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Do vertebrae need to fuse after microdisectomy?

backupbbackup Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I am new to the forum. I have been doing some reading and it seems there are some knowledgable people here so I would like to ask a question. I had a microdisectomy on 01/04/12 at L5 S1. When the surgeon finished the surgery he said it was worse than he expected and had to remove the entire disk. The surgeon said that the vertebrae would eventually come together and potentially fuse by themselves.

I am now 5 month post surgery. I have been doing well and working hard at physical therapy. My pain is manageable but still feel like getting out of the front seat of a car accident every morning I get out of bed. I have been able to start playing golf again. I have been happy with my recovery for the most part.

I just had an X-ray of my back to see what movement there has been in my vertebrae. I was surprised to see there was still a large gap between the two vertebrae. My question is do the Vertebrae have to come together to be healed? Can my Vertebrae just float or does there have to be a bone on bone outcome or fusion. The thought of going through another back surgery and especially a fusion scares me. I can live with my current condition but I am getting conflicting advice.


  • I'm a little confused as to what kind of surgery you had. If the surgeon removed the disk, then most likely he/she would have to fill that space with something to compensate for the height loss of the original disk. Can you provide some more information on the type of surgery so we can comment on your current situation?
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • i do not have an answer for you, but my mother swears 30 years ago they just removed one of her disc, no fusion at all. i have asked her several times about it, and she says the same thing. she has been fine all these years, as far as her back goes.
  • Yes i have talked to many people also who had total disc removed and in time they might have naturaly fused and never had any other issues for life,

    Seems to me before they started using hardware they had beter success with spine surgery then they do now with hardware,

    Just about everyone who ever had hardware put in seems to have some form of pain for life either with weather change or just simply having something implanted that dont belong,

    The fact that not much is said here on the forum about natural fusion and not using hardware after a disc removal is only because its no longer done in most cases,

    But as i had said i talked to many older people who back in the day had that same surgery and with very good results,
    If a person dont have any compression on any of the nerves then it seems these surgeries work well for them and in time they might end up with a natural fusion once they end up bone on bone,

    But if the back muscles are holding everything in place and all is fine i would not worry about it much and would consider myself very lucky that no hardware had to be used which would of made surgery much more invasive,

    If there is no more pain and you back to your normal activity then life is good and you cant worry too much about future event which might never become !

    Good luck,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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