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Popping & Grinding - AND NOT THE DANCE MOVES.

Hello, all. This is my first time posting.

In June of this year (so nearly 6 months ago), I had a fusion from L3-S1. It was my first fusion, but my third spinal surgery. I'm female, 29-years-old.

Everything's been pretty alright until about a week ago. My family and I were sitting on the couch when there was a sudden, loud "pop" that came from my fusion. I felt it "thud" inside of me, and everyone in the living room heard it. Since that occurred, grinding and clicking comes from my fusion area -- the grinding sound almost like two balloons rubbing against each other. I'm extra sore in that area, deep in my spine, but I wouldn't say it's painful. Since the "pop," I also feel the nerve running down the back of my right thigh.

The next day I had x-rays done, which showed that the instrumentation was fine, but my doctor wanted me to come in for an exam this week. However, I live 90 minutes from his office in a rural town, and the next available time I have to see him is early January. He's the closest neurosurgeon to where I live.

Anybody else have this happen to them, or know what it could be? Since the instruments are okay, I wonder if the fusion between the vertebra broke? Next disc up from the fusion rupturing? I can't imagine it being scar tissue making that much noise.

Also very strange since the "pop" is that I've been having a lot of uterine cramping and pelvic soreness.

Any information helps. Thanks.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • My "popping" was mostly at the top of my lumbar through mid thoracic region and it was so loud that my students could hear it all day... The first time it did it I was terrified. I too was more "sore". I called my surgeon who did some x-rays and told me the rule of thumb was "soreness/pressure" type pain was rarely an emergency. Sharp prolonged pain is more of a sign of an emergency. I'm glad you called and I hope you get in to see your surgeon soon to be on the safe side. Like you I was shocked that this happened months after my surgeries but again my surgeon said all the soft tissue was still adjusting. Good news is that it died down and now it's rare. Best of luck to you!
    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.
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