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Fusion Rate with DJD

Shell74Shell74 Posts: 300
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am just wondering, does anyone know if DJD and arthritis affect fusion rates and success.

At my 10 week appointment I had nothing, not a speck of fusion starting, I know I have time, but its just a questions that has been bothering me.



  • Shell, I don't really know the answer, but I would think that being most fusion patients have DDD and/or DJD, it must not be a major concern or they wouldn't bother fusing us. They are all so related, you know the disc degenerates which then stresses the facet joints which become arthritic, thus DJD, etc, etc. My first xrays were at 8 weeks and I didn't have any fusion either. I just got a new one yesterday and I think I see some white stuff going on between L4 & L5, so I am hopeful. Will see the NS on Wedsnesday and see what he says. He told me 4-7 months to see fusion beginning. Yep, this is a long haul, nothing fast about this fusion process is there :S Guess we gotta be patient. Love ya sis, Cali-Sue
  • Would it be possible to use a SCS? Just wondering? I hope you start fusing soon. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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  • have a CT scan to see how the fusion is going? Or do you just do it on x-ray?

    I am only wondering as I have had CT's to check the fusion rate.

    Shell, as Cali-Sue said a large proportion of fusions are done because of DDD, so dont be concerned that it is not showing on an x-ray just yet.
    Just trust that all is going on behind the scenes. :*
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • My xrays didn't show anything until the 4-month mark, and then it was just "puffy" areas. The doc said this was normal. I go back in Feb. and will see what happens. It is a long road, so try to be patient!
  • Cali-Sue- Guess I have to much time on my hands to think about things,lol. I just wasnt sure if when you had DJD if bones could heal as well, since you are in constant state of inflammation from that to begin with (although inflammation causes healing). I dont know what I am thinking.

    Angelback- My doctor does an xray at each visit. He hasnt mentioned and MRI yet. They do MRI's right in their office so maybe I will call and ask for the next appointment. I am just so obsessed at this point.

    Charry- My insurance would cover a bone growth stimulator for a one level fusion. They will cover it for a 2 level or after 6 months with a one level with no fusion. I just love red tape!!!!

    Joy- Thanks, I am just having a difficult time being patient!!!!!

    To top things off, I got an email from a co worker that the rumor is I am not coming back to work at all this year. Evidentally, administration is telling another co-worker that they wont approve her request for a 3 month leave because I am out on medical leave and they cant afford to be short another therapist. The co-worker has had this leave planned for the last 3 years, it is to finish up her clinical fieldwork to be become a masters level therapist. They have told her she needs to quit.

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  • That's awful the way hospitals treat their employees, Especially when they're short staffed as it is. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I work in the school system as an OT. They are just as bad as the hospital. The official policy is that is at the descretion of admin to grant non health related leaves of absence. The point is that this has been planned for almost 3 years now they are all the sudden saying no, and blaming my absence as the reason she cant take off. Just is B.S.

  • I have been told that whether or not you need an Xray vs. CT scan to check fusion depends on the hardware - with some hardware you need a fine-cut CT to determine fusion. The X-rays are just to follow that the screws, plates, rods are still in the right place and haven't shifted.
  • My Neurosurgeon told me they generally don't see anything until 3 to 6 months, and that it can take up to TWENTY FOUR months... Unlike the twelve that most people think. 2 years is quite a while... So don't be worried just yet!

    My surgeon used plastic cages, because you can see right through them with x-rays. Pretty neat, I think. Much more accurate and easily read results.
  • At 8 weeks I was just barely starting to show some beginnings of bone growth - not really fusion but sort of white puffy looking areas. My surgeon said that was good and we MIGHT see some fusion at 4 months. So - I would not worry too much if I were you.
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