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Laminoplasty PARTIALLY worked, left me with a dead L hand - surgery scheduled again!

HI - I am in need of some input and support here, however typing is difficult for me due to the problem caused by my laminoplasty last January. In '98 I had a c4/c5, c5/c6 fusion without plating, my neck collapsed due to no plate and I had to be "rebuilt" in '99. Through many epidurals, pain meds, etc. I have been able to survive up until the end of last year where I couldn't raise my arms any more without them falling to sleep. I went back to the surgeon who rebuilt me, he decided an open door posterior laminoplasty was best. End of Jan I had the surgery with a huge complication. I woke up and my left arm flailed all over the place, no strength and no control. After 10 days in the hospital due to my complications, I started physical therapy and regained a large amount of control in my left arm, however my muscles started wasting leaving my L hand with highly visible muscle atrophy. I am a classically trained pianist and cannot play, or type well, or even move my pinky. My hand up to just below my elbow constantly feels like I have been shot-up with novacaine, and the muscle wasting is obvious. I have growing nerve pain and a deep ache all the time. I have sought out a different surgeon due to my last surgeon's weird response to his failure with me, and after tests I am showing a herniation below the 3 screws installed during the laminoplasty, which is suspected to be the reason for my nerve/muscle failure. The level is c/6, c/7 (T1) and my surgeon says I am a good candidate for an artificial disc if my insurance will approve the off label application of an art. disc in this area. Loss of mobility is a big issue as this will be the 4th surgery on my neck, 5th on my spine in general.
So here I am nearing my surgery date, asking for input, support, friends who understand (empathize), and might know of questions I should be asking. I am wondering if the laminoplasty actually was the cause of my herniation, because I was fine on that level prior to, and I am healthy, swim a mile 2-3 times per week so I was equally strong in both arms before the problem.
I am angry, hurt, and extremely frustrated because I have an almost useless left hand. I can only hope that this next surgery will release the nerve and give me back my hand/arm. Until then I am reaching out to you to try and make some sense of my dilemma, and have friends who relate.


  • DoosieDDoosie Posts: 7
    edited 01/10/2016 - 10:38 AM
    Surgery didn't work. Still have a dead left hand and getting worse.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    I can hear and understand your frustration.
    I have never been a candidate for surgery, so I have no experience to share.

    But I wanted to mention that the SH search may be helpful to you, upper right on page.
    After typing in your concern, you may be led to current or older posts and or articles and videos.

    I particularly like the visual learning from the videos and the video library is huge.
    Very often when I use the search, I find I have more questions to bring to my doctor.

    I wish you the very best with your future surgery and recovery.

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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