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L2 - L5 Fusion

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I had a tri-level fuson done april 2005 and the results of my surgery was that the fusion didn't take. For the last 8 months i've been in pain, getting worse everyday. I am now taking medication again which was a goal for me to get off of it. I live live in the spokane, washington area, and have been trying to find a doctor that will see me. (i should mention that I had my sugery n los angeles.) every specialist here refuse to see me because of the procedure that I had. I do have a appointment aug. 30 with a doctor. (thank goodness.) my question is, if I don't have another surgery, will my hardware hold up without a solid fusion? I'm worried that one day my back will just fall apart and the screws and rods will come lose. Is that possible? And is there anything that I can do to prevent that.

Thank you

tim
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replied August 21st, 2006
Tim,

i am about six months out from surgery and have not started to fuse yet...I asked the doctor at that last visit what happens if I do not fuse and she said I would need more surgery! :shock:

this has been horrible for me since it was such a large fusion...L1 to s1. I would hope that you can find a surgeon to help you....If you cannot, are you able to go back to the surgeon that helped you with this surgery? Most surgeons usually do not like to operate to fix someone else's mistakes, but there are many reasons why we do not fuse...It may not be a mistake...


Did you use your own bone or cadaver bone? That makes a difference sometimes ....Did they use bmp?

I would think if you called one of the academic centers at the u of washington they might be willing to help you....They have an excellent team of surgeons there...


Good luck!


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replied August 21st, 2006
Frustrated
Thanks for the reply. The past year has been really frustrating. My surgeon in calif. Gave me a referral to see a doctor here in spokane before I moved. He said he is a well know specialist, and would see me as soon as I moved. Well, when I got here I found out that he wouldn't see me. Didn't want to treat me because of prior surgery. And at that time I only wanted to see him for follow up. That was in aug 2005, just 3 months after my fusion. Well since then, my back has gotten worse. I'm now taking just as much, or more medication than before my surgery. In fact my back pain is alittle worse than before. My primary doctor has been good to me, (taking xrays, lab work, etc.) anyway, i've tried almost every doctor in spokane (that has been recommended) and they just don't want anything to do with me. I send my records and films to my surgeon in calif. And he said that the fusion hasn't taken, and probable won't, and that I would need another proceedure done so that my back would be more stable. So if all else fails, I can always fly to calif. And have him do it. This back problem has been a problem for 16 years now. Just want to move on with my life and get better. I take a hand full of pills twice a day, and i'm tired of it. Anyway, thanks for listening.

Tim
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replied August 21st, 2006
Tim,

this is terrible...I have the castle/connolly book of top docs...If you want I can try to find a top doc near you that might help...Sometimes the academics will try to help. I just hope I start to fuse. My doc is a upset that my insurance did not pay him enough for the surgery, so I am seeing his partner now. She told me if I do not fuse I will need more surgery. I cannot go through this surgery again. I do not need to tell you how painful this all is...



Did you have a 360 fusion with the cages in the front and then rods and screws in the back? Originally, a doc at hopkins wanted to do a bone on bone fusion where they use no hardware...Just grind up the bone they remove and pack it in for the fusion. I was afraid of that surgery. I just am praying I do not have to go through this again...I do not think I could handle it at all....

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replied August 22nd, 2006
Yes I had the cages put in. They went in from the front and then from the rear. Surgery took almost 9 hours. Had complications too. Blood pressure wouldn't go down. Found out that I had a blood clot go into my lung. So they had to do a emergency procedure and install a green filter. Not looking forward to another surgery. But actually, i'm hoping that another surgery will decrease the pain. My doctor says that its no gauentee.
I do have a apt. With a doctor at the end of the month. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he will take me. First time in one year that a doctor will even get me into his office. Best of luck with your recovery.

Tim
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