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Problems 7 months post op TLIF... Revision surgery?

durrrrddurrrr Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi I am new here but have some concerns so I thought I'd put them out there. I had a l5-s1 TLIF with hardware in Jan 2011 because of DDD. Since surgery my pain has gotten progressively worse. I have followed the Dr's orders to a T. I have been thru 24 PT sessions which just ended. When I go to see him he says the flex xrays look normal, small area starting to fuse, etc. I ask him then why is my back pain worse and leg pain starting to return like prior to surgery. He says IDK. He did mention FBSS is possible meaning the pain after fusion is the same or worse. He said if pain hadn't subsided by mid August at the next appt he would refer me to pain clinic.. My primary care doc said he would refer me to another spine specialist to run diagnostic tests to see if a revision surgery would need to be done. Has any one had similar issues? What the hell is revision surgery? I read about it and it seems to be a major reconstuction which I don't want. If my l5 don't fuse then the disc above will fail so I feel I am in a no win situation. Any similar stories or suggestions would be great.. Thanks


  • Hi there,
    We did speak briefly in chat :) I am still in the earlier phase of hopefully healing from my surgery. It was done in May.
    I came out of it feeling some improvement in my left leg pain. However at this time the numbness has returned in some areas of the leg and foot.
    I also have new syptoms, pain/burning/stabbing in low back, buttocks and left leg. The doctor's office says that it is because they "disturbed" other nerves and that I shouldn't worry, just give it time.
    Can you tell me more about your recovery? Were you in the turtle shell brace? for how long? did you return to activity too soon maybe?
    I don't know anything about revision surgery, haven't been there yet..

    wishing you the best!
  • My recovery was a slow process that the Dr. ordered. Initially he had me walking with a cane for support for the 1st week or so. I started walking the 5th day post op at home. I did some walking at the hospital the 4 days I was there. He encouraged me to walk as much as possible and increase the distance gradually. I did not wear a brace, he doesn't use them nor does the practice he's with. They are great docs they do all the orthopedic and neck and back surgeries for the Carolina Panthers NFL team. I started PT after week 12 follow up visit. I did 10 weeks of therapy 2x week and it actually hurt me more than it helped. As far as activities I still do very little. I am unable to work because of my back and neck issues from a MVA in 2008 that caused damage and I had blood on my brain which caused scar tissue to form and I have a seizure disorder due to the head trauma. Only thing I really do is walk and do stretch excercise the PT gave me at home. I rarely pick up anything that weighs more than maybe 15 lbs, which I hate because I have a 16 month old girl I can't pu and she don't understand why :( It's just very frustrating and depressing at times, and no one really understands what It's like til they go through it. Thanks
  • You certainly have gone thru quite a bit. I cannot imagine having to deal with seizures along with the spinal issues.
    It is great that you have a good team for your doctors! Seems like they would be the best possible to have.
    My surgeon was neuro and has done my previous cervical fusion 18 yrs ago, my january cervical fusion this year and the TLIF in May. I am not sure why the difference in preference for the collars and braces. But I am still in the hard brace (turtle shell) and will be until at least the middle of August. I do have home pt, helping me to regain some strength in the legs, I am still using a walker and hoping to progress to the cane soon!
    My recovery has been slow, I do think having 2 major surgeries in a year has been a bigger stress on my body than I realized it would.

    I really hope that they can help you to regain strength and lessen your pain. I am sure you are just aching to hold that little girl. I can relate a bit, I have 3 beautiful grandchildren. 2 near and 1 that I have yet to meet due to my inability to travel right now. Sitting is still a huge issue. And I would give anything to be able to pick up and hold the babies.
    I wish you the very best in recovery!
  • i also had a fusion surgery in jan 2011 but mine was 2 lever l4-s1 axilft and my leg pain is ver minimal. (managable) but the back pain and hips r alot worse then pre-op. My surgeon wants to do a laminectomy in sept but not sure if thatll help.
  • i also had a fusion surgery in jan 2011 but mine was 2 lever l4-s1 axilft and my leg pain is ver minimal. (managable) but the back pain and hips r alot worse then pre-op. My surgeon wants to do a laminectomy in sept but not sure if thatll help.
  • To your question! Revision surgery is simply re doing the surgery when person did not fuse . Fbss. Failed back surgery syndrome. Is simply when surgery did not help resolve the issue it was ment to do. Its not realy a syndrome but i guess they like to give it a nice sounding name instead of calling it a screw up. Kind of like if you have a house built and for no reason roof falls in on your head. House must have roof colapsing syndrome. Its not the builders fault lol

    Welcome and hope you get it fixed somehow even if they have to re fuse it but if your hardware is holding it together tight then even if they fuse it might not change anything. Unless hardware came lose and there is movement in that segment.

    I am fbss because artificial disc in my l4l5 caused nerve damage. It was revised to being fused 2 years later then had fusion hardware removed but made no diference.

    Fbss should actualy be only used when no surgery is any longer offered to resolve the problem. Good luck
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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