Failed lumbar fusion

Posted by rsrwa @rsrwa, Jan 24, 2018

I ruptured a disc in my lower back and had a L5 S1 Fusion back in 1998 I’ve been having chronic back pain for the last 10 years I just saw my orthopedic surgeon and come to find out that my Fusion never completely fused. My hardware is bitallerally fractured and is pushed it my nerve root. My L4 is so arthritic that they have to take that one out also. They would have to take out my what’s left of my fusion with the fractured Hardware and then take out at L4 and then fuse up . I was given 3 options 1)- live with it , 2)- oblasion but the nerves do grow back in a couple of years, 3) have the extensive fusion? I work nurse in a orthopedic department so my job is alot of bending. Not sure what to do.

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I’m so sorry to hear of your problem with back.That’s a difficult decision to make I’m a nurse and have a L2fracture the Dr.wanted to put I call it cement to build up my vertebra but after talking to others I declined and just strengthened my core and back muscles.This was in 2005 and I had to retire till this day I have to lay down in afternoon to rest back.Good luck I’ll pray for you ,let God help you make this hard decision.Linda

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@rsrwa
Welcome to Mayo Connect. I am a volunteer mentor, and I am sorry to hear of your failed fusion and continuing back problems. You will find other members here who will relate their experiences to you, but please remember we are not medical professionals and we cannot give you medical advice or diagnose problems. We can give you ideas on how our own back issues are being addressed, and support your search for relief.

I have had my own back problems, and had a laminectomy of my L5-S1a year ago. I am pretty much pain free at this time. My brothers both have had fusions and my oldest brother has nearly his entire back fused at this point. He’s 75 years old. May I ask your age? That may have some bearing on your decision.

Have you obtained a second opinion about the course of action to help your back? It sounds like all the decisions you have to make are difficult. Perhaps hearing from another spine specialist would help you choose.

If you are close to a Mayo Clinic, you may want to consider getting a second opinion from them. The moderator of this group can help you get an appointment with the right doctor if you would like.

I hope you hear from other members on this topic and that you find information that will help you make your decision. Your comfort is important in your quality of life, so I hope you find relief. Please keep us informed on your progress.

Gail B
Volunteer Mentor

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@gailb

@rsrwa
Welcome to Mayo Connect. I am a volunteer mentor, and I am sorry to hear of your failed fusion and continuing back problems. You will find other members here who will relate their experiences to you, but please remember we are not medical professionals and we cannot give you medical advice or diagnose problems. We can give you ideas on how our own back issues are being addressed, and support your search for relief.

I have had my own back problems, and had a laminectomy of my L5-S1a year ago. I am pretty much pain free at this time. My brothers both have had fusions and my oldest brother has nearly his entire back fused at this point. He’s 75 years old. May I ask your age? That may have some bearing on your decision.

Have you obtained a second opinion about the course of action to help your back? It sounds like all the decisions you have to make are difficult. Perhaps hearing from another spine specialist would help you choose.

If you are close to a Mayo Clinic, you may want to consider getting a second opinion from them. The moderator of this group can help you get an appointment with the right doctor if you would like.

I hope you hear from other members on this topic and that you find information that will help you make your decision. Your comfort is important in your quality of life, so I hope you find relief. Please keep us informed on your progress.

Gail B
Volunteer Mentor

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Hi thank for your commit if you are talk to me but I unless you had a tumor on the inside of your spine eroding the inside of your spine cof up blood cause your system organ where shuting down where they cut or saw on a v clean out inside of eroding bone and tumor coming out spine cord then screw bone or spine back together you should look up spine tumor inside i I am on doctor but probably a million people have what you have acordding to Google only 10,000 people have a that surgery only 28% live past a certain amount of years you see I didn’t go to doctor when I had a back ache I went to the doctor when I couldn’t stand my legs were purple num before a I say more you see I didn’t go to a doctor for a back ache I went to a doctor to save my life when a tumor blocks your blood flow to the nervice system you you a person I very very very bad shape. I give ladies a lot of Credit you Know why this is what I tell guys who are married you are lucky to have a wife if I had someone to care I probably would of or she would have told me go to doctor 2 years before surgery then I had a back surgery like yours I waited till I was 3/4 dead being alone since 20 and then 25 years past a real man can get really stoborn when he never has a shoulder to cry on how many man can say that … Look how long it took me what I been threw to say it to you. I am tied and in pain

Sincerely

Trueheart

PS

I stop taking pain pills a month half after surgery I don’t drink alcohol believe me I have pain

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@lioness

I’m so sorry to hear of your problem with back.That’s a difficult decision to make I’m a nurse and have a L2fracture the Dr.wanted to put I call it cement to build up my vertebra but after talking to others I declined and just strengthened my core and back muscles.This was in 2005 and I had to retire till this day I have to lay down in afternoon to rest back.Good luck I’ll pray for you ,let God help you make this hard decision.Linda

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O I don’t think the surgery failed thought I am not a doctor

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@trueheart

Welcome to Mayo Connect @trueheart. I’m sorry to read that you waited so long, until you couldn’t walk, before you sought treatment from a doctor. Now it sounds as if you regret waiting so long, as you say many men do. I appreciate your warning others to take care of themselves before their problems are beyond repair. I wish you’d had a person’s shoulder to cry on in your younger years.

I hear your pain and I wish you were taking something to help with that. You must be incredibly strong to be able to handle it without medication. Have you asked your doctor about getting some help with your pain?

We all at some time realize that even with a spouse or other close friend, we are the ones who must save ourselves. Thank you for reminding us of this truism.

Gail B
Volunteer Mentor

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Hi did you look it up spine tumor

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I had a cyst on my spine 20 years ago and had surgery to remove it. 14 days later I had surgery again to remove a blood clot at the same sit. In July 2022 I had a back fusion surgery when the pain got so bad I could hardly sit or walk. That fusion has failed. I now have four fractured vertebra for the screws used to hold the fusion were too large for me and the screws themselves are pulling out and pressing on my spinal cord. I was told I have to have another surgery,far more extensive where they cut the back and remove the ruined fusion and then cut the front to attach things. It is a two day operation, 16 hours under anesthetic and is scheduled for Jan.17 and 19. recovery is 3 to 6 months. has anyone else done this and how successful was the outcome?

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@bgl1

I had a cyst on my spine 20 years ago and had surgery to remove it. 14 days later I had surgery again to remove a blood clot at the same sit. In July 2022 I had a back fusion surgery when the pain got so bad I could hardly sit or walk. That fusion has failed. I now have four fractured vertebra for the screws used to hold the fusion were too large for me and the screws themselves are pulling out and pressing on my spinal cord. I was told I have to have another surgery,far more extensive where they cut the back and remove the ruined fusion and then cut the front to attach things. It is a two day operation, 16 hours under anesthetic and is scheduled for Jan.17 and 19. recovery is 3 to 6 months. has anyone else done this and how successful was the outcome?

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Hello @bgl1, welcome to Connect. That is an unbelievable story of yours. I'm sorry for all you've been through with your back. You must have mastered the skill of resilience by now because you sure have been through a rough patch, While I have not had back procedures such as yours, and no one has responded yet to your questions, I'd like to introduce you to my fellow Mentor, Jennifer @jenniferhunter. She has back experience and may be a good person to chat with or guide you to others with similar situations.

I have a chronic pain disorder called Central Sensitization Syndrome and was treated at Mayo Pain Rehab Center where many failed back surgery patients also attend in order to help manage chronic pain situations.

Your surgeries are coming up soon and I wish you the best for a positive outcome that will leave you in a better place. Stay strong! You got this.

May I ask where your surgeries will take place?

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I will be at Montefiore UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pa

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@bgl1

I will be at Montefiore UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pa

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Have you been there before?

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