I visited my surgeon this morning and it wasn't a good thing. I had the usual PA and Lateral lumbar x-ray and went to the exam room. A couple of minutes later the x-ray tech asked me to come back for another set of pictures. This time he had me do a lumbar flexion and extension. The flexion was no problem but the extension just about killed me. That was not a good sign.
The doc came in a couple of minutes later and explained the situation. All of the x-rays and the post-op MRI showed good and stable alignment of the hardware. However, the last study (a CT done just last week) had a different tale to tell. After just over a year from hell the doc told me that therre was absolutely no sign of fusion (L5S1). He gave me just two alternatives from which to choose. The first option is to use the services of a pain clinic and see if suboxone can provide any relief. The second choice, and the one he recommended, was to undergo a redo PLIF sometime soon.
I have already learned (much to my dismay) that opiates provide only a minimal amount of relief. In fact, right after my PLIF my pain was simply beyond comprehension. Absolutely nothing provided even the tiniest bit of relief. Nothing. Simply going with a stronger opiate now doesn't sound all that smart to me.
That leaves me with door number two, a full scale PLIF. The one I had last year was a minimally invasive procedure and as I said, it was massively painful. As I come to terms with this news I thought that I would ask if anyone of you have had this kind of outcome from your first procedure. If so, did a second surgery provide you with any relief?
Frankly, these two choices realistically leave me with only the choice between really bad pain and really, really bad pain.