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Straighten spine or just fuse as is

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi there,
I'm Spondy 2 1/2 to 3 but with very low pain. What is the word out there on Doctors alligning the spine back up before the fusion or just fusing as is. I've of course had two different opinions on this. I've seen two Ortho's and one Nuero. I know I will have to have surgery but think I'm going to wait until my pain leval changes. Thanks KSH


  • I think that straightening the spine is part of the process. When during fusion they attach the rods, that provide the support for the spine to keep it in alignment.

    Good luck in finding the right answer.

  • ....ohhhh the weather here is AWFUL!!!! Ohhhh! Owwwww! But to answer your ?: my NS "straightened" me only a bit, mostly to just get the pedicle screws in properly. He said it depends on your age, prior condition, muscles, etc as to how much to re-align or just keep from getting worse.
    He said if it's made perfectly straight again, at my age anyway ( last year) my muscles would have protested too much etc....after years of being in a mis-alligned position, to straighten too much could make things worse, even at other levels, etc.
    Made sense to me. My x-rays show he did bring things back into somewhat of a straight line, but there is still a small off-set @ L4/5---but now the hardware is keeping things from moving fwd, along w/ my "new" bone growth.
    Did get A LOT of muscle spasms (still do) so I am glad he didn't "over-do" it.
    You are smart to get a few opinions. But once you decide what to do, if your trust your doc, you'll be fine.
    Hey everyone! How's the weather, haha!
    TERRIBLE here.....freezing sleet/rain/heavy snow....my hardware is my barometer now! OH MY!!

    ~ Lakeside (don't envy me tonight!)
  • Thanks Lakeside. The Nuero I saw agrees with what you said. The two Orthos think more straight less wear and tear for the future levals. Sometimes I think the more opinions I get the "more opinions I get!" I'm 50, good health (Spondy 2 1/2 to 3 )otherwise and very low pain and very little leg tingles. The last Ortho said to add core light impact exercise and come back in 6 months. After all I read on this forum the surgery should not be rushed into.
    Thanks again. ---warm in CA---
  • I had previous PLIF that left my high grade 2 spondy slipped. Well....b/c it was done from the back and no cage was put in....my screws have now wiggled around and loosened. So, I'll be having anterior/posterior done in May so that I can have a cage put into L5/S1. The OS said that by pulling the level apart to put the cage in,it should drop the L5 backwards and straighten my spine for the most part. I just spoke w/the general surgeon that will be doing the anterior opening, and he said that from what he has seen (w/working w/2different OS) the ones that have anterior approach w/posterior do better than just posterior. This is in the case of a good sized slip. I would definitely wait on surgery unless there is more pain, or a risk of nerve damage. As well, be clear w/your OS/NS about the instability. Don't put off surgery if you run the risk of your spine slipping off of your sacrum!
  • I've tried to Google and find out as much info on slipping more. Not a lot of luck. Two doctors have said surgery sooner than later due to unstable and then this last OS from a top teaching hospital is much more concervative and does not think it will "just fall off". My first docotor did the PLIF and then flipped you over and felt like it was the best way! Good luck with another surgery, I can't seem to wrap my head around doing the first one. ksh
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