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I have lots of questions

So my back pain has been so unbearable I ended up in the ER recently and decided that PM wasn't going to be enough this time. So I have started the process and have come across lots of challenges along the way. Trying to bypass certain diagnostic procedures did't help he. MRI was not enough. Now plus the MRI I had a Bone Scan and a Discogram as well.

The Ortho surgeon mentioned that I was looking at a four level fusion. And that he was unsure that my pain level would be any better. Next he is teaming up with a Neuro Surgeon to get hi opinion. Or should I say, now I have to wait for his office to fax all my paperwork over to the Neuro office and then they call me to schedule an appointment. More co-pay crap! I feel like I have been copayed to death. Anyway back on topic, get the Neuro opinion and then go back to Ortho to review and make plan of action.

Questions listed below.:
1. For a four level fusion, how long will I be off work? (I have a desk job)
2. How long will I be in terrible pain after surgery?
3. What can I expect that I have missed?

4. How in the world do people who work have time to take off for all these procedures and make time for a surgery and recovery time?

5. for those who have had this surgery, are you better off now that you have had the surgery?

Anything you guys can add please feel free.

Thank you


  • First off what part of the spine are you referring to the neck or the back? Do you know which type of entry they will be doing? Are you using your bone or something else? Hopefully they explained the more levels the harder it is for the fusion to take place?

    One other thing don't feel bad about getting multiple opinions, heck I would also get a independent opinion. It bothers me that they say they don't know where the pain generator is? There are blocks they can do, to rule out different things. Keep in mind also the more levels they fuse the more ROM(range of motion), you will loose. It is just not as easy to fuse 4 levels and say okay all is good. You will find a greater amount of patients left in chronic pain with the multiple levels. Just something to think about.

    Hopefully you can give some more information on the surgery itself and then others can chime in, as to what they went though.
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