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Possible Failed Fusion again

Good afternoon everyone:

In 2015, I had a posterior spinal fusion. By late 2015, it was discovered it had failed. I finally underwent a revision fusion in early 2017. I have been experiencing some severe pain and a recent CT scan has shown that I do not have a full fusion this time either. I've developed Pseudoarthrosis TWICE.

What are the chances that this could occur? Has anyone ever undergone this as well?



  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 943

    Question:  Was cadaver bone used in your fusion surgeries?  I'm assuming that you do NOT smoke and that you did NOT use any NSAIDs after either surgery.

  • @nutcase007 I'll answer to the best of my ability. I've never smoked. I do not drink alcohol. I do not have diabetes. I did not use any NSAIDS. This is true for both surgeries. The first surgery was a PLIF. Bone was taken from my Iliac Crest only for the graft. The 2nd surgery (the revision surgery) was an ALIF. In that surgery allograft and autograft were both used. A small amount of bone morphogenic protein was used as well. I'm not certain the 2nd fusion has failed but the CT-Scan does not show any COMPLETE fusion from S1 to L5 with the exception of a very small fused part which appears to have a crack in it. The majority of the fusion appears to have not completed. Thank you for your questions.

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  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 943

    @Archeun1981 - Please excuse my additional stupid questions, my experience is with cervical fusions.

    Years ago before the use of implant devices in the spine, my niece had a lumbar surgery where an allograft bone was used.  The fusion failed, so it was performed again using self donated bone and the fusion worked.  

    For my second and third cervical fusions, "demineralized human cancellous bone" saturated with my own bone marrow was used to fill the implant devices.  The demineralized bone material contains some of the least level of allograft human tissue, my understanding.  My second fusion worked and I hope to find out if it is working for my third fusion (I'm ten weeks post-op).

    I have a gut feeling that your body might have rejected some of the allograft material used in your revision surgery.  I'm just guessing. 

    Did you by chance have any autoimmune testing performed after your first fusion failure?  I was sent to a rheumatologist for extensive autoimmune testing after my second fusion, because my neurosurgeon thought there might have been a problem with the fusion, but  later determined that the fusion worked.  

    I feel like I'm not helping you on your question you posted.  Two failed fusions at the same site is rough info.  It took three surgeries in my neck until I hopefully got all my issues addressed.  

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