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possible 2nd back surgery

glockman03gglockman03 Posts: 2
edited 01/25/2016 - 3:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a fusion of the L5-S1 in Aug/2013 and sometime in the summer of 2015 I found out thru x-ray that one of the screws broke and I have been in so much pain since then, even after the surgery I had pain but not like this. Doc says he needs to fuse the L4-L5 and to the pelvis now to relieve the compression and stabilize it. I have pain that radiates from my lower back down my left leg, with the tingling, numbness, burning sensation and the sharp shooting pain like a knife is stabbing me. Any help/advice will be grateful, first time on here and new member.
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  • I'm sorry to read that you need a second surgery to replace and repair the broken screw. Did the surgeon give you a date for the surgery, or discuss what approach he plans to use?
    Hopefully, this will address the problems you are having , and once you are on the road to recovery, you will be feeling much better.

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 731
    I've been through almost the same situation as you...

    I had a two level fusion (PLIF L4-L5-S1) in May 2013 and around 18 months later it was discovered one of the screws at the L5 level broke and the bone fusion which was weak and incomplete broke/slipped. Is your fusion at L5-S1 good... or is it also maybe weak and incomplete like mine? For sure when mine slipped there was tons of new sciatic nerve pain just like you down my right leg and foot. I then had a redo of the L5-S1 fusion in Jan 2015. The recovery from the second fusion surgery has been a lot tougher/longer than the first... but hopefully you will have a better outcome. The additional screws (Iliac bolts) into your pelvis sounds like a good idea from your surgeon... I wish I had this on my second fusion surgery. Another question you might want to ask your surgeon is what size screws he is using... there a number of different diameters available (7.5mm, 8.0mm, 9.0mm, etc...) with the larger diameter screws being stronger and maybe less likely to break again. If your L5-S1 fusion was incomplete you might want to ask your surgeon what else he can do help ensure your next surgery brings a good solid fusion besides the pelvic screws. I've read here on this forum that besides BMP some surgeons use "stem cells" mixed in with the bone matter to help promote bone growth. It's not really stem cells but rather its a bone marrow mixture of some sort. I think the product or company name is Trinity Evolution. I'm not sure how the recovery on your first surgery went... but be prepared that your nerve pain may or may not go away immediately after surgery. On my first surgery I woke-up with zero nerve pain but on my second surgery I woke-up with ALL the pre-op sciatic nerve pain and more. It then took 4 long horrible months for the nerve swelling to calm down and the nerve pain to go away, My surgeon said there is no real predicting the nerve healing process... so hopefully you will have instant relief but be prepared that if not don't worry that something has gone wrong... it's just part of the healing and recovery process. What was the surgical procedure for your first surgery? PLIF, TLIF, ALIF, etc... ?? Both of my surgeries were PLIF but if I had my choice I would talk to the surgeon about doing a TLIF as this seems to reduce the back muscle trauma thus making the recovery a bit easier. Good luck... and keep us all posted on your progress.
    Harry - 63 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
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