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Has anyone had a spinal fusion?

Question:
Has anyone had a spinal fusion? My neurosugeon is saying I may need one. He said he would go in from the front. I am just wondering if anyone has ever had this type of surgery and what was their outcome.


Answer:
Spinal fusion is simply put fusing two or more vertabrae together to limit flexion in an area that's suffered blunt force trauma or nerve damage. The problem is that it limits mobility and thus puts more strain on the vertabrae above and below the fusion point. This can lead to weakening of the vertabrae around the fusion point and possible micro fractures, leading to yet more fusion to correct the problem. Fusion is only a good option for those advanced enough in age to gain some benefit from this short term fix as most experience a return of their pain after a few years and start developing real problems as the bones become more fragile with age. I'm now in that age range (50-65) that's considered as viable for this procedure but I for one am not going to have it done untill I'm very close to the end of my life. And only then if it is absolutely necessary for control of extreme pain and quality of life etc...

Sounds like your doc is one of those surgeons who like to prescribe surgery as a first option instead of the last resort. Most tend to be a bit cut happy... hey it more money in their pockets as well. Saw a documentary last month on the alarming rise of spinal fusion surgeries in this country(USA) in just the last few years. something like 70% more being done, yet the majority of patients complain of no improvement in pain symptoms.



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