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Surgeon didnt sound to positive about my fusion

JohnnyOJJohnnyO Posts: 118
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I injured my lower back again last February and have had two operations so far, both were either unsuccessful or I had reherniations quickly after wards. I have very bad pain and my old surgeon sent me to a different surgeon who specializes in the more complex spinal surgeries. This surgeon told me that a fusion was really my only surgical option at this point. I knew this and was prepared to go ahead with it. The surgeon however did not sound to confident at all. He seemed worried about my age, 29, and about how much improvement the operation would acheive. He told me that after the operation I may still need to be on my meds. He also told me about the increased stress the rest of my spine will take on and also that theres a chance I could end up worse after surgery. The surgeon IMO seemed worried that the surgery would not work. He told me there was a herniated disc there which looked to be the problem, but since Ive had two surgeries which did not work that may be scaring him that the fusion will not for some reason either. He really seemed to be trying to get me to not go forward with it. He told me there was normally about a 60-70% chance of success with my sort of pain but that I have had many inujuries to the area and many surgeries which may make my chances less. He's worried that my S1 nerve root may have permanent damage to it.

Kind of unexpected, I told him Id talk it over with some people and make my decision. He's willing to go through with the operation but now Im having doubts. Hard to picture myself having to take medication like I do for the rest of my life.


  • I think you need to get a second opinion. Any surgeon that sounds unsure to you, you should feel confident that what you are doing is the right thing. I went to several Drs and then went to 2 Sergeons. The first scared my being over confident, the second one who did the surgery, explained everything very well, and also made me feel like he was totally capable of doing what needed to be done. I have yet to regret that decision. He is the most caring and great Dr I have ever met. He makes me aware of everything that is going on and how it should be. You should have every confidence in your Dr or you dont have the right one. Search out a second opinion and see what comes up with it.
  • I agree- that is not the doctor to use. Be thankful he was honest so that you get a choice to find someone who will confidently help you.

    I don't know why this doc isn't positive, but he must know that with his experience, he can't help you. Doesn't mean someone else won't be able to. Do you know if you have unusual scar tissue/surgery damage from your previous 2 surgeries? I've heard of docs not wanting to go anywhere near someone else's surgery problems. (My 2nd surgeon really messed up my back and I should never have gone to him. My radar really let me down that time, but I was in severe pain and in a rural area - should have known better.) Anyway, I was very glad my 3rd surgeon, a wonderful neursurgeon, wil willing to go in there and fix my back, clean up some of the problems, and give me some hope. He is a very blunt doctor and tells you what you need to know, not what you want to hear, so it can be a tough experience.

    Definitely seek at lest one or two more opinions and keep us posted!!

    Take care,

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