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Please Answer

donnaddonna Posts: 40
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Has anyone ever heard of a ns saying they were going to do a multi level fusion and then after getting in there doing less? Please say yes someone!!!!!!!!!!


  • It depends donna, did you have discogram on all levels he was going to fuse? I have heard of doctors doing a discogram while actually looking at disc and seeing so much more problems with that specific one.
    Herniated T6-7, multiple herniations in cervical, tears in T5-T8. Stenois at levels and smorls nodes from thoracic thru lumbar
  • I think that is a sign of a great doctor. If he got in and looked at things and decided something did NOT need to be done, it shows great integrity for him to leave that level alone. So I would jump for joy if my doc didn't have to do as much as was scheduled. I have a friend who was recently going in for 2 levels and the surgeon only did 1. She too was concerned, but now understands that less is more when it comes to spine surgery.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I had a Discogram before my fusion, and there was no doubt on what levels needed to be done. Did you ask him, what he didn't find, and why he changed the game plan?? Maybe once he explains to you, why he did less, you will feel better about the whole ordeal. Take care, and I hope that all goes well!

  • My thoughts

    - did you have a 2nd opinion that concurred with the original plans? Or did they differ?
    - Did he explain why the change in plans?
    - are you comfortable with his reasoning?

    My NS told me that he would never intentially surprise me. He would give me all the options before heading into surgery. So he said, if he went in and found that he needed to more than he said, he would request my husband's approval for X but anything beyond X, he would not do within that surgery. I never asked him what he would do if he found 'less to do' than expected but knowing my surgeon I would have trusted him but certainly would ask for a reasoning and how he would know if his decision was a good one (probably a little differently than this).

    On the plus side - good he didn't do more than he needed just because this is what he said. It means he is willing to change plans best on what he thinks is best for you long term.

    on the downside - it sounds like you are worried about this decision. So, I guess it would concern me if you already had doubts on him OR if he doesn't listen to you during your recovery.

    I think you take this with a positive attitude and learn about WHY and WHAT next and WHAT if you need that other work done in the future.

  • I am hoping that he will not need to do three levels because 13 months ago I was going to have 1 level fusion and backed out, now he says I need 3 levels with instrumentation. I have had 2 opinions both agree on 3level. I personally am hoping that once he gets in there he decides to do less but I did not know if that was possible.
  • yes he did explain why, because my pain and burning and numbness have gotten worse with head movement especially if I look up. also I am having potty trouble off and on. Dont like that at all. He explained that is why I went from 1level to3.
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