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Laminectomy vs Laminectomy with fusion for Spinal stenosis with DDD

I have critical spinal stenosis with loss of disk on L3,4. First surgeon was going to do laminectomy on L3,4, but my insurance would not cover the surgery center that the surgeon used. 

I went to another spinal surgeon who said I need the fusion along with laminectomy. I have been very worried about the fusion part. I went for a third opinion from a neurosurgeon who recommended just laminectomy, said a fusion would do more harm than good because it would stress the other parts of my spine that have stenosis and DDD..loss of disc on many levels. 

I’m going with the third Surgeon . Has anyone else experienced this difference of opinion , and had surgery for stenosis and DDD. 

Thanks

Lynne

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Comments

  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,072

    When I had a laminectomy L2-L5 for lumbar spinal stenosis, the original plan was to use rods and hardware to help stabilize my spine.   However, a set of x-rays prior to the surgery indicated that I had so much arthritis on my spine, that effectively stabilized my spine without any hardware.

    Spinal Fusion can be a long haul in terms of recovery and feeling better.

    You are doing the right thing by getting a third opinion.  You always want two doctors who agree on the diagnosis and type of action plan/surgery

  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,416
    edited 05/03/2019 - 6:51 AM

    @dilauro when you had your laminectomy L2-L5 for spinal stenosis do you remember how bad the narrowing was? 7mm, 8mm, etc? Just curious. 

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  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,072

    @L4_L5

    When I had the surgery, it was less than 5mm ... So it sort of became a surgery that had to be done  as soon as we could

  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,072

    I just went back to look at the mri report.   It was 3mm

  • Mine is at 4mm .. that’s why the first Surgeon used the words paralysis, and loss of bladder/ bowel control. However after talking to the other Surgeons I was told it’s the path I would be on if It didn’t get the surgery. It would happen over time... not over night .. It would be gradual. The first Surgeon should not have tried to scare me into it. 

    Lynne

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  • @dilauro wow that’s crazy. 3mm. I can’t even imagine.

  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,072

    @L4_L5

    It really came on  pretty quickly.  In 2013, I had moderate lumbar stenosis with about 10mm space.   By 2016, I knew something bad was going on.  I had so much trouble walking, some bladder problems, etc.

    I had the MRI, and my doctor made arrangements for me to get into to see a spinal surgeon 2 days after that.

    My good friend, who is a doctor, look at the images and report and he told me wife, Ron is in pretty bad shape right now.

    But the bright side was the laminectomy corrected the problem and so now, I am just going on with my normal things.

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