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5 level cervical lamonectomy & 4 level fusion

I have been told by many doctors that I have severe cord compression from c3-t1 and need 4 levels fused from the back. The operation will not help the weakness in my left arm it will only stabilize that segment of my spine. The reason fro the fusion is to stop something catastrophic from happening, That means becoming paralyzed or quadriplegic. They say I could come out with a c5-6 palsy with a weak arm or 2 weak arms and this may rectify itself with in a year. Possibly it could remain an issue also. I have had 2 failed lumbar surgeries 15 years ago and have no faith in back surgery. No doctor will say weather if I don't have the surgery if the condition could worsen slowly or it could come all at once and I could become quadriplegic. Being in that condition is a fate worse than death. Can anyone advise me in any way as to what I should do. I feel that the devil I know is better than the one I don't know. I am also in pain for over 10 years which was made worse from the relatively small surgeries I had in the past. My worst night mare is that they do the surgery and I am in more pain and they won't want to treat it because of the current atmosphere of people abusing pain medication. I really don't know what to do. They say the chord compression is severe from c3-t-1 the surgeon also said that if they do the surgery the discs below and above the levels fused witll become strained and those may have to be fused after all of this is done. The thought of being paraplegic or living in even more pain than I am already in scares the hell out of me. I just don't know what to do. I have had maybe 5 opinions and they all say the same thing that I could become paralysed and I should have the surgery.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Had something similiar at the levels I mentioned. Had surgery on June 25th and so far still healing. I will be wearing a neck for three months and no driving. The bruising of my spinal cord and weakness from that Imwas told will never come back but the flattening will. I was also told that if not done I would loose the use of my arms and legs so of course I had surgery done. 3 weeks and 2 days post surgery and I seem to be tolerating the healing pain okay. At this time I do not know the effect on my T's I will have 1st xray next week. No driving for 3months and I wear a bone stimulator 24/7.
  • All the doctors tell me I need this surgery to relieve the pressure on my spinal cord which will help me regain some but not all of the strength I have lost in both arms. I have also been told there is a risk of paralysis if I don't have this done. My wife wouldn't let me drive home after seeing a surgeon that said I could be paralyzed if we had a rear collision. I want to know the outcome of others that have had 4 level fusion. Anyone have any comments?
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