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Failed Spinal Fusion

SallieSSallie Posts: 12
edited 02/15/2013 - 1:45 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Surgery 29 Oct 2012 - Instrumented Fusion L5-S1 using cage autograph - No bony fusion apparent at 3 month CT scan - recommendation: 2nd surgery - Extreme nerve pain, extreme lower back pain... What will they do differently to insure there is fusion with the 2nd surgery... Anyone? Thank you!
Sallie De Silva


  • ugh... my post did not appear... I had spinal fusion surgery 29 oct 2012... L5/S1.... CT scan last Thurs - no bony fusion...scheduled for surgery again 25 feb 3013... they used cage with autograph... what will they do differently this time so there will be fusion ?.... i knew something was wrong because the back pain was unreal compared to before the first surgery, and left nerve pain that was non existent before as the nerve was pinched numb... right leg - nerve pain was always excruciating, i though wow three months and i am so much worse.... i am sooooo praying this second surgery will work!!!!!!!!!!!! anyone had similar experience?
    Sallie De Silva
  • I have not had the issue to the extent you have. I had a laminectomy and discectomy that did not work and then a fusion last December. I am still waiting to see how much good the surgery has done. I'm concerned about the other lumbar levels because they are weak. I'll find out how the fusion is going in a couple of weeks.

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. You should ask your surgeon what they will do differently and what to expect from this fusion. Are they going in from a different approach? Time is moving swiftly, but have you had a second opinion?

    I'll send positive thoughts your way for success! Let us know how you're doing.
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Wow, revision surgery so soon,whats the rush ? are there other things going on besides non-union ? I went for two years with a non-union, the second year wearing a BGS trying to avoid the revision. Most doctors that I know of will wait at least one year before talking about a revision.
  • airborne72airborne72 Posts: 245
    edited 02/16/2013 - 4:32 AM

    My situation and comments are identical to what Berg says. What's the rush? From everything I have read one year is typically the decision point.

    Xrays at 6 weeks post surgery indicated rapid bone growth in my spine, but then it just seemed to stop. My pain returned at about the 2 month mark and has continued to increase. Again, like Berg, I wore the bone growth stimulator for the second year. Finally, I have surrendered to a revision because I just can't live this way anymore.

    It could be that your spine will growth in intervals and the initial cycle has yet to begin. Who knows?

    No one asked and neither am I, but it is very important that you do not smoke during recovery; that you remain active (walking is best) during recovery; AND that you avoid any bending/lifting/twisting. Most surgeons also recommend the avoidance of aspirin.

    I wish you luck as I can fully identify with the physical issue AND the mental/emotional issue associated with a non fusion.

  • I'm on the site today ,cause I just can't stand being in pain anymore,My Dr told me I could go back to work 3 months after surgery,july 2012.I quit smoking day before surgery after 35years,I slowly went back to work,I clean for a living,I wear my brace,I'm wondering if it's my working that's keeping me in pain because even when I lay around on weekends I'm still in the same pain or is it what The dr are trying to tell me and that is the pain meds are causing me pain,I take perocet 10's 4 times a day.When I ask my dr about the pain , he tells me it could take up to a year to even find out if the surgery worked L4/5 s1 fusion.So my ? is,,Can the pills be causing me the pain? Does it take that long to heal and to begin to get some relief?I was thinking of goingf to a different dr.
  • I had 2 posterior fusions lumbar in two weeks. still was in hospital when the lower part of the hardware broke. ... I actually did pretty well until the past few weeks when i noticed swelling of my lower extremities. The swelling is actually more painful than the surgeries. Is this swelling common?
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