Disc removal in my fusion surgery IS NOT entirely removed and in the foramen

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Friedspine
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 2/7/2012 11:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone @ CP and HW,
 
I'm new and have met a few of you via chat and in the messaging.

Post Edited (Friedspine) : 2/9/2012 10:33:52 AM (GMT-7)


fireflyhillary
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 2/8/2012 12:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I am so sorry that your Dr lied to you, but happy that you had a great experience with the new Dr today. I hope he can help you so you can get some sort of normalcy back to your life. I know nothing about CRPS, but wanted to at least say that I'm glad today's visit went well for the most part.
Current: DDD L4-S1, Arthritis L4-S1, Facet Syndrome, Interstitial Cystitis, Vulvodynia, Restless Leg Syndrome, Bi-polar, IBS, Fibromyalgia, PTSD. In past 6 months have had epidurals, facet blocks and radiofrequency ablation.
Past: Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. 3 laparoscopies, 2 cystoscopies, total hysterectomy, appendix & gallbladder removal.

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 2/8/2012 5:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi again,
 
I read your post and got chills...because...all my MRI's show a very large disc protrusion from the L5-S1 (which is the disc I had removed during my fusion).  The spine specialist I saw freaked (he wasn't the one who did the surgery and is likely the one who's report securred my SSDI).  He said there was NO fusion at the top or bottom of the "fusion" area and that the bone was apparently growing out of the right side instead of up and down like it should be.  Then another MRI came out and said that there is definitely disc material remaining and that it is protruding significantly. 
 
Of course, I went back to the neurosurgeon (who is by the way a top rated nationwide neurosurgeon) and he looked through some of his own x-rays.  I would not do the myleogram for him and he said that was OK if I wasn't going to let him go back in for surgery again, but I did do the CT with and without contrast.  He told me in the office that he could not see complete fusion and showed me the "bone" that was protruding.  On his reports, he claims the fusion is complete and there are no surgery related problems....but that the L4-L5 is now herniated (along with some others all the way up..but they are less important at this point). 
 
The bottom line is that the spine specialist I went to for a "second opinion" and the radiologist(s) gave me a much different report than the neurosurgeon who told me what he thought....oh he wanted to do surgery and/or wanted to implant an SCS...but my confidence is shot on him.  He's a leader in the field and does all the commercials for brain/spine surgery for a large hospital, but he lied to me in the office and then "doctored" the reports.  I KNOW I have some disc remaining because it is there on the pictures....they show everything very clearly.  I also KNOW the implanted morselized bone was not properly sealed since it leaked out and grew all over the place.
 
I have the foot drop you have (but not the CPRS...Thank GOD) and I have the constant pain that doens't go away and only gets worse.  It appears the nerves are involved because the ablations do help but I'm not willing to let anybody go back in there and play around with my back again unless there is nothing else!!!  I understand covering your butt and why Dr's have to do that, but I don't understand leaving a patient in such a condition and not explaining that the surgery is so delicate that something was "missed" or "damaged" and if it can be fixed or not.  If they would simply tell the truth, then we could make informed decisions.
 
I am soooo sorry that you are having to go through this!  I am also highly impressed with the Dr who gave you the information on what really happened.  Please read the report, however, before you quote him to somebody in the medical community...mine don't often read exactly like what I am told in the office.
 
Bless you my friend!
TLIF L5-S1/failed, Pituatary disorder w/HGH deficiency, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery & Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (surgery related trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendionitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet, Vision Issues & much more.....

Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 2/8/2012 11:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there,
 
Just an FYI but the below bold is from information provided by my Spine Institute website that did my last surgery. This should have been discussed with you before the surgery that there is never a guarantee that they can remove 100% of the disc once they get in there. Just looking at a Ct scan or MRI doesn't provide the surgeon enough information until they open you up and see it more clearly.
 
Thankfully my Dr.s have told me that there was always a risk of further herniation...I've had 3 cervical fusion surgeries on the same areas over the last 10 years...
 
I'm sorry that you are just finding this out now...and hopefully do not need another surgery but unfortunately that is what many of us have had to do at a later date...
 
I would recommend getting 2-3 opinions before proceeding on another surgery...
 
 
Removal of a disc at one level can lead to disc herniation at the same level or a different level at a later time. Even the most complete surgical excision of the disc still leaves 30-40% of the disc, which cannot be safely removed. This retained disc can re-herniate sometime after surgery.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16295
   Posted 2/8/2012 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow, was surprised to read your update and very sorry all of this has happened. The dr you saw today is he the one so many people spoke highly of to you?

You are right there is no point in letting anger take over here, it will serve you no purpose and like you say you have so much to think about its not a productive thing. I just hope there is something that can be done that will help you, that is the important thing.

Please keep us posted...Susie
Moderator-Chronic Pain Forum

mrsm123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1235
   Posted 2/8/2012 11:26 PM (GMT -6)   
When a fusion is performed, not all of the disc material is removed. There are several reasons for this, but the biggest and most important one is that most times, it can not be completely removed safely without compromising the nerves, thecal sac, or major blood vessels , depending on the levels involved. If a fusion is done posteriorly, there are major blood vessels that are very, very near to the cord, and if it is done anteriorly, those blood vessels can be torn accidentally and cause death if not repaired quickly enough.......
Having twice had fusion done at L4-L5, and a revision due to complications developed post op from the first surgery, I had to learn far more about spine surgery than I cared to, as most of us do.
As far as being lied to, unfortunately, a lot of what surgeons report to the patient is directly from the MRI or CT scan reports. MRI's show soft tissue better than CT and CT is best for evaluating bone. I have had conflicting MRI and CT scan reports done on the same day, consecutively, and been astounded at the differences in what they said was wrong. When we see a surgeon, the examination helps them to narrow the area of the spine in which the suspected problems may come from. The surgeons some times rely too heavily on the reports, and don't closely examine the films/studies and may miss something or pick up something that was not seen or in the report. Not making excuses for them, lord knows that I have had my own issues with my surgeons, but the quality of the images, their clarity, the quality of the report, as well as the examination all play a part in what we learn as we see them.
I hope that they are able to do something to help ease the pain and get your recovery moving in a more positive direction. If you do have to undergo surgery again, I would get at least two more opinions and see if the doctors are in agreement about what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. That way, you are more confident in your decision to go ahead or not with another surgery.
Best of luck to you,
Sandi
Motorcycle accident 1992, Back problems from 92 to 2005. August 2005- early 2006- Chiropractor care
March 2006- consult with surgeon -PLIF/TLIF L4-5, spondylolysthesis, canal and foraminal stenosis, multiple herniations
Post Op Cauda Equina Syndrome
Revision August 2007- salvage op
March 2011- 2nd onset of Cauda Equina Syndrome
Needs surgery to prevent paralysis

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 2/9/2012 12:56 AM (GMT -6)   
…..I'm suffering badly here….but wanted to pop in and say that Sandi is correct on this, and Yes disc material may well be left in place. I know this because my sister had a lumbar fusion as I did, and her surgeon left some of the disc intact.

SE
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 2/9/2012 9:27 AM (GMT -6)   
 
       Morning Fried!
 
            I'm not disputing your claim, all I was doing was saying that Sandi was correct in the information that she presented. I have no doubt that where they were supposed to remove your disc, they may have missed some of it, and can cause a problem. There are several different way to do a fusion, and not one of them is a simple procedure. I just got my MRI back of my Lumbar fusion, and the my Dr said it looked beautiful. However, that does not mean that I'm still not in pain. I am!
 
   Now Im getting ready to have cervical surgery...and I just hope I don't wind up in the same pain, regardless of how beautiful it comes out.
 
    Hang in there, and keep plugging away at it. Hope you get to feeling better soon.
 
   SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 2/9/2012 8:39:27 AM (GMT-7)


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16295
   Posted 2/9/2012 10:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Linda, you mentioned getting medical records together, by chance do you have a complete copy of your hospital records from when you had your back surgery? If not you may want to consider obtaining a copy. You can call the hospital and ask for medical records an d let them know what you are needing and they will pull the chart. They will probably charge a fee for this, pretty much all hospitals do charge for copying.

Just wanted to pop on and tell you this and to let you know I am thinking about you. Take care. Susie
Moderator-Chronic Pain Forum

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 2/9/2012 10:32 AM (GMT -6)   

 

      Good morning Fried!

            Your Welcome!...and we all are in a similar boat...suffering from Chronic Pain here...not easy to live with. Many opinions get shared here...but bottlom line is....you have to advocate for yourself, and do lots of research. That being said, ...I do thik this is a wonderful site for just that...but there are many resources for answers to your questions.

    I am going through a rough patch right now, and am not looking forward to my next surgery because of it. However,...I think my report shows that my condition is serious, and if I put it off much longer, and may have more problems later on down the road.

       This is a great support group, so keep checking in and posting...were here to support!

      Take care, and I wish you the best.

  SE wink    


Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."
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