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new here

Newton35NNewton35 Posts: 12
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone,
I'm new here, as in first post. Been lurking around for a while.
I was in an accident some years ago, it was me in a kayak vs. a big motorboat where all aboard were drunk beyond description. Every doctor since have concurred that It was a miracle that I lived. I continue, though, to live with the consequences.

A very good life west kept me from drowning. There was severe back injury and other fractures along with internal bleeding. I recovered as well as could be expected. I can walk but there's sensory impairment along with nerve damage in my legs. Most are manageable but my back... It gives me hell and then some.

I've been lurking around here reading about the experience of others, because, despite 6 operations, I need another one. My first, emergency surgery, involved complicated fusion (with rods and plates) on my lumbar spine. I've since had some minor surgeries to relieve herniated disks. All as succesful as can be expected with this amount of injury. I'm slowly, but surely, losing my ability to walk and paralysis is rearing its ugly head. I need surgery as fast as possible. I've seen two surgeons. One a neurosurgeon and the other a back surgeon and they have totally different suggestions. One suggests massive and indeed complicated surgery which would involve fusing most of my cervical region. The other suggests a more conservative approach, more or less an acdf. I'm at a loss, we've (me and my husband) have been researching most of what we can but there's only so much you can do. We've made an appointment for a 3rd opinion, hoping someone can recommend a clear(er) rate of options, acdf and wait or a more radical approach and no more surgeries for a while.

I suffer relatively minor pain but there's pain. I've been on a cocktail of meds for eyars. I fear that any surgery can/will aggravate that pain. I've managed to keep myself relatively active over the years.



  • Welcome to Spine Health,

    I too was in an accident involving my back and am now fused L1-S1. Each year seems to bring something new as my spine continues to deteriorate.

    I hope your 3rd opinion will give you good options or reinforce one of the previous options. I would want the less invasive option for as long as possible.

    Its good you have been able to be active, I try also to do the best I can given the circumstances. Pain is no fun even if its minor.

    I read your other post also. I have 5 cats but no dogs.

    Please know there are a lot of us here and this is a great support group. Please let us know how the 3rd app't goes.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • An ACDF can lead to fusion of multiple levels (mine was 4 levels). The surgeon who recommended the 4 levels vs. 1 level actually said he considered the 4 level the more conservative approach because if I had a 1 level I would very likely need more surgery in the future. I really wanted to avoid further surgery.

    Let us know how you're doing.

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • I wish you the very best with your 3rd opinion appointment. Please keep us posted, and I hope you can get improvement in your motor function; back problems can be so frustrating! Love 'n >:D< >:D< >:D< , Ess
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