My question(s): can someone give me a sense of what such a long fusion surgery is like? This will be my 7th spinal surgery. All have restored function, my main criterion. I have done my research about this procedure and reviewed both articles and forum discussions here. The approach will be posterior only.
- I am back after my last spine surgery, an L5-S1 fusion in 2014.
- I recently had a thoracic spine MRI which showed significant cord compression at T10-11.
- I did a local consult but already knew I would need to go to a tertiary center for consult and care.
- Fortunately I had been to see a neurosurgeon at a spine institute in a tertiary care setting. He was able to see me quickly and determined that I would need a long fusion with scoliosis repair. I previously had obtained other consults from tertiary hospitals in the area, leaving me very satisfied with this surgeon, who does a number of these procedures every year.
- After receiving additional test results, including a lumbar MRI, he extended the area he felt need to be fused to the current proposed set of levels.
- His repairs will include osteotomies for the scoliosis as well as revision surgery for my lumbar spine, fused from L1-S1.
- It is a 2-day surgery scheduled for the end of October, which worries me because I already have some symptoms of progressing cord compression. His nurse coordination has made him aware of this. But it's COVID-19 meets OR availability.
I am also aware that this mega-major surgery will be incredibly painful, especially as it involves so much of the thoracic spine. A high priority for me is resolving how pain management will be handled. Thanks for your help.