I haven't been on in a while - but I need help! I have had two posterior lumbar fusions in the past and I have my third surgery scheduled for September 14th. I fought workers comp for 1 1/2 years to get this approved (they didn't want to pay for a third surgery even though 3 different neurosurgeons recommended it). Well its finally here and I have an appointment with the vascular surgeon next week.
What are some good questions to ask the vascular surgeon? I'm just at a loss.. What are some things I should know about having an anterior fusion? How is the recovery compared to a posterior fusion? Any advice or help would be appreciated!!!!!!!!
Is this the third surgery on the same segment or something different?
It is the spinal surgeon, either ortho spine or neurosurgeon who does the planning for the fusion surgery, so he/she would be the one to answer your questions. The vascular surgeon is used by some, but not all, spine surgeons when they don't feel comfortable moving the internal organs out of the way. This surgeon has little to do with any issues pertaining to the spine, like why you are having this particular surgery, etc, recovery, rehab, etc.
There are many older threads pertaining to ALIF that you could read through for further information.
I know that there can be potential problems having an anterior fusion i.e. bowel and bladder issues. Just wondering what types of questions I should ask the vascular surgeon since I have the opportunity to meet with him..
This surgery is a revision of my last surgery in 2009. I am fused from L3 to S1 but L3/L4 didn't fuse and the discs at L3/4 L4/5 are bad.
I was also wondering if anyone could tell me the difference in recovery from posterior to anterior because my last two surgeries were posterior.
Well, I've only had an ALIF, but the belly incision can be rough for a bit. Getting out of bed, coughing, and shifting can hurt quite a bit. All I can say is it DOES get better. The incision pain was MUCH better even within a couple days...not gone, but totally do-able. As I understand it, beyond that recovery is helped by the fact that they aren't cutting through nearly as much muscle-tissue.
I did not meet the vascular surgeon beforehand. She worked frequently with the neuro practice and that's all I really needed to know...that she was experienced.