Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Had Alif surgery now second surgery in my future. Anyone had this?

I have not been here in a long time due to surgery recovery etc. In Oct 2011 I had a double spine fusion L 4-5 and L5-s1. I had pain for about 5 yrs before I had surgery. Then my leg started limping and buckling and I had a emg which confirmed radiculopathy in both legs. I also have DDD, osteoarthritis, mild scoliosis, facet joint osteoarthritis and disk budges. So the emg showed a pinched nerve in spine as well. The surgeon decided to do the two worst levels even though 3-4 was bad as well. He did an ALIF through the front and figured that would be enough and did not do a 360. Anyway right after surgery I was not fusing and had terrible leg pain so sent me for an SI joint injection which helped right away with my leg and was confirmed I also have sacroillitis. As the months went by I slowly started to fuse and had to use a bone stimulator for help. In the mean time still having severe back pain taking 30mg of morphine every 8 hours and 15mg of immediate release oxycodone for breakthrough pain. Have never been able to go to PT due to pain. I also still limp and have weakness in the right leg when I walk to much. Now I am also getting pain down both legs and a new pain down the back side of left thigh. I am 8 months post op and had my check up and am finally almost fused at both levels from what he can see and I am getting SI joint injections. My life is basically the same pain sitting to long, pain standing or walking to long, and back pain after any activities. I can only stay home and do the basics like cooking and cleaning etc..and even that puts me in terrible pain most of the time. Sometimes feels like my back is just broken in half some days. Anyway he has told me at this last appointment that there is all kinds of bones and fragments and stuff in the back side which might still be causing my pain. The only thing that helped with the fusion through the stomach is that the electric shocks are gone from my leg but I am now having them in my spine which sometimes awakens me from a dead sleep. And a lot of times can't sleep at night due to the terrible leg pains. When I was at the appt he pushed meyer shoulders backwards and I hollered out. After the fusion I can bend forward but not backwards due to extreme pain. So now he is ordering another MRI of my spine and says he might have to go through the back this time and clean out the bony areas etc. a real downer knowing I am probably going to have another back surgery and have been wondering if I should even do it or just live on these high dose medications forever, but today was so bad I practically want to have surgery right now. It's just like please fix this I don't care if it's 50% or 80% better. I can't take this anymore. Has anyone gone through this situation where you had an Alif fusion and it did not take the pain away and so had to have another surgery through the back? Any input would be appreciated! Thanks!


  • SplendagrrlSSplendagrrl Posts: 108
    edited 06/25/2012 - 7:35 PM
    Has anyone had to go back for another surgery because of severe pain still after fusion?
  • Splendagrrl:

    I have been where you are and am currently where you are. A few months ago I posted a question on the forum and did not receive one response. I tried to not let it hurt my feelings. Several weeks later I posted the same question and got one response. Maybe my question/situation was rare, but I couldn't help but feel like it was just me (poor, poor pitiful me). So, I am responding to your post so you don't feel ignored.

    On the other hand (and probably more important), I had a two level TLIF in January 2011. My recovery has been slow. My pain level has increased and now I am in the middle of determining a course of action. My surgeon said that I have flatback syndrome and he recommended a pedicle subtraction osteotomy (my question to the forum). I sought a second opinion. That neuro surgeon ordered a bunch of diagnostic tests to determine if my fusion was a failure and if my bone health is the culprit. Second/final appointment with him is in a few weeks and I hope (fingers crossed) that he will have some definitive diagnosis and solution. As can be expected, my outlook on life sucks! How about your's?

    When considering the entire population, spinal conditions that require surgical intervention are rare. The necessity for subsequent surgical intervention is even more rare. My guess is that there's only a few members of this forum who are facing your challenge or who have undergone subsequent spinal surgeries. That could explain the lack of response. In addition, those who have to undergo multiple spinal surgeries become weary, to the point of not even having the energy to continue posting on this forum.

    Here's a recommendation - why don't you "speed read" previous posts and identify those who have undergone multiple surgeries (subsequent surgery necessitated by former surgery). Then send them a personal message seeking advice. My bet is that you will receive more input.

  • I had my first fusion, a PLIF in march 2011. Due to osteolysis and the failure of my BMP bone graft I became bed ridden (well actually floor ridden). My surgeon was out of town for about 4 weeks while this was happening in January 2012.

    Anyway, ended up having an ALIF on February 1, 2012 which corrected some of the structural imbalance and removed and replaced the screws and rods which had become loose and displaced, as well as fracturing my vertebrae.

    This did not work due to the remaining brackets and support rods from the original PLIF still being in place, and since he did not do a 360 I had my 3rd fusion May 1, 2012 also a PLIF.

    It is nearly 7 weeks later and I am still in tremendous pain but at least I am not stuck laying on the ground. I do not know what more my future holds, but I would recommend to you that any chance to get 'some' more relief is worth the intense, acute pain of Post-OP.

    Trust me, I sympathize.
Sign In or Register to comment.