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Home after posterior Laminoplasty

azzie21aazzie21 Posts: 30
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had my surgery March 25th, and came home two days later. I had an ACDF in 2005 on C3-C4. But in 2007 I was experiencing balance problems and I was also told I had myelopathy, so surgery was a given.

I have to say that the recovery from this surgery has been quite painful (although I concede that's it's only been 8 days post surgery). I have to wear a Philadelphia collar 24/7, and that sure can be uncomfortable when trying to sleep. I have lots of pain in my shoulders and neck area, and I'm assuming it's from the surgical site - it takes time for all the muscle tissue to heal.

I will see my neurosurgeon on April 13th, and have lots of questions about my recovery. I hope by the 13th, I will feel much better than I do right now.

The difference from going in anteriorly vs posteriorly is huge - at least it was for me. My surgery involved C3-C7, and I was in surgery for 5 hours. I remember healing quite soon after the ACDF, and I don't seem to remember having much pain after the surgery.

I have no hardware from this surgery, as it was a Laminoplasty, vs Laminectomy. I think that's why I need to wear the hard collar for 3 MONTHS!

Any suggestions from people who have had a laminectomy would be very helpful. Right now I feel quite helpless. I was told that I had to have someone live with me (I'm a widow) for at least 2 weeks. Thankfully my cousin is able to be here with me. I can't lift, reach, bend down, pick up, - in other words there's not much I can do!

Thanks for any encouragement you have to pass along to me.



  • Glad to hear surgery went well. Posterior surgery is much harder to recovery from, in my opinion. I had posterior fusion and it wasn't so much the incision pain, but rather the muscle spasms. Those three months will go fast in that collar. I know hard to see that at first. I used a miami J for 12 weeks and it did seem to go by rather fast. I'm sure your doctor will want you to walk as your only activity. The miami J gave me some stability that I had been missing for long time. Accept the help you are getting and just take it easy and listen to the surgeon. Welcome home Azzie, and I'm glad to hear surgery went well and your on the healing side of it.
  • Thank you Tamtam,

    You're right about the muscle pain/spasms. They seem to be the worst right now. It's 11 days post op and I know that I'm doing ok - but a posterior approach really is a pain in the neck! :)

    I do have help and am very grateful for the help. My neighbors and family have arranged a schedule so that someone is here with me most of the time. I have my mom here now, and my cousin will be back next week.

    I guess my biggest thing to deal with at the moment is the loss of control. I can't do a damn thing! Oh, I can get dressed and undresses, simple things, but reaching, bending, pulling, etc. I have learned my lesson on all of those things! Reaching is the worst - and it's just such a common thing to do - and a difficult habit to break, at least for a few months.

    I see my neurosurgeon on April 13th, and will be anxious to hear how he thinks I'm doing.

    Thank you again for your kind response.

  • I didn't have surgery posteriorly, but I can totally relate about the muscle spasms. That's how my whole issue started and they're still hanging around.

    I understand how hard it is to not be in control, but you really have no choice. Try to find things to keep your mind busy - for me, my Nintendo DS was my best friend. The only bad part was that I had to charge it every now and then.

    Try to enjoy being taken care of, if you can, because it doesn't happen very often that you get pampered.

    Hang in there.
  • Good to hear from you again. Sorry things are being difficult for you. I am also home recovering from my laminectomy done last Monday. I do not have any hardware in place from that surgery. The posterior is much more difficult to recover from, all the muscle they have to get through to do the work. The muscle spasms will get less with time, my first lami took about 6 to 8 weeks to slow down. I am lucky in that my NS doesn't want me to wear my collar that much, basically when I am traveling. This time around things are a bit easier, I know what to expect and not worry about some of the aches and pains. Hang in there, it does get better!
  • I had a posterior c5-c7 fusion in November 2008 I am now 4 1/2 months post surgery and I still have some muscle spasm problems but not nearly as bad. I take flexiril up to 3 times a day now as needed verses having to take it around the clock right after surgery. I found out that in those first 8 weeks to pace your walking don't walk to far or for to long. There would be days I would wake up and say I feel great and end up over doing myself and then the spasms would start. Good luck with your recovery. I really feel your pain!
  • I too will be having both anterior and posterior here in 2 weeks. all of this information is very helpful. it sounds to me like this is going to be a long road to recovery. they are going to fuse c3-T1 from the back and then C3 4,5,t1 from the front and then a revision of C6-7 that didn't fuse from a prior ACDF C56 C67.

    How long are the incisions in the back?? i'm thinking 5 to 6 inches?
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