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plif surgery

edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Recovering from Surgery
does anyone regret plif surgery ?


  • its been 3 months and i am now a lot worse than before i had the surgery ..
    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
  • Hersey1:

    I don't regret the surgery; what I regret is the less-than-successful outcome of my surgery (TLIF).

    I am 14 months post surgery and also much worse off than I was prior to the surgery.

    It is my suspicion that my spine is very dynamic and is once again modifying itself to become "weird/malaligned/deformed" as it was prior to surgery. Probably genetic issues. Who knows. I have had two surgeries on my right hand over the years and the deformity returned each time quicker and with even greater disease. That is genetic.

    If you are in the process of making an informed spinal surgery decision, don't stop with my post and with Tony's post. He and I represent a minority of Spineys (veterans of spinal fusion). Our stories can easily dissuade someone from surgery; however, there are many others who have experienced immediate and long term success with spinal fusions. Seek their advice as well. One source could easily be former patients of your surgeon.

    I don't know what the statistics are for positive outcome, but I do know it's much better odds than winning the lottery, getting struck by lightning or even getting bit by a snake.

    As with all surgeries, there is risk. An increased risk of no improvement, and even damage from surgery, exists with spinal fusions. It's the last resort and there is no turning back. Literally, I can't turn around and see what's behind me!
  • I do! I think, anyway. Maybe regret is too strong a word. I didn't really feel I had a choice at the time. But in my case I got an infection that messed everything up and now I feel that I am back to square one.

    As airborne72 says though the stats are in favour of a good outcome. Just some of us have to make up the bad stats!

    Really though, as I am seeing a new surgeon now, it is too soon for me to say for certain if I do regret it or not. Maybe there is something that can be done to give me my life back.

    I wish you luck and hope that ypu make the decision that works for you.
  • Please also remember that, for those people whose fusion surgery was a complete success, they might not be posting on SH any more because they are too busy living their lives to the full. So the replies here may not give a completely unbias picture.

    I do not regret my fusion surgery in 2010. I had complete faith in my surgeon and was told beforehand that my operation was done for stability rather than pain relief. If the pain improved as a result, then I was told that would be a bonus. Unfortunately, it didn't. I am on slightly more meds than I was before the fusion. But such is life.

    I even elected to have revision surgery last December as the hardware wasn't right and needed replacing. Again, I was hopefull that this would reduce the pain, but it didn't.

    Since the fusion, and probably because of it, I now have pain from the sacro-iliac joint caused by weightbearing being transferred to the next available joint. This probably would not have happened if I didn't have fusion surgery in the first place. I wasn't aware of this - however, I was informed that the levels above and below could deteriorate quicker after having fusion surgery.

    As with any surgery, you have to weigh up the pro's and con's. If you can live with the pain symptoms and if you have a good combination of medication that reduces it to a bearable level without too many awful side-effects, then I would try and advise people NOT to have fusion surgery. I agree with Jim 100 per cent when he says it should be considered as a last resort because there's no going back.

    What's done is done and if you have continuing pain after surgery then try to find ways of living with it afterwards through pain management, medication, different therapies and conservative treatments before you think about having further operations. I know I would never have another spine operation again - unless it was an emergency.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
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