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surgery process timeline

dmoonchildddmoonchild Posts: 383
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Generally speaking, how long is the whole process from 1st visit with surgeon to the actual surgery? I have an appointment with my surgeon on July 15th and I am anxious to get this going. (before I chicken out)


  • Hey Moonchild!

    When I met the surgeon for the surgery I wanted ADR it was Nov. 07. I had to get some other work ups. Discogram and then approvals from my work since I was injured on duty. I was able to get surgery as early as April but did not like that hospital and waited for the other hospital where they had rights. That was June 10th. Good Luck on a short time line to join the other side. :)
  • :? What exactly are you having done, does it need immediate attention (like you were in a car accident), is it work related, then you will have to jump through months, and I mean months of hoops, and then surgery may be denied. But if it is an on-going pain, injury and you have tried all "conservative treatment", ie; cortisone injections, physical therapy, then it will be a matter on how booked up your surgeon is, and what you're having done. And then whatever procedure you're having done, it will take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to completely heal. So I guess us spiney's here just kinda need to know more info before we can answer your question?
  • OMG!!!!!!!! It will take months? Holy moley. I was hoping to have it by the end of the summer. Silly me.
  • I was not injured at work, but I did have a car accident 2 yrs ago, but I was suffering before that. I dont know how much damage or if any was done in the accident. I have tried all conservative methods to no avail. The pain has gotten unbarable in the last few months. Im not sure what surgery will be done, this is my first appointment with a surgeon. I have DDD, 3 herniated disks L-3-4& 5 stenosis, synovial cysts
  • As soon as my PM doc saw my MRI she said surgery is a good idea for me.
  • From my initial visit with NS till first surgery was one day! Ths time it has been 6 weeks. But tomorrow is the day. Best of luck to you.
  • I waited 6-7 weeks just to meet the NS- that was after almost 17 months of other treatments.

    I think I met him May 10th- then we met again on June 5th to go over the new MRI and flex/ext xrays. My NS had a vacation scheuled so we had to wait till he got back.

    We scheduled Surgery for 6/23 (but it was denied by Insurance). After my NS had a phone meeting with the Insurance Co last Thursday= my surgery was approved (today). Now we are waiting for the OR to get a date.

    Does that help moonchild?

    Good luck Glenda.

  • In Dec 07, I had a month to think about if I would go ahead. Because I am Workers comp I then had to wait for approval before we could book a date.

    The Dr rang in Feb and gave me a date 4 weeks ahead but I asked to wait till May as I had to stop smoking for 3 months and also I really wanted to get as fit as possible.
    That meant lots and lots of short walks a day as long walks were not possible.
    So while you are waiting, get yourself prepared at least as physically as you can. It was the best thing I could do.
    All the best
  • When I finally decided that after I tried everthing I made an appointment to see the Surgeon. That took a week and then after he saw me, he booked it a month later. Busy guy since this is South Florida. I spent the month getting pre-op tests from my PCP and cardio.
    3 days before my surgury I found out the Hospital I chose only covered 80% and had to rebook at another Hospital that covered 100%. The 2nd choice was much better any how.
    All in all, 5 weeks after the intial visit.
    Good luck!!
  • I'm no doctor, but by your description of back issues, you'll probably end up having a "spinal fusion" of a couple of levels at least. In that case, it's going to be a matter of tests, MRI's, x-rays, blood, pre-op stuff, then it'll be a matter of your sugeons schedule. I went from Dec. 07' to surgery was performed Feb. 8th. But my initial on the job injury occured on March 26th, 07'. Jumped through the work-comp hoop for 9 months. Three of their surgeons said I needed a 3 level fusion. Work-Comp didn't want to hear that so they sent me to a 4th opinion (their choice) that said "surgery denied". Then they just left me (along with my x-attorney, fired him since) in pain, no follow-up appointments, no NOTHING, laying on the couch. (That was last July. So from July till December, I couldn't take it anymore, went to my OWN insurance health provider through spouse's employment. Then it was "wham-bam-thankyou-mam"!! My Neurosurgeon couldn't believe that work-comp left me in that situation. Anyway, I finally got fixed and it was a matter 2 months of appointments and testing. THUS, a HUGE lawsuit is in the works. Cause, I had to go through my own doctors.

    But as it turns out, it worked out better for me. I ended up with one of the best Neurosurgeons in the Denver area, instead of some work-comp othopedic quack!!! I read a lot of "horror" stories on this web-site about work-comp orthopedic surgeons.

    You'll know a lot more once you see your surgeon, then things go pretty quick!
  • took me a month I think it was. All I remember is it seemed like a whirlwind and left my head spinning...it seemed to happen so fast. I did start getting nervous but I went to the old SH site and everyone was so great at calming my fears and talking me through everything. Good luck to you and please keep us posted... :)
  • When I told my PM Dr. that I wanted to talk to a surgeon, I had an appt. made within 2 days. Scheduled the surgery right there in his office for about 6 weeks out. This was perfect because it gave me time to get everything set at home and work before goiing under the knife.

    It all depends on what you're having done, and how busy the surgeon is. My NS is specialist in Gamma Knife brain surgery... I guess I'm glad he has time to do piddly little back surgeries too! :)
  • Since I previously had a cervical fusion and was still seeing my NS once we seen the spinal stenosis and the bulging disc and decided on the surgery, it only took 2 weeks. My surgeon is very quick.

  • Lynnsy says spinal fusion??? Oh man, I didnt want that. That seems very scarey to me. OK Im offically scared to death. Not so much of the operation but the recovery time. I have 2 small children ages 2 & 3 and my wonderful husband. Thats it, no other help. All of our family is too far away and out parents are not well. Both fathers have amputations ( foot and leg). Can we do this?
  • Like I said, I'm no doc but I had L-3,4,5 stenosis, ddd and a hairline fracture in the back of L-3, and two of my discs were compressed causing the severe sciatic pain, CONSTANT in my left leg. And I was told by 4 surgeons that I needed this 3 level fusion. Don't freak until you see what they have to say, K? But a three level fusion is a "major surgery". Let us know what they say, and then we'll be happy to help you through everything. take care...
  • Moon,

    Until you see a doctor no one but the doc can be sure what will be the best and most appropriate treatment for you. Your original ?? was how long to get surg?
    Do not let yourself get side tracked from the original ?? You will be fine just get in and get answer from the doc.

    I was so releived when I actually spoke with the doc on how to proceed. I too received alot of useful information from the website and its participants but in the end it was information not something to base my decision on.

    Good luck with the doc. :)
  • Dmoonchild,

    Please disregard those that are predicting what type of surgery you need, they are not Doctors. They do not know how bad your herniated discs are or where the herniation is. The majority of adults have some form of DDD and are not symptomatic at all. Your Surgeon is going to want do a fair amount of tests along with a physical examination to determine what is the best route to take. You need to have patience, cause it takes time to figure out the best course of treatment and sometimes a much longer period to recover from the treatment.

    My first surgery was 6 years ago and was 3 weeks after my initial appointment. I dragged my dead left leg for the entire period while I made up my mind on whether I wanted the surgery. My second surgery last year was scheduled 6 weeks after I initially saw my surgeon. I had to get a current MRI, Discogram, and an EMG. I delayed the surgery for 2 months cause I didn't want to ruin my summer (missed the boat on that one).

  • Thanks, Im betting he'll want a discogram. How painful is that?
  • I had my first appt YESTERDAY and he wanted to do the surgery next tues-that did not give me enough time to get ready-I have 3 kids, so I made the date for aug 5.
  • Discogram - ditto on the very.

    I did it, thinking that all they were going to do was re-create my pain I live with most every day.

    I did survive it and mentally I think I did ok. That said, my body did not take it well - My whole body was shaking from holding in all the pain.

    I was totally incapable of any kind of movement for about an hour afterwards. Think excruciating pain at any attempt to move any muscle - that's about how it was.

    On the wait - I've been seeing my NS since Dec. 2006. Of course, a lot of the dely has been me trying all the alternatives so that I could go into surgery (if I ended up going into surgery) knowing I had exhausted every other avenue open to me.
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