer when doing chores or anything. I just thought it would take longer before I started having problems with my back again. I've had 4 surgeries in such a short period of time and it worries me what my employer will do if I continue on this pace. The ESI's just don't seem to help like they did in the beginning. Maybe this next one will help for awhile and I can get back off the pain killers. Thanks for everyones response. I use to live on this web site and have gotten away for a couple of years but now I'm back. Lots of good folks and info on here!
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