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Neurosurgeon v. Orthopaedic Surgeon

Started by Acceber on 05/17/2018 12:28pm


I have seen two Orthopaedic surgeons who both recommended a Laminectomy with an L4-L5 fusion for my stenosis. Today, I saw a neurosurgeon who recommended a laminectomy with a medial facetectomy and foraminotomy. She claimed that the fusion was 'aggressive' and not needed. I'd much rather avoid the fusion, but am at a loss as to who to believe. I've made an appointment with my PCP to talk it over, but am wondering if anyone has had a similar situation and has any insight. Thank you!

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2 Responses


Hi, Acceber--thanks for your post! We have a few resources that we think fit well with your question about orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons:

( Neurosurgeon or Orthopedic Surgeon? Does it Matter? )
( Orthopaedists, Spine Surgeons, and Neurosurgeons )

We think it's a great idea that you're going to meet with your PCP to discuss your treatment options. Getting 2 treatment approaches can be overwhelming, but a third opinion may clarify the right decision for you.

We hope this information helps, and we wish you the best with whatever path you choose!


If the neurosurgeon has a good reputation, I would suggest using the neurosurgeon. I saw several doctors before making a choice. I decided on a neurosurgeon because it was my thinking that an orthopedic doctor knows about bones, and a neurosurgeon knows about bones and nerves. Your spine is full of bones and nerves, not just bones. Also, I was offered a less invasive and more modern procedure from the neurosurgeon. You will have to make your own decision, but I chose to use a neurosurgeon for the reasons above. Good luck with your progress.

Just FYI, my neurosurgeon recommended a micro-laminectomy with a coflex insertion instead of the traditional fusion. I had been offered fusion by another surgeon and I declined it because I had ready so many negative things about the outcomes of fusion. These new interlaminar spacers (like coflex) are supposed to be an alternative to fusion.

You have probably already made a choice by now. But I am interested in your outcome.