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PLIF S1-L4 7months ago...QUESTIONS

talia22ttalia22 Posts: 15
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I has my surgery 7mths ago and i just got my first xray to see if it was fusing. I havent had the dr read it yet but i was wondering for other people who have had this or similar surgery should i expect it to have started to fuse?

I have been seeing my regular dr regularly for medication etc but my surgeon doesnt care to see me. He has not been very informative. I dont know what i should and souldnt be doing- i have gone back to most everyday activites such as cleaning and cooking and taking care of my dogs. I guess I am just asking if anyone can talk to me about their simlar expierences,when they started to fuse and when they fully fused ( I have a cadaver bone- I requested my own but during the surgery the surgeon for whatever reason changed his mind)
Does anyone have any info advice etc??
Thank you


  • Hi Julie,

    Welcome to Spine-Health. :)

    I'm having the same 2-level PLIF (using cadaver bone) that you had and my surgeon said to expect 5 months to fusion. That is probably an average figure and it may be that other surgeons give a different length of time, I don't know, but that's what I've been told.

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • I was told 3-6 months for fusion. We'll see since I'm well behind you on the journey. Mine was also cadaver bone.
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  • I've read 6-18 months for a solid fusion. That is why many surgeons try to wait as long as they can before trying to revise that bone.

  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,082
    I had my L3-S1 fusion 2/2010 and my fusion has begun. Saw the surgeon a few weeks ago and he said all signs are that the fusion is progressing. I did have a bone growth stimulator I wore at the fusion site for 5 months. That probably helped.

    If you find you still need pain meds at this point consider starting treatment with a Pain Management physician. Mine is fantastic and my surgeon was more than happy to have me begin my treatment with my PM doc once again when I was 3 weeks post-op
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Hi Julie
    I too had the same 2 level fusion but with my own bone. Ive got my 6 month xray and appointment with consultant on monday.

    I too felt very alone after the operation and didnt have any info about do's and dont's.
    All I was ever told was to try it and if it hurt then stop.
    I have been swimming a couple of times a week and get on with housework etc
    I havent been able to return to work yet as my work want me to get this appointment out of the way first, then I have to see company Dr.
    Some days I am itching to get back to work and other days I really dont feel I will be able to manage.

    I was told before the op, that it could take anything up to a year to fuse and in some extreme cases, longer.

    I'll let you know the outcome of my appointment on monday

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  • HI,
    As above I said Id let you know the outcome of my xray and consultants appointment yesterday.

    He said he could see that is is fusing.
    I asked if this is where he would expect it to be at this point and he said yes he was happy.
    I dont have to see him again until next March which will be the anniversary of my op.

    Im possibly been a bit thick here, but does anyone know if the bone just carries on growing for ever more or how does it know when to stop?
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