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osteophyte complex and surgery

I've been around the back forums for a while because my back is really bad off, but earlier this year started having problems with my neck. My symptoms were shooting electrical pain down my right arm when I would lean my head back so I saw the doc and had an MRI. I have a large osteophyte complex at C6/7 and am now getting shooting pain down both arms and pain in the middle of my neck. There is some DDD symptoms also, which is all over my spine so it's to be expected. Has anyone had surgery specifically to have this removed? If so how was the post surgery pain? I've had several surgeries in the lumbar area and am not a fan of spine surgery due to not getting any relief from previous surgeries. I've heard cervical surgery tends to have higher success rates, I just wanted to get a little feedback. Thank you

Microdiscectomy/Laminectomy/Foraminalectoy L4/L5/S1 Oct 2009, Mar 2012
Laminectomy L4/L5/S1 Dec 2009, Oct 2012, Dec 2012
Microdiscectomy and Synovial Cyst removal Feb 2013
St Jude Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted January 2014



  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    As you are aware, there are many factors that can effect surgical outcomes. But to try to specifically answer your questions (based on my experiences) Yes surgical removal of osteophites seemed to be succsessful. In my case almost 80+ of the pain caused by the osteophites was reduced - severe pain (knife like) into my arm(s). Osteophites often cause foraminal stenosis and cause nerve entrapment. when the oteophite(s) are/ is removed - and the foramon(s) are/ is "cleaned up" the nerve(s) can do their thing unfettered. Depending on how long the nerve(s) was/were compressed can be a factor in the ongoing results.

    Other factors such as number of cervical levels having this issue, amount of cervical cord compression (stenosis) and alignment of vertabrae etc, all come into play. Other(s) inclued amount and type of hardware used, structure of remain disc's and vertabrae, herniations, spondolothesis, annular tares, etc.

    Being afflicted with both lumbar and cervical issues - I can say that the neck worries me more than the lumbar as ALL of your nerves are in play C1 - C7 wheras the lumbar L4 - L5 and all of sacral S1 - S3 contain little functional nerves - ony pain generating nerves - L1 - L3 are a differant story but only have nerves for the pelvis and lower extermites. One slip on a cervial can cause death or respitory failure and quadrapeligia - Lumbar surgical errors could cause incontinence or loss of leg usage.

    I am usure as to the exact stats on success rates lumbar vs cervical. In my case I had a failed 2 level anterior that was revised with a "360" 3 level and two levels of vertrebectomies/corpcetomies- cage full of hip bone. 12 screws.

    My hip bone is connected to my neck bone - sing along with me!

    Best wishes for you and your outcomes,

    Spine-health Moderator
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