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post surgical 6 month, extreme pain,loose hardware, failed fusion.

vmcompvvmcomp Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I am new here. I had a fusion at L-4, L-5, S-1. I am in great health and was told to expect complete recovery in 3-6 months and that pain after procedure will be 1/2 that of present. Pain was and still is greater than pre-surgery. Surgeon says fusion is good but post operative pain as well as pain from therapy and normal activity is increasing. I went to another surgeon that stated after ct scan that hardware was loose and the fusion did not take. Second surgeon told first surgeon his findings and first surgeon then agreed that fusion was a failure. It is now 7 months post surgery and I now must wear a custom made brace and a bone stimulator 24/7. Since first surgeon was a little off on his post operative diagnosis, I was looking for the second surgeon to take care of me. He said directly that.."I don't want to be caught in the middle!". What this means, I don't know. I just want to get better and am having a hard time finding a doctor in the NS/LIJ system that wants to get involved. It seems they all know each other. The second surgeon knew the first surgeon when he was a resident.

People ask why not go to Manhattan? I have become less and less ambulatory making it difficult to travel. I just want some advice from someone who had or knows someone that has had a similar experience and maybe knows a good doctor that doesn't care who the previous ones were. THANKS!


  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    There are a select "lucky" few of us here that have had to endure the experience of a failed surgery and in most cases a second surgery to repair/correct the first.

    You are not alone in type of occurance. My best advice is find a surgeron the is willing and has experience in repair and revision of failed fusions.

    Your post only mentioned "Surgeon" ... you may have better luck switching specialtes ... if your original was done by a neuro then try an ortho and visa versa.

    Stay strong your journey has just begun!!


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  • VM,

    I'm like Metalneck in that my fusion failed (see sig), and like you, my surgeon blew me off as "I wasn't seeing what I did in fact see in the x-ray." My symptoms had come back with a vengeance around month 4.5. My ENT saw movement, my GP saw it, but my surgeon didn't?

    I went to a couple of Neurologists in the area, and they too knew him, and blew me off or made appointments so far in the future I didn't use them!

    Like Metalneck suggested, I did a lot of research and found an outstanding Orthopedic spine surgeon for consult. He saw the problem immediately! He does know my original surgeon, but is an independent thinker. So as he mentioned, try going from the Neuro side to the Ortho side, but too most importantly, DO NOT give up!!!!

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