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Exploratory surgery on L5-S1 TLIF

DianeLDDianeL Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all. I am new to this website and only wish I had found it years ago. I really enjoy reading the posts and learning new information.

I had a TLIF level L5-S1 in May 2008. Here it is one year later and I am still having lots of nerve pain down my left leg, crushing sensation in my left foot, toes. The surgery did decrease my back pain. I just saw my neurosurgeon and I am not 100% fused yet????? It has been one year and I am really depressed because he now wants to do an exploratary to find out if there is nerve impinchment due to the hardware/screws or BMP. I DO NOT WANT THIS because I know this will create more scar tissue leading to more pain. My recent discogram on the L4-L5 and L3-L4 level show herniation but the MD could not produce enough pain to justify extending my fusion. (thank GOD)

I dont know what to do. I am fearful of yet another surgery, but there could be something he could find. Maybe the BMP is overgrowing, maybe a screw is loose( just like me).

Has anyone had a situation similiar to mine? Any suggestions.


9/05- Laminectomy/disectomy L5-S1 with 4 bone spurs removed.
11/06 - Laminectomy/discetomy L5-S1
5/08 - TLIF with BMP and my own bone

I also have moderte herniation L4-L5 and mild bulge at L3-L4.
Moderate spinal stenosis


  • I am sorry you are still having problems. I had a 2 level PLIF in Dec and am having same as you, so I understand. Dr says Xrays look good, but I am having a CT next Tues to see what he can find. Options are about same as yours only he is doing MRI if nothing shows on CT. Says he is gonna look for hardware problems first. So, will see what happens. Good Luck and keep us posted.
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