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CT Scan results are in

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
So my Dr called me last night and said that the fusion of L5-S1 did not heal properly. He said that it is up to me if I have surgery again or net. He said that if it causing me to not live a normal life then he would be willing to fix everything. I asked what he would do....he would have to go in through my stomach to have a fresh area to work with. There is too much scar tissue in the back. He would put a cage in between L5-S1 (I already have one at L4-L5) and take out the broken screws and put in thicker ones a little lower in my tailbone. So now I face a big decision...to have it or not to....I am in pain but it is not absolutly unbarable...but it is always there. I don't want to have this pain for the rest of my life, and I think it will only get worse. I think I am going to talk to him about having the surgery in January like I did in '07. It seemed to work out the best for me. There isn't usually anything going on at that time of year and tax returns are soon to come so that I wont get behind on my bills.
Has anyone else had this surgery...going in through the tummy...is it way more invasive than just through my back? Is the recovery time way longer?


  • When I had my multi level fusion in April of 2007, first they went through the back. Ten days later they went through the front, left side of lower abdomen. The muscles cut are the ones that keep you standing straight up so there is a longer recovery period. If the doctor is putting any of your hipbone in the cage he is inserting, this will also add to your pain during recovery. Finally, my doctor made me have a two hour procedure in X-ray mapping out all the nerves and blood supplies. This was also an uncomfortable procedure.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • Good luck with this difficult decision. I too have a failed back surgery and nothing is helping enough to make my pain more bearable to live with. Therefore it's easier for me to make that decision! You need to think carefully about how much your pain is actually affecting your life and decide if it's acceptable for you to live with it forever. I can't comment on the anterior aspect because I haven't had it myself but I hope some people can help with that.

    Let us know what you decide. Best wishes, Spicey
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  • I had L4-S1 PLIF in Nov. 07. They put cage in at L4-5 and OS didn't risk putting cage in at L5-S1 b/c of chance of foot drop , but put in the rods and 6 screws and hoped for the best. Like you, my pain isn't unbearable, but always there and getting worse-as is leg weakness. Doc wants me to think about surgery also. He'd do ALIF at L5-S1, same as you. I'm interested to hear what people say. I've been polling also, but mine is a little weird so no one to comment on my exact case. I'm debating also, and if I do it, it'll have to be next spring so I can prepare (if I can wait that long w/my weakness progressing). I'm so disappointed to have to go back in for surgery, but hopeful that this is failed just b/c that level wasn't "finished"...not b/c it's a total loss. :? Keeping my fingers crossed for you! -Andrea
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