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.