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any way to know if fusion is taking place at 12 weeks post-op?

I just had a 12 week xray after my L2-4 fusion in June. I looked at my xray on my own. I see all the hardware but no changes since my 6 week xray (at least not that I notice). I see my surgeon on Friday but I'm inpatient, lol! My physical therapist sot of indicated that at 12 weeks she usually sees some white spots that indicate bone growth. Other people tell me not to expect to see anything until at least 6 months. I'm so confused! Which is it? I don't see any white spots on my xrays. I have had a weird recovery in that I had to do more bending and twisting and lifting than normal at the 5 week mark and so I'm scared I ruined my surgery by doing so much too soon and don't know when to start being worried about a failed fusion. If anyone has any info on this, I'd appreciate it!
Severe DDD in S1-T12. 5 disc herniations. 5 compression fractures. Had a 2 level lumbar fusion/decompression on June 12, 2013. L4-5 foraminotomy on Jan 8, 2014, Right SI fusion in Oct 2014. Scheduled for L4-5 fusion to existing fusion on Sept 28, 2015
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Comments

  • My doctor said he could see some cloudy spots that indicate bone growth at about that time but did a CT scan to be sure there was fusion happening at 6 months.
  • Hi y'all....I'm about 10 weeks post op now and I see my surgeon in two weeks. After reading so many different stories, I'm hoping that my doc sees some bone growth when I see him next. I've been using a bone stimulator since about 2 weeks after the surgery and I'm taking about 1200 mg of soft gel calcium in hopes that it will speed up the process. From my understanding the bone stimulator is supposed to enhance bone growth.

    I'm thinking that because of my age (72) and being diabetic I might now have great results.

    Whichever of you see your doc and x-rays, please comment back here. I think you will be seeing your doc before I see mine.

    I';m wishing all of us the best of luck in getting new growth.

  • I have a xray done before each appointment with the NS.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • youngatheart said:
    Hi y'all....I'm about 10 weeks post op now and I see my surgeon in two weeks. After reading so many different stories, I'm hoping that my doc sees some bone growth when I see him next. I've been using a bone stimulator since about 2 weeks after the surgery and I'm taking about 1200 mg of soft gel calcium in hopes that it will speed up the process. From my understanding the bone stimulator is supposed to enhance bone growth.

    I'm thinking that because of my age (72) and being diabetic I might now have great results.

    Whichever of you see your doc and x-rays, please comment back here. I think you will be seeing your doc before I see mine.

    I';m wishing all of us the best of luck in getting new growth.
    Young, just saw my NS for my 6 week checkup and he saw bone growth on the X-ray. He seemed surprised and pleased, of course, I was thrilled!! I'm 62 and also a diabetic. I've been wearing the bone stimulator 7 days post op. I guess it works?? Hopefully it continues to fuse.

    Good luck to everyone in the fusing / healing process!
    PLIF fusion L4-L5 and Decompression July 31
  • I wear a bone stimulator and had 2 X-rays and they just tell me everything looks. I was told that it can take up to a year. Mine was C3 to C7 and 11 weeks and 1 day post op and I'm getting very tired of this. Who knows if this stimulator works. I also have to test blood daily and I stopped. Bad day today tired of being on lock dien.
    Vicki
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,302
    edited 09/12/2013 - 6:58 AM
    takes some time to see on films, which is why you should wait until you see your surgeon to discuss the report with you, rather than trying to guess if what you are seeing or not is fusion.
    Exgymnast why would you go ahead and do things that were restricted post op? Almost every surgeon tells a patient with back surgery NOT to bend , lift or twist post op until they tell you , you can. If you did something to damage the ability to fuse , that would make this whole process for nothing.
    Just because you feel okay post op does not mean that you are okay to go back to doing things until the doctor tells you so.
    I hope that it turns out okay but do not do things that you have not been medically cleared for until your surgeon releases you to do them.
  • You'll fuse, 11 weeks is not long, could take months to show anything. Try not to get down, we all have good and bad days. Everyday seems like the day before but try to judge your progress week to week. Usually, I'm doing better than the week before. Are you recently diagnose with diabetes, is that what you mean about blood tests daily? Hang in there.

    Ex-gymnast, good luck with your dr. Appt. Keep us posted.
    PLIF fusion L4-L5 and Decompression July 31
  • Thanks for responding about your checkup. Congratulations on the bone growth...I'm sure you are excited. I can't wait until I take my next set of x-rays and see my surgeon.

    I've read on here where it someone 18 months before they were totally fused. I'm hoping it doesn't take that long for us.

    Continued good luck and keep us posted and I will do the same
  • I was totally shocked the dr saw bone growth. Never expected it. Meant to mention, I take calcium too. I also eat low carb, high protein, not sure if that means anything or not? I pray it doesn't take us 18 mths to fully fuse.

    Good luck at your next Dr appt, keep us posted!! Deb
    PLIF fusion L4-L5 and Decompression July 31
  • Sorry its taken me so long to get back to you. I saw my doctor at 12 weeks and he id I look like I'm fusing well! About 60-70% fused at this point. I am still doing the bone stim through 6 months and am returning to PT after my therapist discharged me after only 4 visits saying she couldn't do anymore with me until she knew how I was doing. Now that the doctor has cleared me to go back to "normal" meaning working back up to more weight, I can bend over fully now and twist. I am doing better with my pain, though I still have bad days and good days. At this point I can't tell where my pain is coming from, my surgical site or below where I still have severe degeneration and will need another fusion. I still get sciatic pain in my right leg but was expecting that since they haven't worked on that level yet. I'm still taking 3 doses of 10 mg Percocet and Robaxin (muscle relaxant) twice a day. I'm back to doing some gentle yoga and still walking though lately that has been hard due to the flooding in Colorado where I live. I wish you all happy fusing!
    Severe DDD in S1-T12. 5 disc herniations. 5 compression fractures. Had a 2 level lumbar fusion/decompression on June 12, 2013. L4-5 foraminotomy on Jan 8, 2014, Right SI fusion in Oct 2014. Scheduled for L4-5 fusion to existing fusion on Sept 28, 2015
  • youngatheartyyoungatheart Posts: 42
    edited 09/20/2013 - 1:48 PM
    Thank you for posting the above post. I'm just about 12 weeks and had my x-rays today and I took a look at them. It doesn't look like there is any new bone growth. I just posted at new topic regarding this called Disappointed.

    Your post gave me some hope that I'm not looking at the films correctly
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