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what happens if the bone graft doesnt fuse ??

JaniebabyJJaniebaby Posts: 93
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I go for my postcheck up on the 3rd dec and I will be 7 weeks post of a spinal fusion. What does happen if there is no signs of fusing and what other options are there ?? Thanks


  • The x-rays taken 8 weeks after my lumbar fusion showed no sign of fusion. The surgeon said that it was early days, and he didn't need to see me again until my 12 month anniversary. So I still, at nearly 8 months, don't know if I am fusing or not.

    My physio says that as I am doing so well, he thinks that I will be. I am trying to assume that all is well. :-)

    I think that if there is a problem with non-fusion, generally you will experience growing pain.

    If there continues to be no fusion, eventually the hardware will fail, and then something needs to be done about it. By that time, there would probably be a lot of pain. I think that often a re-do surgery is then necessary!!

    I hope you get good news on 3rd December.
    Let us know what they see on the x-rays! @)

  • Thanks for your reply !! I am still having a bit of pain at night which can wake me up. I find that I do need to take painkillers but only at night. But I'm wondering if this is normal post op pain. The surgeon did say it would take away 70 to 80 per cent of the chronic pain I did hsve. I guess its still early days so maybe I should stop worrying about it. Not easy though !!
  • I had my 2 level PLIF in Dec of 2008. It didnt show anything at 6 weeks. It was like 5 or 6 months before they could really see the fusion. It takes time, and yo are very early in your recovery, I know you keep hearing that. But it does take alot of time. Keep your chin up, and do what the Dr says. I will be hoping that things go well for you. Mine fused, but now on Dec 13 I am having 2 more levels fused above the two that fused. I have DDD, and my discs are torn,:(.
  • I to have the night issues I had l4 l5 fusion done Oct 21st and I take 2 pain killers at bed time now so I can sleep more I have not had a good nights sleep yet
    and I sooooooo need to , the nurse told me to get some unison so I did today and will try it tonight other than that I am doing ok I guess just tired ask your Dr if you can do the sleeping pill thing I hope it works for me I have already did the giggle stage now I am getting cranky and I do not want that good luck big hugz 8}
  • Can I ask how long were your surgery's?


  • Mine was 6 hours ! I was put out at 10am and woke up in recovery about half four , was back on the ward at 5 30
  • Mine is supposed to be 9 hours! There putting me in the ICU for 3 days. All I care is pain control. Were you on a lot of meds before your surgery?
  • I guess it depends on what you are having done and whether you are in good health or have additonal medical probelms. I actually reduced my painkillers a couple of weeks before surgery so that I would get the full effect of the morphine pump and was told not to take anti imflammorities anymore. I was on oxygen and had very low blood pressure and had to be monitered hourly overnight. I also was pumped antibotics 3 times during the night too. I had a iv saline drip , catheter and leg pumps as well.
  • My two level PLIF was 8 hours long and then went to recovery for an hour. My pain was controlled very well, I was on fentanyl patches 100 mcg and after surgery I woke up to 125 patch and hydromorpnone pump as morphine makes me sick. This time I am going to try to wean down on my patch before surgery, as I dont want to go to a higher dose and have to wean off it,
  • thanks for the reply's. I'm having my surgery in 2 weeks. I'm on 45mg morphine 3x a day. I wish I could reduce it before my surgery but I'm in so much pain all the time. I'm going to my family doc tomorrow and I will talk with her about it this I wonder if it's a good idea to wean down too? My other delema is it's my 40th bday the day after the surgery and my friends have started to take me out to celebrate so, I don't want to be in pain for the next weeks and not enjoy my life!

    Were any of you in the ICU? I'm in good health other then my broken bones and I have been really taking good care of myself the last 2 months. So, I'm hopeing for a good strong recovery.

    How are you both feeling now?
  • I wasn't in ICU but in a orthopeaditc ward ,have you asked them why you are being sent to ICU ?? That's a bit of a whammy about your 4oth birthday but I do agree with your friends taking you out before !! Recovery is a slow process , the first 3 weeks I've pretty much relied on my husband to cook and wash up. You must rest as much as possible and if you need to sleep do so !! I've been doing my exercises and walkiing a bit each day. I'm able to be much more independant now. What are you having done ?
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    For both my lumbar and cervical fusions I have been prescribed a bone growth stimulator to wear which helps to enhance fusion along with avoiding NSAID's (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc). These are often prescribed early in the process. In both cases a rep came to my home around 3 weeks post op to provide me the prescribed unit.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
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