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Self-diagnosis: Failed back surgery

I had PLIF L3-5 in '07 for spondylolistesis (sp?). I would say that it was about 50% successful, as it did help the pain and numbness radiating down my leg. I still had nagging pain in my lower back, but it was livable.

Until recently. It has literally come to the point where I can only stand for walk for about 10 seconds before the pain gets excrutiating. I saw a new pm a couple of weeks ago, and she ordered an mri.

Non-medico that I am, even I can see the change. In spite of the hardware, my vertebrae in level 4-5 has slipped dramatically.

I have an appt. with the pm on Tues., but am tempted to just go ahead and make an appt. with my neurosurgeon anyway. I wish I knew how to post pics here, I would show you the difference.

What do you think, should I just go ahead and call my surgeon on Monday? Hoping to get an appointment sooner? Or wait until I see the pm?


  • Hey Yasmina,

    Hopefully you have gotten some good news by now and a plan of action your going to take. If you feel more comfortable by calling your surgeon then do so, that is what they are there for. I would have thought he would have followed you through till you are fused?

    Let us know how the appointment worked out which you may have in a different thread.

    As far as posting pic's here look at the FAQ section and there is instruction on how to do it.
  • Sadly I found myself in the same predicament & there are many others here going thru this as well. It also goes by post laminectomy syndrome. After a microdiscectomy & TLIF on L4-S1 didnt solve the pain, I had a pain pump put in. Anyway I would go see the surgeon & also consult the pm doctor, we need all the help we can get right? I understand how you feel and hope things look up for you. Take care
  • I went ahead and made an appt. with my surgeon, before seeing the pm dr. Good thing I followed my instincts. The pm dr. took one look at the mri images and asked me when I last saw my surgeon, and recommended that I see him ASAP. The earliest appt. I could get is August 8th.
  • That was the advice I was going to give you too. Make sure you take your new mri with you. Do you happen to have a ten's unit? It really helps with the pain. If you don't have one ask your doctor about it. Good luck.........Tamara
    Tamara Draper
  • Saw my surgeon on Wed. He danced around pretending not to see the change in my MRI's. He sent me downstairs to get flexion/tension x-rays, and said he saw no movement of the vertebrae. He gave me a script for a CT scan to see if my vertebrae fused. If not, he said it may be why it slipped, and the screw isn't holding it. If I hadn't opened my mouth, he would have just sent me back to my pm dr. So yesterday, I made an appt. with an ortho surgeon, and this am saw my pm dr., and again, my instincts were right. She told me to get a second opinion.
  • I'm glad you're getting a second opinion. Your post scares me because I'm going to have a 2-lvl fusion for spondylolisthesis in December and really hope it helps this never-ending pain. I don't have a lot of nerve issues, but they're growing. It's mostly severe back pain that's my biggest problem.

    I'm anxious to hear what your second opinion says. I personally believe that ortho surgeons are the best to see, especially with the kind of spine problems you're having, so hopefully you'll find the right solution to get you back on track.

    Be sure to keep us updated, ok?
    Take care and hang in there.
  • Well, I've seen 2 neurosurgeons and have an appt. with an ortho next week. I saw my pm this morning, and she thinks I'm a good candidate for a SCS. Do any of you have them? How effective is it?
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