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What if you don't fuse?

JoyJJoy Posts: 559
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Just what if? Then what happens? Will it create more pain? Will you absolutely have to have the hardware removed and start over again? Since I'm still having pain at 6 months, I'm getting a little anxious. Seems all progress stopped at the 4 month mark.


  • I did not fuse and had the revision done, it was done posterior and it was a very difficult recovery. A few months ago my dogs vet told me had the same surgery and did not fuse and he left it alone, he says he has some pain but not enough to keep him from working. My surgeon told me if I did not have the revision I would always be in pain mgmt, well I am still in pain even after the revision, more so than before. It's a gamble and not everyone has the same outcome. I wish I had left it alone.

  • I really appreciate hearing that. Because I like Joy have often wondered. I just always thought if I didn't fuse the revision was the only answer so I'm glad you posted that piece of info about your vet's decision. I already know I DO NOT want to go through the revision surgery.
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  • I don't know what I'd do. I'll just be having a first fusion next week. If it doesn't help in the long run I think I may lean towards a revision if it would "supposedly" help...especially if I'm in as much pain as now-hell, I'm having a fusion to stop the agony...but to know you'd probably not get better, would you definitely not do something, anything? That's too much for me to worry about now, though, as it probably not happen...but who knows

    Joy, I hope you start to come about soon and start to feel better-try not to worry yet
  • I've prayed so hard that my fusion takes. However, if it didn't, I wouldn't think twice about a revision. The pain was unbearable during pain flares, and I know I could never continue to live like that.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    hey Joy,

    It is still early at 6 months, it took me almost a year for the n/s to see some serious fusion taking place and the x-ray was inconclusive so I needed to have a CT scan to actually see the fusion.
    I can relate to your anxiousness but I am learning to just wait and see. We are all different and we all heal at different rates. I always think about the "what ifs" too, but it is what it is and we will deal with whatever comes about.
    Best of luck to you and take care.
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  • I am not fused 18 months post TLIF. I have many issues, so it's sort of complicated. I have had one side of my hardware removed, and am having the other side removed next week even tho not fused. Will post update next week on what he decides to do-if just hardware removal and the other issues or if he says it's unstable and has to put in more hardware after bad hardware out.
  • I have had 2 xrays since my surgery and an MRI..my doctor never indicated how much fusion had taken place....I see him this friday (5 months post-op) to discuss continuing pain and my return to work.....I guess how much fusion has taken place is a good question to add to my list!
    Hope things get better for you Joy!
  • I am at 17 weeks approx and we have not seen even a little cloud on the xrays. I am getting discouraged as well. I am a non smoker, non drinker, fairly healthy, following restrictions etc and still nothing. There may be something that just cant be seen, we dont know.

    I wouldnt hesitate for the revision if called for. Since there is much facet arthritis, my goal is a solid interbody fusion. I will welcome any relief to the pain.

  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    hey Shell,
    that is really early to see any fusion taking place. I too have never smoked,
    eat healthy, stay very active, and only socially drink rarely. It was almost a year till we saw fusion taking place and that was with a CT scan as X-rays
    were not clear enough.
    Take care and I wish you a complete fusion.
  • for all the encouragement! At 4 months, little clouds were visible. I won't have xrays again until Feb. (insurance issue). I just hurt so dam* bad! I try not to take the pain meds but once a day, but it's 8:30 a.m. and I've already taken them. Is it too much to ask to have just ONE pain-free day? Sorry...I'm having my own little pitty party here and forgot to bring hats for you guys! I'll get past this, I'm sure. I've also got an ear infection that I've had for 3 weeks now...one ear plugged up so bad I can't hear well. Just too much to contend with some days, you know? Ok, enough said...party's over! Will try to have a better outlook now.

    Happy New Year to everyone and please stay safe!
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