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    Spinal fusion Levels 2-5
    An_253264 posted:
    I am to have surgery for severe spinal stenosis on levels 4-5 and the doctor said today the X-ray shows collapsing above and they would continue. Due to my young age (64) lol and medical history I suspect he doesn't want me to go future back surgeries. Had one botched fusion that he has to repair from 13 yrs ago.

    My question is, when he said my back is extremely unstable how does he stabilize it. I failed to ask that. I am pretty nervous but can't go thru any more years of this pain.

    Any advise out there would be appreciated. I know it will be a long haul but I am fit and exercise faithfully.
    trs1960 responded:
    Typically, what they mean by stabalize it's to make it structurally sound and to prevent further damage.

    As you'll find here stability and pain mitigation are independent issues

    What area of the spine are you talking about, cervical, thoracic or lumbar?

    BSHaynes replied to trs1960's response:
    Tim, it is for the Lumbar L2 thru L5, my concern it what type of method is typically used for stabilization. I am most concerned with how long I will be laid up as I am the primary caregiver for my ill spouse. Thanks
    aprilrose9 responded:
    Dear An 253264,

    It sounds like you have a long history with this doctor. The pre-op appointment should have covered all the information. Are you sure you do not want to get a second opinion?

    I only ask this, because I have had problems with my back after spinal fusion and wish I had gotten a second opinion. Remember, medicine is not black and white, but a big grey area.
    davedsel responded:
    Hello and welcome.

    Please read through the Tip at the top of this WebMD Back Pain Community that lists recommended steps for getting back pain diagnosed and treated. Within that thread are links to web sites that have good information about spinal problem and their treatments, including details about various spinal surgeries.

    Do your research thoroughly and get several opinions from spinal orthopedic surgeons and/or spinal neurosurgeons before proceeding. I understand fully about the strong desire for pain relief, but you need to be fully aware of the details and risks of spinal surgery. Ask you current surgeon many questions and only proceed once you are comfortable.

    I pray you can get answers and relief soon.
    Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


    aprilrose9 replied to davedsel's response:
    Dave you said this perfectly! Excellent advice.
    davedsel replied to aprilrose9's response:
    Well, Aprilrose, I've always said I am not as dumb as I look. My wonderful wife always replies that no one could be. LOL.

    Hope everyone is having a blessed and wonderful Wednesday.
    Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


    spinalcenter responded:
    Its better for you to take pain reliever and oil message plus diet that can strong and strengthen your muscles, have water and try to relax with yoga exercise because, now your age is 64 I dont recommend you going for the surgery because you are young sir Please Take care of your self.
    trs1960 replied to BSHaynes's response:
    Fusions in the lumbar region can be quite successfull The good news is you no longer have a spinal cord that low. Around T12-L1 the cord changes to what's called Cuada Equis ( Latin for "horses tail") At this point the cord is just individual nerves that service lower extremities. This leaves more room in the spinal column for fluid and less likely stenosis problems.

    These nerves are attached in the womb and stretch as we grow. They do not grow as we do.

    How: typically a lumbar fusion will come fom an incision right over the spine and the surgeons will brace the the vertebrae with titanium rods, plates or cages and fuse some bone. Sometimes they'll removew disc material and sometimes they leave it It all depends.

    I have a friend that is going in for a fusion in the same general area, but they are going to first cut him open like a C section and remove disc material posing a risk to his nerves. Then they'll turn him over and start over with a more standard spinal fusion. This is the most complex lumbar fusion I've heard of =[:0/
    bj1208 replied to trs1960's response:
    Tim - they call that the 360 flip!!! where they go in thru the stomach and then flip you over and go in thru the back. this type is usually done when there are extensive levels of fusions.

    I just had my follow-up with the spine surgeon and will be going in for fusion on my L4-5. They will put plate, screws and 2 rods in. they will be going in thru the back as I have had 2 surgeries going in thru stomach (hysterectomy and L5-S1 Fusion). They said they could not be able to go thru stomach again.

    So much fun~~
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

    Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

    ~~ Joy ~~
    bj1208 replied to BSHaynes's response:
    Hi BSHaynes -

    when your surgeon speaks of stabilizing the spine there could be a couple of options:

    Fusion - removing the damaged disc and putting a plate screws maybe a rod. this will help stabilize the spine.

    Rods - some surgeons may put rods in trying to protect the area. Some may take damaged disc out while others may keep it in.

    Either way, mobility will be limited as it will be hard to bend forwards, backwards and sometimes side to side, stretching, pulling and pushing is affected too.

    Hope this helps - it's a good idea to call your doc's office and speak with the PA/Nurse and ask questions relating to your upcoming surgery.

    Getting a 2nd or 3rd opinion helps too so you know what you are up against.

    Keep us posted~~
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

    Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

    ~~ Joy ~~

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