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Old 01-07-2014, 12:08 PM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Branford, CT USA
Posts: 372
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Re: Anterior Cervical fusion or posterior foraminotomy?

Originally Posted by WebDozer View Post
Uncovertebrals are not facets. The uncovertebral "joints" are ridges on the top/back of the vertebrae (and in FRONT of the foramina). When disks wear out, they get more stress and lay on extra bone. The facets are the bones on the side of the spinal cage, and BEHIND the foramina.

It's my slightly-educated-but-still-amateur opinion that uncovertebrals are harder to reach in a foraminotmy than are facets.

I can see why surgeons don't want to do ACDF's. Are these same surgeons also unwilling to try a foraminotomy?
One surgeon is willing to do a foraminotomy if I get some diagnostic injections establishing that the neck is the source of my scapular pain, but he does not think I need an ACDF. The catch; this one does not take my insurance, so I'd have to pay for it and can't go there.

Another will do a foraminotomy, but would prefer to do an ACDF and address the facet joint at that time through the anterior approach, while also removing at least one disc. But I'm afraid this approach would not adequately address the foraminal stenosis mentioned in the MRI, while exposing me to all the downside risks of a fusion that I may not need.

How did your operations work out? Would you do it again, and are you pain free?

Last edited by CT06405; 01-07-2014 at 02:12 PM.