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Fusion Qestion...Had L4-L5 fused now in chronic severe pain in S1

MLT01MMLT01 Posts: 172
edited 03/03/2014 - 2:58 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello Everyone,

Been a while since I was on this site..I won't get into all the details of my past...but will give some info..In the past I had a staph infection in the spine, osteomyelitis at S1-L-5 and meningitis x5...

In 2009 I had a 360 Spinal Fusion at L4-L5 with BMP..then a revision for loose hardware and failed fusion in 2010..I felt great for the first 13 months then I went down hill with tremendous back pressure in low back, tailbone,..and now I'm dealing with the same pressure but now sciatic, spasms, deep ache and numbness in feet ect..

Went to a new Dr and he is thinking the joints at S1 are being affected because of the pressure of the hardware above..I had a X-ray and it is showing narrowing at S1. Going for a MRI tonight...could I be really looking at another Fusion :( at S1

Has anyone gone through this?????



  • You've had a lot going on but it is a fact that you could possibly need some treatment at that level. I started out with a lamenectemy sp?? And then two level. Felt great for 2 summers as I was back playing golf again but then same thing happened with me. The 2 level fusion I had (L2-L3-L4) apparently weakened my (S-1-L-5-L-4 ) bottom discs which I had fused about 2 years later. Once you start with a single fusion it can weaken both discs above and below. So I had the last double fusion 3-4 years ago. That put the kabosh on my golf game as I used to know it. I was able to play after 4 levels but my motion is now very limited although I still play golf but lost half my distance. Now I'm scheduled to have the final level done in my lumbar next month. My legs have gotten real weak and I'm having some bladder issues. I'm assuming they same thing occurred here with the pressure exerted by the 4 discs currently fused. On a side note, my Dr said that eventually he will see me again after my 1st fusion surgery but I didn't think it would be 2 years later (nor did he). I have Stenosis real bad which has contributed to my quicker demise than a normal back but I have been relatively pain free after recovery from all surgeries. So what you are experiencing is not all that uncommon but do get 2 opinions (at least). If you have the option to try epidurals I would do that. They are part of my maintenance plan now. Whenever I'm hurting, I just call my pain Dr and he gives me a caudal (specific type of epidural) and I look forward to getting them as they now give me relief for 4-6 months. Any other questions, just ask
    4 level fusion lower back
    2 level cervical fusion
    Left knee replacement
  • Steeler-guy,

    Thanks for getting back to me...sometimes I asked my husband is it all in my head??!! :( the pain is getting so bad this past 6months..I get the MRI results today...I did go through epidural shots and it did seem to get the edge off! The Drs are concern with me continuing because I still have fluid that has been in my back since 2001 and there afraid it could be staph/ meningitis that's just dormitted ( sp? ) in my back so to speak...

    I agree with second options!!! :) hope all works out for you!!
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