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360 fusion after ADR

Krista109KKrista109 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello I am a 31 year old female I had an artificial disc replacement at my l4-5 in may of 2010 wiithin three weeks of surgery I had severe pain across my back at that level. I told my surgeon but he kept telling me it was a "superficial" surgery pain no matter what I said ( so frustrating ) so after a few months of that I decided I needed to find a dr that was going to listen to what I had to say.
At this point the pain has only gotten worse I also have pain from my disc at my l5 s1 in my butt, hip and left leg. I have found a dr that I love! He tells me all the facts not just the ones he wants me to know. So apparently the ADR allows my already damaged facet joints to overextend there by accelerating the damage and causing the pain I have had since almost immediately after the surgery. My questions are has anyone had the 360 fusion after having an artificial disc? My DR wants to go in thru the front and then 1 week later go thru the back fusing my L4-S1. I also am wondering how long you were out of work? I am a hairstylist and have been told I most likely won't be able to return to it :( any helpful knowledge would be appreciated!


  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,745
    Welcome to SH forums. I've had a 360 at those levels. But I've never had a ADR. But I don't know that would make a difference. They usually wont release you to go back to work until you've fused 100% but every doctor is different. Just as every patient is too. A rule of thumb used to be 1 yr. Al tho the time could be less. Keep in mind a surgeon usually gives you the best case scenario(a pretty lofty goal)
    As for going back to work as a hair stylist, I don't know. That's a job where your on your feet all day long. Not the best thing for your back. But that would be up to your surgeon and you. It wouldn't hurt to have a plan B.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Welcome to SH! Sorry to hear that you had trouble after your adr. I had an adr 2 and a half months ago, and unfortunately am not feeling any relief really. Did you initially have relief and then the pain returned 3 weeks later?I too have issues with my facets(moderate)

    There are a couple of active members that have had adr, and one that had a fusion after. I am sure that he will chime in.... :-C Alex

    Will you be having a 360 fusion at L5/S1 as well as L4/L5? Glad to hear that you have found a doctor that you love. Have you had any other opinions? A 360 fusion is a huge surgery and you will need a lot of time to heal...although everyone is different. Hard to know if you would be able to work as a stylist after as everyone's recovery is different, but hope that your surgery goes smooth and you are feeling better and more stable soon.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
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  • Hi Krista,

    I had a 360 fusion at L4/L5 but not the ADR. The 360 surgery was done all at once. I was in the hospital 5 days. I went back to work after 3 weeks. Everyone is different and every surgeon is different too.

    I am (was) quite active and I know that helped with my recovery. My core was very strong before the surgery.

    I have continued to work even after having 2 more fusions. I find that being on my feet and being able to move around is the best. Sitting kills me.

    The recovery is long and I would give it at least a year. You must be very patient. Short walks and then make them a little longer. No lifting, bending, twisting.

    Patience. There will be times when you think you are never getting better and then suddenly you feel a little better.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide and how it goes. It is important to have a doctor that you trust and like.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Hi. Yes i had adr on my l4l5 back in 2004 and right after surgery i had sharp nerve pain going down my left leg and both legs hurt all the time,

    I could not deal with this nerve pain so seen another dr who sugested we fuse the level where adr is at leaving adr in,

    But honestly i am no beter after fusion and nerve pain is still there and both legs still hurt just the same, During my fusion surgery dr said nerve is damaged a litle above the adr level,

    To me it dont mater how litle its damaged when it hurts like hell, If anything the fusion made things worse if you ask me, Much more stiff now then after adr surgery and fusion did not help the nerve heal as new dr thought it might,

    What adr did they use on you? Mine was the flexicore adr done as clinical trial back in 2004

    My pain also seems to be below the adr level also as it is at the l4l5 level also where adr is implanted,

    Nobody wants to go back in from the front after adr surgery was done from the front and there is a lot of scar tissue and they say its very dangerous to go back in from the front side,

    My fusion was done from the back side, So i would talk to as many dr,s as posible about if its worth the risk to have a 360 that involves going in from the front again,

    In my opinion the fusion ended up puting even more stress on the facet joints then the adr,

    But then again once adr is in there and i think many times adr is forced in there and the pressure is already there is why the fusion did nothing to make things beter,

    If it was up to me i would of had adr removed and fuse it with less space thats more normal to where spine was rather then forcing an adr in there that might be too wide and will always cause stress,

    Reason i say this is because i know i am 1" taller after adr surgery and thats not normal to make such big change in a natural spine and over stretching nerves is just not natural,

    Dr,s dont feel its a big deal but they are not the ones dealing with the aftermath and not having an answer for all the pain,

    I could not find any dr that would remove the adr before my fusion because of the risk,

    But if your dr is willing to take the risk and go in for a 360 fusion i would ask him why not just remove the adr then while he is in there? So he could fuse it with a more proper space thats more natural in case your adr was forced in as some others have had same issues after adr,

    Its just something you can ask your dr, If it was up to me thats the way i would of had my fusion but sometimes you have no say so if dr refuses to take it out,

    After my adr i never worked again because i am much worse now then before my surgery,

    Now i had a spine cord stimulater implated that a litle help but not a fix by any means,

    Hope this helps, And keep us updated how things are going for you,

    Best of luck,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Wow thanks for all the response . @alex I have the charite disc. My Dr had the original vascular dr that went in thru my front come in to consult with us first and they feel it can be done safely he will also be there this time. I just feel like I was so under informed about the ADR ( and I did a lot of research) I had no idea that my choice of surgeons would now be so limited (they act like I have the plague ) I have had dr's tell me they don't believe in it. Most won't even consult with me : ( so needless to say my only options now are dr's who do the ADR. I was never pain free but the joint pain I now have wasn't present before
    @ouch2 I am having the 360 at l4/5 and l5/s1
    Has anyone that's been off work at least a year applied for disability? It's been suggested that I apply but I rarely hear of anyone getting without a serious fight
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  • I had the same thing hapen, After adr was in lot of other dr,s just did not want to even get involved and finding a solution for my pain, As if i had mad cow or something,

    Then few drs also saying they dont believe in using adr on lumbar but it works beter for neck,

    Well a litle too late to tell me that after i am stuck with it in my spine,

    Ended up seeing the ortho i seen years ago and he actualy did the fusion on my ex wife father years back, He sugested the fusion because he also is not a fan of the adr for lumbar,

    Bottom line is i wish i would have just gone to him from the start and had the regular fusion as many others have and i believe strongly i would not have the issues i have now,

    It was my pain dr who sent me to the clown who was doing adr and they sold me on it telling me yes pro hockey players have adr and still play hockey and bla bla bla bla,

    Any dr thats doing the adr aint going to say anything bad about it, And if adr was that great then they would of already stoped doing fusions,

    Seems to be dr,s are divided on the results of adr 50/50.

    Best of luck,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Hello everyone so I had my surgeries. I had the anterior fusion on 5/7 and was in the hospital for four days. I had the posterior fusion on 5/15 with bone graft from hip and fat graft as well as hardware. To my surprise this was done as an outpatient procedure!! It was a seven hour surgery and my pain was insane it took two grown men just to help me move.
    I am numb from my lower Breasts and ribs, the underside of my arms and my left hip my knees hurt like hell after the surgery but they are feeling better. Has anyone had numbness like this? Otherwise I'm not doing to bad I'm sore and it difficult to get comfortable with incisions in my stomache and back.
    I have a lot of swelling in my back and a bulge on the left side but it's early yet I know
  • Wow, you have been through alot the last couple of weeks. Hope someone chimes in regarding all your numbness...have you spoken with your surgeon about it?
    Wanted to wish you all the best in your recovery. Do you have any nerve pain since the surgery or notice a change for the better compared to before the fusions (may be hard to tell yet with surgical pain)
    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • since that i have had a slow recovery and more problems .i wanted ADR but initial test showed extensive damage to the surrounding area proving that ADR was not the way to go .so i ended up with a fusion .{ i put it off for about a year } but at the end i had no choice .for the first 6 weeks i was zombied on my chair unable to do anything due to being tired all the time and PAIN .5 months have now gone by and although i am not as bad in myself i am having a catalogue of problems .the main one is swelling of the legs and feet and my lower back is no better ..in fact it is worse that ever ! i don't know what to do ..as i veteran of pain 16 years i thought i could cope ...WRONG!! .I see the consultant in a few weeks so i will see what he has to say ..i thought i would be feeling a lot better by now ..how wrong i was .i would urge anyone thinking about a fusion to think long and hard .because if you don't get the result you want your life will change for ever
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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