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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1228
   Posted 1/18/2008 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   
I see by your electronic signature you have many of the same physical issues that I have. One thing in paerticular caught my indicated you had a revision of a failed back surgery. I remember reading about failed back symptoms as if it were a name of a disease many years ago. I am curious, what was your procedure and did it yeild possitive results. I've had a couple surgeries to relieve the most severe narrowing but the most recent surgery left me in much worse condition. Sometimes it feels as if my screws and bolts are being torn out of the bone. Is there a specific procedure to address the back surgeries that fail or am I confusing the nomenclature? Hope you are having a good back day.


Hi Jim,
I had the revision for a couple of reasons. My first fusion surgery resulted in a post op Cauda Equina Syndrome. That was left untreated for 17 months until I had the revision surgery. It was done to redo the fusion which never took ( it disappeared), so they added bmp and redid the fusion, two of the screws had backed out of the vertebrae and were bent pretty badly, so they took those out and replaced them, added a crosslink to the 4 screws, and he also did hemilaminectomies at L3-4, L5-S1, along with trying to free up the nerves that are severely damaged. He was trying to relieve the central canal stenosis and foraminal stenosis as well.
He did a few foraminectomies, and a whole bunch of other stuff to try to repair some of the damage from the first surgery and CES.
I never had any improvement whatsoever from the first surgery, in fact was far worse off than I was before it. They should be able to tell if the screws are backing out of the bone by MRI or CT scan. You could easily see it on my films.
Failed Back Surgery syndrome or Post Laminectomy syndrome simply is the cover all name they give to patients who don't improve post back surgery.
What kind of surgery they do , if they will do it is based on the causes for the ongoing problems.
My original surgeon just told me that I had to learn to live with it, despite the fact that I couldn't walk more than 50 feet without my legs buckling. Sitting made my legs numb, and my lower back really painful. I was popping and clicking all over the place.
I saw a couple of  neurosurgeons on  my own after the original surgeon started pushing a spinal cord stimulator that I didn't want. I wanted what was wrong fixed. For me, the nerve damage is too extensive and too severe, so I am left dealing with it as it is. Pain meds and hopefully avoiding a wheelchair for as long as possible.
PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..

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