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  • Potential 4-level fusion, instrumentation both anterior and posterior

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    Old 07-02-2018, 09:36 AM   #1
    3maggiemay
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    Red face Potential 4-level fusion, instrumentation both anterior and posterior

    Hello. I am 72 years old and thought was in great health. However after two rear-end collisions I am told that I need fusion from C-3 through C-7 with instrumentation both anterior and posterior. I cannot imagine life afterwards. I do not have "pain" per se, but severe cord compression and am told loss of sensation is progressive and will end in paralysis. My hands and arms are on fire and it feels as though an elephant is sitting on the back of my neck/shoulders. Four opinions: two say both front and back with rods and instrumentation; one said only back with 3 level fusion, rods and instrumentation; last one said: "do not do it! Live your life! Results will be worse with surgery!"

    Anyone have any insights, please?

     
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    Old 07-02-2018, 12:41 PM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Potential 4-level fusion, instrumentation both anterior and posterior

    Welcome to the board. What type of doctor was it that recommended you do nothing?

    The first thing to determine is just how bad the cord compression is. This should be the determining factor as to whether you have surgery. When the spinal cord itself is pressured and compressed, it can result in a disease called myelomacia, or softening of the spinal cord. This is a serious disease that has no cure and can result in paralysis.

    Also when the spinal cord is compromised such as yours apparently is, you are just one fall or accident away from the cord being severed and being left a quadriplegic. You may be lucky and live the rest of your life without incident...but the potential for myelomalacia remains and can result in the same damage...only it occurs more slowly.

    Many successful multi level fusions are done every day. My only advice would be to find the best trained, experienced spine surgeon available to you. Take your time...your situation is not an emergency at this point. Ask around. Do not go with the first name given to you.

     
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