Lumbar Surgery Fusion Failed

I had a lumbar fusion 14 months ago. Pain came back six months after surgery. I had to wait one year to give the fusion time to see if it worked. I started pain management, which did not work because I did not want to go higher than 25mcg of fentanyl path. I already feel like a zombie. I had a CT scan and sure enough it did not fusion. Surgery scheduled for May. I am so afraid to have them go back in to repair it.
I just left the hospital getting a Upper GI and small intestines test. OMG!!! No one told me about the thick chalky stuff I had to drink. I had to keep starting this test over and over because I could not keep it in my stomach. It takes so long for food to leave my stomach and work down into my intestines. I can’t eat more than a small amount of food a day because my stomach hurts and I feel full. I want to know if stomach and intestine issues and failed fusions can be remotely related to lupus.

From what I’ve read, digestive issues can arise. I’ve read a lot about crone’s and ibd with lupus patients. Stomach cramps vomiting and diarrhea are common for me. Especially when out in sun.

I’m so sorry about your pain. I pray they can find you some relief

I have Collengous Colitis, which is rare but seen in patients with autoimmune diseases.

One thing that has been researched is the effect of smoking on fusions- many surgeons will not even do the surgery if the patient smokes but you are right I don't know of anything linking lupus to a failed fusion.

Thanks Ann and Poobie. I searched as well and saw that smoking can cause failed fusions, and I don’t smoke. I was trying to see if there was any correlation between the bone graft they make from donor bone and autoimmune diseases. Just a thought, have too much time on my hands!

I’m so sorry to hear your fusion failed. I had a double laminectyomy, double discectomy and decompression that failed or just wasn’t enough idk. But they want to do a double fusion. My surgeon says it’s in my future not “if” but " when". I know the turmoil of having that kind of surgery. It’s so scarey and stressful and then to still be in pain after all the recovery time is like what was the point? I hope that you can find some relief.
As for the IBD yes…my rheumy just tested me for that so it can definitely be part of all of this.

Actually, the test came make unlikely but the VEGF was high. He says it will need to be repeated. When I look that up all I find is info related to cancerous tumors. Ann…do you know anything about it?

My prayers for you. I am now recovering from a triple fusion +. My sister had fusion surgery years ago and she now has bladder issues ever since. She does not have lupus but she knows that the surgery caused the bladder issues.

crohns is a diseases all on it's own...but yes people with lupus do have intestinal issues.

I like to say that your surgeon screwed up i hope that he/she is not charging for this surgery. Fusions are really basic might want to go to your state and check their license for any issues.

As to feeling like zombie on fentanyl patch, have you tried other pain drugs? I suggest that you try some others if not because you should not feel like zombie...sounds like you are over medicated. When in great pain, enough for fentanyl, you should just take away the pain, not make you feel high or sleepy or like zombie.

I know that in beginning some do, but after few weeks if on correct amount, you should feel okay.

Hot baths with epsom salts helps my back plus tens can now get tens in the drugs stores or online(amazon) icy hot is running ads now of one they are selling in drug stores. Just placing it in the correct spot is hardest and getting the right vibration.

Hope my suggestions help....really check out the surgeon you way should it have taken entire year to see if it was fused...they can tell almost immediately!! But i will say this also, fusing does not have great reputation of working. Less than half does it work on...but i do know a friend it did help greatly. GOOD luck and hope your stomach problems are diagnosed and treated soon!