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Lumbar Fusion!
An_252727 posted:
I am in the process of discovering that my l-4,5 and S-1 Fusion is failed. The bone is not growing or attaching to the titanium used to fuse these discs. What alternative choices will I be looking at as this comes to fruition? The Meylogram clearly shows this is certain and the neurosurgeon is consulting with the radiologist as we speak to determine the best course of me please I am so scared and the daunting thought of going through another surgery is causing me to have panic attacks and sleepless nights, not to mention the pain which is ever present. Anyone out there who has had a similar experience please reach out...

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Unsuccessful Lumbar Fusion L4 and 5 S-1
  • Have you had this surgery?
  • Was it successful?
  • Was it a failed attempt
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bj1208 responded:
Hi and welcome to the support group -

first - when did you have your fusion surgery. sometimes it can take up to a year or longer for the bon growth to fully grow.

second - have you gone for a 2nd opinon (and maybe a 3rd too). it's best to see what other spine specialist surgeons say. be sure they are spine specialist - you had your surgery done by a Neurosurgeon so I would suggest seeing another Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist and a Orthopedic Spine Specialist.

There could be numerous ways to correct this and the surgeon's would be best to answer your questions as they would have all the test results (MRI, CT Scan, Myelogram etc). we are lay people, like yourself and cannot diagnose anyone (also not permitted per WEBMD's guidlines). we used to have spine specialist physicians on our support board but they have not been around for a year or so.

Please let us know a little more and please get more opinions -this way you will know what you are up against.
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~
Bhart8888 replied to bj1208's response:
I am 18/19 months post final Lumbar fusion L4,5 and S1.
The Neurosurgeon that did the surgery is not my current Neurosurgeon. He said I should be showing signs of fusuion by now and it seems that is not the case. Do you know of anyone that I could speak to that may have experienced this?
Thank you.
An_250887 replied to Bhart8888's response:
I did not have this surgery, but had three back surgeries concerning L3-4 and L4-5 anterior fusion with a congenital fusion at L4-5 to S1.
My fusion took 18 months (bone growth is slow), and I ended up feeling far worse once I had a strong union. Now, this is my story, you must remember the grey areas of medicine and no two cases are exactly the same between surgical patients.
In my case, being short waisted, having the congentital fusion and increased scar tissue all led to having terrible SI joint pain. A long, solid fusion can put increased pressure and movement at areas above and below the fusion.
The pain started about three years post op and became increasingly worse over the years. Pre-op I had complained to the surgeon I could not hold my back in place on a windy day. I know, funny! Now, I would rather have a weak back over my now solid fusion. The horrific SI joint pain and the limits it has placed on my life is far worse for me. SI joint pain makes it much harder to stand, walk and sitting is close to impossible. When you take the activities of standing, walking and sitting out of your activity are left with laying.
While I do not know the details of your situation, but the non-union may not always be a bad thing. In my case, I was better off before my fusion became solid.
I hope and pray the surgical "failure" may be a good thing for you. Best of luck!

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For more information, visit the Duke Health Spine Center