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Is surgery at 4 levels possible?

ponies212pponies212 Posts: 2
edited 11/05/2015 - 9:43 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I was in a car accident last year. I suffered a brain injury and a neck injury. After exhausting all less invasive options, the doctors finally performed a discogram and determined that I need surgery at 4 levels. They are saying that it is not possible to perform surgery on 4 cervical levels and are moving forward to treat me for chronic pain. I am awaiting a second opinion, but wanted to know if anyone has had an experience where surgery was performed at 4 levels. I have cognitive issues that it is now anticipated will be lifelong. I was hoping that my neck pain could be "fixed" . Although I would not be happy about having any surgery, the idea of being treated for chronic pain for a lifetime is not an easy idea to get used to. Even with current meds, the pain is not acceptable. Has anyone had experience with neck surgery at 4 levels? Thank you for any input. I do believe that many doctors are not comfortable treating me due to the brain injury.

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
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- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
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- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
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What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Use the search facility (icon upper right) and search on 4 level cervical surgeries. You will find pages of people who have had this before.

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

Take a look at this article: More than one level surgery

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 11/05/15 15:41 est



  • I had an ACDF C3-C7 in August 2012. I do not have pain anymore. But life is different. My turning to the right/left has been reduced to about 50%. Looking up or down has been reduced 50-60%. I obeyed all of the doctors orders. I did not lift anything over 10 pounds for several months. I went back to work part time 2 weeks after surgery, I have a desk job so it made it easier. I went back to work full time at 7 weeks. This is the first time I have posted a reply. This site has helped so much that I decided I needed to give back! I was very scared for surgery too. Find a good doctor!! I had a neurosurgeon perform mine. He was recommended to me many times. I had to wait to get in to seen him but it was worth it. Good luck in your decision.
  • ponies212pponies212 Posts: 2
    edited 11/06/2015 - 11:48 AM
    Thank you for your response. I am waiting for a second opinion with doctor at Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. Hoping they have an alternative plan to treating me for chronic pain. As it is the meds don't offer enough relief for living. I have no problem waiting as long as here is the hope of moving forward! I am very happy you have relief from pain and I appreciate your support and information. Thank you again.
  • there are many cases (not tons) on here of 4 level ACDF or posterior surgery, they're just not as common, obviously. Definitely get a second opinion!! Good luck and keep us posted! (If you search C3 - C7 or similar (C3-7), I believe that's the most common 4 level done).

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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