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Can a disc fuse after one year ?

Hey Everyone,
I am new to this forum and have read/posted a few things now and then. I am suffering from my second ACDF and approaching my third surgery ! Doc says "failed fusion" or nonunion. I had my first ACDF in 2009 of the C5-6 without hardware and it seemed to be successful, only to go through the same issue 5 years later! My next ACDF was 2015 of the C6-7 with hardware but unfortunately my pain has persisted same as before the second surgery !
Can the bone fuse with a bone stimulator after one year ? Is there any other option for bone growth before writing it off and submitting to yet another surgery ? I am not mentally or physically ready to jump into that alternative ! I have been doing PM with injection and RFA. This has minimally helped with the pain but has reduced the level with the use of pain meds.
Anyone riding this same train please feel free to share your thoughts !


  • Me again ~

    Just got the CT scan results and they are looking glim ! I see the Neurosurgeon on Monday but from the way it looks there will need to be yet another surgery...so scared !

    Anyone out there that has experienced a posterior laminectomy with fusion ? What was the recovery like ? Did you lose muscle strength ? Is the surgery worth the end result ?

    It also appears to be a screw is in some soft tissue--- could that lead to having go back in the front to fix that screw placement ?

    So confused ---the pain is too much !

  • Hi there!!! I'm medguyhurts8629 and I'm also new to this forum. I haven't had any surgeries or procedures to the cervical region but I have had to the lumbar/sacral region. After my L5/S1 fusion I to had to wear a bone fusion stimulator and I believe I had to wear that 12-16 hours per day and for 6-8 months. Your doc should be able to tell you how long it takes for the bones to fuse. In my own experiences I think it took about 6-8 months before my surgeon was comfortable enough with the situation to were I didn't have to use the BFS anymore. Other issues could have an effect on anyone's situation as it did in my case because every body is different. As in my experience, the fusion I had was about 50% successful. It alleviated the unstable lumbar/sacral vertebrae and disc in that area but the nerve pain and damage is worse now. I'm looking at a possible 3rd surgery in the very near future. I know my future looks bleak. My first surgery failed, second worked but only about 50% success, the third idk? I know the pain is awful. I know that this 3rd surgery will most likely lead to another one and another and another. The cycle doesn't stop. 
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    edited 02/05/2016 - 2:44 PM
    Hello medguyhurts8629! and Welcome!

    Welcome to Spine-Health

    Please click on link for helpful information!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hi Medguyhurts8269! ! Thanks for sharing your story with me ! I am off to see the Neurosurgeon this morning, in hopes of getting some answers ! I too, am faced with the harsh reality of yet another grim surgery and recovery ! I was told the second ACDF failed and the CT showed instability at the C4/5...Unfortunately, when facing surgery you have to be ready on all plains - Body, Mind & Spirit...I need more time !  Wish me luck !
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