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whats a "level"

annmarie824aannmarie824 Posts: 57
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Goodmornin everyone
I have a question. Some of you say you had a two level, one level, three level fusion. What are the different levels? I go to my doctor this Friday so I will ask what I am having. Here is a little history....am 56 yrs old...golfing since I was 9..4 grown children...3 granchildren with 2 on the way..was a recreation director for seniors and alzheimers...on Good Friday last year I was on my way to the grocery store for my Easter Ham. At the light I was rear-ended by a drunk driver...hospital said I had a strain neck and back...went to chiropractor then mri's...have grade 2 spondy L5/S1 with severe bilateral stenosis....disc herniations of L-5 and a disc herniation indenting the interior aspect of thecal sac..bulging disc and annular tears involving L3-4...also have C5-6 disc herniation..not to mention the surgery I had in October for rotator cuff and labral tear...believe me, I have NEVER in my life had a backache. I think thats why this is so unbelievable to me. I did go to the chiropractor for months then had an epidural. My foot feels like its broke and have sciatica on both sides. I am going to back class at the hospital this thurs and a question/answer with the doc on friday. I know this is lengthy but this site helps me sleep at night.
God be good to all of you,


  • the levels are L stands for lumbar witch is lower back the # is the level, T-# is thoracic and # for level ,and C spine witch is the neck and again the # is level. If you have multilevel fusion it would be for example L-5 through L-3. If this doesn't help you can look at a diagram of a spine and that may give you a visual of the levels.
  • A simple explanation : any fusion is between at least two vertebrae (e.g., S1-L5), that is one level, when you add another vertebra, that is now two levels, and so on. Mathematically, the number of levels equal the number of vertebrae minus 1 (e.g., L3, L4, L5, S1 fusion = 3 levels). I hope I did not confuse you.

  • This is how I understand it..

    L3/4 = 1 level
    L4/5 = 1 level
    L5/S1 = 1 level

    and so on..so if you had surgery to repair L3/4 and L4/5 it would be a 2 level.
    I had a fusion at L4/5 (1 level)

  • To all who responded...oh my gosh, a simple explanation!
    All these new "terms" the docs are throwing at me have my head spinning!
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