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4 surgeon interviews/4 very different strategies for C3-7 stenosis with myelomalacia: how to decide?

I'm a 74 y/o active, bike-riding male - got a MRI that showed compression of spinal cord, particularly at c5-6 but extending c3-7.

Surgeon 1: do a c3-c7 Posterior fusion;

Surgeon 2: do a c5-6 Anterior fusion AND a Posterior c3-7 fusion;

Surgeon 3: consider anterior c5-6 and see what happens or c5-6 Plus a Posterior c3-c7 laminaplasty;

surgeon 4: c3-7 posterior laminaplasty.

Considerations: All surgeons worried at my age about post-op swallowing problems if aggressive anterior surgery, I am leaning toward anterior c5-6 and seeing what happens. Surgeon 4 called that "spitting in the wind". How do decide? I'm very functional but progressive symptoms (tingling, reflexes). Any experiences that can inform my decision? Thanks in advance.

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Comments

  • MikethepikeMMikethepike MIchiganPosts: 362

    I wouldn't mess around because you have myelomalacia, what area is it in. You have to make sure that the compression of the spinal cord stops . I would take it easy . Get the operation done immediately to stop the compression. As for what area to be fused

    That is a decision by you and the doctor. Take care and God bless

  • I had C-3 thru C-7 ACDF just over a year ago. I was given conflicting options also. From doing two only in the front to doing four front and back. I trusted the surgeon that gave it to me straight. That was do four and do them anterior and posterior with fusion. I have plates and 12 screws, x-rays look like that of a robot. But I couldn't be happier with the outcome. Don't take the fastest and easiest way out, you likely will regret it when you have to have more done. Just one dummies opinion that has been there done that. BYW, I am 63 years old myself, so I am no spring chicken either.

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