Welcome, Friend!

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

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
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.

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

Has anyone had a Cervical Laminectomy? I've had an Anterior C-5 -6 -7 fusion 2 years ago but am scheduled for a C-7 to T-1 fusion and a C-6 Laminectomy in two weeks. I have a bone spur at that level pressing substantialy on my spinal cord causing my legs to ache, difficulty walking, bladder and bowel problems and I've been having a lot of neck pain as well.

Last October I had a L-4 to L-5 fusion with rods so I know what that recovery was like - not so good. What should I expect for a recovery after this Laminectomy. The surgeon said I would feel like a truck hit me afterwards - that's how I felt after Lumbar surgery. Is this one going to be as bad as that one was?

I'm 63 and everyone always said I looked a lot younger than I was up until 4 years ago when all of these spinal issues started. I've aged quickly. I only care how I feel and it's been a pain riddled 4 years non-stop. Now the surgeon says that the pain may not subside but this will delay future degeneration. That's another bridge to cross when I get there.

Any insight would be appreciated.


  • davrunnerddavrunner Posts: 478
    edited 08/14/2012 - 11:10 AM
    not the laminectomy. I haven't had a fusion yet, need a 3 level but haven't scheduled. I did have a laminectomy in 2008 c4/c5, I didn't feel like I had been hit by a truck. Remember being back at work in 2 weeks and having some issues with returning that soon. What I read on here leads me to believe the fusion will dictate your recovery.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • Did the laminectomy you had solve the issues you were dealing with at the time? You must have had a spinal cord compression of some kind. I didn't know they did Laminectomy's without fusions to stabilize the spine. I will end up fused from C-5 to T-1 and the Laminectomy right in the middle. The surgeon said that she might as well fuse C-7 to T-1 because they were almost fused already naturally - from additional bone growth. I wonder now if that is why my neck cracks and pops all the time when I turn my head.

    Thanks for getting back to me on this.

  • I had a laminectomy and fusion of L4/5 in 2010.
    At the time my surgeon said that although people focus on the fusion, he felt that the laminectomy was the most invasive part of the surgery.

    Now I haven't had surgery on my neck, but am likely to have a 2 level ACDF on C3/4 and C4/5 before long.
    From what I have read cervical surgery from the back is harder to recover from than surgery from the front.
    How it compares with lumbar posterior fusion, I don't know.
    Please come back and tell us once you know.

    My neck cracks and pops all the time too when I turn my head.
    How did you find your 2 level ACDF?
    Have you got any tips for me?
    Will you have help once you get home. If those are your four children, I think you will need it!

    You will find this a great place to get information 'from the horses mouth' and also for support after your surgery.
    You are already a veteran of spinal surgery, so probably know what things will be useful to have after surgery, but there is a list at the top of the back and neck surgery thread.

  • My two level Cervical fusion through the front of my neck (anterior) was pretty easy compared to the Lumbar fusion with hardware. The first thing I noticed after leaving the hospital was that car rides weren't fun anymore. Acceloration and decceloration made me feel like my head was going to fall off. It took a couple of weeks before I could comfortably ride in a car. My throat also hurt a little from the tube and also them having to move all that out of the way to do the surgery I suppose but it wasn't too bad. Eating continued easy enough and I didn't lose any sleep. The rest of the recovery was fairly easy. If they perform your Cervical fusion from the front I'm sure it will be easier than the Lumbar surgery you had.

    My wife has been good taking care of me after all of these surgeries and is prepared again for this one. Those kids in the picture are all grandkids so I won't be babysitting for awhile. My surgeon said that this one will be a tough one on me so I'm preparing mentally to be just as tough - sounds easy. I'll make it through this one too.
  • I am starting to feel very nervous about this surgery. I have read many people who have had both lumbar posterior fusion and cervical anterior fusion and they seem to say that the cervical is much easier to recover from.
    I asked my surgeon and probably shouldn't have! He looked at me for a few seconds and said, "not really, you will be more mobile than after your lumbar fusion, but you will have very stiff and sore muscles at the back of your neck and a sore throat. I suppose it is best to be prepared for things afterwards.

    My husband was wonderful caring for me after my lumbar fusion and is ready to do the same again.
    He is just getting over surgery himself, so I have been able to look after him. He has had a complicated recovery and a couple of emergency situations. I think this has something to do with me now feeling very nervous about having spinal surgery again.

  • davrunnerddavrunner Posts: 478
    edited 08/20/2012 - 11:06 AM
    The laminectomy I had did not solve my issues. I had bulging discs that weren't impinging on the spine so the NS did not want to do too much. The laminectomy was for a pinch nerve root, I waited too long for the surgery and have permanent nerve damage. The surgeon I am seeing now doesn't dispute the need for the laminectomy but says that the drilling of bone to get to the nerve root further destabilized the rest of my cervical spine and thus the two levels below are far worse then they were 4 years ago. I didn't have as tough a time healing from the laminectomy as many describe here on posterior fusions. Believe that may have to do with the amount of muscle and stuff they have to cut/move out of the way for the fusion.
    I am hoping to put off the fusion for at least a year, I am using in-home traction every night, because I have to have a complete knee replacement in a couple of months. I know you need to walk to help recovery from the cervical surgery and could not do it with the condition of my right knee. My OS isn't sure I can wait that long, he orginally wanted me to try and put it off for 4 to 5 years but I had worsening symptoms which resulted in the traction. MRIs just 3 months apart were significantly worse so I'm deteriorating at an accelerated rate, hoping a praying the traction will slow it down.
    Good luck to you on your pending surgery.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • backstagepassbbackstagepass Posts: 2
    edited 08/28/2012 - 9:21 AM
    greetings fellow spine patients. 53 year old male, former stagehand, hence the username. 5 years ago I had ACDF c4/c5. cervical MRI results are showing the likelihood of needing a posterior cerv lam w/ fusion on c3 all the way to c6. sort of scared about the hardware and recovery time. getting a second opinion as soon as more MRI's are done. am already on disability for lower back problems as well. anybody care to share some of their stories, good or bad. thanks.
  • DinoshrinkDDinoshrink Posts: 4
    edited 09/28/2012 - 3:36 PM
    I had a decompressive laminectomy 10 weeks ago. MRI yesterday shows complete decompression. Symptoms like burning feet and calves, numbness in the hands, etc have not improved. Very frustrating.
    Laurence Goldstein
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 09/29/2012 - 1:32 AM
    I'm sorry that your symptoms haven't improved since your laminectomy 10 weeks ago.
    Don't give up hope though.
    My surgeon, when discussing cervical surgery, has said that we won't be able to tell how much it will help for 6 to 12 months after the surgery.
    There is still time for those nerves to calm down and heal. I hope they do.
  • How are you doing, and how did you find the recovery this time?

    I hope that things all went smoothly and that your recovery is well underway and that you are feeling it has been a success.
    Take good care of yourself.
  • I had a cervical laminectomy with fusion done on june 3. The only fused 2 levels as i had 2 levels fused through the front and discs removed 11 years ago. I am in week 6 switching hard and soft collars, my neck feels weird in the back and I get tired fast. My right arm could almost not functon before the surgery (c4-5) but is improving. I had pain in my left shoulder and that has subsided.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.