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Laminoplasty vs fusion in a 36 year old active female

KemottyKKemotty Posts: 2
edited 10/16/2015 - 7:59 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am a 36 year old active female who presents with severe spinal cord impingement from large protruding discs at the C3-C6 levels, as well as severe left and right forminal narrowing and spinal cord edema at those levels as well.

I have had numbness off and on for over a year which has moved from the left arm to more recently both arms as well as pressure headaches in my head and extreme muscle tightness around the neck. I finally had dr. who would request a MRI which showed above.

I met with a neurosurgeon today and am working on getting back up opinions, yet I was given the choice of the laminoplasty or fusion at those levels. I also present with a flat/straight neck. It seems like both routes open myself up for future surgeries. Either because the fusion causes damage to the disc below, necessating a need for a fusion below; or because of my straight neck might eventually cause my head to tip requiring a fusion at that point...

I am not sure how to proceed. Has anyone had anything similar?
Katherine E Long


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 10/16/2015 - 7:59 PM
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I have had 2 neck surgeries. One used cadaver bone for a fusion, and my body removed the cadaver bone. Those levels, including a third level were then fused with a plate that was acceptable to me - thin, would not be felt from the front with my fingers. That one worked. I had absolutely zero pain with both surgeries. I wanted to go home as soon as I became conscious as I felt so good. And continue to do so. I have had other spine surgeries that are due to damage from another type of accident. I highly agree with getting a second opinion, always a good thing to do. You sound worried about future surgeries. You can't predict an if, when, or why. Mine was caused by a drunk driver ramming into the side of our car. My other surgeries had been on my back, this on my neck was completely unexpected. Unpredictable. Have the surgery you need and don't worry about possible future surgeries. Good Luck
    Still Walking
  • Thank you Happy Surgical Patient. I am worried about a lot of things, future surgeries, range of motion with the fusion and my ability to be active again (I cycle, swim, hike, etc), and any future accidents that might make one surgery better over the other.

    Do you feel as though you have good range of motion after the fusions?

    Katherine E Long
  • I had extensive cervical laminoplasty (C3-C6). My surgeon and I discussed the options and I chose laminoplasy bc I am a birder and wanted to still be able to use binoculars and look high up at birds in trees. It worked like a charm. Ends up I have more range of motion now, as my neck was so diseased prior to the surgery. Some of the levels have since fused on their own - which ended up being a good thing to prevent the need for further surgery.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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