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Another Spinal Fusion Surgery??
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cspine75 posted:
Greetings I am a first time poster. I had my first spinal fusion surgery in 2004 - T2-L3, steel rods and screws. After years of pain, I found out that three of the bone fusions did not take and as a result of the motion, one of my steel rods snapped in half. The other was bent and about to break. I had my second surgery this past August. They removed all old hardware, repaired the failed fusions, and installed new hardware from T5-T-11. I just went in for a follow up. I have been in excruciating pain since the surgery (I thought it was par for the course), have had full back spasming (sp?) without relief (yes, I take muscle relaxers), and have been experiencing low back pain like never before. I just found out that the lumbar below the fusion is deteriorating quickly. I have an MRI and more x-rays coming up (not only am I bionic, I am sure I must glow in the dark from all of the radiation by now - keep waiting for my super powers to kick in to make all of this worth it) and according to my surgeon, a lumbar fusion is inevitable. I am 37 years old. If what he is saying is accurate, and he is an absolutely amazing surgeon (he only did the second surgery), I may end up being fused from T2-S1. I can't even imagine this. Has anyone had a fusion of that size? For those with lumbar fusions, what is your range of motion like? Does anyone have any advice? I am admittedly freaking out and just heartbroken. I am so tired of the pain, so tired of going to the doctor, just tired of it all. I know many of you can relate, which is why I am turning to fellow fusies (yes, I just made that word up!), because others just can't understand (and I thank God that they can't!). Anything you can tell me will be appreciated. Much peace and love to all!
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trs1960 responded:
I'm fused from T4-L3 and its been a long twelve years since I was injured. There's a lot of variables so I don't want to paint a dark picture when you need to remain optimistic. I like the confidence you have in your surgeon, that's important. You can do it, it won't be easy.

Bless you and good luck. Learn all you can about spines and pain. Knowledge is an important tool to best outcome.

Tim
 
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trs1960 replied to trs1960's response:
Along with the loss of motion and hardware, I was crushed over 3" broke 8 ribs and suffered a significant subdural hematoma. I still have worked full time although I'm out looking at my options right now as I seem to have ran myself aground. Severe chronic pain can be managed, but it is a silent ambiguous disease with by definition no cure. A positive attitude and good doctors (MD& PHD) are paramount.
 
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nolan1100 responded:
Cspine75,
My father has a seven level fusion beginning at s1. He previously had a 2 level that had to be removed, scar tissue debraided and new hardware installed. The good news: he was 67 y/o at the time of surgeries (one surgery to remove old hardware, the second 5 days later in ICU to debraid scar tissue and start installing hardward. And finally the third 4 days later in ICU to complete install)
At the time of surgery, he was scoliosed sp? approximately 65 degrees and his internal organs were getting crushed. He is now 75, lives with a SMALL AMOUNT OF PAIN mostly in his right leg which is handled with a small dose of narcotics and Gabapentin.
The bad news: Really none. If I had to be picky, his original surgeon should never have tried the two level without a bone density scan. My dad broke above the original fusion within 2 years. His spine was so badly damaged that he should have had the seven level from the beginning.
Thank god for the MAYO clinic. I truly believe they kept him alive by a great team approach. There was an ortho, neuro and a cardio IN THE ROOM for each surgery, and they were able to stop when his body needed to recover.
Ironically, I am scheduled for a single level ADR at L4-5 next month. I have DDD (which isn't from my dad, I'm adopted) and a tear at L4-5 that causes severe sciatica. Got my fingers crossed for a good outcome.
 
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Jolene291 responded:
I have had T2-S1. Last surgery was October of 2004. I can bend from my hips but can not twist. Range of motion is a little depressing since all is fused; you are straight as a board, everyday I want to slouch a little Over all I'm good, I exercise, dance and can ride bikes most things I can do. I have been trying yoga and like it; but I have issues with poses like child's, or runners lunge because its like my feamer bone doesn't work with my hip socket, that's frustrating not sure why and can't find answers (so if anyone knows anything please post, I'm feeling a little defeated)

I'm 35 now, I've had 4 surgeries because first round had complications those 2 were in 2002-03 area. Got infected from broken rods so everything had to be redone. Not really any pain anymore. Haven't had to take long term meds since 04 hope this helps. If you have any other questions I will be happy to answer if I can.


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