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Fail spinel fusion

Started by Bobby J L on 04/25/2017 1:59pm

Have fail spinal fusion and loose screws.is it worst having 2nd fusion.l4 l5

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We are so sorry to hear about your failed spinal fusion surgery, Bobby J L. Every patient and procedure is unique, so we can't say for sure whether a second surgery is the best option for you. However, we'd like to share some content that we think may apply to you.

This article describes what you should expect in terms of treatment after a failed back surgery.
( Treatment for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome ).

We're also sharing this article ( Non-operative Interventions for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome ), because you have other options besides surgery. If you feel like your spine specialist is pushing a treatment on you that you're not fully comfortable with, you should seek a second opinion ( Second Opinions: Five Things About This Patient Right ). Getting another perspective may give you confidence moving forward with treatment.

We wish you the very best of luck!


Hi Bobby, I hope my story will help you feel less alone. In 2005 after a rollerblading accident I had my L5S1 vertebrae fused. They went in from the back and used cadaver bone with a cage and 4 screws. I did well for about 4 months and then my pain got worse.
I was told prior to surgery that fusions have a 50/50 chance, but I was unable to get out of bed so I went for it.
Fast forward to 2009, I had been seeing a pain management doctor since before my fusion and had several different types of treatment including trigger point injections, RF, facet blocks, etc. and was on 100mcg Fentanyl patches. I was still unable to work or have tolerable pain. I even had a spinal cord stimulator implant that I left on 24/7. Finally after telling my doc that something wasn't right, he sent me for a CT scan that showed I was not fully fused.
I found the best neurosurgeon on the West coast and had my fusion redone. This time they went in from the front and back and used 3 screws with cadaver bone and some sort of material to increase bone calcification. I went down to 50mcg Fentanyl patches.
I did well again for about 6 months and was off all the hardcore medications; taking Percocet as needed and walking daily. I did aquatic PT and needed to have my pelvis realigned to assist with pain from misalignment.
In 2011 I was back on Fentanyl patches so I could have some normalcy in life. I had spent several months unable to get out of bed. It was incredibly painful to stand or sit.
About 6 months ago I began having more pain in other areas of my spine as well as low back where fusion was. I have arthritis at C2 that causes a severe "headache like" issue that causes me to vomit and sleep for periods up to 48 hours. I have some sort of tumor in my T2 and T6 vertebrae that was discovered in an MRI after my PM doc planned to do RF to kill the nerves bothering me and an x-ray of my lumbar spine showed one of the pedicle screws had broken. I told several doctors in 2010 that I heard a popping clicking sound in my low back that caused pain, but was never sent for tests.
I wish I had never had the fusion to begin with and instead went with more medication, PT, and outpatient procedures. However, I'm looking at my third fusion and the possibility of more surgery in my thoracic spine. I'm currently taking 50 mcg Fentanyl patches, Baclofen, klonapin and anti nausea medication. My pain level has not been below a 7 since my initial injury. I was willing to live at 7 because it could've been so much worse. I will see the Neurosurgeon in a few weeks and find out what he would like to do as treatment.
I can tell you that if you live in a State that had medicinal marijuana, that when I could afford it, CBD's gave me an incredible amount of pain and symptom relief. CBD's do not get you "high" and are wonderful for many ailments. I don't think they would've stopped my screw from fracturing, but they gave me a quality of life I have not experienced in over a decade.
I'm sorry if I rambled. I don't post on sites like this or even use Facebook, lol.
I hope you feel better and appreciate the times you have less pain. I don't think the pain is worse the second time around.