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Herniation between fusion

ProteeninjectorProteeninjector Posts: 8
edited 10/18/2016 - 12:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have looked everywhere and couldn't find a topic on this. I found tons of adjacent herniations discussions but none about people who have a herniated disc between the fused vertebrae. 

I had fusion done at the l5 s1 level about a year ago. About 4-6 months later, I started getting horrible back pains again with intermittent shooting leg pain. It got so bad I couldn't take it and went to get an MRI after an urgent care visit. 
The MRI shows I have a herniation at the l5 s1 level, the very same one that was fused.
My question is, has anybody had this happen to them? What can be done to fix this?

It seems like it is a one in a million chance that the disc bulges in between a set and stable fusion! I really need some guidance because I can't find any info on this. Thanks in advance!
Ouchy!
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Comments

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971

    Ouchy

    How can that be...???   If you had fusion surgery at the L5-S1 level your surgeon should have completely removed your disc at that level...  as such there shouldn't be anything left there to herniate.  Sounds very strange..

    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
  • No they don't take the disc out. That's exactly what I said to my pcp and he laughed and said they only remove enough to slide the spacer in. So the disc has bulged out the back (fusion was done through stomach).  
    Ouchy!
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  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971

    Ouchy

    That's really strange...  It was my understanding that in order to get bone on bone fusion to take that ALL of the disc material had to be removed... otherwise the fusion wouldn't take.  Hmmmm...   

    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
  • You know what hvills, I completely agree with you. I also think it's insane that this can/has happened. Especially since the surgeon said you could "take a chainsaw to it and it wouldn't move... Three months post op and its fusing wonderfully!" So how the hell did whatever piece of disk that is there even bulge out the back??!! I'm so distraught over this and in complete and utter pain and nobody seems to have any answers. I can't find a single other person that this has happened to.
    Ouchy!
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971

    Ouchy

    I think you should seek a second opinion... something sounds fishy with this one.

    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
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  • if i can post the images on here i will when i get home. this is the surgery i had, so the disc is bulging out the back.
    https://www.spine-health.com/video/alif-anterior-lumbar-interbody-fusion-video
    Ouchy!
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