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Upper back, neck and shoulder pain without numbness or weakness

Hello, My name is Stephen and am trying to find out a little more about patients who have had success from cervical laminoplasty. I currently have severe chronic upper back, neck and shoulder pain but do not have any weakness or numbness in my arms or finger. Does anyone else have this issue. I have had an MRI that shows herniated discs from C3-C7. My neurosurgeon recommended a laminoplasty from C3-C7. I have tried numerous injections, walking, stretching and am currently on morphine and dilaudid with no pain relief. With the insurance I currently have, we have a $40 co-pay which can add up real quick for physical or any other type of therapy. I am considering having the laminoplasty procedure done, but cannot find enough sucessful stories out there to convince me.

Stephen from Seattle.
Stephen from Seattle


  • Hi Stephen,
    I am so sorry to read about your neck pain and issues. Wondering what you decided to do? I, too, have had laminoplasty recommended to me. Not looking forward to it, but my spinal cord is being strangled, and I worry about further damage. How are you?

  • I have not yet made the decision to have the surgery. I told myself, if I could find atleast 5 patients that have had successful surgery results and are atleast 3 years post-op, I would have the surgery. Until now, I cannot find the success stories that I was hoping for. It sounds to me that most patients start out pain free, but after 1-3 years, they are in more pain than originated. Please keep me posted on your thoughts and/or factual findings.

    Stephen from Seattle
  • MaritaMMarita Posts: 6
    edited 04/18/2013 - 8:07 AM
    Hi Stephen,
    Yes, I understand laminoplasty can result in some longer term neck pain, especially within the first year. I have been in touch with a couple of folks on Healthboards who have had good experiences. Their laminos were c4-c6, with some shaved off c3 and c7, which I believe is what I will have and can be less impactful on the muscles. They are around a year out and seem to be back to their normal lives. One even does heavy manual labor.

    Where have you found stories of folks at least three years out? I have had a hard time connecting with folks on this forum who had posted that far back. I have found many studies that speak to the neck pain, of course, and a few that give me hope that the less number of levels opened, and leaving c2 and c7 muscles alone, significantly reduces post op pain.

    I'm sorry you are in so much pain. How frustrating. Have you looked into artificial disk replacement? I have read that laminoplasties are not a good option for neck pain. ( The goal is to stop progression of myelopathy.) I fortunately do not have neck pain, however my hands and legs are affected, so I think this is why I'm a candidate for it.

    I hope you find relief, and a treatment you are comfortable with soon.


  • Hi Stephen,

    While I have not had the laminoplasty, I have had 2 cervical fusion surgeries and am now fused from C3 thru C7, the same levels you are having issues with.

    I didn't know what a laminoplasty was until I just now read it. I guess a potential concern I would think of is, after some time, would bone re-grow and do the same damage again? I certainly don't know anything about this surgery, though.

    Like I say to anyone considering surgery, go in with your eyes wide open and ask lots of questions. If the pain you're experiencing his eating away at your quality of life, then maybe having the surgery could be a good thing.

    Good luck and please keep us posted! ;-)

  • I am nearly six years past c3-c7 laminoplasty...if I can help answer questions let me know.
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