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Surgery to Remove S1-L4 Hardware and Extend Fusion from S1-L2 - Posterier

Started by jam84041 on 06/29/2012 3:41pm

Hi My first lumbar surgery in 2005 fused S1-L4, have had problems at L4-2 including a discectomy/laminectomy in 2008. The problems just keep getting worse and now I have degeneration and instability/spondylolisthesis at L4-2, causing my back to "catch" and narrowing of the spinal column because of the instability. I have tried everything there is to try and live with this, but have decided to go ahead with major surgery. I've had opinions from 3 different surgeons. The surgery will go through the back, remove the old fusion hardware from S1-L4, fix whatever is going on with L4-2 in the discs, and have a new fusion that will extend from S1-L2. It will be all one piece. I'm just ready to get "fixed" and am willing to go through whatever I have to if it will increase the quality of my life. I'm tired of this. I am wondering if anyone else has had this type of removal/replace surgery, and would like to hear your stories, comments, advice, etc. Thanks!

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4 Responses


just remember that every time they open you up , there is more *Scaring built up that causes
chronic pain . iv'e had two surgeries / *L-4-5 , *S-1 *fusion laminectomy . one to put hardware
IN > another to remove hardware . Eleven years left with *chronic severe pain . no real answer
from anyone as to where does one go from here about chronic pain / scar tissue from surgeries .
get very vague answers ... "might be this , could be that ? very disheartening to get thru each day .
look your surgeon in the eye , and ask him to tell you ..."the downside" of what its like after your
type of surgery for chronic pain .
good luck .


How did your fusion extension go, are you having good results?

Myself, I'm in a similar situation. I'm looking at my 4th lower back surgery. I started out in '95 with Spinal Stenosis and degenerated discs, pain radiating down both my legs with numbness and weakness. Had my 1st surgery in Feb '96. I scarred up badly and was in worse pain after about a month of my surgery than I was before the surgery. After a couple years the scarring broke up enough that I was able to return to work, but was always in constant pain, but tolerable at that point. My doctor told me way back then that I would need to undergo another surgery as my spinal canal was so bad that I was close to being paralyzed.

Fast forward to 2012, my legs were going numb and weak on me again. Had my 2nd surgery, (clean up of the stenosis), in Oct 2012 and after 2 months of recuperation I felt great. I went back to work in Dec and by March I was in so much pain again I couldn't stand it. At that point I was totally unable to work and went out on permanent disability at age 53. Had my 3rd surgery in Oct 2013, this time they fused me from L2-L5 and got rid of 3 degenerated discs. Again, post surgery I was feeling really good, still had some pain but tolerable. At this point I was going to have double knee surgery which I had been putting off for almost 3 years because something seemed to always come up and get in the way. I was getting ready to have it done this summer 2014, but now my S1 disc is all torn up. Blaming myself because I tend to bend to pick things up instead of kneeling or squatting... circle back around to the knee surgery that kept getting pushed off. If I could have had that done, I most likely would not have torn up the S1 disc so soon!

So in about 3 weeks I'll be going back in and having them extend my fusion, so now I'll be fused from L2 - S1.


Had a S1-L5 fusion in 2013. Felt great afterwards. In 2014 experienced debilitating pain in lower back. Had an extension of the fusion to incorporate L3 and L4. Felt fine post-op. Started rehab and experienced severe pain. Discontinued rehab and have had "notchy" lower back movement along with severe pain. Have been told to wait and see until today. I'm told the fusion was fine and I would just have to undergo pain management. Cannot stand nor walk for more than 20 minutes. The pain and notchiness is local to the extended fusion area, but I'm told it is just arthritis. Any ideas?


I had L2-S1 fused 7 months ago today. 2 previous laminectomy's at L4-5 and L5-S21.

I am up, walking, and not so much in pain, but very stiff and I feel like I can feel the hardware. CT Scan last week showed fusion is occurring at L4-5 and L5-S1 but only bony bridging at L2-3-4. Cannot sleep at night as it hurts and getting through the day is tough. I am physically fit but exhausted.

How long will this stiff feeling take to go away and how long till the entire surgical area is fused?