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4 month fusion check-up!

B52BB52 Posts: 247
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Well today was my four month check up for my L5-S1 PLIF. Good news is that I can, for the most part, stop wearing my hated TLSO brace!! YeeHaw!! My NS suggests to still wear it on bad days or if I'm doing anything like riding on the tractor mower or my motorcycle. That's cool

So-so news was that my x-rays didn't show the massive about of new bone growth I'd expected. There's just a faint "feathering" of new growth on the top and bottoms of the bone graft (allograft) pieces. I still have mucho trouble sitting in a straight backed chair or office chair. I'm still on lifting restriction and BLT limitations. I go back in May for further eval. No work at the steel mill 'till at least then.

All in all, I ain't gonna complain. I'm just so happy to be away from that brace (did I mention that? hehe!) Oh, and he told me to lost 25 lbs. What? Me fat?

Peace out, Earthlings.


  • Great news on the brace...it's the little things like this that make life more enjoyable! And just think, you got it off before the hot weather kicks in.

    Just continue to use your brain on when you should use it...sounds like it's good for long car rides too.

    As for the bone growth, I had heard that sometimes it takes up to 6 months to show significant growth (6 weeks to 6 months) so a hint of bone growth is still a win in the right direction.

    Just curious....are you happy about the brace? ;-)
  • Freedom at long last from the brace !!

    At least there's some bone growth - I think we all hope to fuse quickly. I haven't a clue if I've started to fuse, but the neurosurgeon didn't want to see me again until 6 months with new scans.

    I've got the same problem with sitting and I'm 4 months out too. I started physio last week and he's giving me exercises to do on one of those Pilates balls to strengthen my back.

    Hope you keep recovering well.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Hey, lemme ask ya this. If you're waiting on your next 6 month exam, are you allowed to go back to work in the interim? It wouldn't surprise me if my back took 6 months to solidly fuse. I have a tough job and I don't know if I'll be able to do it if my back ain't good. What have they told you?


  • Aaron. You might be surprised that you may feel naked without it!

    It is certainly a step in the right direction; towards picking up your life again.

    All you need now is for that bone to fuse.

    Take care and follow the rules.

  • Sunday as I was driving the grandchildren home(about 45 min.)I realized I hadn't put on my brace---yikes! I was very careful,but so scared I was going to do something bad-so Jelly,it is true you feel naked!
  • My dear Jellyhall..how right you are! I do feel a little unprotected without it on. However, I'm glad to be in the colony of brace nudists! Oh I guess it wasn't that bad (gag) once I got used to it;)

    Yes ma'am, I do intend to be quite careful yet.

    I dreamed once that I had found myself in front of my classmates at school and had forgotten my pants (speaking of naked). Oh dear, I sure hope that was a dream. If it wasn't, that would surely explain a lot of things!!

    Tex.. so ya "forgot" yer brace did ya? Ahem..yep. Forgot. 10-4, your secret's safe with me.

    Peace y'all,

  • I'm not going to have a brace - so I guess I'll be naked from the beginning.
    I'm glad that the weather should be warming up soon!!
  • I'm glad you had a good checkup and that you find some more fusion happening at six months.

    I also feel naked without my brace. I forgot to put it on one morning when I came downstairs and thought something was really strange and my back hurt more than usual. It was because of the brace that's now become my buddy. (BLAH) But I can't imagine what it's going to be like not to wear it. I've still got four more weeks until I see my surgeon so I might be going commando after that. LOL

    Congrats and keep on a-fusin'!
  • I'll tell ya 'bout the brace. Going out without the brace now feels almost like playing hooky from school! Really good, but it feels a little wrong, ya know? But I suspect that you'll love going commando.

    Jellyhall, ya know, here in the South of the US, we might call it naked or we might call it 'nekkid' Do you know what the difference is? Naked means you ain't got any clothes on. Nekkid, on the other hand, means you ain't got any clothes on and you're up to something :)

    My how the topics turn here,
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Good riddance to back brace! :D
    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!

  • Sounds like being wicked without any clothes then! lol
  • At my 3 month post op visit there were no signs of fusing, so there are at lease 6 more weeks of wearing it. I do tend to "forget" wearing it when I am just hanging in the house. My Mom was over the other day and she gave me the old "stink eye" when she realized I forgot to put it on. I just hate tha damn thin, and being short-waisted only makes it worse.

    Happy you got some good news, Lisa
  • Firstly, lemme say that I'm sorry you're stuck in the brace for extra weeks. Just think how good it'll feel when you finally do get that thing off for good!

    Hey, what if we don't fully fuse. Can we be fully released to return to physical stuff while being held together largely by the screws & rods? I meant to ask the doc about that the other day and plumb forgot.

    Talking about your mom giving you the stink-eye tickled me. Reminds me, I was at my mom's not long ago and she gave me one of those "mom" reminders not to go out in the snow without my brace. It's because they love us that they do that ya know :)

    See ya,
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084

    are you using a bone growth stimulator? They came to my home last week, at around 3 weeks post-op, to deliver it and show me how to use it. It's on 24 hours a day, even when the brace is off.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • How's it out there in the valley? Well I hope! On the BGS, no. I was never offered that sort of thing. I may have to look into it if I don't start seeing some better fusion results though. Is it a pain in the ass to wear it? I'll sure be interested in seeing how yours works!
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Mine is 2 3 inch electrodees I wear on my back that have 4" leads hanging off. The electrodes are on each side of my spine. It would be hard to put these on myself but there must be a way (I'm just lucky to have hubby).

    The leads plug into cords that connect to a battery pack, that's about the size of a blackberry curve, in it's own case. I either wear the battery pack on a belt or in a pocket. I don't feel a thing and it's easy to wear. If you are not currently wearing any kind of post op brace there may be different options out there for BGS and some of the choice may be insurance dependent.

    I change the electrode pads once a week at most, they gave me a ton of them. they gave me an extra battery so I change that once a day and put the other in the charger they provided.

    Here's the one I have (far right)
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Well we had surgery about the same time.My 4 month check up was not as well.I am not healing like he would like to have seen.Also showed two herniations which am suprised they were not there before.

    I am glad you are doing well keep us all updated
    it gives the others hope for success stories..
  • And all other spineys: I do not feel naked without my brace on, I feel free and unconfined!! Maybe because my first fusion I didn't have a brace at all.

    Oh, Aaron: I put on B-52's Wild Planet and my 5 year old became an instant fan! Keeps asking for the "fish and candy" song (Give Me Back My Man). Kids crack me up, I'll have to download some other tunes of theirs!
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