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Input Needed before 9 month appt

StacyAnnSStacyAnn Posts: 50
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
OK, I am driving myself nuts and need some input from people who have been there.

I am almost 9 months post 2 level L3-5 PLIF with hemi-lami's on right L3 and L4 and right sided hardware only.

I was in a brace for 6 months due to delayed fusion, with a bone stimulator for the last 3 months of that. I have been in PT since late March which has increased by strength and flexibility.

Since the surgery there has been pain in my left back across the buttock and down the left leg (the pain was there before surgery too but I had been told in 2008 by another doctor that since there didn't seem to be neurologic damage on the left, it was better to leave it alone than have surgery). The left pain persists despite the surgery, the PT (which usually helped in the past), the decreased level of activity. I would have thought the increased stability of the fusion and the hemi lami's would have helped too.

SO, what I would like to hear from people is:

1- does anyone else have one sided hardware and any issues arising from that? would 2 sided hardware have helped the left sided pain?

2- is it irrational to want the surgeon to go back in and fix whatever is going on **I was told my back was so bad he could have done a 3 level fusion but didn't want to because I was too young**

3- why does the doctor not want to do anything for 1 year from last surgery and why do I have to put my life on hold longer waiting when it FEELS like something more needs to be done.

Any and all ideas appreciated.



  • Sounds like you are doing everything you can to fuse, and you are 3.5 months farther along than Lisa Burek, B52, and me. My surgeon said that I may not fuse until the one year mark or later. I so understand that you don't want to put your life on hold...I don't either. Guess this is a test of patience for us at this point.

    When do you see your surgeon again, and will he be doing xrays or other scans to check out your fusion?

    Hang in there!

  • Maybe it's a spine thing overall. My C6/7 fusion area cracked, but I was told that at the 'year mark' he will know if they have to go back in? Not the answer I wanted either, but there must be some time thing they know or are taught? Take care, and support *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I meant to ask you...how do you feel overall, and how do you feel compared to how you felt at 6 months out?

  • Although I feel like I am in a rut, I do have to admit that my flexibility in the lower back has improved with PT the last 3 months.

    I have been able to do a bit more around the house but not without increasing the pain. I am using less pain med, or shall I say, a less potent painkiller than I was at 6 months, which is proving to be sufficient most of the time.

    OK so it does sound like I have made progress. I guess I expected to bounce back better/faster.

    That first interview with the doctor I remember "about six months" and that I would be able to go back to my nursing job. LOL LOL LOL

  • As an addendum, there are no scans scheduled as of now for that 9 month appt. Maybe he will ask for something after he sees me...


    PS Thanks for the hugs and support!
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