I have been very discouraged over the last month or so, about the pain the I have been having since my PLIF L4-5.
I had an xray at 2 months postop...the hardware/spacers looked great, and you could see a small area where the bone and BMP was located, it had a faint whiteness in that area.
Today was my 6 month postop visit, and there has been no change whatsoever in the fusion area. My surgeon allowed me to talk about going back to work next month before telling me there was no change in the fusion. He said that if I would have a 30lb weight restriction. My job is physically demanding, as I have to lift, turn, position patients in the OR, and there is also heavy equipment that I have to lift and move. My surgeon did tell me that "I would have to tell him when I was ready to go back to work". Ok...I really don't know how to take that. He wants to see me back in 3 months, but said he would not do xrays at that time...duh....am I missing something. He talked about maybe taking a year to fuse...I get that, but would think that there would be some kind of progression in the fusion between the 2 month xray and now. I was in such shock and he breezed right over it, and out of sight in 5 minutes flat!!! I am on LTD right now also.
Is the lack of fusion causing my pain? Should I go back to my strenuous job when I'm clearing not fusing? Am I at high risk of injury at work? When do fusion patients need a bone stimulator? Should I be wearing my brace again...stopped at 12 wks. Where do I go from here?? Do I need to see another spine dr? I am going to call my surgeon in the morning, but I want to be armed with appropriate questions...while still retaining a repoire with him, that I think is important.
Of course, as always I will make up own mind about how to handle this, but I really would like to know how other people have dealt with similar issues.
Thanks for reading...I really need you guys right now!