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Cervical Laminectomy C2-T1

myharleygirlmmyharleygirl Posts: 55
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:03 AM 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 Jefferson Hospital in 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
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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
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