Fusions can fail??

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I had a spinal fusion ( XLIF-eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion) 3 weeks ago and I had no idea they could fail until I've read some of your discussions! Mine was L2 L3 L4, which seems to be "nothing" compaired to some of yours, I'm feeling good still "surgery sore", at my 2 week check up with surgeon the x-rays they took looked great and he was very pleased.  I go back again the end of the month and then I'll start physical therapy, (also have issues with knee replacement surgery from 10 months ago).  What are the signs that the fusion failed, pain again?

PattyLee

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  • Posted

    Hi PattyLee,

    I think you should be okay. L5-S1 is the most likely to fail because it's at the tailbone where you bend a lot.  That's where mine failed.  I had a fusion from L2-S1 and L2, L3, L4 are fine. I had pain again while sitting - an MRI showed that it had failed. Plus my surgeon told me right after the surgery that it might fail because a screw didn't go in right!  He fused it again - and it has failed a 2nd time. My new doctor (not going back to the surgeon that failed it twice!) says not to fuse it again.  I'm okay as long as I don't sit too long.  So I mostly lay in bed or on the couch okay.  I have pain if I walk too!  Good luck to you.  I haven't had knee problems, but it might be time for you to get a new MRI or CT scan of your knee.  Take care.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, I've been resting & doing everything my surgeon has told me to do to heal. This may sound crazy but I didn't realize I had back problems before I had total knee replacement surgery. Just thought my back was bothering me due to limping before my knee surgery.  Of course the damaged nerves in my back controll the quads/leg muscles for the knee I had surgery on.  I'll start physcial therapy again after my fusion heals & the plan is now that my back is fixed the nerves will connect with my leg & I'll have complete use of it again.
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    • Posted

      Oh wow, good luck with your legs. YOu might want to get a Medtronic Neurostimulator in the future - it really helps with your legs.  There's a new one out called Nevro Sensa that my neurosurgeon has suggested, but I've read a lot of negative reports - causing more pain, the battery has to be charged daily, and the battery burns your skin while it's charging.  So I am not sure if I want to even try th at.  Good Luck to you!  Or your could try a sympathetic nerve block for your legs.  I just had one, and got some relief in my right foot wh ere I have severe neuropathy. So next, they are going to do a Radio Frequency Ablation and burn the nerve.  That's scary too!

       

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    • Posted

      Lindagkelly, Thanks for the info. I've been using a Tens Machine on my quads to try and stimulate my leg muscles, so far no luck. Not sure if it's similar to what  you're talking about but I'll check it out. I go back to my dr. the end of the month and will start physical therapy. He did tell me my case is unusual, I also have muscle atrophy and it would  be close to a year before my leg would be working properly.  Good luck to you on your next procedure!

       

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  • Posted

    My fusion was booked for 20/1 now bloody postponed due to high admissions

    so p*ssed off can't work as too much pain etc and continuous problems from HR if I were able I'd tell them to stuff it but this was work accident now can't get fixed until???

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  • Posted

    Pattylee,

    The signs of failed fusion are just pain, and they can't figure out where the pain is coming from, I had so many procedures done after the fusion they get to the point the give up amd say there is nothing more than can do for you, physical therapy for me was the worse every time I went they pushed you so much that I would be in pain for 3 days, it was horrible, the simplest thing as tying your shoes, or just every day walking hurts, i never thought someone could go through some much pain for 20 years plus and still have no relief, it really sucks, I got hurt at 24 and I'll be 45 next month, I missed my only daughter grow up because of pain, at one point I just would push through the pain so I could do things with my daughter, I actually apologized to her cause I said to her that I feel she had gotten cheated at of a mom and she said no mom because you would do anything for me in pain, I cried so hard cause for years I thought she hated that she didn't have a mom that could just go running but I did to it even though I was hurting I still pushed my body would end up in bed but I still did mom things, and she said to me was that she was proud of me to go through what I have gone through, I'm proud to say I am still in pain and now I have 2 grand babies who I try to be with every moment possible, so please do what you can don't over do it, and I was one out of 1000 patients to be failed, so just because some of us have failed doesn't mean you will, keep up your spirits and you will be find, alot has changed since the 90's I was just one of the the 1 and 1000 to end up failed, plus of previous problems!! Stay focused on healing, you'll be OK!!

    Cindy

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    • Posted

      Cynthia, Our children forgive us and love us much more than we can ever imagine. I have been in pain for 12 years. Can't believe how the time goes by. The worst is not being able to do things with your children and grandchildren.  But they understand, and want to help.  They are truly a blessing.
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