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

Considering another surgery...HELP

Had L5 S1 fusion in 2006. I have had chronic back and sciatic nerve pain from day one post op. The surgeon said that the cage on the right side had slipped causing pressure on the nerve. He wanted to go back in and repair it but told me that the second surgery was more risky with no gaurantees of success. I declined to have the second surgery and he agreed to keep me on pain meds.
2 years ago the meds (of course) were no longer cutting the pain enough so back to the surgeon I went. This time I was ready to consider the 2nd surgery. He informed me that a 2nd surgery at this point was impossible as the scar tissue had built up to much and the risk of paralyzing me was to great. He then dropped me like a hot potato and sent me to a pain clinic which proceded to take away my pain meds.
2 years later, I take Neurontin (small dosage) and Robaxin (at night) and no narcotics (the pain is horrible most days). I talked to my family doctor and she sent me for an MRI and then to an Orthopedic surgeon.
Yesterday (1-7-13) I was told that while it would be a rough surgery and there were no gaurantees, that it could and should be done. He showed me the MRI and explained that the position of the cage was not only not where it was suppose to be, but that it was no where near where it should be. It was in fact crushing the nerve and he was amazed (yes he used that word) that I had been walking around like this for 6 years. He also said that the "risk of paralyzing me" statement was pretty much not true.
So, what he wants to do is go back in (through the back) and remove the cage and anything else that is not correct, then reinsert it. He will have to go through a lot of scar tissue and as he said "wade through the muck and mire" to release the nerve and relieve the pressure.
He told me there were no gaurantees and that I could come out no better then I am right now, but on the other hand I was only 46 and this could change my life.
I am tired of living in pain, I am single and have no choice but to work (thank you God that I am still able) with the pain. I am exhausted, tired and sick of this life of pain.
Has anyone had any experience with this type of repair surgery? Any advice, thoughts or suggestions would be great. THanks for listening and Gods healing on all of you!


  • Sounds like previous doctor knows he screwed up and bailed on ya, I heard things like this hapening by some doctors as this is nothing new, Sorry you are stuck with this situation and i would look for the best of the best knowing next surgery will be more complicated and find who is a specialist in fixing these complicated outcomes from previous surgery,

    You might have already found him but best to get more then 1 other opinion,
    Not sure if it would help to talk to a medical malpractice lawyer if other dr realy put cage in the wrong place but it might not hurt,

    Hopefuly a good doctor can remove and put back what needs doing to correct the problem without any serious complications,
    Where do you live what area ?
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I live in nashville. Previous dr was at Vanderbilt (and was suppose to be one of the best. Shortly after he dropped me he went to strictly cervical surgery...imagine that.
  • Did you have your cage removed? How are you doing now? I have been researching for 2 years to find stories similar to my dads. He has a cage that is out of place and against a nerve root. Any information would be so helpful! I've been searching for a doctor who has experience with removing a titanium cage but, have just hit a lot of dead ends.
  • CecCCec Posts: 10
    edited 06/26/2013 - 8:56 AM
    My husband also has a similar story. Titanium cages put in wrong and the fusion did not take. Surgeon dumped him. A couple of surgeons offered a revision after the surgery but at that time with similar stories of 50/50 success and after going through a nightmare from he** surgery, he elected pain management. Now, years later he is considering a surgery and is looking for a surgeon to help. Now though, it seems no one wants to touch him.

    I would like to know what they ahve diagnosed you with and how they did it. What are they proposing to do to help you?
  • Cec,
    They use the term "Failed Back Surgery Syndrome" to describe a myriad of post operative pain. In this case, it took us a year to research and discover that the MRI my dad had right after surgery said that his cage was out of place but the Drs missed it and by that time the cage had fused. So we have gone down a path of pain management at another hospital. After trying everything else, he now has an implanted pain pump. I thought the pain pump was the end of the road so to speak until I saw the above post about Ann having her cage removed and fixed. If she has had the surgery then she is one step ahead of us and can hopefully provide some insight and hope!
  • ...that Ann has had her cage removed, from reading her post. She was trying to make a decision about this difficult and complex situation. I don't see any posts from her since January--it would be interesting to know what she decided and how she is doing.

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
Sign In or Register to comment.