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Vertebra removal?

timk24ttimk24 Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
My doctor/surgeon told me that I need to have, at least, 3 discs AND 2 VERTEBRA removed from my neck. I have never heard of anyone having their vertebra REMOVED????? This scares the crap out of me!!!

I'm a 48 year old artist that has pain and occassional numbness in my hands and arms. I would like to know what I can expect as for as rehab time and future dexterity in my hands and arms.

I've had 360 fusion surgery at L5-S1 (2005) and I still have some pain due to nerve damage. Being an artist, I am concerned about having nerve damage in my neck that might interfer with my dexterity.


  • Hi Tim,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you find many going through what you are.

    AS far as the surgery your surgeon is talking of why is he suggesting removing the vertebre? Now on all ACDF they will do partial verbrectomies to get at the disc and clean it up the area. What type of a approach will he be using and what type of hardware. So is he suggesting removing the entire vertebre and the disc and bone fusing the entire area? What type of grafting material is he suggesting to use? How long out did he suggest that it will take to fuse? I would definitely get multiple opinions on that before proceeding with the surgery. More is not always better and those with the vertebre removals seem to have a much rougher go.

    Keep us posted on what you decide to do?
  • Yep, it happens. I am having my L2 removed because it is misshapen due to a burst fracture and later collapse. Once a vertebrae has deformed and healed, there isn't much they can do with it, apparently, other than take it out.

    Do you have osteoporosis?

  • I just got back from the doctor and it looks like I will be having my entire neck fused on Dec 2, 2010.

    Fusion C2-T2 with Corpectomy of C5 &C6 plus rods and screws place in the back from C2-T2.

    Hardware can not be placed in the front because it might interfer with the esophagus due to the large area being fused.

    He said he might have to preform some laminectomies depending on what they find during surgery.

    He said it will be at least a 10 hour surgery for everything. 6-7 hours from the front and 3-4 hours from the back. It might have to be split between two days but he hopes he can finish everything on the same day if nothing else is found.

    I've know that my neck was very back for several years but NEVER imagined it was this bad.
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    I have had two or so vetabrae removed and replaced with a cage and yes, we can never imagine how this will effect us. (Bad) We can only attempt to live through it.

    Warmest regards,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Computed tomography demonstrates severe comminution of the vertebral body with marked retropulsion of bone into the neural canal. about 50%retropulsion. some worsening 9was about 25% at initial discovery. I was in car accident and due to sever leg break and immobility due to severe infection and botched er job, the injury and myself were ignored and humored at any request to look at my back pain.

    Once I finally got someone to listen it was 3months later and the burst of the l5 had fused. a year ago the pain became unbearable, maybe due to having a child (which was fine) but that child becoming older and more physical strain on myself. I am very athletic and have never stopped pursuing (skiing, deep sea fishing, golf, etc). However after going to spine doc and having new cts and mris it haas become apparent that my vertabrae only minimially attached on one side due to the width of the burst and not being able to contact. It is tacked on the inside (which is probably good). No straight answer if whether or not this is causing furthur pain or damage. The surgeon begged me not to do surgery and then changed his mind a year later with no explanation. now I have no insurance (a year ago I did...lol). I do not want to pop pills more and more....Why is the pain getting worse? bought memory foam mattress, nice but not alot better. would tens unit help? would lumbar stretching tools help?
    l5 burst, marine girl
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