This is my 2nd fusion. First one was 3 levels at L-2,3,4... 1 year 6 months after, the pain was becoming more and more unbearable from my fusion. Contacted the surgeon that did the surgery,...well he's gone (turns out he did around 100 fusions but was not "qualified" to do it) he split after the beginning of multiple "medical malpractice" suits starting to roll in... can't find him? I then went in to get new MRI's, xrays, etc. with my insurance complaining of horrible pain. Turns out, the fusion forced my spine into a scoliosis, all the way up. Oh,.... I was just overjoyed to see the films :-) I remember balling like a baby and going into a deep depression for months, scared to death of a new surgery, I'd rather died at that point.
"They" the orthopedic department of where the "Surgeon in question" is missing didn't quite know what to do because of the damage. They sent me "out of network" with my films. At which time the new neurosurgeon questioned me of "who did this" to you? I told him, he then informed me that he has already repaired over 90 of THAT other surgeons work.... He showed me film after film of "before's and afters", of the bad surgeons work, to his work (the new surgeon)... my jaw dropped at that point as I started crying once again, scared...
To make a long story a little shorter, my spine was curved into the letter "C" from my 3 level fusion. The new surgeon said the only way to repair it was to "take OUT the old fusion, then add a 7 level to straighten it out"..... seriously OMG!!!!!! I had no choice.
After going through all the test one has to endure for fusions, I had surgery Oct. 31st, 2011. I was in the hospital EXTRA time (about 2 weeks) due to a "bone infection he found behind the titanium of my 1st fusion" that had not done anything until the air hit it. (kindof like cancer, the infection spread quickly). My surgeon was very scared for me, from what I remember...I was so completely doped up. I had to do a real strong antibiotic through a "PIC" twice a day for an hour at each treatment, twice per day for 1 month. (like an IV, but it was going directly into a vein under my arm, directly into my heart, and this "PIC" thingy just stays there, like I said, kindof like chemotherapy. I was hospitalized for 2 weeks, and in a rehab center (which was like a spa, very very nice rehab center) for another 2 weeks, learning to walk, bathe, everything as you-all well know has experienced with a fusion.. it's a horrible recovery that you think will never end.
At any rate after 1 year, I finally started feeling like there was a light at the end of the tunnel... after many many setbacks including a self-induced drug withdrawal ending up in the hospital again where they wouldn't touch me because it was not in "my network", eventhough "withdrawals can cause death", (OMG did that suck it was MSCotin that I stopped myself, DON'T DO IT WITHOUT HELP!!) .
My surgeon told me to "expect 18-24 months" for recovery and a good solid fusion from this 7 level. He stabilized everything at my S-1 vertebra to my sacroiliac with a screw to each side. I think the screws are around 4" long each going into the (2)sacroiliacs. (I'm going to try to download my xrays). (It has been 1 year 2 months now since surgery), and I am experiencing once again horrific pain right in the center of my butt cheek on left side, over towards hip, and down to knee... when I look at my x-rays, it totally matches up with where that screw is deep inside my left butt cheek.
I went into FIRST my insurance, ofcourse to be referred back to the surgeon that did this. Their statement was "it really looks like it's the screw that is going into your sacroiliac is either moving just slightly, OR it's pinching a nerve".
So again, new tests, mri's, x-rays, and the horrible dreaded spinal tap with dye taking CT scans on my belly (which I CANNOT do, due to all the titanium in my back, incredibly painful tests, cried the whole time).... my surgeon said at first with the first pictures that he see's a little "bursitis and arthritis in there but not enough to cause me to stay awake all night"... so I'm still waiting for ALL of my newest test results to get to my surgeon to see what he says now... There was conversation about taking out that screw and replacing it with shorter screw... He also told me that "your sacroiliac does NOT move to loosen that screw", BUT the orthopedic surgeon says "it does move very little when you walk and enough to loosen that screw"... so who's correct?
And most of all, does anyone have this same issue?