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Spinal stenosis C-4 to C-7 Need advise please

jtay9236jjtay9236 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Spinal Stenosis
Hello everybody this is my first post so please bare with me as this is my first surgery I will be having a posterior approch spinal decompression. I was diagnosed in December of last yyear DDD at all levels of my cervical spine and Spinal Stenosis from C-4 to C-7 and my neurosurgen told me a Anterior approch would be better but I am also a diabetic and do not heal heal very well so I am concerned about doing that procedure. I have pain in the left side of my neck with no pain management allowable in the the state of Missouri because here it is a hassle I was told to do pain managment. I have heard pros and cons to both approches and need some help from you veterens on this site to help me out I do smoke and would have to quit for the anterior approch which I have not been able to do because of pain and stressing out over my business. So all advise will be taken and a big Thank you to all who do. James.


  • Welcome Jtay,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find many going through or have gone through what you are.

    As far as the approaches to surgery, most surgeons prefer the anterior approach as does most patients. The actual pain and complications from posterior surgery are far greater. Also the recovery time is far more from that approach. So If I were you and had my choice about it I would take the anterior surgery. I don't think you will anyone on these boards who will think posterior cervical spine surgery is easier. Typically the posterior surgery is reserved for frominatomy and also to re do a failed fusion. There are several threads that deal with posterior surgery and pretty much the general just is so much harder on you.
    Now you say there is no pain management in Missouri and is a problem to deal with. Where are you in Missouri? I am in Missouri and have been in pain management for several years now. I have no issues dealing with the doctor. The question is do you belong in pain management or do you need surgery? Often times pain management is reserved to keep you out of surgery, and they can perform a host of different conservative treatments. The other time someone maybe in pain management is the even surgery fails to take the pain away. So the question is do you belong in pain management or having surgery as each performs different functions.

    When is your surgery scheduled for? What type of surgery is it you will be having? What type of treatments have you tried so far? How many different opinions have you had? At the top of the page is a FAQ section look in there and you will a article with 38 questions to ask a spine surgeon before having surgery. That may lead you to some more questions as to help you in your quest. As far as the smoking you will need quit either way and honestly it will help the over all health of your spine.

    Anyway just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Take care.

  • to spine health. I think you will be glad that you found us. There is a wealth of information here, and also lots of friendly people who will be happy to share their experiences and support you along the way.

    Are you more concerned about an anterior approach surgery than posterior approach?
    I think you will find, if you have the choice, that as Tamtam says, the anterior option is easier to recover from. There are more muscles in the back of the neck to heal after surgery.

    I don't want to nag you, but if you can possibly give up smoking, it would be adviseable.
    Healing after surgery, may be delayed in a smoker as there is less oxygen in the blood to promote healing.
    In a fusion, there is a much higher chance of failed fusion in a smoker. Especially as you are a diabetic, which you can't change, quitting smoking would be an aid to your healing.

    Do you have a date for your surgery yet?
    I wish you well and look forward to hearing how you get on. :-)
  • It has been a long time since my last post and I had my surgery n July 6,2010. I went ahead and had the posterior approch for the spinal decompression. Yes it was very painful and now being 3 months out of surgery I feel better but now am dealing with a strange sensation when my head moves forward like my muscles are tingling starting at the point of my surgery down my entire body and my left arm sometimes feels like it is numb. I am now off pain meds but take tylenoyl for discomfort and I also taking Soma at tis time to control muscle spasams. I will keep you all updated with my recovery and so it seems to have helped me. If any one has any advise for me I would appreciate it. Good luck to all who are going through this because I know it hurts and the recovery is hard and long.
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