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L4/L5 NOT FUSING, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

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2

Comments

  • I'm surprised that no one has mentioned a bone growth stimulator.  When my L4-L5 fusion wasn't progressing, I was prescribed the stimulator.  Within months, I had a sold fusion.  I only had to wear it 30 minutes a day, so it didn't intrude in my life at all.

    I likely have another fusion in my future at the levels above and below, plus possibly an SI fusion.  I've been extremely happy with my initial fusion at almost 3 years post-op.
  • ekegelmannekegelmann MichiganPosts: 13


    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned a bone growth stimulator.  When my L4-L5 fusion wasn't progressing, I was prescribed the stimulator.  Within months, I had a sold fusion.  I only had to wear it 30 minutes a day, so it didn't intrude in my life at all.

    I likely have another fusion in my future at the levels above and below, plus possibly an SI fusion.  I've been extremely happy with my initial fusion at almost 3 years post-op.

    I'll ask about this at my upcoming pain management appt. Thank you. I did do laser treatment for a few monthes to stimulate growth.....to no avail. I've had a bad cough the last week and every cough is killing me.

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  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 964

    If your current hardware isn't broken I wouldn't think there wouldn't be any harm in waiting 3 months as your doctor has suggested.  For lots of reasons... you should definitely try to get off the pain meds if you can... being on them as long as you have is not good. 

    I've had 2 fusion surgeries... one was a breeze and one was horrible but it had nothing to do with one being the first and one being the second surgery.  A lot also has to do with your frame of mind... you've got to positive and strong.  It may sound stupid but it's very true in the end.

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • Hi Erik,

    i had l4-5 fusion on 18th Feb 2015 and, like you, there is absolutely no evidence of fusion from spect ct, MRI and xray scans.
    Im 46, 6'3" 240Lb so weightier than you.
    I have facet joint inflammation at L3/4 and L5/S1 and also have unstable retrolistheses at L1/2 and L5/S1.
    i am on slow release morphine 20mg twice daily, 60mg codeine twice daily and 20mg immediate release morphine if I get breakthrough, which usually happens at night.

    my surgeon did L3/4 and L5/S1 facet injections on 23rd March which didn't work. He intends to try an L5/S1 intradiscal injection next to see if that helps with the pain. I'm seeing him on 18th May and will be asking him if Is it worth the wait / risk of waiting another 3 months before declaring failed fusion or is I better to redo the end plates and use autograft from my hip whilst the metalwork is still holding.

    My friend is an odp and works with ortho surgeons and they say that, if a first fusion doesn't work, they must try a different method in revision. 

    Will let let you know what he says,

    steve





    L5-S1 herniation. Both knee meniscus tear. L4-5 herniation - 2 x nerve block injections. L4-5 discectomy. L1-2 nerve block injection. L4-5 reherniation - TLIF fusion. 2016: L1-2 and L5-S1 retrolistheses and multiple facet joint degeneration.
  • ekegelmannekegelmann MichiganPosts: 13
    UPDATE STEVE?
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