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Old 04-07-2003, 10:39 AM   #2
winged phantom
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 956
winged phantom HB User

Hi Offshore,
I'm not positive, but I don't think any of the regular posters have had this much done. This is a bit different, not only because of the failed fusion, but because of the corpectomy. Tropical Fox just had a partial corpectomy, and BarbS has had a corpectomy. But I don't know if anyone has had both the anterior and posterior entry all in the same operation.

One thing I have to ask is if you are a smoker? I am wondering why, with all that is going on, your doctor wants to also use your own bone? Smoking is the one thing that stands out about why fusions fail, and why you use your own bone. But maybe it's just the entire intricacy of the whole thing that makes him want to do that.

If you are going to have this done this week, it's too late, I believe, to donate your own blood. And if you do donate it, you will need to take a prescription to the blood bank. At least that is what they told me here in Florida. To get a clear answer, please ask your doctor about the chances of blood loss for this procedure, etc.

You should be in a hard collar, I would also guess, for a long time. The most popular versions are Miami J, Aspen, and Philly (I think). If you need more support, you may be in a MiamiJTO (?) which will support your upper body, too, like BarbS. If you do a search, you can read her story. Also there is a thread about some of the popular collars, although it's not a technical column.

But the point is, do you agree with this doctor and get a good feeling that he knows what he is talking about? Will you have a chance at relief? What is your gut feeling about this person? Have you gotten a second and even third opinion for this? This is really heavy duty surgery, and because of the posterior approach, it will take quite a recovery time. Ask about physical therapy afterward. How much and for how long? Is your situation so precarious that you HAVE to have surgery very quickly?

These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself and your doctor. Do research if you can sit up long enough to do it, and we are here for support! I hope you can get enough good answers quick enough to help. Take care....

  • 12/29/89 C5-6 Microdiskectomy (no fusion)
  • 4/9/03 ACDF C4-7 with plating and donor bone