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surgery at 76

I'm 76 and was told I need surgery for cervical spinal stenosis. I've had two opinions and have had an mri and other related tests. I was told it would get worse and I might become paralyzed. I'm 76 years old and scared to death of going under the knife for 8 hours. Any opinions?


  • Forget get a doctor your comfortable with, that's first and foremost. Obviously it is a more serious circumstance your under, I was 14 and had to have a fusion due to a broken C2 so I know what it's like to be scared about it. Some fusions can take less time than 8 hours and some more. If I were you I would get it done and make sure you have the support around you. I was in a wheelchair for 6 months (NOT because of the surgery) and it is totally life changing and I would never want to go back there again where I have to depend on almost everyone around me to do tasks that used to be so simple and it was really hard for me to go through that change. Keep thinking about it but I would personally go through it especially since 2 surgeons say this and they do think everything including anasthesia through.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    Any type of surgery at your age has to be viewed very carefully. Many times folks around your age go in for a specific surgery, which is addressed, but wind up with other problems. So many times you here that being pneumonia, and for the elderly , that can be fatal.

    Also, you need to get a good understanding from your doctor regarding the pros/cons of the stenosis surgery, especially at your age. There is never a guarantee that the surgery will eliminate your pain.

    In the states with our medical system, you could get the surgery. In many countries with socialized medicine, you would not be considered as a surgical candidate.

    I am not trying to scare you, I just want to give you additional information that you need to investigate.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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