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My psuedo-fusion... looking for advice or clarity.

devschicaddevschica Posts: 2
edited 01/09/2015 - 11:47 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
On 12/28/2014 I had an emergency L3/4 Discectomy and was back on 1/4/2015 for a revision Discectomy. The disc was so weak and had herniated so completely the removed all of it. I asked for clarification from the Dr numerous times on this because I had a pending TLIF fusion on the 15th of January, so I was somewhat educated on fusions and what to expect for that surgery. There is NO hardware, NO bone graft, nothing. They removed every bit of my disc material, roughed up the top and bottom of my vertebrae and left them to sit bone-on-bone. I'm expected to wear a pretty extensive back brace for six months while this essentially fuses all on it's own. No cells or graft was taken from my hip and no donor material was placed in my body.

I cannot find any record of this type of procedure being done anywhere online. I will, of course, demand a better explanation at my follow up appointment but I assume that someone out there has to have heard of this procedure being done. I cannot be the only one.

These were my fourth and fifth surgeries and this one has me in a hurt. I've recouped from surgery before but holy cow - I feel like I've been hit by a truck. I'm assured that it's the back-to-back surgeries and that my body has been through so much in so little time and now my spine is really angry. Now, I'm angry... I'm feeling a little like I've had a Frankenstein procedure done and I can't find any info on this.

Has anyone ever heard of this?
(5 Lumbar Surgeries & Counting...)


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    edited 01/10/2015 - 4:02 AM
    heard of a total 100% disc removal and then allowing disc on disc friction.
    To me, and I am no doctor , is only going to cause more problems later on .
    Some level of cushioning between vertebrates would seem necessary., unless hardware/cages were put in place.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I can definitely commiserate with the back to back surgeries. I am newish to this whole spine community, but I have never heard of a fusion like you are describing. Certainly I could be wrong, however. What I know is absolutely true is that having surgeries one on top of the other takes a huge toll on your body, so the fact that this surgery really knocked you down makes complete sense. I had 4 surgeries within a 6 month period, the third of which was a fusion with hardware and the fourth was a removal of half the hardware because it was irritating the nerve.

    I would most definitely get as much info from your surgeon as you can. I believe you can even request the surgery notes from your medical record, which might shed some light on what was done.

    Hang in there and know that it will eventually get easier.
    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
  • Thank you both for responding. I appreciate it. I'm still not finding any information but I did receive a phone call from my surgeon's office, however, I was unavailable to take the call and she'll be calling back tomorrow to check up on me again. I'm going to ask her what my procedure was called and just for giggles I'll let you guys know what they have to say.
    (5 Lumbar Surgeries & Counting...)
  • My surgeon recommended a fusion to avoid the issues of bone on bone after reherniating after two discectomies 8 weeks apart, so it does sound a little strange. He led me to believe bone on bone would cause me a great deal of pain.

    I wish I had been told I'd feel crap having surgeries so close together so I could be mentally prepared. I get the feeling like being hit by a truck. It was only after a friend visited me & I mentioned it that he was able to explain it better.

    I hope you get the explanation you need.
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
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