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Surgeries close together?

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Old 05-07-2008, 12:10 AM   #1
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mommaovfive HB User
Question Surgeries close together?

Hello everyone-

I wrote a few weeks ago asking about spinal collars for my 2 level ACDF. I had my surgery on April 24 and it was somewhat successful. My surgeon was only able to fuse C5-C6. She said that when she tried to do the C6-C7, she couldn't find retractors long enough to get there. She said that it was too deep in my neck?? Okay.

Now, we're talking about doing a PCDF within the next two weeks because my insurance runs out the end of May. Has anyone had to deal with anything like this? I'm recovering pretty well, I have to admit. But I wonder about going under the knife 'on the flip side' so soon after my April surgery.

Does anyone have any input on this? Thank you so very much in advance.

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Old 05-07-2008, 12:45 PM   #2
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Re: Surgeries close together?

Hi mommovfive,
I haven't had two neck surgeries, but am having 2 spinal surgeries close together (neck, then low back -2 days short of being 6 weeks apart). I've had the first and am due for the second soon --almost identical timing to yours. I would be nervous about 2 on the same area also, if it were me (whether the same incision was re-opened or if it was anterior first, then posterior like you are having), but I'm also nervous about surgery on 2 different areas --just nervous about having 'two' so close together and worrying about them being gentle w/ my neck while they work on my back (and a little of the 'anterior to posterior' worry even though mine was anterior neck and will be posterior lumbar). I seriously and heavily debated about postponing #2 and even now feel wary (but am doing it). I may not share you're exact situation, but I do empathize fully with you and I can relate to a great deal of your situation.
I hope for the best for you (for both of us),

Old 05-07-2008, 04:39 PM   #3
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Re: Surgeries close together?

Hi Meghan-

I understand what you're going through. I had my first two lumbar surgeries very close together- Dec. 29 '06 and Feb. 12 '07. They were laminectomies on L5-S1. By mid-April of '07, the same disc ruptured again and they finally did a fusion the end of July. I felt like they should have just put a zipper in back there! lol I found that developing a sense of humor about it, albeit gallows humor, was essential.

I'm sure that things will go well for you, Meghan. Just make sure to speak up for yourself and let them (the pre-surg team and the surgical team) know that you are very concerned about your neck (it puts a 'face' on it, which they told me really helps).

Do me a favor and let me know how things go for you, okay?


Old 05-07-2008, 10:23 PM   #4
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Re: Surgeries close together?

I am having a posterior cervical foraminotomy in 2 weeks. If I had only known back when I had the ACDF that I'd need a second procedure I would have preferred to do them back-to-back (one recovery period).

If your doctor feels it's safe you should consider going forward with the surgery. If you wont have health insurance after that - or if you are changing insurance - knowing that you can have this taken care of may give you peace of mind. Will you have the option to take COBRA insurance or get new insurance within 60 days? By doing so you can prevent any worries about a pre-existing condition exclusion under future insurance.
Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

Old 05-13-2008, 08:54 PM   #5
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Re: Surgeries close together?

I'm getting an MRI on Friday to see what's going on. I do have the option to COBRA, but unfortunately, I had to make the decision to either make my house payment or COBRA. I hate when it comes down to that. But we have to make choices, don't we? If the disc has ruptured, then I'm going ahead with the surgery so it can be covered, and as you said, get some peace of mind. Thank you so much for your input.

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