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L4-S1 Fusion- Complication

krafcijnkkrafcijn Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a 2 level fusion at L4-S1 in November of 2009. Since then I have had left leg pain, weakness, and tingling. I have had injections at the S1 nerve site with no help. I had a CT scan done last week and this is what the report read.L5-S1: There is dorsal decompression laminectomy and partial facetectomy on the left without residual central spinal canal stenosis. Ossific density extends along the left posterolateral margin of the vertebral body with left-sided subarticular recess narrowing and encroachment upon the traversing left S1 nerve root. The bony foramina appear patent at this level. Facet joint is arthrodesed on the right.

My question is has anyone else had this issue, what exactly does this mean, and what was the recovery plan?

My doctor said that we may go in remove the hardware and while in there do some hollowing around that nerve. Has anyone had this done and did it help. Any advice would be great!!

Thank you,


  • My surgeon offered an opinion on possibly going in and grinding out the passageway in the vertebrae to free the L5 nerve from impingement. The risk and the problem was I needed both side freed. The risk is that when you grind the bone you also weaken the bone. The critical risk is that with a weak bone you have a greater risk of breakage and if it does break you run an even higher risk of a jagged edge cutting into the spinal cord and paralysis setting in or worse. A friend of mine had a fractured L5 which cut into a nerve giving him drop foot forever and ever. And he was actually lucky because it could've been much worse.
    I would suggest a second opinion myself. It may be the appropriate measure but another look cannot hurt.
    Good luck and please let us know.
  • I have just had a 5 hour surgery for decompression at L5 S1 with spondylolthesis,they also had to make a space around the nerves by removing bone as they were trapped. I had this on 17th Nov 2011,I had lower back pain with drop foot in left foot, with muscle spasms in left leg,4 weeks post op I am still in pain at incision site in one area,,I had a fusion with pedical screws and rods fitted.My leg still has drop foot and muscle spasms although not as bad as before.so hopefully the nerves will heal in time.I should point out I did not know I was going to have a fusion until after the op,this was due to complications with my spine not forming properly from birth.
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