Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!


Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

Has anybody had this happen

Had a L4 L5 fusion about 5 years ago which seems to have failed. In chronic pain 24/7. Had an EMG done and the doctor said I have nerve damage at L5 that is "old" damage. Can they do anything for this? Going for MRI next week.


  • a fusion ever complete or do you and the doctor assume it had fused? I have not heard of anybody have a fusion fail once x-rays and CT scans show that there was a fusion.

    The next step is to look for a reason why it didn't fuse and then have a revision surgery to get it to refuse. It is usually a more involved operation and a lot of times done as a 360 where they go in from both the front and back to stabilize the spine.

    Not what you were probably hoping to hear. Your doctor will be the one to make the final decision on what needs to be done and how he/she is going to do it. It may be that one of the upper or lower levels has failed which is somewhat common for fusion patients.

    Good luck.
  • Hi Bkins,
    Thanks, for the info but to clarify the fusion did not fail, the neuroligist feels that the surgery may have failed. The last MRI is showing that the pain might be coming from 5 differant places and thats why the EMG. Looks like the likely souce is from the damaged nerves at L5.
    Thanks again.
  • advertisement
  • Hi Bob,
    It depends on what is causing the old damage. If it is where the nerve root exits and is compressing the nerve, then they may be able to move the bone overgrowth or remove the facet by doing a hemilaminectomy or laminotomy to remove the compression. Whether or not the nerve will recover is anyone's guess. It will depend on what is causing the compression, how long it has been there and whether or not it is a minor thing or if there is more extensive damage.
    Nerves regrow very slowly, so it could be some time before you see any improvement in the symptoms.
  • I think your explanation makes sense. The doctor did mention some of those long words that nobody understands except a doctor. Bitateral LR moderate chronic L5 radiculopathies. Hopefully a new MRI will show something and somebody will hopefully be able to help me. As with many people on this forum, being in pain 24/7 for MANY years is no fun. After awhile is sure takes a toll on your body and your mind.
    Thanks again for your input.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.