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I need to have spinal surgery, I'm in a lot of pain & I'm afraid to do it.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Forget about my pain for a minute, this what the first surgeon said I need to have done: The first surgery I need to have done involves areas L4-4 and L5-S1. Those areas are the worst of my MRI. To get at the pressure on the nerves as they leave the spinal canal (that "foraminal stenosis)- he makes a small incision lower abdomen, below the belly button, pushes things aside, dilates the space between L4-5 & L5-S1 & insert spacers made of PEEK. Up to 5% bleeding but he works with a vascular surgeon to avoid it. Then I'm turned over... for

A small incision is made- very small midline low back & he gets to L4-5 posteriorly where my pressure, spinal stenosis, needs to be relieved by a laminectomy. It can only be done from the back. He explained the procedure and mentioned that 5% of the time, sometimes the covering of the spinal canal, the "dura" sticks to the bone they remove and you geta leak...that they fix.

A good five hrs. for the surgery & I'll be asleep. Depending on how it looks, I may need to have the front areas screwed together...to stabilize it.

Some time down the road- maybe years, he says I'll need to have the spaces at L-1-2, L2-3 and L3-4 taken care of. He is trained to do it from the side with PEEK spacers and an endoscope to allow for less pain & faster recovery. For the first surgery- 1-2 days in the hospital & 1-2 weeks of inpt rehab and home.

The other surgeon (a bit more experienced, perhaps) said he'll do all three surgeries in one day. Five days in the hospital, 12 days in rehab.

Has anyone ever had "3" surgeries done in one day?

Please advise, I'm really afraid but I need to make a decision soon. You may email me privately as well.

Thank you.




  • I am facing the question, surgery? I am a nurse...worked in peds oncology and epilepsy. I have counseled patients before, talked to them and saw how scared they where. Now I am that patient. You are that patient. It was just this week I had to ask myself....where will I be if I don't do the surgery. I will be in the same place I am in now, In Pain. :''( I have done everything to avoid surgery. I am a "good" patient. Pt, epidurals, Rhazotomy. So if I want my life back, or the chance at my life back I need to do surgery. I did get a few opinons and did research, research,research. Patients have to be an advocate in there own care. Surgery is an option, for some the only. Never an easy one! My thoughts are with you! Blessing to you as you make this tough choice.


    An Axial LIF very soon! Bring on the nuts and bolts!
  • Sorry to hear of your pain but I know it all too well. I had a lot of pain for a long time before I decided to have te surgery. I ended up having a 360 fusion at L4/L5. Like you, they cut the front and inserted the titanium disc replacement and then flipped me over and fused me with titanium. The surgery took just over 2 hours, not sure why yours will take so long? I walked a couple of hours later with NO back pain! Incisional pain, yes, but no usual back pain. The first day was the worst, they get the pain under control and you learn to get out of bed. Once I learned I wouldn't fall apart when I got up it seemed to help the more I walked up and down the hall. I went home the next morning and I was glad to be in my own bed. I am about 4 weeks out of surgery and I feel as if I never had surgery, or back pain. I do feel great. I have some nerve issue but it is controlled by Lyrica. I don't regret it for a minute but I know I am so early into the recovery process. Whatever you decide, get another opinion and check the doctor's record. Good Luck and Best Wishes
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  • Hello ladies, here's wishing you all a pain free holiday. Thank God my surgery and recovery when just fine. I feel better then i have in such a long time. Before my surgeries i wondered if i would have to spend the rest of my life like this. :''( With God's help and my stubborn ways i am so happy i did the surgeries.

    I did alot of research as well on both surgeries before and after. You are all well informed about your health and that is so great. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    Evelyn :H
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • I replied to your other thread.
    Sara O:)
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