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Laminectomy vs. Fusion

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Old 11-13-2008, 06:33 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: kansas city, kansas
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darbymai59 HB User
Laminectomy vs. Fusion

I seen a surgeon for the 1st time yesterday (ortho). I also plan to get an opinion from a neurosurgeon. I was not too happy about what he told me. He said I have central spinal stenosis at L4/5 that is almost completely closed. He also said I have spondylolisthesis. I have numbness in lower leg and very bad back & sciatica pain. He gave me a choice to have a laminectomy or a L4/5 fusion. Both surgeries really scare me. He said the laminectomy will help but the fusion will help quite a bit more. I don't know if I should try the laminectomy first or just go ahead with the fusion. The recovery times are a lot different.

Can anyone give me their thoughts on this. Help!


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Old 11-13-2008, 06:57 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: MN,USA
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megss HB User
Re: Laminectomy vs. Fusion


I have Spondylolisthesis, and am currently awaiting an appointment with an ortho pedic surgeon. I also plan on getting an opinion from a nuero surgeon. I had been working with a regular orthopedic Doctor, but the conservative approaches for pain management are not working, so I am being passed along for surgery.
Although I haven't met with the surgeon yet and do not know what approaches he will take, I am expecting to have a fusion. As far as I know, a fusion is the only thing that will fix the spondylolisthesis. I would personally opt for the fusion. It is a longer and harder recovery, but it's worth it if it is more likely to take care of the problem.

Old 11-13-2008, 07:07 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: MO. USA
Posts: 247
lynn1961 HB User
Re: Laminectomy vs. Fusion

hiya darby...

What is the difference in the 2 surgeries? I know about a fusion. I donot know about the other surgery. My doc is recommending a fusion.


Old 11-13-2008, 08:01 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: kansas city, kansas
Posts: 50
darbymai59 HB User
Re: Laminectomy vs. Fusion

megss & Lynn,
Thanks for your replys. I hope both of you keep posting your progress. I'll let you know what I decide.

Megss, if I understood my ortho right he said the laminectomy would help the numbness but would not get rid of it and might help the back & leg pain. The spondylolisthesis and stenosis can only be corrected by fusion. I'm not ready to make a decision yet. I know I should opt for fusion and get it over with.

Lynn, a laminectomy just removes bone to free up space for nerves to pass through. He said it is like a roto-rooter procedure. A fusion will make the back more stable. I know these are not very good explanations but the best I can offer.

Good luck to both of you.


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