Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Includes Expert Content
    HELP! I'm a Medtronics Infuse Bone Graft recipient
    MeatBR posted:
    I sure hope I can get some feedback from others who have this type of surgey it would be greatly appreciated! One month ago I had the L-4, L-5, and S-1 vertebrae fused at South Texas Spine Clinic using the Medtronics Infuse Bone Graft. I have two screws in each vertebrae, the screws are 7mm x 35mm. They used CoreLink PLZF Cases and everything is held together by 5.5mm x 70mm rods. Although it has greatly relieved my previous pain from the degenerative discs and osteophytes which were constantly pinching my nerves, I now have sharp pains that feel like they are coming from the screws along with Sciatica attacks. I have a 4 month old son that weighs about 20 pounds and a 2 1/2 yr old son that is hell on wheels that I am gradually helping my poor wife with again. I have been doing all the walking and other therapy that I am supposed to do but I'm still in severe pain and last weekend I washed, dried and folded about 4 loads of clothes, all the while doing a lot of bending over. I have been dealing with a sharp pain in my lower left side of my back right in the area of the screws and sciatica all week long and today I lifted my 4 month old son ( 20 lbs.)out of his bassinet and carried him to another room where I placed him in his bouncer. I got hit with a mind boggling pain from that same area and it shot right down the left side of my leg. I obviously have alot of questions here and I'm rambling but I guess what I'm trying to find out is where I should be at this point in my recovery and is it possible I dislodged or loosened one of the implant screws when I picked up my fat but very cute little son. And if so, what are the consequences?
    dianer01 responded:
    Hi Meatbr:

    Welcome. I am very concerned you are overdoing the activities, especially the lifting and bending. I had L3-S1 fused, rods and screws, it sounds similar to what you had done. As I recall I had some very specific limitations about bending and lifting. Such as no bending for the first 3 months and lifting was limited to about 5 lbs for a like time frame.

    I think you should be calling your doctor about the pain you are having and talking to the doc or your physical therapist about bending and lifting and what is appropriate for your situation.

    I started off healing very well and quick so I started overdoing everything. Name it, housework, exercise, working overtime and everything else you could think of. And I was in major pain again about 5 months out and really never felt better until about the one year mark. So my guidance along with talking to the professionals is don't over over do even if you feel pretty good because you may pay for it in the long run.
    bj1208 responded:
    hi and welcome to the support group -

    I have to agree with Diane01 - it does sound as though you are overdoing everything -

    I had Anterior Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 (no bone graft) and I was forbidden from doing any type of lifting except for my purse and the surgeon was not too happy with that so I had to remove a lot of items from my purse to keep the weight down. I was told at my 6th week post op that I was 100% fused.

    at my 2nd month post op I was allowed to walk small distances and increase it slowly - I did this for 2 months and everything was great then my pains came back and were worse than before my surgery. I was told to stop the walking and was told to not do anything - at my 8th month post op I was released from the surgeons' care and told to go to physical therapy and to go to a PHYSIATRIST Pain Management Clinic.

    It takes time to heal on the inside - like Diane stated, up to a year and during this time we must do as the surgeon says - even though we might feel great and start to do things we used to before we eventually end up in pain and usually in bed for a couple of days because of the severity of the pains.

    please do contact your surgeon and speak with him/her about the pains etc. And slow down on all that you are doing as that is too much and you don't want to do any damage to the surgery sites -

    please let us know how u are doing - take care - Joy
    Rafael Levin, MD, MSc responded:
    You are currently only one month out of a 2 level instrumented spinal fusion. I am in agreement with the other respondents that based on your description of your activities, you are overdoing it particularly in terms of activities requiring lifting and bending. Furthermore, you seem to have a somewhat unrealistic expectation as to the time frame for recovery. You have to understand that the fusion needs months to heal. In the meantime your best activity is walking until your surgeon will stary you on a physical therapy program. I tell my patients that I would like them to increase their walking after surgery so that by 3-6 weeks post surgery they are able to walk for a full mile. I recommend minimal lifting and repetitive bending at this state particularly since these activities clearly worsen you symptoms. On the positive side, it is very unlikely that you have dislodged or loosened your implant and screws, and therefore it is unlikely that you will have long term consequences to your over activity at this point. Your surgeon will most likely obtain Xray or other imaging studies on your next follow up visit to confirm stable position of all hardware. I wish you a speedy and full recovery.
    clawz responded:
    I have tried to reply 3 times and maybe it's the site or they don't like the truth. Google "Medtronic Infuse Lawsuit" and you will see that in your case, one of the main side affects is increased terrible pain. In my case, it was used in my nck at 3 levels and was NEVER approved for the neck at all. My main side affect if not death in the hospital is a 5 fold increase in developing cancer. Anyway, do your research. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the sooner you know the sooner you might be able to do something about it. Good luck !
    bj1208 replied to clawz's response:
    hi and welcome to the support group -

    we appreciate the info you have given regarding the lawsuit on Medtronics - but wanted to let you know you are responding to a post from almost a year ago - we have not heard from MeatBR since this original posting.

    It is true, research should be done on all implants being considered as with any type of spine surgery.

    I hope and pray that you can get resolution in your case - please keep us posted as to how u are doing and what's going on -

    also, please remember, WEBMD's guidelines prohibits listing personal information relating to physicians and/or hospitals.

    take care- Joy
    kikiv43 replied to clawz's response:
    I was wondering if the pain
    A) goes down your spine
    never seems to get better??
    I had that poison put in my cervical spine
    C3 through C7.. No one ever asked me if it was okay to
    Kill me if they had I would of said NO..
    And in 2006 & again in 2008 they were told not to use it in the cervical & thoracic spine also known as off labe usel!!!
    I have 3 cages painted with infuse BMP.... the pain seems to be getting worse..
    And all the Dr's stick together..sad but true..
    Funny part besides the nerves that are pinched they can't figure why I have the pain.. Well I can I was poisned!!
    Any thoughts???

    Helpful Tips

    Making the Most of Your Doctor Visit #2Expert
    Here are the rest of the suggestions (had to break into to two parts due to the character limits) 5. Make sure that all records ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    39 of 54 found this helpful

    Helpful Resources

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Spine Center