jrlpixMemberJune 3, 2013 at 4:29 amPost count: 2
Thank you so much for your consideration of my dilemma. I was ready to come from Western Colorado to have you evaluate my case but unfortunately, I carry health insurance not accepted by the Steadman clinic. Although I know it is an odd request, I wondered if you might have any recommendations of other surgeons who might be similar to yours in their approach.
You see, I have had 2 surgeries. The first, a laminectomy, was performed in January of 2010 in Durango, CO after trying 2 years of more conservative therapy. This surgery was a failure as I got NO relief from the pain in my back or from the leg weakness I was experiencing. I sought another opinion in the Spring of 2012 and this surgeon was able to see a bulging disc between L-4 and L-5. He told me he could help me and so a surgery was scheduled for June 29, 2012. My diagnosis was isthmic spondylolisthesis. After a year I have had no relief and found out a few weeks ago when in Denver for a check-up that my fusion failed and that one of the 4 screws used in the fusion had broken and another was loose. I need revision surgery but need to find the right person to do it.
I understand that “stuff happens” but am at my wit’s end trying to find a surgeon to help me.
Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated. This can also be handled privately if you prefer.
JamesDonald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorJune 3, 2013 at 9:49 amPost count: 8459
In general, a pseudoarthrosis (lack of fusion) is not too hard to fix. I cannot give any recommendations regarding another surgeon at this time. Make sure whomever you choose has years of experience and has performed this surgery numerous times. Make sure that BMP (bone morphogenic protein) is used for the repair. You might try Googling this surgeon but also understand that Googling is only one of the factors you should use to choose the proper surgeon.
Dr. CorenmanjrlpixMemberJune 25, 2013 at 5:14 amPost count: 2
Hello Doctor, I am now at a pain level that has become intolerable and am considering coming to Vail to see you despite the cost. I am taking heavy narcotics and have hardly any quality of life as any movement other than sitting or laying down is painful. I sleep well but pain is back upon rising and with me throughout the day. This is taking a heavy toll on my life as I am unable to work and my family life is suffering.
One year ago I had fusion surgery at the L4 L5 level and I need a revision. My CT scans show non-union and 2 pedicle screws that are no longer in place. I fear that they will move or injure me internally in some way. What are the first steps I should take? Is there anything I can do in the meantime to alleviate the pain? Will waiting until I can get better insurance in 2014 be detrimental to my chances of a successful fusion or is this an urgent situation? Please help. I am at the end of my rope.
JamesDonald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorJune 30, 2013 at 2:28 amPost count: 8459
If you have back pain only and a failed fusion, it is possible but unlikely that this could cause further damage. More likely than not, the pain in your back is from the pseudoarthrosis (lack of fusion). This of course assumes that the reason for the initial surgery was correct in the first place.
I don’t think this is urgent but you could contact my office and send your films for a somewhat more complete (but not thorough as I cannot examine you) evaluation.
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