Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Update following fusion surgery

Scott in the UKSScott in the UK Posts: 136
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everybody,
I had fusion surgery of L4-5 in November 2010 and I thought I'd post an update to see if my experiences are any help to other people.
Prior to my fusion I had Percudyn Stabilization Implants put in on February 9th 2010 and felt fit enough to return to work doing light duties in May 2010.
By the 28th May I was in significant pain again and had to stop work again. After another MRI it showed that one of the implants was unscrewing itself.
This was when my surgeon decided the best course of action was removal of the implants and fusion.
It's now 8 months since that surgery and I'm still in a considerable amount of pain and reliant on 200mgs of oxycontin daily amongst the usual meds to keep the bowels moving.
My surgeon says that it could take up to 18 months to settle down and I'm beginning to wonder if it's just an excuse and I'm going to be stuck with this pain forever and a day.
Only time will tell.


  • Nice to see you again, although I'm sorry to hear about your ongoing pain. I also had a fusion at L4/5, in Jan 2010. I started feeling better at 6 months and much better at 12. I still have mechanical pain, since I've gone back to work, and still have problems sometimes if I stand too long or walk too much.

    I'd say that your doctor might be right...a lumbar fusion is such a long recovery and you really might feel better at the 1-year mark and even better at 18 months.

    I assume you're not doing anything too stressful on your back to inhibit fusion or make the pain worse, like lifting, sports, etc.? Have you been tested to see how the fusion is taking?

    Take care and please continue to keep us posted.
  • I thought I'd pop in and post an update.
    Since that fusion surgery last November I haven't seen much in the way of improvement.
    In fact my body is getting used to the pain meds(oxycontin/pregabalin) and I'm having to increase the dosage to get the same amount of pain relief.
    I saw my surgeon on September 15th and following an examination he wants me to have another CT scan and Bone Scan.
    With the British Health service I've no idea how long it will take to get an appointment for those but I'll keep posting.
    Anyway I hope everyone I've met on here over the years are fairing better than I am and continue to do so.
    Bye for now.
  • Scott,

    So sorry to hear where you are at. I hope you have answers soon, man o man o...this has to bite !!!!

    I am in the US, and have retired private insurance, so I can be picky, and too just go to "Joe specialist" when I want to. Please keep fighting the fight. So sorry you have to wait as you do... *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi Scott,

    I too had surgery back in November of 2010.

    My pain level was tolerable but lately it has gotten worse each day. I seem to be increasing my oxycontn and oxycodone. Can't sleep unless I take muscle relaxer or lunesta plus another oxycontin.

    I am scheduled for a CT Myelogram and am totally terrified. The L4 L5 did not fuse and the screw by the S1 seems to looks like it is loose.

    It is now more difficult to sit, walk, stand and my pain level increases up to a level of ten. I am so sick of all this as I know my employer is thinking not again.

    I only used the bone growth stimulator for about 9 months for 30 minutes everyday.

    Any comments or suggestions would be so appreciated.

    I'm hoping we all get to a point in our life where we can cope with the pain where it at least gets us through the day.

    I'm thinking of asking this new doctor to reset the bone stimulator.

    Sick of being in pain.

    God's blessings to all.
    11/30/2010- 360 bi level fusion L4 L5, L5 S1
    7/5/12-Revised surgery. Remv of loose hwdware, replace 6 pedicle screws and 5.5 titanium rods. Inferior laminotomy R L5 and facetectomy to deep ligamentum.
    2014 MRI indicates L3-L4 disc bulge,
  • Hi Bebe52,

    I haven't posted on here in quite some time.I've just been sat suffering quietly at home.
    Following my fusion and follow up a year post op' my surgeon says that according to the MRI and Bone scans everything looks as it should and the fusion seems to have taken as expected.
    The trouble is,I'm still having to take 200mgs oxycodone every 12 hours along with 150mgs lyrica twice a day.
    He says that the only way I can still be suffering is if it's the front of the disc that's causing the trouble. He said that if that's the case it's treatable by operating again but going in through the front of my abdomen but the possible side effects from that is something horrible called 'retrograde ejaculation'.
    The choice he's given me is to wait for 6 months and be seen by a 'pain management' consultant to see if he can help.
    I've seen him and I think he's a bit of a charleton.
    He seems to think that the pain meds I'm taking are doing nothing so he's prescribed some Lidocaine(Lignocaine) patches which he described as slow release 12 hour local anaesthetic patches.
    They don't seem to be having any noticeable affect so now I'm in limbo again waiting for them to talk to each other to plan my next bit of treatment-if any.

    The constant pain does get me down so I won't pretend it doesn't.
    I went from being an active Prison officer who enjoyed loads of outdoor activities and sport to someone who hobbles about on a walking stick and was given 'Ill Health Retirement' at the age of 45 back in December 2011.
    Aint life grand.

    I'm not religious so you won't get any of that from me but each to their own devices.
    All I can say is recovery is just around the corner-if only we knew which bloody corner.
  • the post is a little for me to read now .
  • Hi Scott,

    Thank you for replying.

    What is so weid to me and I need to get passed that is why my surgeon didn't want to see me after a year to see what the progress of the fusion was. He didn't think I needed therapy or medication. I still had my PM give me a script for water therapy and then I moved on to walking everyday, doing a little weights, (little) just for arms, I really thought I was going forward until three months ago.

    Well, like I previously mentioned the L4L5 didint fuse and a screw is loose. Three months ago my pain level went from 6 to 10 with meds and I am having to take them every 3 to 4 hours round clock.

    I had the myelogram down Friday. And praise God, I didn't suffer from headaches. I am applying ice and been taking my meds. I go back to work tomorrow and see another surgeon to go over the results.

    That's okay and I don't expect anyone to mention religion. So I'm good if your good.

    I have been saved from destruction use of drugs many years ago and I owe only to one and that is my creator.

    My grammar is not very good, so bare with me. Please stay in though.

    I have been using the lidocaine patchs for about three years and I truly believe they help somewhat. I take prozac got off wellbutrin so I am back to smoking but I hope to quit. I was off cigarettes for over 15 months but the wellbutrin increases my blood presure and I seem so totally mean and angry. Don't need anymore help since when we are in pain we are angry and mean.
    I take fish oil and some supplements for the joints.

    better hit post, I am not good with posting.

    take care and keep us posted!

    11/30/2010- 360 bi level fusion L4 L5, L5 S1
    7/5/12-Revised surgery. Remv of loose hwdware, replace 6 pedicle screws and 5.5 titanium rods. Inferior laminotomy R L5 and facetectomy to deep ligamentum.
    2014 MRI indicates L3-L4 disc bulge,
Sign In or Register to comment.