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Lumbar fusion not fused after 19 months
jenafur_ posted:
I had a lumbar fusion done on my L5 S1 with instrumentation. I am in constant pain on a daily basis. I tell my doctor all the time. He has me on Tramadol and Percocet. I am so tired of taking medication. He ordered a CAT Scan. I had it done and he gave me the results yesterday. We had talked about taking the hardware out because he thinks that's whats bothering me. Keep in mind, I'm 25 and weigh 118 pounds. I am very small. He says I'm very thin and that's why I'm in so much pain.
He told me the CAT scan looked fine, the report was fine. The only thing was that he couldn't take the hardware out because I haven't fused yet. Shouldn't I have fused by now? Anyways, he also told me my other option was having surgery through my stomach to place these "discs" to hold my spine in place. And after I would heal, he would cut my back open and take out the hardware. I don't know what to do. This is hard news. Can someone give me some feedback on this? I just don't want to be in pain anymore. I'm so young and have 3 little ones that I can barely pick up.
HurtingAlways responded:
I have fused but my doctor says it is not good to take the hardware out.
An_249370 responded:
Hi Jenafur, I had a L5 S1 fusion that healed bone wise but was a failure because it didn't help the pain. From what I know, been told and read, a fusion typicallly takes a year to heal solid. However, I used a device called a bone generator to speed up the healing. I had the hardware removed after a year. That helped, I am also very thin and it was thought the metal screws were hitting nerves. Getting it out solved the nerve pain but not the back problem L5 had slide forward.
I later had a poster anterior fusion done, the surgery was very hard but it helped with my back problem enough so I could go back to work and other activities for 13 years. Currently I need a double fusion done on 2 areas above this. I would recommend a second opinion on this guys surgery plan as the anterior surgery is really hard and to do surgery twice is tough with: pretty long recoveries, lifting and moving restrictions. I'm asuming you tried the various steriod injections, nerve ablation, physical therapy, massage, accupunction or a brace? Are your pain meds effective? if they do not help enough with the pain it just leaves you hurting while struggling with the side effects too?

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