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Back Surgery

audbpaaudbp Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello - my name is Audrey and I'm very new to this forum (or to any forum!). I had a laminectomy 4 years ago in order to relieve a herniated disc. It did not do much good as I now have severe stenosis and herniated discs on each side into the nerve canals. I have been to 4 doctors (2 ortho surgeons and 2 neurosurgeons), all well respected and all who say I need surgery soon. I have 4 different opinions as to what kind of surgery I need. One says another laminectomy (I may need more down the road), another says a 7 hour fusion and rod, another says a 4 hour fusion and brace, another says a 2 1/2 hour fusion and possible brace. They all say they will take out the herniated discs. So, what to do? I need to make a decision very very soon. Thanks for any input you can provide.


  • Welcome to SH.This is also the first forum that I joined. It is full of wonderful, supportive people.

    Wow, so many different opinions from your 4 surgeons. It is great that you received multiple opinions as surgery is such a big decision. I too am awaiting a fusion,though don't know any details of duration etc.

    What level fusion or laminectomy will you be having? Sorry I can't really offer any advice regarding which surgery, as I haven't had mine yet and it's such a personal choice. Just wanted to let you know that we are here for you!

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Welcome to our forum :)))

    You're to be commended for getting several opinions before going ahead with more surgery.

    Has each surgeon outlined whether the fusion will be from the back or front or both?

    How many levels are they recommending? That will make a difference as to the timing of the surgery.

    I saw three neurosurgeons before going with the last one. One was proposing to via the back and the front, and the third one from the front (anterior). I related best to the third surgeon and went with the ALIF, and it's successful. I may need further surgery further down the track, but I'm able to get about pretty good but need to listen to my back when it tells me it's had enough sitting or standing or whatever I'm doing.

    Can understand your dilemma now. Generally, recovery is easier with an ALIF because no muscles are cut and less blood loss. However, there's still the same healing process for the spine.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Hi Trish - thanks for your reply. I'm going back to see 2 of the surgeons (one neuro and one ortho) - I have lots of questions and since I'm planning on having the surgery the beginning of July, I have to make a decision soon. I will take my daughter with me to see both of the surgeons as she may have some questions that I haven't thought about. I appreciate your information about your ALF and happy for you that it was successful.

  • Hi Karen - thanks for your reply. I will have the fusion at L4 and L5 - not sure if it is anterior or posterior or both. I'm going back to 2 of the 4 surgeons that I saw (one neuro and one ortho) - I have been able to talk to 2 happy people that had successful fusion surgery - one with the neruo and one with the ortho. I have lots of questions to ask and since I'm planning on having this surgery the beginning of July, will make a decision very soon. Thank goodness the epidural I had 3 1/2 weeks ago has taken away the awful leg nerve pain that I would get in the middle of the night. I hope it will last until the surgery. Let me know when you decide to have your fusion.

  • That's such a good idea taking your daughter with you. On my visits to the neurosurgeon that I went with, I had my best friend and my sister with me, and they asked questions.

    Preparing well is a key factor, and you're doing that.

    Do post again and let us know how you go with both surgeons.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    It sounds like you have two different problems going on, herniated disc and stenosis, and each requires its own treatment, although I imagine a laminectomy while removing the disc would help.

    Read up on stenosis and herniated discs, as they're two different animals. That might give you more questions to ask. I've had surgery for stenosis and it required going in and opening up space for the nerves. An ESI and medrol pack helped my bulging disc, so that was an easy one.

    Also, under out FAQ section are a couple of lists of questions to ask your surgeon before surgery, so look at those two.

    Good luck in your decision-making and feel free to ask us more questions after you see your doctors.

    Take care,
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