Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

Notice
All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Cervical Laminectomy C2-T1

myharleygirlmmyharleygirl Posts: 55
edited 05/06/2016 - 1:37 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello All:
Just joined this group and posted within another thread. After reading all some of the posts, I can see that the best way to get some support and feedback is by starting a new thread, so without being too redundant, here goes.
I have been scheduled for have a Cervical Laminectomy with fusion from C2 through T1 for severe stenosis and spinal cord compression. I have received opinions from two neurosurgeons along with an Orthopedic surgeon, all stating that I need the surgery. I was told that without the surgery there is a 70% chance that it will get worse and I will have worsening of my symptoms (balance issues, rapid reflexes, compromised fine motor skills, etc.). It seems as if, under these circumstances, I have no choice.
I have decided to use a very accomplished Orthopedic Surgeon at [EDIT] Philadelphia. He is extremely experienced, but, needless to say, I am so frightened, not just about the surgery, but also the outcome. It seems as if there are lots of posts about failed surgeries and horrible outcomes. I could really use to hear from people that have had positive outcomes. Is there anyone here that could offer some positive feedback? Thank you so very much......
Cervical Laminectomy and fusion C2 to T1 June 2012, Anterior Hip Replacement November 2012, Laminectomy, Discectomy Foriminotomy, L3 to L5, February 2014, evacuation of Hematoma April 2014.
Cervical Myopathy, DDD, Spinal Stenosis, osteoarthritis
advertisement

Comments

  • First let me say welcome. Yes the way to get more responses is by creating your own thread. You will also find most cervical spine patients posting in the neck forum.

    With that said I am a 4 level fusion myself. The one question I have is are they fusing all those levels or operating on all those levels and only fusing part of them? It does matter. Have they talked to you about your ROM(range of motion), following the surgery? You will be very limited on the movement you will have with your cervical spine with it all fused. Also what type of bone grafting material will they be using, as in allograft, autograft or some other synthetic form? Do you know if they are doing a anterior or posterior incision?

    My suspicion is if your having balance issue, is that you have mylopathy, in which surgery is the only avenue by which to stop the progression. Hopefully if this is the case they have explained surgery will only stop the progression but won't reverse the symptoms. But if you do have it the surgery does need to be done. The one thing in my experience more is not always better in the cervical spine, as the ROM, issues can impede with daily life. Now I am not sure of age or how bad you are now, as sometimes even with the loss the patient didn't have any of it anyway, so they don't notice it. The one thing is I can say for myself I do use a combination of all treatment modules still to control the pain and spasms. That doesn't mean life is doom in gloom either, I just had to find the new me and except there are things I will no longer do.

    NOw if your still working, have you discussed wether you will be able to return to work? It depends obviously on the type of work you do? Also as I said it depends if they are fusing all those levels and placing hardware all the way through? Have you discussed with them wether you will be wearing a brace post op and for how long. Also hopefully you have some help once you return home from the hospital, and I would get a realistic time frame of when you can do things for yourself.

    AS far as finding others whom have been fused at those levels, it is kind of scarce as most or either 3 or 4 level fusions. That is a big surgery so you will need plenty of time to recover.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. If I can be of any assistance please don't hesitate to pm me. Once again welcome to spine-health.
  • Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and to respond. It sounds as if you have alot of knowledge and experience and I appreciate you sharing.
    I do not know how many levels they are fusing. I can certainly find out. I did ask about the ROM and they didn't feel it will be terribly compromised. My ROM now is not great, so I will be happy if it remains the same.
    My Ortho surgeon explained that the damage cannot be reversed, but it will hopefully stop the progression of the disease. And, you are correct, I have not choice but to have the surgery. Not having it is more risky then the surgery itself.
    My surgeon is hoping to use the Lamina bone (?) for the graft. I am not sure how this is done,but it sounds better then taking a graft from my hip (heard it could be painful) or using cadaver bone.
    Since I also have severe arthristis in my hip and extensive lumbar issues, I am praying the surgery will give me some relief and enhance my quality of life. BTW, I am 55 years old and you are also correct.....I have cervical myopathy and stenosis.
    The surgeon explained that I will be in a hard neck brace for 3 weeks, and I will also have a collar to use when I shower. Hopefully, after 3 weeks I will go into a soft collar.
    Oops, computer running out of "juice". Will charge and continue post. Thanks again, so very much.

    Cervical Laminectomy and fusion C2 to T1 June 2012, Anterior Hip Replacement November 2012, Laminectomy, Discectomy Foriminotomy, L3 to L5, February 2014, evacuation of Hematoma April 2014.
    Cervical Myopathy, DDD, Spinal Stenosis, osteoarthritis
  • I just wrote a detailed reply to your comment but it "disappeared" when I went to Preview. The gist of my message was that if I had to do this again, I would have gathered more info about the post-op period. My surgeon was very optimistic about my resuming my activities and I did not question him in more detail. I'm over 4 weeks post op, still on pain meds and muscle relaxant, hard collar and limited motion (no reaching above my head, no bending over). Although he said I could drive, I don't feel it's safe yet. Like you, the surgery was necessary, not optional, wish I had done it years ago. Also wish I had arranged for a caretaker before the surgery. Good luck.
  • I met with the neurosurgeon on Tuesday of this week. I decided to have both Ortho surgeon and Neuro sugeon in the OR. I am very nervous, but I think, at some point, I have to grit my teeth and realize that there is no choice. I have to believe I picked the best physicians for the job and let go of this in order to keep my sanity. I also see what my high anxiety level is doing to my husband and daughter, and although they are both very supportive and empathetic they do need a break from all of this. Thanks so much for reading and responding to my posts.
    Cervical Laminectomy and fusion C2 to T1 June 2012, Anterior Hip Replacement November 2012, Laminectomy, Discectomy Foriminotomy, L3 to L5, February 2014, evacuation of Hematoma April 2014.
    Cervical Myopathy, DDD, Spinal Stenosis, osteoarthritis
  • ToddJ24TToddJ24 Posts: 1
    edited 09/24/2014 - 6:37 AM
    so I know I'm late to this but thought I'd share my story I had a C-4 to C-5 fusion done and some hoe contracted MRSA Postop. I was in a fight for my life. I ended up in a new hospital and new doctor than where the initial surgery had been done. Frankly I was afraid to go back to the original people. I was hospitalized for over a month and a half with multiple surgeries to clean out the infection and try to stabilize my spine. My bones became so brittle from the MRSA that they were crumbling as they would try and insert new hardware. My doctor finally stopped going into my neck and ended up going into the back of my neck. He inserted hardware from C-2 to T-1 and put me in a hallo which I wore for 3 months post op
    It has now been 1 year 9 months my range of motion is severely affected I am still on pain medication and muscle relaxer as well as several other medications to control the pain. I see a Pain Management Doctor every 2 months and been told by them that I will be on these medications from now on and trust me I believe them.
    With every bad thing I went through including coding on the operating table and waking up on a machine to keep me breathing I would NOT change a thing. I am alive limited yes in pain yes but alive THANK YOU DOCTOR

    Post edited to remove name of specific Doctor and medical facility. by Liz The Spine-Health Moderator Team
    Todd Jobe
  • Hi Everyone:

    I hope one that this letter wil be able to post.  I am still trying to get the 5 posts needed to respond to others posts.  I think this is a rediculous rule and don't see the purpose.  Maybe this is why folks don't come back.  I have posts in another area about Posterior Cervical Disectomy and Fusion.  At 52, I have had real problems with my neck.  On March 29,2016 I had a C3-C7 Laminectomy and C3-T1 Posterior Fusion.  I already hAd a C1-C2 posterior fusion in 1994.  How things have changed.  Living close to some of the finest hospitals in the country I consider myself very fortunate.  I too was scared, I hate to use that word about myself, but after visiting with 7 specialists and suffering from severe numbness in my hands for over a year,  my friends tell me I was scared! Lol!  Anyway,  I think to myself that I will never look back and say that I didn't look into every option available to correct my neck issues.  I was told had I waited much longer, I would have been a total quaderpalegic.    In fact,  most pain management clinics are forcing epidurals and nerve blocks on patients and holding the pain medications, they desperately need, over their heads, if they are reluctant to have these shots!  Well folks Asa my spinal surgeon cut into my neck he could see a leak in my spinal cord.  Now, this is not some think he hadn't seen and in fact he fixed by placing a piece of muscle over the hole. He said usually he sees patients with a small slice in the cord that leaks fluid and he places a few small stitches in the slice to allow it to grow back together.  However, mine was a pin hole, just the size of a needle! I have spent most of my life struggling with neck pain.  I had a serious accident at 17, another ten years later and the most current surgery for which I believe was a result of the stress that the C1-C2 fusion screws caused over 23 years. But, I think we should all be much more cautious about these shots that these so called pain management doctors are forcing upon us!  After being completely paralyzed for 4 and 1/2 hours, from the waste down, after receiving these shots at my then pain doctor, I spent a year with extremely painful, red and swollen legs!  I could barely walk! A friend of mine who was seeing the same doctor is now going through the same thing after her last shots!  Both of us have been let go for refusing his treatment.  I kind of got off of the subject.  Sorry for that.  

    Back to to the surgery.   I was shocked when I was shown the x-Rays and MRI's of my neck.  I was not in pain and to the contrary, for the first time in 23 years I was. Pretty much pain free.  But I couldn't overlook the numbness.  I would suggest that by going into a huge surgery, like this, have a positive attitude!  I believe it makes a big difference!  Learn about your surgery.  Get as many opinions as you need to feel comfortable about your doctor, the hospital and his or her skill level.  My spinal surgeon had done this surgery, literally 1000+ times in 35 years at the same hospital.  The only problem that I had was with a resident.  Knowing that this hospital is a teaching hospital, I realized in advance that I would be treated by many different people,  and I was!  I had the surgery on a Tuesday morning. I was sitting in a chair eating on the first day after surgery.  In 3 days I was ready to be released!  I felt great!  They managed my pain effectively, although I had been on pain medication for 25 years.  The spinal surgeon came in at 7am Friday morning, ready to discharge me.  About one hour later a resident, who I had seen numerous times, came in to remove my drainage tube.  Normally this is a quick and unremarkable event.  Unfortunately, he had to yank on the tube, which is common, but something drastic occurred. When I tried to sit up to eat breakfast I immediately had to lay back down!  Apparently he pulled a small piece of tissue from my back. Well, I have never been in so much pain in my life!  When he pulled the tissue out, apparently the muscle went into a spasm and this created the problem!  I did not eat. For 3 days following this event.  I spent another week in the hospital, had to go to a rehab facility for 2 weeks and was still suffering from so much pain, between my shoulder blades, that I still couldn't sit up.  They drove me to the rehab hospital laying down in an ambulance and I went to physical and occupational therapy laying down in a broad chair for the first 4 days!!  The surgeon said he has never seen this happen, neither had the nurses etc.  so do not let. This scare you either!
    i would suggest that if your insurance will allow you those 2 weeks in a rehab hospital, take them!  So many people. Want to run right home.  If you are able, they really help you begin to strengthen your muscles again, know your limitations and teach you safe ways to do various activities of daily living.  Once you get home, if like me, your kinda lost and do a lot more laying around then anything!  Although you need adequate rest,   It isn't good to lay around to much!  After my first post surgery visit, I was told I no longer need a cervical collar, I could drive and basically resume my normal activities.  I am still being careful until after the 3 month visit.  This seems to be a timeframe that provides them the most important information about the successful ness of your fusion.

    On a last note,  I spent over a year finding the spinal surgeon that did my surgery.  He was an Orthopedic Surgeon, not a Neurosurgeon and I was told by all that finding a SPINAL SURGEON is of the most important!  Both. Neurosurgeon and Ortho's have the knowledge to perform these surgeries.  Spinal surgeon has actually become its own field.  Ask everyone you see with a neck brace on if they mind telling you about the success of their surgery, their final thoughts about their surgeon and doctors and how they feel about the hospital.  Most folks are happy to share this information!  All of my research and asking resulted with me having a successful surgery, I haven't suffered in pain, I am well on my way to a successful outcome and believe that I could not have chosen a better Spinal Surgeon!

    I don't want to sound like a know it all, but anyone that would like me to answer any questions, I am glad to share any information and knowledge that I have! 

    Sheiba
    Rebecca miller
  • Another last note,  I was told by everyone that I would find a more skilled Spinal Surgeon than the one I finally chose!  And I must say that this is true!  Everyone knows of him!  His reviews are all excellent and even one review that gave him a 1 star only did so because this surgeon told him he did not need surgery, just physical therapy.  He still stated that you could not find a better surgeon.  What I am getting at is that at 52, I have b
    never been married and do not have kids.  Range of motion and my ability to live independently after having ALL of my cervical vertebrae and T1 fused was of great concern!  My neck was a real mess!  This surgeon told me he was going to try his best to straighten out my neck, fix everything that needed fixed to keep me out of a wheelchair and still preserve some ROM.  I can not believe the results!  Not only is my neck pretty much pain free, the x-Rays show a beautifully straightened cervical spine and my ROM is better than before the surgery!    So, I am shocked!  He told me that I would be moving mainly from the waist after surgery.  Just not true!  He really did a fine job and one that I don't believe just any surgeon could have!

    so do your homework!  You can't take them out once it's done.  Good luck!
    Rebecca miller


  • Another last note,  I was told by everyone that I would find a more skilled Spinal Surgeon than the one I finally chose!  And I must say that this is true!  Everyone knows of him!  His reviews are all excellent and even one review that gave him a 1 star only did so because this surgeon told him he did not need surgery, just physical therapy.  He still stated that you could not find a better surgeon.  What I am getting at is that at 52, I have b
    never been married and do not have kids.  Range of motion and my ability to live independently after having ALL of my cervical vertebrae and T1 fused was of great concern!  My neck was a real mess!  This surgeon told me he was going to try his best to straighten out my neck, fix everything that needed fixed to keep me out of a wheelchair and still preserve some ROM.  I can not believe the results!  Not only is my neck pretty much pain free, the x-Rays show a beautifully straightened cervical spine and my ROM is better than before the surgery!    So, I am shocked!  He told me that I would be moving mainly from the waist after surgery.  Just not true!  He really did a fine job and one that I don't believe just any surgeon could have!

    so do your homework!  You can't take them out once it's done.  Good luck!



    Hi Rebecca,

      Thanks for sharing your journey with us ! I am approaching my 3 rd surgery in two weeks and I can totally relate to your thoughts~

       I had C5/6 ACDF in 2009 and then in 2015 was in pain again with a need for another ADCF of C6/7 with implant. Unfortunately that last surgery was not as successful and I have been in pain for approx. 2years !  I finally found a doctor I can feel confident in and very hopeful of a successful outcome. I am scheduled for a posterior cervical laminectomy with fusion of the C4-7. I have to be honest everyone mentions this is really a tough recovery, is there anything you can share that may be useful for my pre and post op ?

      I am really glad to read that your feeling good !

    Tracy~
  • had a c1 to t1 fusion 9 months ago with the addition of the total cervical fusion being attached to my skull i think they call it occiput  or something similar, this gives me no ROM but i can say for the first time in 40 years im pain and drug free.  was a very painful first 6 weeks of recovery and wore a Miami collar for 6 months but managed to recover from most of the symptoms created by the neck damage.  I have posted titled C1 thru C7 plus for the full story but bottom line was blessed with a good NS and would totally do it again. hope yours goes well and you recover well
advertisement
Sign In or Register to comment.