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Failed Spinal Fusion??

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,550
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi All

This is my first entry on any blog regarding my back so please be patient.

I underwent a spinal fusion l4 l5 (wiring and bone graft) 18 years ago. The wire snapped and I was operated on again 13 years ago for a fusion by rod and screws.

About 5 years after that surgery the pain cam back. I went to see my surgeon who said there was nothing he could do so just go to physio. So after 4 years of putting up with the pain and seeing a number of alternative health practitioners who all gave me different opions as to what was wrong with my back I finally plucked up the courage to speak to the surgeon again.

I had an mri (a tad blurry due to type of metal used for fusion) but these is definite degeneration of the discs above and below the fusion. He pretty much said there was not much more he could do and again recommended seeing a physio! 3 months on and guess what no change!!

I am at a loss as to what to do. Has anyone had the same difficulties as me? I have tried all sorts of pain relief and nothing works. My work is being affected as is my family life (cannot run around with the kids as I can hardly move the next day) even going out is not an option as standing for an extended period sees me in all sorts of bother the next day!!

Helllllpppp. Any suggestions, thoughts would be greatly appreciated as I am really frustrated!


  • :H . Welcome to spine health! I am so sorry that you are going through this :B :B :B .

    I hope that you can find some answers, pain is a killer for sure. I know how you feel about running around with the kids, it is hard for me also.
  • Critzz,
    You are here now and we will help in all that we can, I have my failed fusion in 1990 and understand all that emotion and implication you mention and had three very young children and lost my job, none of this is easy and you have adapted well to your changing situation and in continuing to work, which is vitally important psychologically as well as financially if possible.

    No book has been written that will make your pain go away and however harsh that is to hear, you as many here have to deal with what you have and what you can change rather than the vain hope of getting better in the time scale in your head. This is not giving in, pain more than anything else mandates to be more realistic than we would like and whatever hope and dreams we had they fade from reality over time to be replaced.

    This is the new you and my professor told me I would have to live with this condition, that took some balls to tell anyone that, despite the hype nothing could be done, the alternative would be to attempt finding that illusive remedy that is just not possible as for the want of more time and effort a solution must be found. This is not a 12 step program, it is a change of life a new imposed you finding the right level of physical capacity that changes all the time and seek some continuity for a condition that is never static.

    As many you need to adapt to what makes it better or moreover not worse and pace religiously around that, however frustrating that is, some days will be better than others and squeezing your life into those windows of physical opportunity the only long term route to survival and some continuance to your working capability. No surgery will repair degeneration and as you my hartshill rectangle encapsulates all those inherent problems movement, pain and life itself.

    Make a list of what you want to do, than a list of what you can actually do in reality and try to seek areas where you can attain some goals within your current capacity. This is upsetting, frustrating and unfair but this is reality and matching those heart rending new list of expectation and reminders of what and where your level is.

    Medication is a balance between function and capacity the more medication we take we pay for that in capacity in the mode of coping itself and finding a optimum balance always an ongoing evaluation process of trial and error however long you have been taking medication, we are all looking for that overall balance that never actually arrives.

    Keep positive and stay away from depression if possible at all cost, seek and ask for help and support when required so these processes do not develop into a bigger problem, read from here what others have done, we all want to help and nobody should have to endure this life. Our back problems change all our relationships and none more so that families living in this imposed changed, they have hopes dreams and expectations and fears for the future and need to be adequately supported and encouraged.

    Take care and keep posting. John
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