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Lumbar stenosis surgical option

Hi all. I just joined this group and hope to find some ASICS as I’m looking at surgical options for my difficult situation. I’m 52 with diagnosed (MRI 8/22) severe lumbar spinal stenosis at all 5 levels with significant central herniations. My symptoms have been on and off for 10 years now. In the past epidural injections, acupuncture and some lifestyle changes have managed my condition until 6 months ago where I’ve been dealing with various symptoms associated with different lumbar levels. Essentially now moderate in pain right leg when walking and standing. Muscle atrophy and weakness left lower leg and foot. Numbness same areas. I was a very active physically fit individual until recently.

I had my first surgical consultation with a relatively “famous” surgeon in NYC who confidently recommended laminectomies at all 5 levels by microscope to decompress my spine. He said I’m not a candidate for a cage and fusion due to X-rays showing my spine to be very stable and the condition to be slow and chronic. I have several friend chiropractors who thought that was a crazy plan given how unstable my spine would become after 5 consecutive laminectomies at once. The surgeon says he performs these multi level surgeries often with great success. I didn’t ask what his long term success is however. I have two more consults scheduled. Just looking for advice and anything else that may help. Thanks.
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Avatar universal
Hi Sounds like you are at a point where surgery may be needed to help improve the quality of your life. 5 level laminectomy does sound excessive and there is a risk for instability.
Questions I would ask the surgeon would be
1. Risk of developing of instability with 5 level laminectomy
2. % of success with the surgery and expected symptom alleviation
3. What would happen if he limited the laminectomy to specific levels that are affected the most severely or perhaps identifying which levels are causing the neural symptoms
4. It would be great to do some research on your own and also read more on the operation, success rate yourself. Pay attention to the number of the multilevel laminectormies in these articles as well. For example, this one here, I believe the most was 3 level https://www.surgeryresearchjournal.com/open-access/spinal-instability-following-multilevel-decompressive-laminectomy-without-fusion-for-degenerative-7295.pdf

Use citations of this article to find other articles to do more research. Then you can ask better questions and go into your consultations informed.
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