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how many surgeries are too many???

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:41 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello, Was wondering when do you just tell the doc's you have had enough cutting on. Been opened up twice with no relief to date. Anyone else have any insight?


  • Hi

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find many who have had or are going through the same issues as yourself. Be sure to check out the medical articles as well. As far as your question it depends on what is wrong when you tell the doc you don't want more surgery. For example if you have a cord compression and are risking paralysis I would do another surgery. But if you are just trying to resolve pain then depending on how bad that pain is would depend on wether to do surgery or not. What type of surgeries have you had and at what levels? What is the new surgery they are offering you? How long ago was the other two surgeries? I know it is not easy going through surgery but then again I need to look at the acute pain of the surgery versus the long term effects of not having it. I have had multiple cervical surgeries. But the consequences of not doing the surgery far out weigh the risk associated with the surgery itself. One of the risk that you sign off on for surgery is the need for future surgery down the road. We all hope that means never but then there is no guarantees on that. Please give us more information and we can try and help out more.

    Once again welcome to spine-health. If there is anything I can do for you please don't hesitate to pm me. Take care.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347
    there really isnt a limit or number of additional surgeries.

    I think some of the limit iies within ourselves. We get tired of having another surgery and going through the recovery process.

    What I try to do, after 7 spinal surgeries, is to do everything that my doctors and therapist have told me to do.

    For me, personally, the elimination of additional spinal surgeries id due to my Thai guru. For the past 3 years he has worked on me so that I dont see another surgery in the future
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,111
    I have had 6 surgeries to date. 4 cervical and 2 lumbar. Currently I need a surgery on lower lumbar and it looking like its going to be the same with cervical.
  • Hi,

    I have also had 1 cervical and 4 lumbar surgeries and was told I still needed 2 more lumbar surgeries,I would have to say that is is one of the things where only you can make the decision as to how many is enough, I myself have made that decision as I do not care to go through any more of the surgeries, so my limit is at this point 5. I do hope that you consider every aspect of what the surgeries may help you with and what might not happen, you just have to look at it that way and decide for yourself if you want to go through the next surgery or not, dont feel obligated to have the surgery, make sure that is your decision and not your Doctors.Remember we are all here for you no matter what you decide, and if you hit a rough spot just write to us and we will be glad to listen as well as talk to you. Good luck with what ever decision you might make and I hope you are not in to much pain.
  • I have had 3 cervical surgeries over a 12 year timespan.I felt better for awhile after all 3,but for a short while only.I need more surgery but I'm exhausting all other means before I decide to do it.So I guess its really a personal decision.Be nice to yourself everyone. Mark
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  • Any surgery is more than any of us should need....but when nature or life impacts our spines sometimes surgery is the only option. It should be the last viable option. Meaning that all other options that could help have been tried. You also want to put off surgery that will alter the structure of your spine as long as possible as long as there won't be other permanent nerve damage. Once you change the support system it tends to lead to problems in other areas. Kind of like playing Jenga. Take out a piece here and everything else gets tipsy. So doctors often will try to push off surgery for younger people if possible and safe.

    Only you and your doctors can make this decision. Will the pros outweigh the cons?
  • 18 months ago I had anterior cervical discectomy with fusion and hardware on multiple levels. Over the past 6 months swallowing has become very bothersome with food often sticking in my esophogus. I flush it down with fluid. I had a barium swallow that was abnormal,my ENT visually saw a bulge in my esophogus where the hardware is located thru a scope and my neurosurgeon wants to take the hardware out. I had emergency gall bladder removal 2 months ago, is that too soon to go under anesthesia again? If not, does anyone know of someone with a similar situation that benefited from hardware removal? I'm very anxious about it for some reason. I've had 12 surgeries in my life, one a DVT, and I've never been this nervous. Just looking for some opinions...thanks!
  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,786
    When all other treatments fail, when all the pain meds in the little black box don't work any more .... most of us will beg, cry, scream, plead, etc for surgery. I embarrassingly can say ...... I did.

    And the outcome is better ... somewhat .... but many of us have a progressive disease which means surgery will only stabilize where your at now .... not 3 or 5 years from now. And though I don't like the idea .... I see additional surgery in my future ... assuming I still have one of those.


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