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With BMP how long to fuse? Post-op 360 2 level fusion 3 weeks++

jenfabjjenfab Posts: 56
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had my 360 double level fusion on Jan 15 and go in to my post op appt on Feb 18th. Dr will be doing an xray previous to my postop. Will I be fused by then? How long can this typically take?

I still have pain and am anxious to see when I will be able to tell if the fusion took/worked. Am I too soon still to be asking?

Thx for any help or answers :)


  • In a word, yes. (too early to be asking) You may be able to see some white streaks on the X-ray indicating the bone is beginning to grow. But fusion will not be complete for months and will not be really strong and solid for a year.

    But if you don't see anything, it is nothing to worry about at this point. You are still very early in the process.

    Hope you're beginning to feel a little more human....

  • And if you do see any fusion, it is common for BMP fusions to have some reabsorb-like 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Some of the BMP bone growth may reabsorb back into your system and then rebuild some more.

    I would be highly skeptical of any doctor claiming fusion after 3 weeks. Just my opinion.

    Do you still have back pain? It would be within normal limits to still have back pain this early out, even some nerve pain this early out. Keep in mind that the doctor manipulated a lot of things to do your surgery and it is a major insult on your body. This takes time to heal from.

    I'm sure you're on pins and needles hoping this is going to be a great appointment, but just keep in mind that fusion is a patience tester! :) I hope that not only do you fuse well, but that you have some pain relief, also!! Hang in there and don't overdo it. I think maybe you could ask your doc if it would be appropriate for you to do a little water PT at this point if your incisions are healed. I think it helps your mind if you feel like you can do something to help promote your healing. But again, just my opinion.

    Please post a note about your next visit!
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  • I know how nerve wracking it can be wondering about your healing process.:nailbite: My doc did not do x rays until 6 weeks, and he said I was beginning to show signs of fusing,(and I had BMP) so don't be shocked :jawdrop: if you don't see anything yet. Like Gwennie and Enurse said fusing is a LOOOONG process, requiring great patience. :w
    Pain is also very normal at this stage in the process, you will more than likely have good :) and bad days.:sigh: Hang in there and try to stay positive. :party:
    Remember we are all here for you. ;)
    God bless and keep You ... healing at a steady pace,
  • Even if you do not see any sign of fusing, what you will see is your hardware. I just had my first x-ray at 9 weeks post op. I did see a fair amount of white streaks,(I had BMP also), but it was wonderful to see that the screws were still perfectly placed. That gave me much peace of mind.

    I still have moderate to severe pain at times, even at 11 weeks out. It does take some time to work out pain management issues.

    Good luck,

  • I also had a 2 level lumbar fusion with BMP. At 1st post op appt. x-ray showed signs of fusing. At 6 months post op I was completely fused. Don't worry if your 1st x-ray doesn't show any fusing, these things take time. For many it takes up to a year(or more). Take care!

    Faith M
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  • All your answers made me feel much better...thanks you. This has been a hard 3 weeks and I know I still have a ways to go.
    My appt is on Feb 18th, so I will be sure to update you all on how it goes and what I see.

    I hope you are all healing well and feeling better as we go through this painful journey. Take care.
  • Of course the past 3 weeks have been hard, and everyone on this board is here to help out. I think the first 3 weeks are the most excrutiating; but at least they are behind you now. I am almost 3 months postop and am just now starting to feel a little better. I still can't lift over about 6 lbs without it hurting my back, and have pain management issues, and still limping...but that is just my issues.

    Just don't push things, walk and rest. I still have to abide by that motto. Allow yourself the time it takes to get back to normal.

    Take care and good luck at your appointment!

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