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spine not fusing after ALIF?

i had an ALIF almost 5 months ago at L5-S1. my pain has consistently worsened since surgery. Last week my surgeon was concerned about the level of pain so I was sent for CT scans. Yesterday, I got my results back and it turns out that my spine hasnt even began to fuse, at all. there is absolutely no bone growth. My dr is now telling me that I am going to need to have a second surgery to go in through the back and re-stabilize the spine with screws and rods to hold it in place, and then use a bone stimulator to help the spine begin to fuse. Has this happened to anyone else? My dr said it is fairly rare for the spine not to fuse at all after an ALIF, and that is why they are suggesting the second surgery, as he said they usually see full or almost full fusion at 6 months post surgery... :-(


  • edited 11/08/2012 - 10:41 AM
    I don't understand why they didn't put the hardware in when they did the fusion. I thought that was standard for Lumbar Fusion. Maybe they did with mine because it was multiple disc L3-S1 but I would think that they would have opted for at least the stimulator for you. I'm sorry that the fusion didn't work and you're going through this, I hope that it all works out for you!!
  • Actually Non-Unions are common, only 80% or 85% of fusions are sucsessful the first time. Many people have to have revision sugeries with additional hardware added, myself included.

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