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I did not fuse! need more surgery :(

LisaRachelLLisaRachel Posts: 286
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
It's been a year and 5 months since my L1-L3 fusion. Iv known something was wrong due to my increasing pain! No one was taking me serious it was pissing me off which made me depressed and alone. My last visit to my Spine doc was in Oct 11 I had an MRI that I begged him for, the results were that my hardware was in place so I must be fused nothing more he could do see you in a year!

My father has a good friend who is a neurologist in Detroit I'm in Toronto. I recently e-mailed him and told him what has been going on with me he was upset to hear I was still in agony with my back. He asked me to come down for a 2nd opioun with a neurosurgeon. Needless to say I had a CT on Wed flew home on that day got a call today to say the hardware is loose with non-union! needing a ALIF.

I'm so upset and pissed off I had to go to the States for bloody answers. I'm getting all the reports and the CT sent to ASAP going to my surgeon here next week for a "talk"

Has anyone else gone through this? How was the Dr's reaction??



  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    There are a select few of us that have had to deal with non-union (pseudo-arthrosis) and had to have repeat and or/additional surgery - though I am primarily cervical .... here's my story for ewe's and gasps. http://www.spine-health.com/forum/neck-pain-cervical/history-a-pain-neck

    Welcome to Spine Health. I hope you get things sorted out.

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • as you know i had an ALIF last dec .and i can tell you its no picnic .i wish you all the best .recovery is slow and hard work .
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • LisaRachel:

    Sorry for your pain AND for the added frustration of slow detection/diagnosis. My situation may be just like yours.

    I had a L4-S1 TLIF in Jan 11. For six weeks it/I was wonderful. Since then it (pain and mobility) has steadily gotten worse. Now I have great difficulty walking or even standing.

    MRI, CT, Xray all show normal conditions, but I am much worse off. Surgeon "thinks" it's a pseudarthrosis, but we are going to test the higher level discs to see if they are the pain originator.

    I may be a candidate for a revision, and higher level fusion, or just pain management! Who knows?

    What were your symptoms? When did they begin after your surgery? How did they progress/increase?

    Just like you..."No one was taking me serious it was pissing me off which made me depressed and alone." I am feeling more and more each day as if I am just fabricating all of this pain/discomfort/disability in my head! NOT! It's sad to know that there is someone else walking the same path; but it is also good to know that I am not crazy.

    Hope your surgeon will acknowledge the second opinion and that you get resolution.

    P.S. You might just want to consider permanently crossing that border and becoming a U.S. citizen. Our winters are not nearly as brutal.
  • Jim, that so funny! I was thinking of looking at property in Florida. The cold is awful on my joints and back! Just like you, I was great for 6 weeks. Then slowly the pain and mobility became an issue but by then everyone thought I was going to be pain free with the nightmare ending. My, family piss me off " It's all in your head if you stop thinking about it the pain will go away!" WTF? LOL. The pain clinics here in Ontario are all shutting down or, there is a 3 year waiting list! Disgusting! I;m on morphine which Iv been on for 2 years the same dose and guess what?? It's not working anymore!! GRRRRRRRR. The neurosurgeon in Detroit gave me a name to call but what do I do fly there every time I have to get a script?

    If you know anyone who wants a wife a dog and cat let me know ;)

    Tony - I'm not sure I'm going to put myself through a 4th spine surgery I hope you're getting better bit by bit.

    Dave, thanks for the posting your MRI's are cool to look at but sad and painful too.

    I'm wondering, what to say to my doctor here that told me I was fine in Oct!
  • So sorry to hear the news of your non union. Terrible that you had to leave Canada to get some answers.

    Good for you though for knowing your body and not just accepting what your surgeon said. I wish you all the best with your talk with him next week. Please let us know how it goes. He should understand that you wanted another opinion, although some surgeons don't always like when we second guess, you were not being listened to regarding your pain. It can be so hard and a long wait for another opinion here in Canada, so am happy for you that you got one.

    Will be thinking of you.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Thanks Karen,

    It's frustrating that no one believes me that I have pain. My family are all being nice since Ive found out, I guess the guilt has kicked in!

    My father has agreed to go to the appointment with me. I'm happy about that, wondering how my surgeon is going to react at least I have someone with me. If he gives me grief I will find another doctor hopefully It won't take a year. I'll be so upset. I need this nightmare to end!

    Did you have your surgery?

  • Lisa:

    It is a good idea to have another person in the consult room. It adds an element of accountability to the conversation, and when it is all over and you discuss it with your father you will hear things that he heard/understood that you did not. Another perspective.

    Doctors are human. They/we all make mistakes. What we are after is medical resolution. Evidence presented by a second medical opinion "should" be received openly. If not, leave the consult room and find another doctor (it ain't too far south to the good old U.S.A.).

    I already have a wife and several dogs. I can't stand cats. But you are most welcome to head south and participate in our health care system.

    My daily fantasy/dream is to end up on the beach in Key West, Florida with no concerns other than hurricanes. I figure that I will be able to slowly amble along to the water's edge; set up a light weight chair; open my cooler and pop a top of cold beer; and then stare at the horizon for several hours until dark. Next day, get up and do it again. This regimen includes ample supply of vitamin D, limited physical exercise with water therapy, and a large dose of looking at healthy, young women in bikini's. The best of holistic healing!
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