11 Months since failed L5-S1 fusion. How long until hardware "gives out"?
I was given the news several weeks ago that my fusion from last year had failed and that there was no sign on healing in the bones. The concern then became an issue of how long before the hardware "gave out" as my doctor said. Now, I've been reading about what can actually happen, and it looks more like the hardware damaging the surrounding bone tissue over time. But, I'm not sure if there is a typical "time frame" in which that tends to happen.
How long do I have before I have to start worrying about some other surgery to correct this issue? And what are they going to do once it becomes a problem. I was told that it isn't so much IF the hardware will fail as WHEN it will (which is not encouraging information). Also, is there anything I might be able to do in the meantime to limit the chances of that happening more quickly (aside from the no bending/lifting/twisting)?
I really wish there was someone I could point a finger at, give a good sock in the face, and order them to fix the problem. It's so frustrating having this "sorry, there's not much we can do" response from doctors. They've adjusted my pain medication, but that of course just masks it as I'm sure you all know.
This is a bit of a tangent, but I've actually had several people often say, "wow, aren't you always tired or groggy? Doesn't that medication make you all loopy and drugged out of your mind?" And I just say "No, not really. It just takes the sting off what is otherwise excruciating pain." Anyway, that just popped into my head as I was talking...
If anyone has some advice on this whole "failed fusion" garbage, I'd love to hear it! I am getting some second opinions from a couple different specialists, so at least I have something to hope for. Maybe they'll have a better idea how to proceed.