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  • 5 Level disc fusion - c3 to T1

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    Old 01-23-2015, 10:10 AM   #1
    luckysam
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    5 Level disc fusion - c3 to T1

    Currently in the gathering stage of questions and meeting with surgeons to decide on who to go with. Any key questions to ask or information down the road that would be helpful after surgery and during recovery would be helpful. Due to the complexity of the surgery and amount of disc involved, it's a lot to digest and come to grips with.

     
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    Old 01-23-2015, 04:39 PM   #2
    ChuckStr
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    Re: 5 Level disc fusion - c3 to T1

    That is an enormous fusion. I would get several opinions from both neuro and ortho spine specialist surgeons. These are surgeons who have specialized training in the spine and limit their practices to spinal issues. I would definitely ask about the positives and negatives of going with fewer levels. We haven't seen your MRI but often, as in my case, there is damage at more levels than absolutely would be necessary to fuse. Different surgeons will likely have different opinions on which levels to fuse, based on symptoms and other criteria. You might also get opinions for alternate surgeries such as laminoplasty, laminectomy or 360 fusion. Those all have their own positives and negatives that would need to be discussed. Also, regardless of type of surgery, knowing how many of them the surgeon performs and has performed is useful. If you are contemplating a 5-level ACDF, I would specifically ask about that as well. Up to 3 levels of ACDF are fairly common surgeries but I don't know how common a 5-level ACDF is. Also surgeons that I've been to, often keep stats on their own personal (or team's) success and complication rate which can be very useful as well. The absolutely critical thing though, as you search for surgeons, is to make sure they are spine specialists. You wouldn't want a carpal tunnel ortho surgeon doing your spine surgery!

    When you get more into the process and have more data from your prospective surgeons, feel free to post that info to the board if you like. I'm sure you'll get better opinions with more knowledge of what's being suggested.

    Good Luck!

     
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