Spinal fusion

Patient

Q: I am a healthy 29 yr old female. I had spinal fusion when i was 19 due to a broken facet joint from a car accident. Now ten years later, the doctors are saying I might have to have the hardware replaced. I was in another accident in August 09. It was pretty bad and messed up my back pretty bad. They feel the hardware shifted, causing the vertebrae to shift that were once fused, which squeezed the l5s1 disc and caused it to rupture. Alsao the l4l5 disc is torn and herniated. I had a discogram and CT Scan last week. This is all of the findings from that diagnositic test. What do you think I should do???

Doctor

A:   It sounds as if you will need another operation. The trauma to your back that you suffered as a result of your recent car accident has disturbed all the surgery that was done previously. The only method of repairing your present injuries is via surgery. Your surgeon will probably remove the hardware that is presently in place and replace it with new hardware.

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