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3 1/2 Mo. Check up

lisa burekllisa burek Posts: 855
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Today I had my 3 1/2 month post-op check up for my 2 level ALIF. Unfortunately, I haven't even started to fuse and need to wear my brace for at least 6 mote weeks (I HATE this thing). My Dr. wasn't woried, said I just need to give myself time, that all of the hardware looks fine. I'm just a bit bummed , was hoping to at least hear that some fusing had begun. Oh well....

At my next appointment in 6 weeks we'll discuss my trainwreck of of a neck.

Take are all, Lisa B


  • Did you have BMP or use your own bone for the fusion?

    I am 5 weeks post a 2 level 360 fusion and also show no signs of fusing.

  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Bummer! Hang in there, it will happen.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Patients seem to fuse at different rates. I know it's hard to have patience, but I wouldn't worry yet.

    I didn't show any signs of fusing until 6 months. At 9 months, a myelogram/CT scan showed definite evidence of fusing. It was close, but not complete. At the time of my hardware removal (16 months), the fusion was complete and totally solid (determined by physical examination during the hardware removal).
  • How have you been doing since your hardware removal? What were your problems? Back pain or leg pain?
  • Lisa B, I totally feel bad for you. You and I had fusions about the same time. I go for my 3 3/4 month check-up in 6 days. As the time draws near, I've been thinking about how great it will be to be free of this stupid TLSO brace. I too Hate (with a capital HATE) the brace. I can just imagine that you're disappointed. And the fusion..I've been worrying about that the closer check up time gets.

    Maybe the next six weeks will go by quickly for you eh?

  • I'm a necky and had my surgery about 3 1/2 months ago. at my follow up last week, the dr didn't even xray. I had an xray 3 weeks earlier and there was no sign of fusion. I was sad about that. I'm not sure why I equate no pain with bone fusion. I was kind of bummed out too. At this point, I still have some level of pain by the end of every day. I can't complain though. Its getting better as time passes, so for that I am grateful.

    Is it typical to have hardware removed? Gosh, I hope not. I don't want anymore surgery. As it is, I feel as if I had an adam's apple transplant....how do guys swallow with this huge lump on their throats. LOL. But that's for another topic. ha ha.

    This will pass for us Lisa....one day. ;)
  • thenade,

    I had the hardware removal done because my back pain continued, even a year after my fusion surgery. I also experienced some tingling down my legs, which at times was worse than before the fusion surgery.

    I had several tests done, but none showed any problems. My surgeon wanted to do an exploratory surgery to take a look around and said he would remove the hardware (facet bolts) since they were no longer needed.

    During the procedure, he found a lot of scar tissue, some which was near one of the facet bolts and around one of the nerves that he decompressed during the first surgery. He did not remove all the scar tissue because he accidentally caused a spinal fluid leak while dealing with some of it.

    I'm now 2 months post-hardware removal and things seem to be very good overall. The back pain and leg tingling seem to be mostly gone. However, 9 days after surgery I had a seroma drain out through my incision. It was New Year's morning, so I spend the AM in the emergency room.

    I still have a seroma under the bottom of my incision. It is occasionally painful. I'm using a rolled up towel with my soft back brace to act as a pressure bandage. I can't tell if the small amount of discomfort I still have is from the seroma, normal post-op issues or a continuation of the back pain.

    The good news is that I feel pretty good. I am walking several miles everyday in the cold, at a pace that is very close to what I used to do prior to all these problems. I'm cautiously optimistic that the hardware removal solved the problem.
  • for your support, it means alot to me.

    Jenfab: My own bone was used with PEEK cages in the disc space, then a plate with screws.
  • Hardware is designed to remain in place. Only in a very small percentage of patients is there a need to remove it. Sometimes people develop a sensitivity to the materials it is made from, or the placement is incorrect and it becomes a source of pain, or there is a mechanical failure. Usually the bone grows in around it and it just becomes a part of the body.
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