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L4/L5 Revision Surgery - Can't Fathom Doing This Again.

Hello all,

Just found out 10 months post-op from an L4/L5 fusion that my fusion didn't take and I have some broken hardware. Could not be more discouraged at the moment. Was advised by a Radiologist to NOT have the revision surgery. Just wondering how many people have had a 2nd surgery and how things went/is it worth it or not?




  • If you have broken hardware then wouldnt you have to get it removed? I am so sorry you are facing this! I am having my 2nd spinal fusion at L5-S1 next week. I had levels L3-L5 fused in 2007. I swore I would be i n a wheelchair before I would go thru that surgery again. Holy hell! But, here we go.....best of luck to you!
    DDD 2 level ALIF L3-L5 in 2007. 4/11/13 posterior fusion w/decompression on L5-S1.
  • I had revision surgery L/4-5 I'm now fused. I think it was worth it even though I'm still dealing with pain issues. For me it was actually easier the second time around, I knew what to expect, what to do and not to do ect.

    Best of luck to you what ever you decide.
  • UntersingerjUUntersingerj Posts: 1
    edited 04/04/2013 - 7:57 PM
    I've read many posts in this forum and I am have similar symptoms.
    2 spacers, fusion, and hardware. Surgeon says all is fine. Pain is worse now than before. I've recently had 1 round of faucet injection with two more scheduled in next two weeks. Can't stand this pain in my back and again in legs. What to do?
  • Hi Dkoeneman,

    Why did the radiologist advise you not to have another surgery?
  • Doug:

    My situation is similar to your's. I had a TLIF (L4-S1) fusion in January 2011. For the initial two months after the procedure I felt great improvement, but then I began to develop pain (stronger and more persistent) in my lower back. No nerve pain at all. My mobility began to decrease and I lean forward significantly.

    We have experimented with all modalities (PT; nerve conduction study; CT scans; MRI's; steroid injection; discography; bone growth stimulator; xrays; and meds - percocet, elavil, neurontin, steroid pack). My latest xray (January 2013) showed a halo at one of the screws, which indicated movement. But my latest CT (February 2013) indicates that I have fused.

    My surgeon said that even though my diagnostics indicate fusion my symptoms do not. He is suspicious of micromotion and states that the only way he can truly diagnose my condition is to open me up and look. He also said that if I have issues then he will redo the entire procedure and harvest bone from my hip (last time he just recycled the bone tissue salvaged from the facets and spurs).

    I feel just like you. I seriously dread the prospect of undergoing this event a second time. BUT, I can't continue to live this way on a daily basis. The quality of my life has been significantly affected. Physical events are rarely attempted due to the subsequent debilitating pain. My ability to work is also affected. And, my attitude is degrading. I need to do something.

    Pain management was offered, but I want my problem diagnosed and fixed. If it can't be fixed then I will submit to pain management. I just feel that some type of carpentry work on my spine will be beneficial. I am not even considering the fact that I could come out the other side in a worse condition. Just trying to think positive.

    You are not alone in this decision. As you are seeing from other posts, there are several of us facing the same, tough decision.

    Good luck.

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