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Inflammation in my back after a L3/L4 spinal fusion

Hello, I had a minumally invasive spinal fusion last year in August. I has been a yr and 3 mos. Well I have had ups and downs with this. I am 100% fused, I fused at 6mos. The problem is that that this year alone I have been in the er about 4 times because my back pain. I have inflammation in my back, and it is still numb. I am tired of going to the er for pain relief. I have seen my spine dr once every month for the last 3 mos, and he tried a cortizone shot. that did not work. He gave me tramadol, that does not work, he examined my back, and pushed on it where it was hurting, and it hurt really bad. So he told me that I have inflammation. All I need to do is ice it. Well I have done that and it does not help. So I called them 3 weeks ago, because these flare ups are getting more frequent. I just applied for FMLA at work, because the pain gets so bad that I cannot bear it. I went and got a MRI. they told me it was good, so they asked me to go get a CT scan. I went today and he discussed to me that I have a annual tear on another disc below it and could not figure out how it happened. I do have numbness and pain in one of my legs. But at this point I am not worried about that at this time. So anyway, before my surgery, I went to a pain management dr, and she gave me a free sample of this anti inflammatory patch called Flector. At the time that she gave it to me, It did not work for my kind of pain. But I had it still so I used it. OMG, it felt like heaven! I felt like I could run a marathon. My dr mentioned something to me that maybe it is the hardware, and that they can do a test to see if it is, and if so, they could remove it. That would be another surgery that I do not know if I can go through, and how long would it take for me to heal? The same amount of time my fusion took? Anyway I told him about the Flector patch, and after I said that, he said that it was my hardware that was giving me the pain and inflammation. He said that I can either live with it or I can do this surgery if I wanted to. I am writing because I wanted to know how long would the surgery take place and if it is worth it, or does it make it worse. I do not know if I can live with this. If anyone knows about anything I am talking about, please write me and tell me, so I know what to expect. I really would love this pain gone. I need a solution.

L3-L4 minimally invasive spinal fusion L3 - L4 with cage and rods. Aug 24th, 2012
Hardware Removal Feb 24, 2014
DDD, Thyroid Disease
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
SI Joint dysfunction


  • Search Hardware removal. I've had hardware removed and added but not just removed.... however I can tell you "hardware" surgery isn't NEARLY the same recovery as a fusion.... I'd have another discussion with your surgeon about recovery, but in the end if you are having to go on FMLA for pain, then I'd think a surgery that could reduce the pain would be worth it.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
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