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Fusion surgery or Disk Replacement - Can anyone advise?
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Fusion surgery or Disk Replacement - Can anyone advise?

Can anyone tell me what experiences they have had with either one of these procedures?  I can't really find anything online that goes into detail regarding recovery time, pain and such. I can only find info on the what they do surgically.

I have comtemplated about what to do regarding my disk. I feel like the Spinal Stimulator is not the right choice at this point. I have heard too many bad experiences about Spinal Fusion, so I think that I will just have the disk replaced. But i would really like feedback about others experiences
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Avatar_m_tn
I had spinal fusion T11 to tailbone in June of 2006.  I spent 11 hours in surgery, 3 days in ICU and anohter week in hospital.  Pain meds caused hallucinations.  Went home with a brace.  Wore brace for about two or three months.  Very limited walking with a walker, progressed to able to walk 1/2 mile with no cane or walker.  After about 1 year, pain returned, but not to pre-op levels.  I  now can wlak 1/2 mile with a cane.\, only aboutr 1/4 with outit.
Most of my lefet leg is nub. Parts of foot are numb.  I am now looking to see if there is any followup possible.  They left the screws and rods in, so I was told I could not have an MRI.  
My doc said aobut 25% get no benefit from this surgery, 50% get SOME imnporvement, and 25% get full relief.  I would put myself in the lower half of the middle 50%
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324691_tn?1302555442
I had a fusion from C3 to C7 with a titanium plate and 13 screws. Then 4 months later I had a decompression laminectomy from L3 to L5 S1. I am in cronic (chronic) pain , but I can walk. I am not in a wheel chair as Long as I take my meds. Now I am on pain pills, but like I said, I can walk, have sex, and if I limit what I do, I can enjoy a day of fishing! I am an author and I just take every day one at a time. I would get the disk replacement. I hear they are wonderful. A fusion is difficult if its in your lower back.
Hope this helps,
Brooke
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585708_tn?1247196413
I have also has 8 spine fusions six in the neck (C3 thru C7) and two low back (L5/S1). two of those neck fusion had to be redone after not fusing, the back went well. Even though I am still in pain after all those surgeries, I think they were still the right thing to do. I am also facing a total neck reconstruction. From what I understand disc replacement isn't quite totally perfected, but if a fusion is necessary and the doctor recommended the disc replacement, I would go for it. If a fusion fails then a redo is in order. If the artificial disc fails it can be taken out and then fused conventionally. Me and the other writers have had multiple levels fused, if you are needing only one level your out come should be better than ours. Also from what I understand if there are multiple levels involved you are not a candidate for replacement surgery. If you have degenerated levels adjacent to level in question then you may not be candidate either. If your doctor is recommending a disc replacement then you might be the candidate, maybe these question can be asked to your surgeon, then you can make your mind up easier.
In short my main question would be, will the replacement disc reduce the pressure on the adjacent discs or is it the same as a fusion's pressure on adjacent discs, causing further degeneration?

Hope I help
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Avatar_m_tn
noneck said it perfectly, when 2 or more levels need work, fusion is the cure...
most of us recover quite well. don't let the fear guide your good judgement.
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618559_tn?1296443882
I had total disc replacement and 2 fusions 1 yr ago. I can now lay flat in my bed and turn with minimal pain. This is not done in the US. I went to Germany where the surgeons looked at my films and wrote a plan for free. The surgery went well and I walked out of the hospital.I went to Stenum hospital. There are 3 other places in Germany that also provide this surgery. sherik
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Avatar_f_tn
I just had 2 artificial disk placed at c5/c6 and c6/c7 and have had nothing but problems, but test after test they have no answer if why,12 trigger point shots in one week, a mylogram that I ended up haveing bad reactions to, now I'm having shots in my neck, if this does not work then my dr will take out the artificial disk and try a fusion....
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