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L4-L5 decompressive laminectomy &L4-L5 Discectomy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had this surgery done in Jan 2005 and was told by my surgeon that he removed the L4-L5 vertebrae & L4-L5 disc. He told me that some surgeons replaced this vertebrae with artificial bone or bone from a pig, but that he did not use either. He said that he did not use any replacement bone for the one he took out. He also said that besides the broken back(a large piece of broken bone was found floating in there below the L4-L5 disc space)the problem was degenerative and would get bad again at a later time. I have filed for disability and my lawyer says that the surgeon only removed 1 disc. I am looking at the operation report from the Hospital which was written by the surgeon, he says the spinous processes of L4-L5 were removed & then the L4 & L5 decompressive laminectomies were performed. The nerve roots were decompressed, the thecal sac then returned to a normal anatomic position...The question I have is this: Is my lawyer missing something in this report Or does this sound like just a disc removal? I have been waiting for my SS disability hearing for 3 years & a date has finally been set, and would like to make sure I have the information correct.....By the way, my pain has come back & am afraid it's starting all over again! I hope someone can answer my question


  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    It would be rare for an entire vertebrae to be removed. Fusion, in itself, means the joining together of two or more vertebrae (or any bones in the body such as an ankle fusion, etc). The vertebrae are the basic structural component for the spine. Very often part of a vertebrae is removed (laminectomy, laminotomy, foraminotomy, spinous process, etc). So what you are seeing does look right.

    If you look at anatomy photos on the internet or pictures of x-rays after fusion you'll see that the vertebrae are still there but often hardware or bone additives are used to create a fusion.

    I hope this helps.

    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Thanks for the comment.....Actually the surgeon said that there was no fusion....I have had two fusions done on my neck and have the brkts & screws in a med bottle for posterity! :-) Thanks again.....
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