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Fusion Recovery

Started by pain in pa on 12/15/2010 2:58am

I am new to the comminity. I hurt my back 16 years ago in a car accidnet. I had a rupture in l5-si and herniation at l4-5. I spent the last ten years doing anything possiable to put off a to put off a fusion. I went to the Chiro for years, had an IDET proceedure, radio frequency three times, at least 15 epidurals, 5-6 rounds of faucet injections. I had a spinal cord stimulator implanted back in April of 08. The stimulator work so well that I was cutting wood (something that I could have never done without the stimulator) and felt something pop in my back. I have been a mess ever since. I get a pop in my back and I am down for the count until I get another pop and then I am ok again. When it pops I have pain and weakness in both legs and feet non stop. I spent almost a year where I would eak my way through work and then home and right to bed.

I finally lost stability and I had a two level PILF with hardware back on Sept 10th. I was recovering fine and started P/T by the end of October. On my 4th P/T treatment the Threapist had me doing back extentions (have always been a problem for me). I had the pop in my back and almost fell to the floor. I have been a mess ever since. It feels like it's above the fused level. The surgery was done by a very good Neurosurgeon. I really think the world of Him. I have not see the Neoro since the surgery. I have had three appointments but they have all been with his P.A. I don't go to see the Neuro until 1-5.

The P.A. took xrays and said that I may have problems with a disc above fused levels. He really didn't do anything for me. He told me to rest and heal up until I see the Neuro. I asked the P/T Threapist if damage to a disc at my l3 or l2 could cause pain in my hip and thigh. She then told me that my l3 was fused. Long story short, the PA had written three P/T perscriptions listing that I had a fusion at l3-l4 and l4-l5. That was incorrect. My fusion was l5-si and l4-l5.

I could just scream and I need some advise.

Sorry for rambling...

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3 Responses


hi pain in PA.
the pt really messed you up by doing the extentions so soon after surgery. where its been only 3.5 months i doubt the surgeon is going to do anything too soon. after the surgeon examines you i bet he will do an mri to get some solid info. hopefully some conservative treatment will help. so its a wait and see game. keep us posted and lay low....peter


Hello Pete,

Thanks for the words of wisdom. I called the Neuro yesterday and he is scheduling an MRI with and without contract. Hopefully it will come back clear.



Hello Everyone,

After getting the results of a few CT scans, two of the cages migrated and are compressing nerves. The Doc ordered another CT scan to determine if the bone scan has healed enough to remove the hardware. He is planning on removing additional bone from the vertabraes to eleviate the pressure. It can't come soon enough.

I have a question about the Ct scan. One of the pedical screws that holds the hardware does not seem to be implanted into the vertebral body. It clearly goes through the lamina but missed the body. Does this sound normal? I am concerned that the hardware may have been misaligned and that it may have lead to the cage migration.

Let me know what you think please.