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Hi there. I am also new to this forum and new to the world of fusions/failed fusions. I am a healthy 33 year old mother of 5 and married. On April 10,2012 I went in for the micro disectomy to release pressure from my sciatic nerve. When I came home from the hospital, I could not walk. After a week, I was back in the hospital. After several tests (MRI, CT scan and even an injection) they decided to do an exploratory surgery to find the problem. Wow. They found a broken vertebra. He could not explain when it was broken or how long it was there but he did refer to it as having a broken back. As I lie in the hospital bed, I had no choice but to have it fused. So my 3rd surgery in 2 weeks was my fusion of L4-L5/L5-S-1. I came home and began what I thought was the worst time of my life. 3 weeks into my recovery, I began feeling excruciating pain. It was terrible. Again, I could not walk, but this was also joined with a fever. So as I called my surgeon and told him my symptoms, he told me to immediately go to the ER. I had a terrible infection. I had to go into emergency surgery. I almost lost my life. The infection settled in my pelvic bone and was to explain the most pain I had experienced in my whole life. The next morning, I was still almost death. My blood pressure was 77/42, my fever was 104 and I needed a blood transfusion. To my luck, my blood transfusion rejected my body. After getting a second blood transfusion, it took and I started to come back. I had 3 more surgeries that week to clean out my infection. This makes a total of 7 surgeries in one month, in the same incision. I had to go home with an IV in my arm and had rec'd antibiotics from home for 2 months. So I started to recover. I began doing every day things. Taking care of my children. Driving, ect. I went in for my 6 month check up and told him that I never really stopped having pain. After xrays and a ct scan, I found out that one of my levels is "failed fusion" this was the L-4/L-5. He told me that he is positive that my infection killed the cadavar bone and that I need a revision surgery anterior to add more bone. At least I don't have to redo the hardware right? I am so nervous about this surgery. What am I to expect recovery wise? And damn it, I am mostly scared of getting that infection again because now I am a carrier, so it could easily come back.


  • Bigshawn1234567BBigshawn1234567 Posts: 45
    edited 11/07/2012 - 11:17 AM
    I can tell you that you are not alone. Feels like it sometimes but you are not. You will have the pleasure of meeting lots of positive people who can relate to the challenges you are going through.

    Pain changes you in ways only those who go through it on a daily basis can understand. We sometimes fail to find ways to cope and that's when we need to lean on those around us. There are all kinds of us here. Those who will bring the tough love. And those who are compassionate.

    May you be granted the pain relief you need now........ And be granted some victories over the current challenges you are facing......
  • Shell2ySShell2y Posts: 80
    edited 11/07/2012 - 1:37 PM
    Hi. It sounds like you have had a horror of a time, and my thoughts go out to you, but hopefully it's all smooth sailing now. It also sounds like though you have lots of reasonable questions to ask of your surgeon re how he intends to manage the next operation. Questions like is he sure the hardware is right to stay in place, what is the chances it wont be and what will this mean, how big a surgery is this, are you at greater risk of infection, and if so what is he going to do to absolutely minimise the chance of another infection, eg should you start antibiotics immediately after surgery or even before? I have actually. Heard they can sometime put antibiotics actually in the surgery site as part of the operation. Also is there anything you can do to make yourself in better physical condition for the surgery, including preparing your body for possible blood by making sure your iron levels are good etc etc. Also remember that if you have your doubts about how supportive or considered this surgeon is about this surgery, there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a second opinion. You have a complicated history leading up to this next one, so no other surgeon would be surprised about you coming to them for a second opinion, and if there is no reason for this next one to be done in a screaming hurry, maybe take the time to get one. Odds are the answers will be the same, but at least you can feel reassured that you have made an informed decision about your health. Best of luck and stay in touch through the Forum, I have found it a great source of information and support.
  • Welcome to spine health. My heart goes out to you, and all that you have been through. You are truly a strong woman to go through 7 surgeries in one month, continue to recover to the point of caring for your family and driving etc. After going through all that, and know have to have another surgery is disheartening. Glad that you have joined us, so that we can offer you our support and encouragement.

    Shelly has given you wonderful questions to think about and ask your surgeon. I agree, if you can, to get more than one opinion. Has you surgeon already booked surgery for you?

    Wishing you all the best. Look forward to hearing more from you. May this surgery be your last, and have a solid fusion.
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
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