View Full Version : cervical spine fusion/looking for a surgeon recommendation

09-15-2004, 11:25 PM
Has any one had cervical spine fusion? I was told I need surgery for C4,5 and 6 before I can have scoliosis surgery. I am also looking for a surgeon in the Sydney (Australia) other than Cree for a second opinion.

09-16-2004, 12:00 AM
Hi Lindabar...

The Cervical Spine Research Society lists only one member in Sydney:


Office Address:
PO Box 2104
Sidney, Boronia Park , NSW 2111 Australia

Phone: 02 98172944
Fax: 02 94133458

I have no idea if he's any good.

Good luck!


03-23-2005, 12:08 AM
Hi lindabar,

I am 15 years old and at the end of 2003 i was sick with the flu and my mum took me to the doctor for a check up and then he said to mum have you noticed her back? And mum just looked at him and said no why? Then he showed her how the lower part of my spine was curved and said that i had scoliosis and he sent me to get x-rays. Once i had the x-rays and went back to see him the report said that i had a 44 degree curvature so he sent me to Dr Andrew Cree at westmed. So it was a couple of months before we could get an appointment with Dr Cree, he explained what it was to us and then said that with curves over 30 degrees could require surgery but as it was the first time he'd seen me he said to have more x-rays done in a couple of months and come back to see him, in that couple of months my degree of curvature didn't increase but then when i went to see him agin a few months after with another lot of new x-rays it had increased to 50 degrees and dr cree said that he'd recommend surgery. So we decided that i needed to have the surgery as in the time since we first saw him and he'd said about surgery then to the time when it had increased to 50 degrees we'd thought about it but hadn't really decided until we realised that it had gotten worse. I had the choice of going on a waiting list for the public (children's) hospital or to go at the end of last year and have the surgery at the private hospital, we went for the private hospital so that the surgery and time i'd have to have off school wouldn't effect any of my exams, so on November 23rd 2004 dr cree operated on me and now four months later i am fine, the surgery was sucessful and my curve is now only about 12 degrees, i now have to wear a brace and i have to until september this year, at least. My curve was in the lower part of my spine at L1, 2 and 3 which is what dr cree operated on however my curve does go into L4 and because of if i'm still growing that could make the curve in L4 get a little worse and there may still be another operation down the track, but thats partly why i have to wear the brace incase i'm still growing.

I was in hospital for 10 days and all the nurses and even the x-ray people were saying what a good dr cree is and that they think he's the best and that so i just thought i'd post to maybe help in your decision. When dr cree first told us that i may need the surgery if it got any worse my dad wanted to get a second opinion but then when dad went to his GP who is a different one than me and my mum go to he asked him about it and my dads dr had also had a patient about my age who had had surgery done by dr cree for scoliosis and it was also sucessful. I can only tell you my experiences and maybe help in your decision so i hope that this helps you a little.

Also in another post that you posted in anothr topic i saw you said that dr cree trained in miami, i didn't know that and was wondering if you could tell me where you found this out?


04-04-2005, 06:57 PM
I think someone told me he trained in Miami. He told me he trained in the US and has been in Florida. I agree with you, he's an excellent surgeon. However, I wanted to seek other surgeons' opinions regarding the number of fusions, compare their differences in the performance of the surgery, etc. I saw 3 different surgeons for my neck surgery. They all had a slightly different perspective. :)

06-20-2005, 01:29 AM
sorry that it's taken me so long to get on here again and see if you had replied to my post. Thanks for letting me know how you knew Dr Cree trained in miami. Have you been able to seek another opinion? And i can completely understand that you want to get another opinion as i've said before my dad was going to get one for me also until he spoke to his GP. Do you still go to see Dr Cree? I don't have to go back to him until september now which means still wearign the brace until then but i'm used to it now and it's no where near as bad as i thought it was going to be, when my parents told me i was going to have to wear one, as it wasn't planned that i'd have to beforehand i was nearly crying because i didn't want to and all i could imagine was this big bulky thing or some heavy thing and all it really is platic moulded around my body with velcro straps at the back. :)

06-27-2005, 04:26 PM

Please keep us updated on your progress. The braces these days aren't anywhere near the fright fest they used to be.

I had scoliosis surgery three years ago to put rods in my back. At the time, the doctor thought she'd have to do cervical spine fusion first, but after MRI results showed cervical surgery could be delayed :) , and we went ahead with the spinal fusion, T4-S1. The problems with the cervical spine are still there, C5, C6, C7. Surgery may still be necessary, but we are trying to delay it until more problems crop up. It causes inability to grab things. I drop things often, and the doctor said if that gets worse, surgery would be necessary. My entire spine is in bad shape, but what really did a number on my C-spine is a whiplash I had in 1995. It still cracks and pops all the time, and there is pain.

I live in the USA, so I can't recommend an Australian doctor, even though my doctor is originally from South Africa! Good luck and please let us know what is happening.

07-03-2005, 06:44 PM
Hi I_love_Jay,
Who is Jay and do you still love him or her? I'm sorry you have to wear the brace , but hopefully it will prevent more surgery and fusion. I will ask Dr Cree where he trained in the US when I see him next week. Hope you are enjoying your winter vacation.

I guess I was dropping things occassionally before my neck surgery. My neck feels a little stiff at times, esp since it rained here all last week. I can't turn my head to the side as far as I used to, but it's not really a problem. I think the cervical surgery will be a piece of cake compared to the scoliosis surgery. I'm having my scoliosis surgery at the end of August or beginning of September. It is costing us $11K in AU dollars. I'm having anterior and posterior, a week apart and I'll be fused to the sacrum. I just hate the idea of being out of commission for so long. We really don't have the money to hire anyone to clean the house, or walk the dog or anything that would make life a little easier. All of my family is back in the US. Anyway, have a good 4th of July.

07-22-2005, 05:15 AM
Hi Linda bar,
Umm...Jay well he's actually an actor! I don't know if you know of the australian tv show neighbours? Well he is the actor who played Jack Scully the boyfriend of Nina Tucker (played by australia actress/singer Delta Goodrem) :) He's not my boyfriend or anything obviously! :) And yeah as you said hopefully the brace will prevent more surgery and yeah if you ask Dr. Cree where about post back here and tell me :) I try to remember to come here to check every now and again but am very busy with school and other stuff also! :) I don't go back to Dr. Cree until the begining of September now so yeah i have to wesr the brace atleast til then, except the day before because he wants me to have the x-rays without it again to see how much it changes without it over the 24hrs i'm not wearing it so yeah...finger crossed. :)

08-04-2005, 04:03 PM
Hi I_love_Jay,
Is Delta still on Neighbours? I've only seen some of the old Neighbours episodes, I think Kylie Minogue was an actor in some of them.
Dr Cree trained in Miami, Florida and Washington State. I asked him yesterday.
Your appointment is coming up real soon so I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

08-06-2005, 07:45 PM
Hi Lindabar,

No delta is no longer on neighbours, she was the week before last for the 20th anniversary special but only quickly in one episode. And yes you're right Kylie Minogue was an actor in neighbours but a while ago now. :) I never watched it when she was in it though but i know she was.

Thanks for asking DR. Cree :) How did your appointment go? Do you hav eto go back to him again?

Thanks for keeping your fingers crossed so am i! :) I'm used to the brace now but still it would be greta to be able to wear some of my clothes i haven't been able to like singlet or shoe string strapped tops over it! LOL But i guess in the long run it's better off for me.

09-07-2005, 06:52 AM
Hey Lindabar,
Just thought although you hadn't replied to my last post that i'd post to let you know i went back to Dr. Cree on Monday and i no longer have to wear the brace which is good, you crossing your fingers for me helped :) and so yeah. he is very pleased with me and i don't have to go back to him unless we think there are any problems so yeah, the second op is out of the picture now which is such a relie and the brace is gone which is good, except that it means we'll probably never have to go back to see Dr. Cree, its just the last like 2 years nearly every school holidays (atleast) i've had to go and see him and now that's not the case. Anyhow just wanted to let you know.

09-08-2005, 07:27 PM
Hi I_luv_Jay,
I was thinking about your doctor visit, I knew it was in September but I wasn't sure when. I think you got the best possible news you could get. Now you can have more time for fun on your holidays :) , you don't have to see Dr Cree anymore and you won't have to think about scoliosis anymore :) !

09-09-2005, 07:05 AM
Hi Lindabar,
well yeah i went back, thanks for thinking of me, i was actually thinking about you while in the waiting room. :) You still have to go back to DR. Cree don't you? When is your next appointment? And yeah as you said I hopefully will never have to hear scoliosis in my life again. :) But as i said in a way it is kind of sad i will never see DR. Cree again, lol (laugh out loud). :) I hope that we can still talk and keep in touch via this topic and forum even though i won't be seeing DR Cree anymore?