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DanianneDDanianne Posts: 31
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all

I'm writing this from my phone, so forgive the errors. My surgeon had sent me for an mri due to the increasing pain in my leg and bc I couldn't have one after the stimulator. The mri showed severe encroachment bilat more so on right of l5. The surgeon says it could be spurs or large amount of scar tissue. He usually has a surgery sched booked up for 3 to 4 months since he is best in area and one of best in arizona. He is prioritizing surgery on me for 2 weeks, may 5th. He was trying to get me in for Monday (I saw him on thurs) bc of the increasing pain and weakness but my fiance and in laws whom we live with since my 2nd surg last year can't get off work easily that fasr. It can be done its just a pita. Plus I need to donate blood and get labs, all of which would be forgone if we were to do it on Monday.

He said since there is a mechanical reason for my pain the stimulator won't work or if it does the relief won't last as the conditon progresses.he did however say that its 50/50 chance of relieving all of my pain and I do have multi nerve sypmtoms and have had injuries to the nerves for 4 yrs now and I will probably end up needing a stimulator ina years time.

The surgeon is plannign on checking the fusion and removving the hardware if the fusion is solid he will leave hardware out. He's going to check and clean out l4 l5 s1 neruforamens and "trace the nerves down". If the fusion is not solid he will refuse and then go anteriorly and put a cage in that way.

Has anyone had this type of surgery done? What should I expect?

Thanks all for listening

failed spinal fusion after a car accident and fractured vertebrae in july 06. Revision, extention and removal of much scar tissue in April 09. Continued right leg pain from date of accident. Getting worse pat 6 months.


  • I don't believe anyone can tell you what to expect since you don't really know how much the surgeon will be doing. The foraminotmy is an easy surgery. If that were all that was being done, you would be back on your feet in a day or two. But he plans on doing something with the fusion, so that will make it more difficult.

    If he goes in to place the cage, that will pretty much be like having another fusion procedure. I have heard that removing hardware is not that big a deal, but I have not had it done. Mine is in place.

    By tracing the nerves, I imagine he means that he will check to be sure they are freed up and there is no compression. If he finds more scar tissue or something that is compressing a nerve, I suspect he will cut it away and free up the nerve.

    So, I suppose you should plan for a longer recovery and be pleasantly surprised if the doctor ends up doing less and you recovery very quickly!!
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I had a cervical foraminotomy in 2008 due to stenosis and nerve entrapment. It helped a great deal. The surgeon had said, going in, that there appeared to be minor stenosis per the MRI and CT. After the surgery he said the stenosis was significant thus the severity of my symptoms.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
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