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Acdf and thoracic outlet surgery

Two different surgeons, both of whom I told what the other said and recommended, tell me that I need to have different surgeries and that most likely their surgery would help me to feel better.  They tell me that afterward there is a chance I will need the other surgery but no way to know until afterward.  I don't know whether to have the ACDF or the thoracic outlet surgery or who I should believe.   If I have one then need the other, will the second surgeon feel jilted?  I have had that happen before when having gotten a second opinion.  I am experiencing neck, back and shoulder/arm pain and just had carpal and cubital tunnel surgeries. 

Can anyone chime in with any advice or experience?   Thank you.



  • hi toj831

    welcome to spine-health

    if you are in any doubt about diagnosis, it may be worth considering a third opinion.  you want to get it right and doctors should understand if you are getting different opinions.

    it is against forum rules for any members to give medical advice.  they can only share their own experiences.

    i have added two links below to help new members with information and these also contain the forum rules.  there is lots of material to research that will give you the power of knowledge.

    welcome to spine health




    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
  • Thank you very much.  I realize this is not a forum where medical advice is given as it is not running by doctors only by other patients and their experiences.   I guess I should have left out advice and left in experience.  I hoped the experiences of others could help me out.

    I appreciate the articles; thank you again.

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  • i dont know much about thoracic outlet syndrome/surgery - but i have had acdf. a third opinion does sound like good advice in this case. im also wondering what tests you've had? as in - what specifically is each dr giving as their reasons for thinking either the neck or thoracic outlet is the primary cause for pain?

  • Just out of curiosity, are both doctors of the same specialty--IE, are they both neuro's or ortho's? I'm just wondering why they are recommending different types of surgery. I agree with the other posters' about getting a 3rd opinion, break the tie so to speak. It's not an easy thing getting a diagnosis. It seems to be a long journey. Good luck. 

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