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My name is Brenda and I live in California. I am 57 years old, divorced and have a 17 year old son still at home. I have a desk job working on a computer. My symptoms include both hands and forearm numbness and right leg weakness that makes it difficult to walk. I walk very slowly but experience no pain.
I had an EMG to rule out the return of carpel tunnel syndrome. I had both hands done in 2006. The EMG indicated no nerve damage.
My MRI says there is a a large paracentral disk extrusion at the C3-4 level resulting in severe spinal stenosis and cord compression, both increased in severity since prior MRI (2005). Moderate Degenerative disk disease at C5-6 and C4-5 resulting in mild stenosis. There is multiple level uncinate joint hypertrophy.
My neurologist told me that I need to have surgery since we are dealing with a severely compressed spinal cord and given my symptoms.
I had my apt with a neurosurgeon on Friday and he agreed with the neurologist and said 99% of doctors reviewing my MRI would agree.
Unfortunately I am not a candidate for a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure. I asked if the procedure I need is like an ACDF and he said mine is a ACCF (Anterior Cervical Corpectomy & Fusion) which is the removal of the vertebral body as well as the disc spaces at each end to completely decompress the cervical canal. He said he will insert a cage. I have a lot of confidence in the neurosurgeon as he has a fine reputation at an academic medical center.
I mentioned to the neurosurgeon that I feel no pain. He said that if my only symptoms were pain he would recommend physical therapy, and other conservative treatments. He said pain indicates nerve roots are involved. He said my symptoms of numbness in my hands and leg weakness are consistent with spinal cord compression.
I am now waiting for a surgery date.
Has anyone on the board had a corepectomy procedure? If so, I would like to hear about your experience, symptoms, recovery time, pain, physical therapy, etc. I’m thinking I may need someone other than my 17 year old son to help me out through my recovery.
I am really thankful for this board as I am learning a lot from all of your shared experiences.