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How long does it take for Bone to grow?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

Axial LIF 6 months ago, still no bone growth. Please tell me your fusion stories and how long did it take for you to see bone grow?



  • I had bone growth at 2 months, and it has been getting better each time I go for a check-up (every 2 months). I see you had BMP. I also did, but they mixed mine with some of my own bone marrow before caulking it in there. Do you smoke? That is oftentimes a reason for slow healing.

    I wish you the very best,

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I'm sure there are more knowledgeable people here than me, but I was told to avoid anti-inflammatories because bone needs inflammation to grow. So avoid them if you can.
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  • Thanks for your recommendations. I don't smoke, never have. I also have stayed away from anti-inflamatories. Really don't have a clue why bone is not growing. They did not take my bone and mix it with the BMP. I was thankful for not having that extra recovery pain, but now I think it might have been the best. Everything I read says bone grows in a few months and is totally fused at 1 year. Six more months ....I am in a holding pattern and I hope bone will grow!!! :-)
  • I have heard the same things as you. Everything I have heard is substantial bone growth by 3 months. I would absolutely question the Doctor and have him look into this. As long as you followed the rules such as no twisting, bending past 40 degrees, lifting over 5 pounds, smoking, anti-inflammatories, etc. you should be fusing by now.
  • I agree, I can't say I never broke a rule, but I tried to follow them. Doc says the construct is solid, So the hardware is holding me in place really great. I feel pretty darn good. I walk,(10 miles last week) Pt every week and I have a three year old. So I am busy Mom. I do have a strange BMP Halo around the center screw. My doc is on the docs that worked on the studies for Axial LIF. He is great, but I do think he is a bit worried about the no bone. He says there is still time. I still have some pain, but it is different from the original back spondy and fractures. Much Much less!! So I guess I just wait. I do not like what I read about "failed" fusions. But, I will try not to worry. I am blessed to feel so much better!!
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  • Do you use a bone growth stimulator? If not, maybe it is worthwhile to ask your doc about it. Good luck and it is really nice to hear that you are without pain!
  • Hi Tyme,

    By now you have probably noticed how big the individual differences are. From what I read, fusion can take up to two years. After I had my 3-level lumbar fusion last May, every time I went for a check-up the OS took an X-ray, but when I asked him if there was any bone growth he told me that it usually does not show for the first 3 months (although we had a member who said she was fused at 6 weeks). In fact, on my 3-months visit we could see the beginning of new bone formation. When he discharged me at 5 months, he said I was almost fused but the process will continue on for a year. But I remember reading about somebody who only fused at 18 months. So there is a large variation.
    So just be patient, hopefully it will happen.

  • Thanks for your support....It has been hard because I had an expectation of the magic 3 months. It came and went....6 months came and went...now at almost 7 months. GOOD NEWS...my surgeon called to day and said he thinks he see a very little new bone. HEY BETTER THEN NONE! I am having hip and some leg pain. Due to the hardware, but otherwise very active. Doc has asked me to "sit" for two days! OK...then work out everyother day not every day. See if that helps the hip/leg/back pain.

    THanks again for adding the story on the 18month pt. just hearing it really helps!!

    Backtyme (aka Misty)
  • Sounds good! Best of luck Misty!
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