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hey granny, the very best way of course would be to fully visualize that area as bleu mentioned with a surgeons own eyes,which i was also able to have done when i had to have a spinal cord surgery done that simply required them to do a trilevel lami that happened to be over the previous fusion site. my then NS fully confirmwed a finally full fusion.

the best thing, or way to actually really 'see' if any real fusion has taken place,(this actually works beautifully up in our c spines more so than anywhere else),but getting a flexion and extension type of x ray done, even when its the lumbar area too really just does show soo much more than any MRI or CT actually can in some cases. with my c spine fusion/decomp surgery i had, after nine months of telling my NS i seriously felt from my own symptoms and my primary was certain too that i just did not actually fuse? we did the MRI first which came up inconclusive and recommended a CT be done? well, that stupid CT actually stated i DID indeed fuse when we just now know we did not, only one endplate actually did. it was only THEN that my NS actually sent me for that much cheaper and very basic flex and ext type x ray that just totally showed i had not fused at all on one endplate and i was then i was scheduled for hardware placement. one little x ray told very clearly i might add what the other two supposedly deeper(and wayy more spendy) tests did not. even with your hardware there, they should still be able to tell when the rad just looks very closely at any potential 'gapping' in the supposed fusion sites/endplates? and the boney prominences too kind of show it if they also have any gapping too? this is why it is much easier to actually tell up top in that c spine where the prominences are just much more prominent and will fan out away like if you took your hand and fanned out your fingers would? when fusion takes place, the 'fingers' of those bones will show it by kind of "sticking" much closer together vs ALL of them fanning apart with a non fusion would? but i would just simply ask for that very simple flex and ext type x ray to be done first, before ANY other type of testing when checking for fusion. its sooo freaking basic ya know? and more importantly, it simply showed what the other tests could not, just how the bones behind the 'supposed" fused area actually moved upon simply bending your neck backwards and forwards did? like duh, mr neurosurgeon?

but with the hardware, depending what you do have, if there is a non fusion they still have other ways to kind of tell? its just boney structures show sooo much better upon x ray and also CTesp when you have hardware that just does blurr sometimes really badly upon MRI, but the fusion site when you are bending either forwards or backwards just "should' be with no little bits of that gapping between the endplates of the vertebrae at all. chances are tho ONLY becasue you just DO already have hardware in there(this just IS a form of splinting too), that does seriously also add the very same good alignment and closeness of the material used in fusion(that can be many different things these days) TO the endplates that in almost every case, given enough time, will usually eventually fuse like mine finally did after that hardware was placed and just simply 'held' the proper alignment and good solid connection to everything that needed to be attatched at some point. so thats a plus for you granny.

i do hope everything goes well for you with this. marcia





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