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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19560
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I had my coccyx removed 7 months ago and i have pain down my

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I had my coccyx removed 7 months ago and i have pain down my left leg and bad pain in my buttox. I was informed to have a L5,S1 and S2 fusion done. What is the dangers?
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I will be glad to assist you today.

Overall, most people undergo a spinal fusion without difficulty, but there are several potential risks involved. As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection or bleeding. The risk of infection primarily is at the level of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, but there are a smaller but more worrisome risk of infection around the spine. Specific to the spinal surgery, there is a risk of injury to surrounding nerves or the spine. There also can be damage to the blood vessels around the spine, which in the worst case may cause a stroke of the spine. This worst case scenario is extremely rare.

There also is a risk involved with a spinal fusion and the long term impact on the spine. Whenever there is a fusion of any level of the spine, it will limit the amount of movement at that level, so it also places additional physical stress on the levels of the spine above and below the fusion, and can lead to increased wear and tear (degenerative) changes at these levels. In your case, it would potentially lead to increased degenerative changes of the L4/L5 space of the spine.

If you have any further questions or need clarification, please let me know.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
What would the complications be should I not have the operation done? My cushions between these vertebrae have disintegrated and they are bone on bone. In your expert advise should I have the operation done or live with the pain.
In the majority of people, the primary issue with not getting the surgery done would be the amount of pain endured. If there is greater pressure on the nerve, there is a risk of nerve dysfunction, which can cause weakness or, in more severe cases, paralysis of most of the leg.

I cannot tell you whether the operation should be done. If there is evidence of nerve dysfunction, then that would be a stronger indication that surgery should be done. But for the majority of patients, it is dependent upon the severity of the pain and whether they are willing to accept the risk of surgery. Since you are the only person that can feel the severity of the pain, you are the only person that can judge whether the risks are acceptable.