I had a L4-5 S1 fusion surgery with Cortrel-Doubouset rod and pedicle screws in Oct "08. A prosthetic disc L4-5. I still am having pain in my low back, sacariliac has flaired back up,burning or numb or cold sensations in my right leg depending on activity, My last x-ray states posterior elements do not appear fused. Question- am I fused or not?
Thank you for your help,
The x-ray may not be sufficient to determine the status of your fusion. It is possible that you might need an MRI or CT scan to evaluate this area with more clarity.
The fact that an artificial disc replacement was used in addition to the stabilization hardware may be a factor.
What has your surgeon recommended at this time? You are probably very aware that your symptoms are corresponding to nerve involvement and if the prosthetic disc has shifted in its placement or if there are additional degenerative changes, pain and neurological symptoms will develop. The nature and extent of the nerve involvement needs to be determined and your surgeon should be able to discuss treatment options with you.
I hope this is not a significant setback as your surgery was fairly recent. I had an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion done on 2/17/09 and my neurosurgeon has stated that he could not assess the status of my fusion until 4-5 months postop.
Post with an update and any additional questions/concerns you may have.
Best wishes -----
Update: Thank you for replying. My surgen told me he enlarged the area where nerves were being inpinged right side L5-S1 and the rod is longer on that side with an extra screw. I had this last x-ray after my last visit and although I have called their office several times I get no return call with an answer to my question or a new appt scheduled.I will call my work case manager again fingers crossed she will answer phone This is WC thus why it took them so long to actually do the surgery feb "06- Oct "08. I have now been sent back to work (5/13 with an hr drive each way) lite duty 4 hrs day with the only written resrictions no twisting or bending.My company has placed my in an area where I am to be smiling/happy/effecient greeting individuals and helping them. Yes I am twisting/bending/reaching/up and down from chair ect. The pain in my low back is at times again feeling as if a knife has stuck me,numbness zapping,tingling, sensations in my rt leg worse. I called off today after only working two 4 hr days.
Forgot to add my right sac joint is inflammed again, and allthough they did injections a yr ago ( different wc doc) this time they were denied. I felt my nurse case manager at last pain mag appt gave my pain doc the impression wc would not approve, due to not where origanal injury was. Upper back was an issue from beginning as well, only one to deal with it was chiro, yet it is documented in numerous doc notes from primary. The reason for me bringing that into discusion, the hard plastic back brace was to large for me for months after surgery before they finally replaced. So one of my shoulder blades is protruding. I was thinking of going to my health insurance doc for these two issues, but felt that wasn't right. Do you know of information I could gather to submit to wc showing lumbar issues causing/contributing to inflamation (inflammation) of sac. joint or between shoulder blades. thanks!
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