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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


My mother was recently referred to a Albany, NY area neurosurgeon who recommended she have a L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1 Posterior lumbar interbody fusion. When the doctor who had been injecting her back heard about the procedure, he called her at home on his day off (which meant a lot to her, she is a former RN) and said he knew of the neurosurgeon and knew her condition, and felt this doctor tended to do extreme procedures and in particular, felt this procedure was too extreme for her condition. He even got her to get a copy of her MRI and the radiologists report and showed it to a neurosurgeon in his building who also felt it was too extreme.

I say all of this hoping someone can point us in the direction of a lesser procedure, or perhaps does anyone think we should get another opinion? My mother is not a youngster at 67, and we can't afford a mistake, but she is is a lot of pain.

Thanks for your help!
Welcome to the boards of the bad backs,

Yes, I had three different view points before that I went and had the fusion Done of S1-L4-L5 done. During the month of Feb 12th to be exact. Get several view points.

If her back is that bad then, yes by all means. Perhaps a Spine Specalist would be the place to go and have a 2nd view of her medical situation.

Best of luck,

Roy 47
:wave:
So you are saying after your surgery you feel better? You consider it a success? The surgeon gave us only a 65% chance of improvement, and said she would still have some pain.
Well you should ofcourse get quite a few opinions, try to find the top specialist avaialbe and ofcourse try all of other stuff first. Wishing you the best.
I have had two fusions. One at 17 and one at 42. My one at 17 was a complete success and I had no problems until I was 39. I had my 2nd fusion 6 weeks ago and am doing well. This fusion has been much harder than my first. I guess it has something to do with that age thing. LOL

I highly recommend with a surgery of 3 levels that you definitely get a couple of opinons. It appears that you already have two with conflicting view points so I would see a spinal surgeon for a third. Obviously, you are concerned about two different opinions so definitely go for extra reassurance.

I would go in and not say a word about the two diagnoses you have received and let him make his own diagnosis. Then if you would like to share the other diagnosis go ahead and let him explain why he believes they would good/bad for your mother's case.

A spinal fusion is a huge surgery at 42 and I imagine having one in your 60's would be even harder.

Please know that we care and will be pulling for your mother.
Thanks so much for your opinions, I will let her know she has a support system here and I'll try what was suggested. I think combined with some of her other issues (2 hip replacements, 2 shoulder surgeries) this will be a big step. Just trying to get all the information I can. I think we are limited by insurance, but she has good relationships with her docs, so maybe she will be able to get another referral. Again, thanks so much.
Good,

The surgery recovery is going well, I will see the doctor on the 27 for the check up and see how the fusion process is going. It is sore from time to time and that is the way it goes. It is a thousand times better than the way it was before...


Roy47
:wave:
Update: surgery cancelled. Second neurosurgeon said it was way too risky at her age, and that she would possibly never recover. He said there are other treatments that she has not tried that may work. So she will go the non-surgical route at this point.





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