So, yesterday I went FINALLY to get my 6 weeks follow up X-ray. It’s the end of the year and people have met deductibles so everyone is trying to fit in scans and other expensive tests. I waited 2 hours for films. I am amazed and very proud that I was very adult and never asked about the wait and did not complain about it to anyone. Waits happen.
I was hoping I’d be able to see some fusion on the film, essentially at this stage it would be fluffy white speck or something, but of course I’m not a radiologist. Not at all.
So this is what I saw. Once I looked at the image a little more carefully (these are not the best images, because I snapped them with my phone when the technician wasn’t looking, though she did say they were my images so I’m sure she knew what I was doing…)
It would appear there is a lot of fluffy white stuff between the screws, If you look at the vertebrae above there is a huge black gap and below there is a lot of fluffy white stuff. So, it could be the start of fusion. I’m not a radiologist, however, so it could be anything… Christmas Snow?
What did kind of alarm me, and also make the technician raise her eyebrows a bit was this film.
We both kind of looked at it and simultaneously tilted our head to the right… (If you didn’t tilt your head, let me know, because everyone I show it to does…) I said, well that looks odd. She said, “Well I don’t know what the surgeon intended.” I never saw my original post op front view films, the Doc told me they looked great. So I really have nothing to compare to, plus as mentioned before, I’m not a Radiologist. This could be entirely due to the way I was positioned on the table, or it could be where the screw needed to go, or it could be that I bent the screw which would be amazing, considering I’ve not been doing ANYTHING.
So I drove home. I’ve been having a large amount of radiculopathy (Right leg pain) and it’s been hard to manage it, so I was thinking, if it is caused by that screw, they can move it and that would be nice. Then I started to think of the expense and time off work for another procedure….and then I just got very overwhelmed. I mean, it isn’t the end of the world, but I’m really over my Lumbar spine controlling my life.
We have a nifty thing with our hospital system. It’s called the patient portal. Once lab tests or X-ray reports are uploaded into the system, the patient can access them, with a handy bar that says (low/normal/high). When I got home, I jumped on the patient portal to find that my X-ray was read as “Normal Post-operative changes” I saw the Radiologist was using films from the day of my surgery (done after the surgery) as a comparison. Because of this, I think I can assume that my former X-ray looked about the same. I also am not 100% sure that the patient portal contains EVERYTHING on a report, just because I can not access my reports from anything done while I was inpatient, and I can’t access my operative reports. That said, from having to read a lot of radiology reports, the Rad guys and gals usually will mention if something appears to have moved/migrated/relocated from the comparison study. Plus, if s screw moves, usually there is a dark portion around the screw. I don’t see that.
I’ll see the Doctor on Monday, and while he isn’t a Radiologist, he is a Neurosurgeon, and he is more than qualified to interpret things.
In the meantime, I am thinking about what kind of shoes I’m going to need next year for running. Something with a narrow instep and a wide toe box… going to be tough to find, but I have a few ideas….A company that could send me out a few different styles to try would be welcome. I know I probably can’t stay in the Saucony because every time I use them for walking they aggravate the damage to my foot… so something with a bigger toe box to minimize my big toe’s contact might do the trick…
I am excited for Monday…. I do think the X-ray shows beginning fusion, but that one screw has me kind of thinking a little bit too much about the whole thing!!!!
Wish me Luck!