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Orthodpedic Vs. Neurosurgeon for Anterior Discectiomy and Fusion

jmdlczjjmdlcz Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
It has been suggested by both Doctors that it is necessary for a ADWF of the
C 5-6, 6-7. They both seem well qualified, but does anyone have cause to believe one is more suited for the surgery than the other.


  • Hello and Welcome to Spine-health JM!! I wish I could give you some advice but I am just starting down the cervical/upper back myself!!

    I will be waiting to hear what the wonderful and caring members of this site tochime in!!!

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!!!
  • I've been told to consider the cause of your problem. If your pain is from a nerve being pinched then you want a NS. If your problem is bone based then you want an OS. Of course that is if you feel they are otherwise equal in skill.
  • This is a journey muddled with a ton of information. I'm looking at getting surgery on the 20th of December, so I'll keep you up to date on this entry and hopefully we'll get some helpful feedback.

  • I have developed atrophy in some of my larger muscles on the right side and have numbness in my fingers. There is compression on my spinal chord, and at c5-6 there is some scaring. I luckily don't have pain at this time. Both surgeons have come highly recommended, so the decision will be a difficult one.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  • Hey Jeff...from what you wrote it sounds like alot of nerve issues and problems....

    I have Lumbar knowledge, unfortunitly..LOL, but not the upper parts. Other than what the awesome members of this site have told me!! You will love it here Jeff...so many compasionate people!!!
  • Jeff if they are working at the spinal cord then I would definately want a neurosurgeon doing the work. WHile both can do it I just think a neuro is better focused to be in that situation.
  • Do you mean ACDF? I have no clue what a ADWF is? At any rate, *I* look at is this way. Do you have neurological issues causing neurological issues (disks, stenosis etc) or do you have orthopedic issues causing neurological issues (slipping vertebra, spurs). Or short description. Soft tissue issues affecting nerves, or bone issues causing nerve issues?

    That might help you decide which way to go. If you still aren't sure, another opinion is not a bad way to go. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of information throughout this site and the forums are full of great member who are knowledgeable and supportive.

    I suggest you read this:

    The most important thing in my mind is how experienced the surgeon is and who I have the most confidence in. My surgeon is an ortho, but he's fellowship-trained, works only on spines and specializes in severe cervical conditions. He's also part of a spine center that includes inhouse physios and PT, kind of a one-stop shop :-). He did both my ACDF and my TLIF and both conditions involved both bone and nerve problems, including herniations and bone spurs impinging on the spinal cord in my cervical area and stenosis and facet problems in my lumbar area. I know that my surgeon has a neurologist in the OR with leads attached to me monitoring my nervous system at all times, so either way your nerves are always being monitored.

    It all comes down to a matter of preference so you'll get opinions all over the place. If you trust and like both doctors equally, then maybe it's time for eeny, meeny, miney, moe.

    Take care and please keep us posted.
  • Just joined, so this is all new to me.

    Its nice to know there are others out there with multiple spinal issues. Mine began in 1970, at age 13 on S1-L5. Post surgical left me with permanent numbness in both feet and ankles.

    In 2002 I blew L4-L5 which resulted in a drop foot and total and permanent numbness to right foot. At the same time I had carpel tunnel surgeries on both hands.

    In 2008 surgeon went back in to clean up L4-L5 and the hope was to regain some feeling in my foot, which unfortunately I didn't.

    In 2009 I began to have severe pain and numbness in my left hand, so I went back to my surgeon, and after an MRI, which showed that there was no disc material and all levels were collapsed and compressed , had ACDF 5 levels from C3~T1 in late June of this year. (*The fusion actually helped my right foot, so I am able to walk much better.). Still have stiffness in my neck and shoulders.

    Unfortunately, I am now having numbness in my left hand and upper arm. Off to see my surgeon and another MRI.

    It could be worse.

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