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Cage movement 4 mos postop ALIF L4/5



  • You may need a CT to show the bone and metal work more clearly but i know metal is distorted in these films.

    Good luck tomoroow. >:D<
  • Just curious how it went. I hope you are doing well!

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  • My NS looked at the MRI and said "well you have a bump into the canal, but that's okay". My jaw dropped out. He said he wanted to do a myelogram and CT scan to see if that bump or the moved cage was pressing on any nerve roots. He thinks my pain is from all the movement since I have no fusion yet. He said the bump was not the cage, but could be disc material that he left in the back to hold the cages and the moved cage has shoved that material out. I thought that would still not be a good thing??? He said I wasn't in danger of being paralyzed or anything since your spinal cord really ends at L1, the rest from L2 down are the rest of the nerves that control body functions and leg pain.

    I went over to the hospital and had another myelogram and CT (I'd had this plus a discogram in June before my initial ALIF fusion surgery). We got in at 8pm and I still had to keep my head up until midnight to keep the dye down.

    He said I had two choices...to just let it go for 6 more months and see if it'll fuse. It's already been 4 and nothing. Or, he would go in posteriorly and put in screws and lock down the joints so that it would feel like it was fused right then and take off the bump that was showing and anything else that shows in the myelogram/CT (decompression).

    At this point, I'm going to opt for the additional surgery to get the posterior screws. I'm tired of hurting and think that's the best route for me. I'm out of leave at work, but can survive on leave without pay for another 12 weeks. My insurance max is met for the year, so I won't have a huge bill again to pay.

    I'm supposed to call him this afternoon to get the results from the myelogram/CT and discuss what to do. He's the kind of doctor that won't ever tell you what to do. He's dry but not rude. I trusted that the cages would work without extra hardware, but they aren't. I have too much play in my joints and loose in muscles, even with wearing the back brace for 3 weeks again, the pain has increased.

    Thanks you guys for your comments and posts. I'm so glad to have this site and my spiney friends for support. You all know what anxieties and what the pain is like. I've hurt for so long, I'm not sure anymore what it would be like to not hurt. I don't want more surgery, but I want to recover.

    I'll post when I get my results this afternoon.
  • Candle, I am sorry it wasn't better news, but maybe now you can get something done to help you get better. I thought they removed all of the disc, but maybe not when they do it without hardware. Let us know what the plan is after you get your results. Take care, >:D< Cali-Sue
  • I guess from what I've heard they generally DO leave a small portion of the disc with fusions. They call it a radical discectomy when they remove every spec of it. Thankfully my surgeon did, but it was only because I herniated twice in the same disc.

    Yikes, candle. That sucks :( But honestly, the more stability you have the better. I can't imagine not having hardware. But I'm also 22 with ADHD, and there is no way in hell I can sit around all day... I am constantly doing things I probably shouldn't be, so my hardware has probably saved my back Lol.

    My surgeon uses plastic cages for that reasons... So it doesn't block anything and you have a perfectly clear view of the x-ray. Pretty sweet idea, in my opinion. I was 100 percent ALL for the plastic cages. Haha.
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  • I'm scheduled for the posterior part on 12/4. The CT/myelogram report states there is questionable contact with the L5 nerve roots bilaterally, without obvious compression. Questionable is enough for me to want this fixed! My right leg and foot buzz after I sit for a bit or stand for any period of time. That's enough to let me know it's not questionable.

    The NS is going to do posterior instrumentation and decompression. I'm so hoping that this surgery will be the same or better recovery time as the ALIF? It's a bummer to have to go back to the raised potty seat and arms and the grabber again!

    Wish me luck this time that I get fixed!
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