My fusion surgery didn't heal right, and the pain is excruciating. My doctor says I have pseudarthrosis. What is it, and what can I do about it?

Pseudarthrosis is a condition that occurs when the bones of a joint don't heal together correctly. Pseudarthrosis can happen in other parts of your body, but it generally refers to a spinal fusion that doesn't fully heal.

Treatment of pseudarthrosis is difficult. The bones may need more healing time. In this case, your doctor might prescribe a bone-growth stimulator. This device sends electrical currents through the bones that need to be fused. The chemical reaction that results can help speed bone healing.

If your pseudarthrosis doesn't heal even with help, another surgery may be your only option. Your doctor will probably want to run many tests before operating again. The tests are necessary to be sure that the pseudarthrosis is truly the source of your pain.