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In November I had an XLIF L4 5 S1 and was doing well for two months A month ago we had an Ice storm in Utah. I slipped....but my son caught me before I hit the ground but it was a big jolt. Since that time things went down hill. I thought it was just muscle spasms. I finally went to see my doc (who was out of town) so I got to see his nurse prac (who I will never see again)..ended up with a cortizone ? shot and then had to do steroids for a week (7 days of me being bitchy and eating anything in my way jk) Anyway, they decided to do an MRI becuz I have stabbing pains in my back and hip and right leg aches and goes numb. I know your not all docs but tell me what you think of my recent MRI

Final results:
1. Extensive postoperative changes at L45 and Ll5 S1 associated with epidural scarring srurrounding L5 greater than S1 nerve roots bilaterally. No disc Herniation or stenosis at the operated levels identified. Hardware appears to be approximately positioned.
2. Moderate to marked edema and enhancement is noted in L5 S1 vertebral bodies, posterior and anterior paraspinal soft tissue suggesting possible discitis/osteomyelitis. Mild marginal endplate irregularity is present at L5 S1 without frank cortical bone destruction. Correlation with Westergren sed rate CRP, white blood cell count and differential would be recommended.
3. Moderate to marked denervation atrophy of posterior paraspinal muscles.
4. Mild degenerative changes at other levels of the lubosacral spine without focal disc pathology or neural compromise or stenosis.

Anyone think they would go back in and remove some scar tissue and has anyone experienced discitis/osteomyelitis?


  • is nothing to play with! When are you due to see your doctor? See this link for more information.


    You could be looking at IV antibiotics for a while. The sooner you see your doctor, the better off you will be.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • He just had me do a blood test for CRP, CBC and Sed Rate. He will have the results tomorrow. I will check out the site. Thanks.

  • I'm sorry to hear that you are still having problems.
    It is good that your doctor is getting things moving along with tests etc. Please do let us know how things progress.

  • So the MRI said to check for the discitis/osteomyelitis. Then I did a blood test and the doc called and I had to immediately have a CT bone biopsy and when I got out of that wonderful experience (yeah I am being sarcastic) there was a note from doc. I called and they had a place set up so a PIC line could be inserted (that wasn't as bad as I imagined it to be). So I am on massive antiobiotics 3 times a day I call them little grenades cuz that is the shape of them. At least you can put them in a pocket and it doesn't have t be held above your head. Once the biopsy culture is back they may change some of the grenade contents. Yesterday everyone I dealt with kept saying I was one sick lady. So they are guessing 5 weeks of grenades but they said I should start feeling better fairly soon.
  • to you! I hope things start to turn around. I'm sure they probably told you, but keep the PIC site clean and free of anything that could possibly fit in the port. Contamination would really cause you to have a bad day!

    It sounds like your doctors are on top of the situation. It's good to see when things are going the way they should as opposed to some of the stories you read about.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 02/24/2013 - 3:37 PM
    That is some rotten luck. I hope you start feelign better soon.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Thinking of you and wondering how you are feeling today.
    Have you started to feel any benefit from the PIC line yet?
  • Yes some of the pain has decreased in my hip. Damn I'm tired again too. Its been 4 days on the ERTA and Vaco and the blood draw was good but now they want to increase the VACO level. Now I am stressing. I was thinking...okay I'm sick and the meds will help me. But now I am wondering....Is it going to affect my fusion? Is it going to affect the hardware? Holly crap I'm screwed Now they are referring me to an infectious disease doc and I don't think she is on my insurance plan....why would they do that (rhetorical)?.. So what about my back doc...does he wash his hands of me? Of course all this info comes in after my back docs office is closed so my stress level is up and I should just get off the computer before I drive myself crazy

    BTW Jelly you are a wonderful person - you continue to send encouragement to so many people. god bless you! How have you been doing?
  • Your spine doctor should continue to follow your progress. Given the infection and just having the fusion, my guess is your spine doctor and infectious disease doc will be communicating with one another.

    You may want to make a list of every medication you're taking along with pysician's name of who prescribed it. It's real easy to forget some of the small details that other doctor's may need.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I will take your advice. Donna

  • You can waste a lot of time stressing about things that will never happen.
    I do know though, that once you are stressing about something, there is not an off switch!
    I think Keith has given some good advice, and keeping a list of your meds and who prescribed them is a brilliant idea.

    I think the infectious disease doctor referral is normal, and Dan / pccstudent, who is also suffering with this infection had a similar referral.

    Thank you for the lovely things you said about me Donna :-) That is a real encouragement, which has really picked me up after a difficult meeting at work on my return yesterday. :-)

    I feel that I am pretty good as far as my recovery from the ACDF has gone. :-)

    Now I hope that you will be able to rest, relax and let the antibiotics and your body do the healing. This is going to delay your recovery, but in the long run, hopefully you will get there.
    God bless and heal you! xxx :-)
  • mjw_46825mmjw_46825 Posts: 3
    edited 06/13/2013 - 6:50 AM
    Hi My name is Marla and I have the same exact thing you have:discitis/osteomyletis. Our MRI's are almost identical and I have an infectious disease dr too and had a lumbar biopsy-waiting 4-6 wks for the results. I also had lots of blood cultures, Sed Rate, CBC with Differental, and the lymphocytes are increased. Keep your spirit up and be encouraged this too shall pass. I am a new member and would love to hear your progress, Keep in touch. Hugs, Marla
    Marla Jo Eshleman Winner
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