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Thread: fuse one level L2-L3

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    upstate NY

    fuse one level L2-L3

    I have a lumbar-thoracic scoliosis- apex of lumbar curve at L2-L3. The one disk is degenerated- rest of spine seems OK. There is herniation and a little nerve root compression. Went to one surgeon- he said duke out the degeneration or a T2-pelvis fusion. Tried to live with it- 6 more months have gone by. Some days I can hardly sit at all. Need to work 3-4 more years for a meager pension. Age 53. Wish I could work 7 more years or longer. Then went to HSS in NYC. A surgeon said we could fuse just that level. Curious- anyone had just one level fused at the apex of lumbar scoliosis? He would use a thin/small spacer for the disk. Laminectomy with instrumentation for the nerve pressure.

    Also wondering what that recovery is like?

    How it might affect my rotation?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California

    I didn't entirely understand your post, but I can tell you that, once one has recovered from a 1 level fusion at L2-3, there would be very little loss of rotation. From what I've seen, recovery for a 1 level fusion is probably a little faster than multi-level fusions.

    Since there is a huge difference between the two recommended surgeries, I would probably go for a 3rd opinion, and make sure it's from someone who treats a lot of scoliosis patients. If possible, I would try for a 3rd practice, and not tell the new surgeon what the other two have recommended, at least until after they've made their own recommendation. I don't recall ever hearing of a 1 level fusion in a scoliosis patient, but I wouldn't rule it out. I think it would probably depend on a lot of things including the type of curve(s) you have, the size of your curve(s), your age, etc. One of the surgeons I work with has done a lot of short fusions in mostly older scoliosis patients, to treat just the areas that are causing pain. I think they're usually 2-3 levels. The results have been very successful so far.

    In terms of making your decision, I'd want to try to understand the risk of needing additional surgery in the future (from either surgery).

    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    We were just talking about one level fusions over on Jinseeker's thread. I was always under the impression that we were to steer clear of the "one levels" because of the risk of destabilizing the rest of the spine. Now I'm confused???
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Warsaw, MO
    I did three levels and it all went to pots in under 12 months. In 9 months the curves progressed and I went from 5'1 to 4'9. Since my last surgery three months ago to re stabilize my spine I am up to 5'2.

    I would do what Linda said and get one more non-biased opinion.

    Diagnosed at age 12 with a double major curve

    Braced till age 15

    SSBOB T12-L2 Anterior age 34. (October 22,2012) Dr. Robert Gaines Jr. ( Columbia, MO)

    Revision Surgery T2-Sacrum with Pelvic Fixation Prosterior age 35 (November 13,2013) Dr. Michael Kelly (St. Louis, MO)

    Revision Surgery L4/L5 due to BMP Complication age 36 (November 20,2014) Dr. Michael Kelly (St. Louis, Mo)

    Revision Surgery due to broken rod scheduled for October 19, 2016 with Dr. Michael Kelly (St. Louis, MO)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008

    I know what this is like hanging in there and working with major pain, and with the pension only 3 years away, can you make it?

    I was doing hot soaks every second day and massages 3x per week. Chiro wasnít working anymore, and the NSAIDís made me heavy. It seemed that maintaining my spine at that stage was a full time effort. It took everything I had just to maintain.

    Iíd like to say try and wait it out but some of us can have the door slammed(surgery rejected) on us because things get worse in time with degeneration. Like Linda says, if you see another surgeon, go in blind and see what he says.

    We all expect the best and focus on this. Many of us need revisions for one thing or another, I think this needs to be expected in having scoliosis surgery. Try to remember that most of us do pretty well in the end and many would say they would do it again if they had to.....

    Do try to keep in touch with us and let us know how you are doing.

    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion

    My x-rays

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