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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!