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No x-rays after fusion - is this normal

I had spinal fusion surgery of level 4,5 and S1 in December. I am currently 8 weeks post-op. It has been a difficult few months, the sciatic pain I had before surgery has gone completely which is amazing, but I'm getting a lot of numbness/ gnawing aching feeling in my feet and sometimes my calves which I didn't have before surgery. My lower back aches a lot at the fusion site. I wasn't given a brace, I've tried to be careful with bending, lifting and twisting but it can be quite hard.

I have had one follow up appointment at 6 weeks - it wasn't with the surgeon but with a junior colleague. He was quite dismissive, just checked the scars have healed (which they have) but otherwise didn't do any further examination. Reading other peoples posts it seems that most people have X-rays shortly after the surgery and at regular intervals. They told me at the follow up they don't do X-rays and there won't be any more follow up now for a year, in a years time they will do a CT scan to see if the bone has fused. I emailed the surgeon to ask about the numbness/ aching in my feet, he said it was normal and to expect to experience pain and discomfort for a while.

So I am now waiting until Feb 2016 for a CT scan/ any other further follow up. I feel a bit concerned about having to wait a year for any imaging of the surgery. Have other people had to wait this long and have they had only one follow up following the surgery?

I am in the UK so an NHS patient.

Thank you


  • I see my surgeon at 2 weeks post op, 6 weeks post op, 3 months post op,6 month post op and then my 1 year post op. If I have any concerns she also gets me in right away. I got XRays for my 6 week (none for the 2 week post op, they just checked the scar out then) and for my 3 month and I am receiving a CT at my 6 month so it's weird how your surgeon doesn't seem to bothered by it. My urgein said this was standard procedure and I've never heard of a surgeon wanting to wait to the 1 year mark to get any images.
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