Spinal Fusion: Upcoming surgery, what was your experience, any tips?

Posted by user_chf56161a @user_chf56161a, Sep 18, 2018

I need a fusion at L-4 L-5 my Dr is at Mayo. Wonderful man! Has anyone had this done and please share experience.

@kdj

Can I ask what part of your cervical spine was fused?

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C5-C7

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@bernese53

You do not need to live in Arizona to go to the Mayo Clinic there. You also do not need to have a doctor’s referral to get to see someone at Mayo. I live in Pennsylvania and referred myself to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester where I had a cervical spine fusion.

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Thanks much

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In reply to @bernese53 "C5-C7" + (show)
@bernese53

Thank you. I have been told I need C1-C6 and have gotten three opinions and all doctors agree. I hope you did alright with it. I have tried to talk to someone that had this extensive a surgery but no one on this site has replied to my inquiry.

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Hi @kdj, I am fully fused between c2-T1. I have fusion hardware on the front of my neck, and rods covering the same area down the back of my neck. This was done over several surgeries. Are there any questions you have that you might be willing to share? I’m glad you’ve gotten several opinions and everyone agrees that this is what you need.

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@kdj I went back to a previous discussion you had started and found some good responses from members. If you are looking for additional information, I would encourage you to reply to that other discussion and see if they can offer more support.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/spinal-fusion-of-c1-c6/

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Okay, I & my Doctor applied thru my insurance company for Vertiplex. Denied, Appealed. Denied. Stating experimental. Must go thru the clinical trial first. Checked on any trials, at least not around here. None. Even if so,
Are we experimental guinea pigs & also expected to pay for it all?
Don't mean to sound harsh but surely you might understand..

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@kdj

Thank you. I have been told I need C1-C6 and have gotten three opinions and all doctors agree. I hope you did alright with it. I have tried to talk to someone that had this extensive a surgery but no one on this site has replied to my inquiry.

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Were all 3 doctors partners or from same clinic? If so, get an “outside” opinion. If not, then you have an answer. That’s a very extensive surgery as you well know. I assume you either have a congenital condition or had one heck of an accident….😳 feeling sorry for you whatever the cause was!

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Opinions are from two neurosurgeons in Boulder, CO and the third from a doctor at Johns Hopkins. It is not from an accident and there really is no explanation for it. Very intimidated by the prospect of a surgery and recovery. No guarantees either that I will get out of pain. Only two options… have the surgery or learn to live with it.

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Yes, I understand the comment from your doctors that surgery might not alleviate pain. While the acute pain I was experiencing before surgery is gone, the expectation from my doctors is that I will be a long term chronic pain patient – as a result of the all the hardware in my neck. Having said that, I am still much better after surgery than before – and as result I’m glad to have done it. But everyone is different.

Surgical recovery from such a big surgery isn’t necessarily easy, but I don’t regret doing it. It all comes down to quality of life, I think and what you feel like you can manage. For me, post surgery was considerably better than the pain I was in pre surgery.

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@ken82

@jeffkboyce To get into Mayo you had best get your local Doctor to refer you … I had my surgery in Oklahoma City from Dr. J Odor..He was really good as he helped me with other spine problems later.. (Cervical).. I think he may be retired at this point.. I live in Central Iowa now .. but I go to Mayo MN now about 8 times in 20 yrs.. There are 3 Mayo Clinics.. Scottsdale, AZ, Jacksonville, FL. and Rochester, MN.. Headquarters is in MN..

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Thx

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@jeffkboyce please use the contact information on this form, if interested, to request an appointment at Mayo Clinic http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63. They will review your medical records and history, and discuss with you treatment options.

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Living with pain is no choice if you have treatment options. It plays heavily on our bodies both physically and mentally. Even though I'm still in pain many years post-op I have no regrets for having the procedure. If you have a lot of arthritic changes where the procedure will occur you'll most likely have more pain. The more you try to function with a bad spine the more pain it will cause you. Sorry for your pain and good luck with your decision.

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