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Just got diag'd with FBSS (pseudoarthrosis)

doubleusnddoubleusn Posts: 122
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Had a TLIF @L5S1 last June.

Things got better until Oct, then got worse

Was put in PM as neuro lef the practice. (physiatrist is in same practice)

They did an MRI in Nov... said I was fine.

Multiple injections, none helped, pain keeps rising.

One of their orthos orders a CT, reads it and says I am fused.

Pain keeps rising...

Get a new opinion from another neuro in another practice. He says and shows me & wife on the same MRI and CT that I am 'NOT' fused and that my L4L5 is also bad.

Now waiting to have a discogram on L4L5 and probably looking at a 2 level revision surgery soon.

Kinda stinks, though the 'validation' after six months of doubt that all PM patients get was very nice.

Short Version - When in doubt a second set of eyes from another practice is a good thing. Also never stop advocating for yourself ...and never give up.

And now I wait in pain for the next step... Good times, Good times...sigh
Jun 2011 -TLIF @L5-S1
Mar 2012 -NonUnion @L5S1
May 2012 -Multi Level Discography
July 2012 -XLIF 2Cages @L3L4/L4L5
Aug 2012 -All New Hardware @L34L45/L4L5/L5S1
Mar 2013 -FBSS = Pain Management until they figure it out.


  • Doubleusn:

    We are walking the same path (slowly, with pain). I had a TLIF (L4-S1) in Jan 11. For the first six weeks post surgery I was delighted, then the pain returned with a different feeling and an ever increasing level. My ortho surgeon never released me (he is very loyal and determined to find the answer). We tried PT; meds; ESI; bone growth stimulator; MRI's; xrays; CT; and EMG.

    He can't see the source of pain, but he is describing me as a pseudarthrosis. He wants to cut me open and explore with the most likely objective of replacing the current hardware, or extending the fusion one or two levels higher.

    I will undergo the discogram next Tuesday. That will be the last test and determining factor for subsequent action.

    I have not yet gotten a second opinion. I was waiting for the discogram results. Also, I have full confidence in my surgeon, so I need to think logically about this instead of emotionally. Second opinions are critical and necessary whenever you contemplate serious surgery.

    I'll PM you to keep you posted of my experience. Seems like I may be just a few weeks ahead of you.
  • Hi Jim

    Thanks for the post and please do keep me in the loop, as I will you.

    I think outside eyes are always best even if one trusts their current doc.

    I use to trust mine till it became clear I was going to not be one in his 'win' column as he then seemed less interested in finding answers. Even the second at the same office who read my CT 6 months later said it looked good.

    New neuro pulled up my images on a 27" screen and showed me mine and showed me somebody else's on the same timeline. Night and Day. The images are all dated right on them so it wasn't a shell game or anything.

    They talked Bone-Stim at old place if my CT showed non union, but they said it showed I was fused.

    I guess all I am saying is I think a 2nd and 3rd are valuable, but even more so by a set of eyes outside of the current practice.

    New neuro was very critical of technique (I have my op notes) used and I know other spiney that have had him redo my original surgeon's work and had good results (found out after the fact)

    Anyhow, I guess we will be starting the '2012 Adding Level's Revision Surgery' thread ;-)

    My Discogram will probably happen next week or the week after. How bad was the pain from it, I have been warned by a few who have had it done?

    Jun 2011 -TLIF @L5-S1
    Mar 2012 -NonUnion @L5S1
    May 2012 -Multi Level Discography
    July 2012 -XLIF 2Cages @L3L4/L4L5
    Aug 2012 -All New Hardware @L34L45/L4L5/L5S1
    Mar 2013 -FBSS = Pain Management until they figure it out.
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