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Natural fusion of vertebrae

Hi Imnew here, I was due to have decompression and a spacer put between two misaglined vertebrae next week but the surgeon cant now do it. A different surgeon says he cant do it as the vertebrae are beginning to fuse and has offered decompression alone. Both surgeons were using the same scans. It will months before the first surgeon is available again. If I wait for him will the fuse have progressed so it still can't be done even by him? Or does fusing take a long time? I am in a lot of pain. Will the pain stop if it does fuse itself? How long does that take?

Barbara

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I had a compressed vertabrae and i had surgery in August and my back feels great and it was like that straight after the surgery.xxxxx

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Get another opinion? There must be another surgeon you can see...ask your GP to refer you!

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Hi Barbara

I was in the position of potentially needing a fusion of l4/5 following on from 2 decompression surgeries (laminectomies), something the surgeon said ‘I really don’t want that’.

I was told to wait and see because (good) surgeons are reluctant to put metalwork into the spine unless it is really necessary due to the potential for serious complications.

Approximately 12 months following the second laminectomy I had an MRI which showed that the vertabrae in question had auto-fused which meant I didn’t need the fusion surgery. This, we both took to be a very good thing in my case, as it avoided the need for potentially risky surgery.

Fusion surgery is not a guarantee that you would be pain free, and as mentioned carries considerable risk. It also puts more stress on the vertabrae above and below the fused one(s), meaning that in time they might cause extra problems.

I would say you need to talk to a surgeon about your questions, because if it was me I’d be pleased it had auto-fused. It may be that the decompression surgery helps you with the pain.

When it comes to spine surgery as little as possible is best IMHO.

All the best

Ade

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