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Loose Screws & Partial Fusion

Hi all-I haven't been on here in a long time. I recently met with a neurosurgeon to review my recent CT. I have a PLIF of L5-S1 in 11/2015, followed by a revision and fusion of L4-L5 in 6/2016. I learned I am only partially fused, and my screws are loose. My S1 screws are also too long, extending  beyond the disc.

The surgeon said he wouldn't be able to tell if I have a failed fusion until he went in there. Based upon my severe continuing pain, and the fact that I did feel better for a while after surgery 2, he thinks the screws are causing pain and issues. He recommends removing the rods and screws, taking bone from my iliac crest and packing it around the L5-S1 (my interbody is partially incorporated), and also packing more bone at the L4-L5 level. Alternatively, he could just take the hardware out, but he's recommending another fusion because I will continue to get more scar tissue. He said this would be the best chance for a successful fusion.

Have other people had loose screws, and if so, what did your surgeon do? 

Another surgeon I saw said that the screws won't get any looser because I am fused. I am so confused and don't know what to do...a third surgery wouldn't be fun - but if it would improve my quality of life even 50% I'd do it. Thanks for any input!

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Comments

  • Hi duckgirl

    I remember your name from 2015, so welcome back.

    So sorry you have having such problems and I hope you can find the support you need to get a firm decision on what is happening and what treatment you need.  Some people get three opinions but not sure if this is something you want to do.

    The Surgery Buddies group are quite active and you may find somebody on one of those that has had (or is having) revised surgery. 

    Take care

    AJ

    AJGormit

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
  • Thanks so much, AJ. I appreciate your advice & kind words. I'm sorry to see you had another surgery last summer. I hope your recovery is going well.

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