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Decision for surgery

harcrehharcre Posts: 4
edited 10/03/2013 - 11:51 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Just had pre-op with 2 surgeons. It is either a 5 level cervical laminoplasty, c3-7 or a 3 level fusion. Most of the offending material compressing the spinal cord is in the anterior. I don't really have myelopathy. My goal is to start surfing again. I'm 65.
The pros and cons seem to point toward the fusion, less pain,quicker recovery,removing offending material and increasing disc space.The problems are fusion not taking and more surgery and the adjacent vertebrae problematic above and below the fusions. The laminoplasty more painful,longer rehab,possible problem with c5 nerve root, possible drop head,not for pain relief and really not dealing directly with the problem. My surgery is scheduled for October 14, 2013!!!
Have I answered my own problem?


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  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 10/04/2013 - 1:40 PM
    is done to open up the lamina in the spine, to create more room for the nerves to pass through. Fusion at three levels is going to restrict your movement of your neck, but if you are unsure, you can discuss options with a third surgeon to see what he recommends and then base your decision on what the consensus seems to be......sometimes, the third opinion gives you the final determination by majority 'vote'...
  • harcrehharcre Posts: 4
    edited 10/05/2013 - 4:25 AM
    I've had 3 opinions. The last was for a laminoplasty. At my pre-op 2 days ago I was told how many levels of laminoplasty. My surgeon brought into the room a doctor who had just finished a fellowship at Uni. of Washington.He was suggesting a 3 level fusion as opposed to 5 level laminoplasty. My goal is to start surfing again when my spinal cord is safe again.I was left with more questions about how much neck extension loss after a 3 level fusion ending at c7. My surgical date is scheduled for Oct 14,2013. My surgeon says Either fusion or laminoplasty 6 of one half dozen of another. My decision!! He just need to have enough time to have the right equipment in the operating room.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    edited 10/05/2013 - 7:33 AM
    You are my hero, resume surfing at 65 after a fusion or laminoplasty? Go for it dude! But please share that with your surgeon before actually doing it. I know after my cervical fusion my surgeon said no bungee jumping or water skiing, the latter would be the only desire for me ;-)
    I'm not too much younger than yourself and I have really gotten into HIIT at the gym. Not sure if it is endorsed by my dr's and surgeons but I probably am in the best physical shape (barring my spine issues) since my high school sports days. I test my limitations, am fairly careful, and just push it a little further. Helps me stay focused away from my pain and shortfalls.
    But going back to your post here, I think you answered your own question. Do what is best for you, get after it, and never look back and don't say "I shoulda, coulda, woulda."
    Best of luck to you!
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 10/05/2013 - 7:45 AM
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and growing.
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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
  • My surgeon surfs. laminoplastys are still uncommon in the US so getting 1st hand opinions is difficult. Many youtube entries about post-op experiences but none about cervical laminoplastys. My concern with the acdf would be neck extension and looking left as where I surf In Santa Cruz is a right hand break.I'm not even sure I am being realistic!
  • Haha! I think you made your mind up already. Just realize that recovery is not immediate and pain relief is not usually immediate. I am 26 and had a cervical fusion 2 years ago. I thought it was a quick fix. It's not. Also you need to be careful while your bones are fusing especially. Range of motion will be somewhat limited. Especially with a 3 level fusion. Please don't take this negatively. I just want you to be realistic. I don't regret having surgery. My surgeon told me initially that I could go back to work as a restaurant manager in 2 weeks. Not even in the best case scenario would that be true. I assume you are in good shape now, and and will go to physical therapy and be diligent with that. So all you can do is try right?
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
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