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Surgical Outcomes and Blogs Discuss Aspen Device in the Main forums forums; I had an L4 S1 fusion in early Feb. in Colorado. The surgeon used 2 Aspen devices and a unilateral ...

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Old 05-18-2010, 05:03 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1
Default Aspen Device

I had an L4 S1 fusion in early Feb. in Colorado. The surgeon used 2 Aspen devices and a unilateral rod and screw assembly. After surgery the L4 screw was shown to be installed crooked. After 3 weeks my spine was slipping and the xrays showed the screw backing out by 2 mm. Continuous pain and spasms in my lumbar spine and pelvis. Can't walk without a cane .
3 months later the screw is backing out even more and the pain has not subsided. I am considering having another rod and screw assembly on the other side to stabilize the spine and I wonder what the Aspen devise does and if it should have stabilized the spine in the first place.
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:52 AM
mmglobal's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,510


Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry that you find yourself in this unfortunate situation; needing revision surgery.

The aspen device is an attempt at minimally invasive fusion... reducing the size of the surgery needed to accompish fusion. This sounds like what you have:

Most MISS procedures are a compromise. The advantage is the lower invasive nature of the surgery. This comes at the expense of how much can the get done... can they see what they need to... can they reach what they need to... can they install the strongest and most likely to succeed structure????

If it works... you win the gamble because your recovery time is less... collateral damage is less. If it doesn't work, you probably wind up getting what you were trying to avoid in the first place, except now it's in the presence of an already failed surgery. You have the expense, recovery, and collateral damage associated with 2 surgeries. You also have compromises imposed by what was done... can they use the system they'd like to use after taking out the existing hardware?

You are in a tough spot. There is much to understand. Do your homework... make informed decisions.

Good luck,

1997 MVA
2000 L4-5 Microdiscectomy/laminotomy
2001 L5-S1 Micro-d/lami
2002 L4-S1 Charite' ADR - SUCCESS!
2009 C3-C4, C5-C6-C7, T1-T2 ProDisc-C Nova
Summer 2009, more bad thoracic discs!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
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