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Doctor insights on: Bone Growth After Spinal Fusion

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Is it normal not to see bone growth one month after a spinal fusion?

Is it normal not to see bone growth one month after a spinal fusion?

Bone fusion: Yes. Bone fusion can take up to a year and a fusion occurs more slowly in post menopausal women, people who smoke, patients who take Ibuprofen or anti-inflammatory medications and people with diabetes. ...Read more

Dr. Thomas Dowling
1,119 Doctors shared insights

Spinal Fusion (Definition)

Surgery to cause two or more spine segments to be joined together through a growth of bone initiated by the placement of bone tissue or graft taken from the patient or from a donor source or even a manufactured source which could include: bone growth proteins and particulate structures that act as scaffolds for bone to grow on and may include implants or instrumentation ...Read more


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Does pain 3 months after a spinal fusion signify bone growth? This time is more painful than last, but lat time no growth. Friends say growing pains.

Does pain 3 months after a spinal fusion signify bone growth? This time is more painful than last, but lat time no growth. Friends say growing pains.

Check your pain Doc.: Your question is not easy to obtain the answer without knowing your condition in detail. If your pain is getting worse, you should go back to your pain doctor, may not surgeon only. ...Read more

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Spinal fusion 9 weeks ago, RA 13yrs, on mtx, plaquinil & arava, (leflunomide) still not under control. Would biologics interefere with bone growth? Have bone stimulat

Spinal fusion 9 weeks ago, RA 13yrs, on mtx, plaquinil & arava, (leflunomide) still not under control. Would biologics interefere with bone growth? Have bone stimulat

Perhaps: Several medications used to treat RA can interfere with bone growth. You should talk to both your rheumatologist and to your surgeon about what you are taking and whether it should be stopped or changed while your bones are fusing. ...Read more

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How long after a spinal fusion is bone growth apparent on x-rays or ct scans? My previous fusion had no bone growth so I want to request extra testing

How long after a spinal fusion is bone growth apparent on x-rays or ct scans? My previous fusion had no bone growth so I want to request extra testing

6-8 weeks: Bony fusion grows like a fracture heals. It generally takes a minimum of 6-8 weeks to see good Xray evidence of fusion. In my practice I will get X-rays at the 6 week point, and usually at the 3 month time point. But other surgeons may have different schedules. It can be helpful to use an external bone growth stimulator, No doubt NOT SMOKING is crucial, and avoiding NSAIDs can help you heal!! ...Read more

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Does a bone become stronger 3 months after spinal fusion?

Does a bone become stronger 3 months after spinal fusion?

Yes & no: There are different types of fusion. Two or more bones are linked together by bone or bone substitute and ofter metal (plates, rods, screws, hooks, wires). The combination is often quite strong. After 3 months, it is generally stable and strong, parts of the bone (the inner part) may be less dense (less strong), but it does not matter since the whole is strong enough to support what it needs to. ...Read more

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When is spinal fusion needed for bone overgrowth?

When is spinal fusion needed for bone overgrowth?

Rarely: Spine fusion is reserved for when symptoms arise from spinal instability. Examples include unstable fracture, severe scoliosis, or symptomatic vertebral slip resulting in a pinched nerve. A symptomatic bone spur can almost always be removed without fusion. Like any surgery, fusion should be considered only when there is a clear benefit to offset inherent risks. ...Read more

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I am having a spinal fusion. This will be my second one. L5 s1. I don't wqnt to use my own bone. What are my options?

I am having a spinal fusion. This will be my second one. L5 s1. I don't wqnt to use my own bone. What are my options?

Spinal fusion: You also have the option of using cadaveric bone though some surgeons do not like to use this source, having said that it is coming used. ...Read more

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S1-l4 spinal fusion with instrumentation. Aside from pain, can I cause damage to the healing bone or anything, from bending, twisting, slipping? 11 wk

S1-l4 spinal fusion with instrumentation. Aside from pain, can I cause damage to the healing bone or anything, from bending, twisting, slipping? 11 wk

Spinal fusion: Healing bone after a spinal fusion takes approximately 100 days. Smoking, diabetes, poor nutrition, osteoporosis, and not wearing a back brace can slow healing. It is uncommon to break screws. Adjacent wear or injury of the sacroiliac joints or the lumbar 3/4 level is more likely than causing damage to the fusion itself. ...Read more

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Is permanent nerve damage possible after a bone fragment and hematoma was removed after spinal fusion?

Is permanent nerve damage possible after a bone fragment and hematoma was removed after spinal fusion?

Yes: Any type of material : disc, blood, bone, fat, pus, tumor etc. That compresses a nerve root / roots or the spinal cord can leave a range of symptoms or findings from pain, sensory changes, weakness or paralysis, bowel/bladder dysfunction, balance issues as examples. ...Read more

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I have a had a cervical spinal fusion at c5-c6 now the disc above it is protruding & there is bone spurs going to the plate will I need surgery again?

Possibly: If you are having new pain and symptoms, the adjacent level of your previous fusion may require surgery if you fail appropriate conservative care. ...Read more

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I just started Forteo, osteoporosis and failed spinal fusion. Is there a greater chance of bone cancer fron PTH and MBPS interaction?

I just started Forteo, osteoporosis and failed spinal fusion. Is there a greater chance of bone cancer fron PTH and MBPS interaction?

Please define MBPS: Hi. I think Forteo is the best thing there is for osteoporosis. However, the patient needs to be adequately assessed before starting it. Patients with primary or secondary hyperparathyroidism should not receive Forteo. Patients with a history of therapeutic radiation involving the skeleton should not be treated. Paget's patient's should not be treated. If you mean MBP, no known interaction. ...Read more

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Can a unilateral spinal fusion cause a stress fracture? It has been a year since my l3/4 unilateral fusion. Unfortunately the bone has not fused and is still causing pain. The fusion was performed on the left side and I was recently was diagnosed with a

Can a unilateral spinal fusion cause a stress fracture? It has been a year since my l3/4 unilateral fusion. Unfortunately the bone has not fused and is still causing pain. The fusion was performed on the left side and I was recently was diagnosed with a

Depends: You can get a fracture if the fusion does not take or if there is a problem with the instrumentation. The non-union should be addressed and taken care of. You might benefit from an external bone growth stimulator or treatment with vitamin d and calcium ...Read more

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Undergone laminectomy w/ spinal fusion with implants & bone graft t9 to t 12. How many days is safe for not acquiring infection on the wound site?

Undergone laminectomy w/ spinal fusion with implants & bone graft t9 to t 12. How many days is safe for not acquiring infection on the wound site?

Couple of weeks: The most common time frame for getting post operative infection is first two weeks it is possible to get delayed infection as well occasionally one can get deep infection after 4-6 weeks post op, also but if the wound heals andr the sutures are out you are generally safe at that point. Good luck. ...Read more

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Can nicotine cause avascular necrosis as it constricts blood vessels? I know it stopped my recent bone graft in a spinal fusion from growing properly.

Can nicotine cause avascular necrosis as it constricts blood vessels? I know it stopped my recent bone graft in a spinal fusion from growing properly.

Maybe: Smoking is well-known to impair new blood vessel growth into areas of bone fusion and prevent good healing. There are thousands of chemicals in smoke. Nicotine alone has been well studied and tends to show poor bone formation and mineralization. So using nicotine as a supplement instead of smoking still is a risk for your spinal fusion. You have one spine -- take good care! Good Luck! ...Read more

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Could a spinal fusion surgery stunt your growth?

Could a spinal fusion surgery stunt your growth?

Perhaps: It depends on the age of the person having the fusion (the younger you are, the more growth that may be lost), the number of bones involved (the more fused, the more potential loss). On the other hand, correcting some deformities can modestly increase height. For some young children, some pediatric deformity surgeons will use "growing rods, " delaying fusion as long as possible. Ask your surgeon. ...Read more

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Can you tell me about spinal fusion?

Can you tell me about spinal fusion?

Locks two vertebrae: Together. See www. Spine-health. Com for some descriptions, but it basically does just that, fuses a couple vertebrae, or however many are targeted, and places hardware to keep your spine from moving at those segments. It should only be an option if you have instability, but many people have done and later pay the price if it was not indicated with more pain than before. ...Read more

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How long for a spinal fusion to heal totally?

Approximately 6mo: Similar to a surgically repaired extremity fracture, a spine fusion typically takes up to 6 months to fully consolidate. In a long fusion, such as in scoliosis surgery, the fusion mass is thought to continue to consolidate through the first year after surgery. ...Read more

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What to do if I had a spinal fusion 2 weeks ago.?

Take it easy: Avoid lifting over 10 lbs, or excessive bending or twisting. Where was the location of the operation? Lumbar or cervical spine? (lower back or neck?)
walking is usually good. Ask your surgeon to be sure. ...Read more

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How should I know if the spinal fusion in my back has failed?

If you had a spinal: Fusion for pain and the pain persists, that may be an indication. If you are a smoker, there is a good chance that fusion may not have occurred. A ct scan done after 12 months postop (it can take a year for a fusion to heal) done with 2 mm axial cuts and then reconstructed in sagittal & coronal planes is the best way to image a fusion but no one study gives 100% proof of a fusion. ...Read more

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Is there a way to find out why did my spinal fusion slip forward?

See the surgeon: Are you a user of tobacco, as fusions fail frequently due to smoking? Is there instrumentation, which has failed. Did you experience post-op trauma at some point?
See your original surgeon, if available, and try to decide a therapeutic direction. ...Read more

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Is it common to have a spinal fusion and still have unbearable pain?

No: If you have undergone a successful spinal fusion you should have attained at least 85% reduction on your symptoms intensity if your fusion is solid. Would recommend that you speak to your spinal surgeon so that reason for your pain can be identified and a proper treatment plan instituted to alleviate you of your pain. ...Read more

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What can I expect in terms of recovery after having spinal fusion of the c 456?

Post op: Little bit of neck pain, possible neck brace. 0-2 days in hospital. Possible therapy. Relief of symptoms. Fusion 3-6 months. ...Read more

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How harmful is a spinal fusion surgery?

Depends if it: Is necessary. If you are having motor weakness or instability of the spine, then it is beneficial. If you are not, then follow up on other options as these surgeries, when not indicated, more often then not trade pain at one level for pain at the next level from the fusion. These surgeries can lead to pain if not needed, so make sure it is absolute necessary before moving ahead. ...Read more

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How dangerous is a spinal fusion operation?

This really depends: On the health & age of the patient, the extent of the surgery in terms of number of levels, stages and reason for the surgery as well as the skill and expertise of the surgeon. If medically stable for this surgery, not obese, not a smoker, not diabetic, not over 60, not a revision surgery, then rates of complications are low but not zero with a very low mortality rate. ...Read more

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Will the tens device work for spinal fusion?

Will the tens device work for spinal fusion?

No: No, but a bone stimulator might. Nothing makes up for lousy carpentry so - pick your surgeon wisely. Are you sure that you got a problem fusion will fix (e.g. Spinal instability)? . Vague symptoms ("back pain") rarely get better with fusions. The nerve decompression portion of the case needs to be handled well also (unusual for a 34 year old to need a fusion, double check on the indication. .. ...Read more

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I was wondering is a spinal fusion a good idea?

I was wondering is a spinal fusion a good idea?

Spine fusion: A spine fusion is a good idea when the person needing the operation has major instability, has exhausted nonoperative measures, and there is major interruption in activities of daily living due to pain. Discuss all the options with a specialist in spine surgery to determine if a fusion is right for you. ...Read more

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How straight could my back be after spinal fusion?

How straight could my back be after spinal fusion?

Depends: The outcome of a spinal fusion can be related to the re-alignment of the spine in what we consider sagittal and coronal planes. Spinal deformity surgery aims to maintain balance while correcting curvature and rotation to more "normal" parameters. Perfectly straight back alignment may not be as good as a well-balanced reconstruction. Speak with your surgeon about what to expect. ...Read more

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Is there a relation between spinal fusion or hydromyelia?

Is there a relation between spinal fusion or hydromyelia?

2 different things: Spinal fusion is fusion of two or more vertebrae by bone graft or metallic rods and screws. Fusion stops movement of unstable bones or can reduce curvature in scoliosis and prevent progression. Hydromyelia abnormal widening of central canal of the spinal cord that creates cavity in which cerebrospinal fluid accumulates. As spinal fluid builds up pressure on the spinal cord and nerve cells, symptoms ...Read more

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Does having a spinal fusion affect childbirth in any way?

Does having a spinal fusion affect childbirth in any way?

Usually it is ok: Rarely is there a structural reason why you could not have a vaginal birth after a spine fusion. It could affect you getting an epidural during childbirth. ...Read more

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Is it possible for the titanium screws used in a spinal fusion to break?

Yes: Screws fail from cylical loading like nending a hanger untilit breaks all metal implants can break in this way a sign of persistant micro motion non fusion usually screw breakage is low energy unnoticed event seen on follow up xrays. ...Read more

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Scoliosis cured with spinal fusion?

Scoliosis cured with spinal fusion?

Yes when indicated: Most typical idiopathic scoliosis cases are treated without surgery- most by just observation and some with bracing. Fusion is for those with a curve that has gotten too big and/or progressed in spite of non op care. Bracing has been the only documented non op care that can minimize surgical interventions. ...Read more

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Will spinal fusion eliminate back pain?

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Will spinal fusion eliminate back pain?

Unlikely: Spine surgery has predictably good outcomes for neurological symptoms (pinched nerves) and symptomatic spinal instability (i.e. Severe fracture/dislocation, severe deformity, tumor, etc.). Spine surgery for neck/back pain without a neurological component is controversial, as outcomes are unpredictable. ...Read more

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Will a spinal fusion fix my swayback posture?

Will a spinal fusion fix my swayback posture?

If the purpose of: The surgery is to address a spinal deformity, the goal is to obtain what is known as a balanced spine such that the head is centered over the pelvis/hips from a front & side view. So it should be addressed by the surgery if this is part of your spinal deformity. You can ask your surgeon about the goals of your surgery. ...Read more

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Well a spinal fusion fix my swayback posture?

Potentially: When the spine is being fused it can be repositioned into a more normal position. Sometimes with large deformities the spine position can only be changed so much without compromising neurological function. Talk to your spine surgeon about the specifics of your case. ...Read more

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What's xlif spinal fusion surgery and is it safe?

What's xlif spinal fusion surgery and is it safe?

Minimally invasive: Xlif (extreme lateral interbody fusion) is a technique to fuse one or more segments of the lumbar spine. It is done from the side to access the disc and remove it and place a fusion graft. All surgeries have their risks, however when done in experienced hands this can be an excellent procedure with less blood loss, less hospital stay, and quicker returns to daily life. ...Read more

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Where is a spinal fusion usually done? At a hospital?

Yes: Someneck fusion are done as out patients in surgical centers. ...Read more

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What are the long term effects of spinal fusion surgery?

Degeneration: One of the most common issues young patients that have spinal fusion is the development of "adjacent level degeneration" which is the breakdown of the segment above your spine that was fused leading to more back pain or nerve issues. This occurs at around 3%/year so in 30 years you wound have an average of 90% chance of having another problem. You should discuss with your spinal surgeon. ...Read more

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What is the success rate of spinal fusion for scoliosis?

Spinal fusion: The success rate is a function of the spine bones and your spine specialist will do as much as possible for you.
Please do not delay an appointment.

Let me know what happens please. ...Read more

Bone (Definition)

Bone is a living growing tissue made mostly of collagen (protein that provides soft framework) & the mineral calcium phosphate that adds strength & hardens the framework. Two types of bone are found in the body; cortical (dense compact outer layer) & trabecular (makes up inner layer, ...Read more


Fusion (Definition)

A fusion gets rid of a joint or disk between to bones, getting the bones to join together with bone between them. If successful, it eliminates almost all the motion between the bones. Sometimes fusion simply occur as a result of disease, rarely from aging. Most of the time ...Read more