In 2000, I had a lumbar laminectomy for lumbar stenosis. The surgery consisted of:
Removal of L4-L5 transitional disk herniations from the left
Total laminectomies of L4-L5 and transitional segments
Bilateral inferior L3 partial laminectomies and bilateral superior partial S1 laminectomies
Bilateral partial hemilaminectomies at L2-L3
Foraminotomies at L2-L3, L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-transitional and transitional S1 interspace bilaterally
My last lumbar MRI in 2013 revealed:
Posterior element hypertrophy producing severe canal stenosis at L2-L3 and mild stenosis at L1-L2
My last cervical MRI in 2013 (problem was discovered in a 2008 MRI but has gotten worse) revealed:
C3-C4: Spondylosis and disc bulge produce moderate canal stenosis with AP dimensions of the canal measuring
between 6mm-7mm. There is asymmetric disc osteophyte complex on the right side with right lateral
recess stenosis. There is also severe bilateral foraminal stenosis at this level.
C4-C5: There is moderate right and mild left foraminal stenosis
C5-C6: There is mild spondylosis without significant canal stenosis. There is moderate to severe right and moderate
left foraminal stenosis.
C5-C7: Spondylosis and disc bulge produce mild canal stenosis. Both foramina are moderately narrowed.
Okay...so I have had 3 cervical epidurals in a little over a year (last one in Oct 2015) and have neck pain, shoulder pain, recurring left side headaches and tingling in my fingers and hands. I have another MRI scheduled in 2 weeks and I suspect that the Dr may suggest surgery.
So, having gone through the lumbar laminectomy which was extremely painful (much worse than any of my 3 open heart surgeries), what can I expect from a cervical laminectomy as far as pain and temporary (hopefully) disabilities? I'm retired but very active as a home based travel agent, scuba diver, a member of the local sheriff's department search and rescue and dive team and a volunteer with Make-a-Wish and some national animal emergency response teams. How long can I expect to be down and unable to do any of this (except maybe the travel agency stuff since I can even do that in bed as long as I have a computer and the internet)?
LarryCervical Spine SurgeryRECOVERY - The most important phase
Liz Spine-health moderator