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Looking for INFO & SUPPORT

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello to all of you fellow chronic spinepain sufferers out there. It is nice to find this forum, and I've enjoyed learning alot already. Can't wait to chk out the mind/body/spirit section too.

I recently retired from a career as an administrative librarian & bookstore owner these past 28 years. The early retirement was primarily for medical reasons/and secondarily to care for our mother with Alzheimer's Disease.

At this point, after three months rest, travel, power reading catch-up, care-taking of MOM, and lots of discussions with my wife about my chronic pains/health concerns and surgery options -- following unsuccessful PT and other non-invasive methods of pain control -- I'm attempting to get into good shape physically, to bolster my resolve as a soon-to-be patient, and to ramp up my courage to be as ready as possible for my second spine surgery. I am scheduled for early Monday morning, April 20th/ egad, that's NEXT week already!!

The first was a surprisingly painful (in early recovery especially) but effective L1-L5 spinal fusion, in late 2007. The surgery next week is much more delicate, but hopefully recovery will be quicker and a wee bit less painful. I'm having the following procedures done: posterior cervical laminectomies & foraminotomies of C3-7/posterior fusion & fixation , and anterior decompression and fusion of C6-7. (my doc's wording) I need to address two major issues, so the neurosurgeon will have me on my belly first, then on my back; the major pain and structural problems are instability and nasty bone spurs that are encroaching into 60% of my spinal chord's space at C6-7.

Any similar scenarios out there? Or, anyone have this type of cervical surgery? What should I be prepared for post-op? I look forward to feedback and to hearing your stories.

my best,
David, aka Cheesedale



  • Oh my, are you sure you need that much done? Not to second guess your surgeon, but I always advise having a 2nd opinion for something so invasive.

    There are several of us here who have had anterior/posterior c-spine stuff, to varying degrees. I won't sugar coat it for you; you're going to hurt and it will be a hard recovery. With my first surgery it was anterior only. 2nd time around I got the VIP treatment and had similar surgery to what you are facing. The posterior part of the surgery is much more difficult to recover from, so be prepared to take it easy for a while. You'll likely be in some sort of a hard collar with as much work as you are having done.

    If you think of specific questions, feel free to ask. I'll write more when I have more time. Just wanted to wish you well.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can.. please check out the "Back and Neck surgery" forum for ideas on your post op care. you will need help and to be prepared!!! :D good luck on your next procedure! =D> Jenny :)
  • Thanks for your comments and kind words. Yes, I had three different opines on this situation, and yes it certainly IS an expansive surgery/with lots of tricky procedures! I fortunately found the best neurosurgeon at Wisconsin's top hospital, so I'm encouraged by that.

    The "hard collar" called an ASPEN collar, will be on for 5-6 weeks, and no driving during that period at all -- LOTS of reading! And depending on our 22-year old college kid, who will soon be off for the year, to be my under-eager chaffeur...(:^). How I'll be able to shower with THAT collar on is a mystery to me, but I reckon they'll show me "the ropes."

    How did your post-op throat, swallowing, etc feel? I've heard that's a bitch, sort of? (when you had anterior surgery)

    What are your day-by-day issues you still deal with? Permanent damage sounds like a REAL tuff thing to adapt to -- what happened to you, basically a poorer-than-average vertebral surgery result?? Sorry to hear that reality, and of your pains.

    CINDY, if you are a praying person, please add me to your prayer list for tomorrow at 8AM CENTRAL time, until about 1PM. Thanks alot!

  • Thanks Lulusheart -- I'm getting the heebie jeebees now that surgery is tomorrow. Even tho I got three opinions, and I know this is critical for me to do at this time, I'm not looking forward to more POST-OP pains!

    take care,
    aka Cheesedale
  • I hope that all went well yesterday. Please post when you are able.
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