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vertebrectomy rare for first surgery?

welshladywwelshlady Posts: 121
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
the more i am reading on this site the more curious i am becoming as to why my first surgery seems so radical? I was expecting the discectomy and fusion until the pre-op assessment when they looked at mri again, and told me that i need this major surgery, c6 vertebrectomy. any ideas how rare it is to have this as a first op?


  • I think thats a question your dr could of explained right after his findings,
    Did you ask your dr during your dr visit and consult?

    There is a reason for everything and if they decided against fusion they must have given an explanation as they usualy do,

    Good luck,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Hi Alexhurting,

    thanks for responding, i can only say that if an explanation was given, i missed it! i was going for my pre op assessment for discectomy and fusion, a different 'fellow' looked at my mri from a different angle and was writing on my form vertebrectomy, he explained that there was a section without any spinal fluid around it at all and pointed out the worst areas where the chord was being compressed and pinched. then i was called in to the surgeon and this 'fellow' where the surgeon started asking me the usual question by now, "where is the pain worst the arm or neck" looked at the mri and didnt even wait for an answer but said yes this was a vertebrectomy, told me that it was a titanium cage, filled with synthetic bone with top plate and screws, that it was still anterial that i would have a three inch scar and would need a itu bed and that he wouldnt even start the op if an itu bed wasnt available. i did take in that the option is to become paralysed from neck down but have no idea how or why my neck is in this state, i have had neck pain since my school days thanks to the congenital fusion and have always accepted neck pain as part of my life, only when it started affecting my arm and shoulder 5 years ago did i go to the gp and then they followed the root that it was my shoulder til last oct when the shoulder surgeon said he thought my shoulder was now ok so sent me to mri. i really think i was in shock by the time i was in with the surgeon and was brain numb. but why the vertebrectomy rather than the discectomy i am still unsure about.
  • I am just guessing that they have to do that to get to the chord to make sure all compression is off the chord and then use the cage,

    Meaning its not just a disc issue its where spine is not stable is maybe why they have to do it that way,

    Cage is used often i believe, If i was you i would get another opinion from another specialist just to confirm and go from there,

    Its easier knowing all specialists agree on the type of surgery needed,

    Then its in there hands and gods, Then hopefully surgery is the answer to fix the problem,

    Cant hurt to get another birds eye view from another dr before going in for such big surgery,

    Good luck,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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