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Thread: Fusion to Pelvis/Sacrum- Advice Please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    19

    Fusion to Pelvis/Sacrum- Advice Please

    Hi everyone!

    Sorry I haven't posted in a while- hope everyone is doing well. Need some advice if you have a moment...

    I'm fused T2-L4 right now (3 surgeries in 2013)- head on car accident after the 2nd surgery- screws came loose, and had to have a revision surgery (#3) in November. My screws are loose again, my L5 disc is herniated, and I'm having a ton of pain...

    I've been seeing two different doctors.. and both are saying completely different things. Both have said that I "need" to be fused all the way down to the sacrum and pelvis in front. My local doctor says I won't be much different than I am now after the surgery. That it won't change me that much. My other doctor said "As a general rule, we do not do this surgery unless the patient isn't walking- with that said- you need the surgery" (I am able to walk)

    Two completely different feelings I get from both doctor's. One- it's not that big of a deal, the other- HUGE deal. I was scheduled to have that surgery on 10/31/14 but chickened out after hearing the second doctor's take on things. Not sure what to do.. any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks everyone!

    Lauren
    Last edited by laurenhigginson; 01-28-2015 at 01:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Grove City, OH
    Posts
    275
    Hi Lauren! I don't know what part of the country you live in, but I'd recommend finding a surgeon who is one of the best in their field. It's expensive & complicated to travel, but you've got some major issues & pain. I'm 3 months post-op, T-3 - S-1. I traveled from Ohio to St. Louis and I'm SO glad I did! I live in Columbus, OH and there are plenty of good back surgeons here. The problem is that none of them specialize in scoliosis. I found one who said his skills were adequate for what I needed & he did a few scoli surgeries a year. I wanted a dr with lots of experience, just in case there were complications.
    I hope you find the solution that's right for you! Take care.
    Peg
    61 yrs old
    75 degree lumbar curve with thoracic kyphosis
    T3 - S1 surgery with Dr. Buchowski in St. Louis, on 10/27/14
    Working on healing in Columbus, Ohio!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    19
    Hi Peg,

    Thank you so much for reaching out. I live in Michigan, and actually am seeing a doctor in St Louis at Washington University (he is the doctor that told me if I could walk, not to have the surgery). I know I am in great hands there, and feel really good about that. I'm so glad I went there for a second opinion.

    Have a great night!

    Lauren

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    question...
    who are the top surgeons listed here on national scoliosis
    website for your area of the country....???

    just my opinion...but i believe that is...or those are...
    the docs you should be talking to...
    the ones who do the surgeries over and over and
    over....all the time.

    best of luck.
    jess

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,795
    Quote Originally Posted by jrnyc View Post
    question...
    who are the top surgeons listed here on national scoliosis
    website for your area of the country....???

    just my opinion...but i believe that is...or those are...
    the docs you should be talking to...
    the ones who do the surgeries over and over and
    over....all the time.

    best of luck.
    jess
    She's seeing someone at WashU in St. Louis. There may be surgeons there that I haven't heard of, but even if that's the case, the surgeons there are getting world class training. I would personally trust anyone at WashU, unless they hadn't done a lot of these surgeries.

    Lauren... I was originally fused to L3, and then had revision to S1 with pelvic fixation. In my case, it made a lot of difference in flexibility. Since I have no lower back pain, I would make the same decision today, but it doesn't stop me from being really unhappy that I've lost so much flexibility. You'll find, however, that there are others who were in the same situation, who don't feel very limited in terms of flexibility.

    Good luck with whomever you choose.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    El Centro, CA & Baja California, Mexico
    Posts
    193

    Dr Keith Bridwell at Washington University, St Louis

    I highly recommend him. He did my surgery 2 years 2 months ago.
    He is involved with training years ago, Dr Lenke and others.
    He wrote the huge volumes of text, has over 30 years of experience, and operates every week. Easier than most to get to see but not a person that will take care of you after the surgery. His work is perfect and that is what he is mostly interested, no hand holding type of surgeon. He will do what is good for you and the best that can be done - not miracles.

    You can find him listed under the Washu CAM (Center for Advance Medicine)

    I had also done my right shoulder replacement 3 months ago by Dr Yamaguchi and that was a joy.
    Gardenia
    Baja California, Mexico & El Centro, Ca
    pre-surgery 75 and 89 - post ?
    Dr. Bridwell Nov 27, 2012 @Barnes Jewish @62yrs
    T11 to Sacrum Dural leak at L2 & L3 ccmail4g@gmail.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    good....i am glad, Linda
    i just was trying to point out the importance
    of choosing a surgeon with successful experience doing LOTS
    of the same surgeries that she may be having.

    Lauren, best of luck in your decision and outcome.
    jess...and Sparky

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    19
    Thank you so much everyone. Yeah my local surgeon i very experienced and Dr Lehman (who will be doing the next one whenever it is) is incredibly experienced.

    It's just so confusing when one says it's a huge deal and the other downplays it so much. Do you ladies think I will be that much different than I am now? All of things I've read. Trouble putting on shoes, shaving, etc. I already have problems with.. thanks Have a great weekend everyone!!

    Lauren

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