Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Back to STL for Cervical Surgery

I've made my decision not to compete at the Ohio event simply because I found out yesterday I need cervical surgery. After meeting with a local cervical doc, he said there are 4 levels that are compromised. He was shocked at how bad my neck is and said I am way too young to be having this type of deterioration.  He's never done a 4 level fusion which is fine because I'll be on the road again for STL soon to meet with Dr. Riew (my spine surgeon's partner for cervical issues).  The local doc said my clock is ticking and to get to STL asap.

We decided to make the trip into a vacation since we've always been pressed for time with prior visits to STL. Since Dr. Riew has better availability to schedule surgeries (within 6 weeks) compared to Dr. Lenke (12+ months), I'm hoping to schedule a late July/early August surgery.

It will be interesting to see what Dr. Riew recommends for the procedure: anterior only, posterior only, or a combination of both. Dr. Riew's nurse said that depending on how many levels need to be corrected, surgery can take anywhere from 1 hour - 5 hours with one night in the hospital. Big difference to what I've already been through. Total time in STL will be one week.  Out of state patients are encouraged to stay in the STL area for a few days after discharge from hospital.

Depending on which levels will be corrected, my movement limitations could be minimal to severe. It will be nice if I can still turn my head to the left so I can continue shooting!  :)

Am I surprised that I need surgery?  No. I find a tremendous amount of comfort knowing that I'm in great hands with Dr. Lenke's colleague.

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