I am a 73yo Australian male and over the last three years have had increasingly severe neck pain that develops muscle spasms that leave me in severe trauma for 3 to 4 days on average. I have had massage , physio, acupuncture, 6 sets of cortisone spinal injections, radio frequency ablation, all under two different neurosurgeons. When pain is real bad I take endone , targin, oxy contin and panadeine Fort, none of which are very helpful when the pain is severe.
On average I can only walk about twenty meters without losing breath and frequently have giddy spells, sometimes falling. I do not have pain in arms or legs, nor numbness or pins and needles.
I saw a new neurosurgeon three weeks ago and he promised to ring me with details of (suggested) required surgery after a new nuclear bone scan. I did not hear from him for two weeks and then his secretary rang with a booking date for surgery, with no details whatever and no opportunity to speak to the surgeon. Next day I received a letter with a quote for expected costs, net after refunds about $7000.
The quote listed the following, which I find difficult to understand:
1. Bone graft to spine, postero-lateral fusion
2. Spinal stenosis, partial or total laminectomy
3. Intracranial stereotactical procedure
4. Spinal rhizomes is
5. Segmental internal fixation of spine
6. Bone graft with internal fixation.
I do not know how long the op will take, how long a stay in hospital or recovery time. I have only been told my movement will be restricted, but that is the case now be a use of pain.
Payment in full $10000, is required up front. Having other health problems, viz atria fibrulation and 5 urine infections in the last 6 months, I am reluctant to go ahead with operation. I had a laminectomy and fusion in lower spine when I was 28 and this was extremely successful, though there is now stress on the adjoining vertebrae now ( and have been told recently "the lower spine is now xxxx "
I am on warfarin for the A, which is another complication.
Any advice would be appreciated.