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Thread: How do you know when you're fused?

  1. #1
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    Question How do you know when you're fused?

    I had an appointment with Dr. Kebaish yesterday- one year + three months post surgeries and I'm happy to report all is well! In fact, my next appointment is one year from now - next July.

    I am to keep walking and biking, add more PT to strengthen neck muscles. (have had cervical issues for years, but one thing at a time) No restrictions - at all, but use common sense.

    These are my x-rays from yesterday. My main question was how can I tell I'm fusing? Dr. K says I am but I don't see it. Of course I'm not a doctor or radiologist so I don't see how they differ from the x-rays I had in January or the ones I had last September or the ones before that. They all look the same to me...?

    Is anyone else having the same trouble believing they are fusing/fused? Can you see it in your x-rays?

    PA whole spine July 2010
    PA Lumbar July 2010
    Lateral whole spine July 2010
    Lateral Lumbar July 2010
    Last edited by doodie; 07-17-2010 at 06:59 AM. Reason: Re-labeling AP to PA photos
    Julie - 51 yrs old

    Dx'd 1973 - 43* thoracic curve / rotation
    Wore Milwaukee brace 1973 - 1979
    Pre-surgery: 63* thoracic / 52* lumbar curves


    Surgeries: P - March 16, 2009 - Fused T3-S2 with pelvic fixation
    A -April 14, 2009 - Fused L5-S1
    Achieved +70% Correction
    Dr. Khaled Kebaish, (and team) Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore


    Standing x-ray
    New Spine 03/19/2009
    New Spine Lateral 03/19/2009

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by doodie View Post
    I had an appointment with Dr. Kebaish yesterday- one year + three months post surgeries and I'm happy to report all is well! In fact, my next appointment is one year from now - next July.

    I am to keep walking and biking, add more PT to strengthen neck muscles. (have had cervical issues for years, but one thing at a time) No restrictions - at all, but use common sense.

    These are my x-rays from yesterday. My main question was how can I tell I'm fusing? Dr. K says I am but I don't see it. Of course I'm not a doctor or radiologist so I don't see how they differ from the x-rays I had in January or the ones I had last September or the ones before that. They all look the same to me...?

    Is anyone else having the same trouble believing they are fusing/fused? Can you see it in your x-rays?

    AP whole spine July 2010
    AP Lumbar July 2010
    Lateral whole spine July 2010
    Lateral Lumbar July 2010
    Not sure why you deleted the original thread, but oh well.

    In the image that you call AP Lumbar (if it was taken from the back, it's actual PA Lumbar), you can see fusion on the left side of the spine. I'm not sure how to describe it, but the line on the left is no longer straight.

    --Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
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    Like you Doodie, i can't see it either, but then again, i don't have the trained 'eye' like Linda has. On my own x-rays though, 3 days post-op and then at 1 year, my fusion looks obvious, especially at the L4/5-L5-S1 levels where the cages are.
    Vali
    44 years young! now 45
    Surgery - June 1st, 2009
    Dr David Hall - Adelaide Spine Clinic
    St. Andrews Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia
    Pre-op curve - 58 degree lumbar
    Post -op - 5 degrees
    T11 - S1 Posterior
    L4/5 - L5/S1 Anterior Fusion

  4. #4
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    Oct 2008
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    Northern Virginia
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    Thanks ladies for your replies.

    Linda & Amanda, I deleted my initial thread after several failed attempts at including the links the way I wanted. I'm sorry your replies were deleted in the process - it certainly was no reflection on your replies!

    I guess I was under the mistaken impression that the disc areas between the vertebrae would be solid as well - like a solid column of bone. Do we just fuse solid in a small area at the posterior area of the vertebrae and not the anterior?
    Julie - 51 yrs old

    Dx'd 1973 - 43* thoracic curve / rotation
    Wore Milwaukee brace 1973 - 1979
    Pre-surgery: 63* thoracic / 52* lumbar curves


    Surgeries: P - March 16, 2009 - Fused T3-S2 with pelvic fixation
    A -April 14, 2009 - Fused L5-S1
    Achieved +70% Correction
    Dr. Khaled Kebaish, (and team) Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore


    Standing x-ray
    New Spine 03/19/2009
    New Spine Lateral 03/19/2009

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    798
    Quote Originally Posted by doodie View Post
    Thanks ladies for your replies.

    Linda & Amanda, I deleted my initial thread after several failed attempts at including the links the way I wanted. I'm sorry your replies were deleted in the process - it certainly was no reflection on your replies!

    I guess I was under the mistaken impression that the disc areas between the vertebrae would be solid as well - like a solid column of bone. Do we just fuse solid in a small area at the posterior area of the vertebrae and not the anterior?
    Well, I can see them now at least! Hey, some of us don't know how to upload pictures at ALL (not bragging, confessing! )

    But I too can't figure out what shows fusion.

    Scary to think of it that way, as you put it (what I've been assuming too) - that our spines become a solid tower of bone! I feel like I need to go get shoes with massive shock absorbers (springs?). Even now, I feel MUCH better with quality running shoes and socks (customized shock absorption by footfall).

    And MUCH worse barefoot or without shock-absorbing footwear (the design and/or spongy insoles).

    It makes the difference between back hurting or not!
    Catch is, even now, it's hard to put them on because they're so fitted. Excuse me while I write another item on my "To-Panic about" list.

    Hey. fabulous though, that you DO show fusion whether or not we can see it, THEY see it! That's what counts.
    Not all diagnosed (still having tests and consults) but so far:
    Ehler-Danlos (hyper-mobility) syndrome, 69 - somehow,
    main curve L Cobb 60, compensating T curve ~ 30
    Flat back, marked lumbar kyphosis (grade?) Spondilolisthesis - everyone gives this a different grade too. Cervical stenosis op'd 3-07, minimally invasive

  6. #6
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    Location
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    Quote Originally Posted by doodie View Post
    Thanks ladies for your replies.

    Linda & Amanda, I deleted my initial thread after several failed attempts at including the links the way I wanted. I'm sorry your replies were deleted in the process - it certainly was no reflection on your replies!

    I guess I was under the mistaken impression that the disc areas between the vertebrae would be solid as well - like a solid column of bone. Do we just fuse solid in a small area at the posterior area of the vertebrae and not the anterior?
    Julie...

    When discs are removed from the front, the front fuses. When discs aren't removed, but the back of the spine is fused, my understanding is that the discs calcify over a long period of time.

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