View Full Version : Osteotomies for osteoarthritis?

09-24-2009, 12:25 AM
I was told by my surgeon that during my surgery, I had osteotomies and laminectomies done. Since healing, I have noticed I don't have any of the old osteoarthritis pain any more, something I expected to still suffer from, post surgery. I was wondering what if anything, was done to get rid of it.

From my Googling, it seems one of the reasons for osteotomies is to remove/halt osteoarthritis.

I am wondering if anyone else had osteotomies done and if it has removed their arthritic pain? And if so, is the relief permanent?

I was also interested to note that laminectomies are done to give more room to impinged nerves. Yet I was not given an MRI or any other test to show I had impinged nerves. How did he know? Perhaps he took an educated guess? Whatever the answer, he seems to have got it right in my case, because I have no pain whatsoever.

Just some of the things I'm still curious about.

09-24-2009, 06:30 AM
I don't see how arthritis can continue or can give any pain/problem in a fused section of the spine. I don't think it can develop in a fused spine either. I am pretty darn sure my daughters will never have arthritis in the fused sections of their back!

I assume it's like horses... they have pain/lameness when their hocks are arthritic and fusing naturally (very common) but after they are fused there is no pain or lameness. And they only lose about 2-3 degrees of motion when the hocks fuse so that's good.

09-24-2009, 12:55 PM
Hi Jenn,

Arthritis occurs at joints where movement occurs. Since your lower spine was fused (is still fusing), you no longer have any joints in that area to move and hurt. Congratulations! No more arthritis pain.

I was fused only to L4 and was told by my surgeon that I would still have some arthritis pain after surgery. I do have some in the couple joints that still have movement, but I no longer have the sciatica --which is wonderful.


09-24-2009, 05:29 PM
Ah! So it's the movement that allows osteoarthritis. Thanks for that, Sharon and Sheri. That's good news for us fused folk - a double benefit!

09-24-2009, 06:43 PM
That's one thing about a successfully-fused spine as I understand it... you may have problems above and below but if you're fused, you aren't going to have ANY issues within the fusion.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong so I can through myself under a bus. :eek:

09-27-2009, 12:27 AM
Hi Sharon...

I don't know whether the problems existed before or after fusion, but I've heard of older adults needing decompressions after fusion surgery.

I'm confused about the osteoarthritis question. Jennifer, was this OA pain only in your spine?


09-27-2009, 01:39 AM
Linda, pre-op, yes, it was the only place I had arthritis pain. Apparently it showed on my x-rays too. Since surgery though, my fingers and knees have become a little stiff and my knees are a bit sore.

But not a skerrick of pain in my back.

09-27-2009, 05:46 PM
I'm not sure about the decompression, but I think that is only for above and below the fusion.

Since having the surgery my knees have really had a workout. Perhaps you are like me and using them more has made them a bit more painful.


09-27-2009, 11:21 PM
Since having the surgery my knees have really had a workout. Perhaps you are like me and using them more has made them a bit more painful.

That's what I've put it down to Sheri. Not sure why my fingers are stiff, though today they're not so bad.