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Corpectomy set for August 13

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
A quick refresher...I have had numb hands and forearms for the past 7 months and right leg weakness for the past five weeks. I'm walking with difficulty, very slowly with a slight limp. Some days are better than others. Sometimes my leg feels like it will give out, especially if I step on uneven pavement or off curbs. I fell down a few days ago on pavers, but not because of my weak leg, but I just stumbled. Got a skinned kneee and palms. Couldn't help but think about what my neurologist told me about falling and being vulnerable to paralysis. Eek! I need to watch my setps more carefully!

My MRI shows a large disk extrusion on C3-4 compressing the spinal cord and herniated disk with mild stenosis on C4-5 and C6-7. It says some other stuff about multilevel hypertrophy.

I had my pre-op appointment today. Surgery has been set for Wednesday, August 13th. My neurosurgeon plans to do a partial C3 corpectomy and instrumention from C3 to C5 or C3 to the inferior portion of C4. It's possible he may do a full corpectomy of C4. He's going to place a cervical expandable cage and plate.

I like to hike and I really hope that my leg weakness goes away. I haven't been able to hike for most of the summer and I really miss it. We all take walking for granted. Anyone have experience of corpectomy surgery and leg weakness improving? I'd love to hear your story.

I have been reading this forum alot and have learned so much from all of your experiences. This is kind of scary, stepping into unknown territory and it helps to read what others are facing and experiencing.
Another Brenda, age 57



  • Paul,
    Yes...my NS said myelopathy secondary to cervical stenosis.
    He was very clear that surgery is necessary.
  • I guess all I can say is good luck and we will be here for you through your recovery - good luck again.
  • Brenda

    Had a 2 level copectomy 8 momths ago and it worked wonderfully :). I have the cage and plates and screws.

    I was afraid I had waited too long for a full recovery with surgery. The doctors could not say at what level I would recover but insisted I must do it to avoid more severe permanent symptoms.

    I was having numbness and extreme weakness in my right arm to the point it was hard to even lift it. Relief was instant and I have fully recovered. I am totally pain free for the first time in decades with no drugs.

    At least sometimes it works wonderfully. Good luck.

    Paul M
  • Paul M
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Your corpectomy surgery sounds very similar to what I will have. It's encouraging to hear that you have had a good outcome and I am very happy for you. I hope my outcome goes as well as yours.

    Do you mind sharing how long your recovery was? How long before you were able to drive and return to work? How long did you need help at home?
    Thanks, Brenda
  • i just want to wish you good luck brenda. <:P =D> :X >:D<
    what is the difference between a corpectomy and a fusion???
    are they they same.
    sorry to lazy to look it up, not sleeping well #o :P (|:
  • Hi Terri
    Actually, the procedure is Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion. The corpectomy is the removal of the vertebre itself. In my case they are going to do a partial corpectomy of the C3 and disk removal below and either a partial or full removal of vertebra C-4. The NS will replace it with a titanium cage filled with a synthetic bone material so that it does not require a bone graft. Then it is stabilized with a plate and screws. So the corpectomy is in addition to a fusion. I will be glad when it is all behind me.
    Thanks for the well wishes. I will let you all know how it goes.
  • Brenda

    I am attaching a link to the old boards for you to follow my posts as I progressed.


    My full recovery was around 6 months. I returned to the office in exactly 2 weeks and was comfortable alone at home after 4-5 days, once I got off the drugs.
    First few days were rough but improved really quickly. Walk but take care of yourself!

    I am vey active so I would not stay down. I was walking the corridors of the hospital a few hours after surgery and continued through recovery. I feel vey positive about my decision but think I had a lot of vey good advice from a very good surgeon through the whole process.

    Paul M
  • Good luck with your surgery and upcoming recovery. I hope everything turns out perfectly or at least as close to perfect as you can get :)

    Christina :)
  • I was so pleased to read this post. I have this scheduled for May and have worried continuously that I'd never recover.

    I understand from my neurosurgeon that I can't work for 2 months while I'm in the neck brace and recovering. I was wondering, though, if you were able to travel - say a plane ride or 2 day car trip?

  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    A picture is worth 1000 words ... My avatar shows a posterior corpectomy C6 - C7 with cage, one plate, two rods, and 12 screws. ACDF C4 - C7 This was needed after a failed 2 level ACDF only.

    Just thought I'd jump in and show you what it all can look like. It doesn't sound like your procedure will need to be as extensive as mine was-is.

    Good wishes and quick recovery - remember not to over do it!! Convelese needs to be a word that is understood and followed!!


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  • Dave,

    On both of mine they did a 'partial' corpectomy due to inflammation in the bones. My bone graphs where just a bit taller than a regular ACDF - no cage on partials I guess. I never knew your cage was a corpectomy. Interesting...

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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