I'm Brenda from southern California and came home today after having a multi level anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion. They decided to do a partial C-3 corpectomy, remove the disk below and remove the entire c-4 vertebral body(corpectomy) and the disk below. They placed an expandable titanium cage with plate and screws and used a synthetic material instead of a bone graft. The procedure took 3 hours. The NS said it was mostly disk bulge material that was compressing the spinal cord. My original diagnosis was cervical mylopathy secondary to spinal stenosis. My MRI showed a huge disk extrusion severely compressing the spinal cord at C3-4 and mildly and c5-6. My symptoms were bilateral hand numbless and right leg weakness making me limp and walk very slowly.
I have had no pain at all except for my throat which was intubated. I was told I could eat a regular diet, but chose to eat cream of wheat, lite yogurt, skim milk, and applesauce. Sounded like they would go down smoothly. Had the same menu for my evening meal, and same meal for next breakfast except added scrambled eggs. Didn't go down as smootherly, but I managed them. The Nurse Practioner told me I should include a lot of calcium in my diet to asst with the bone fusion.
The first day my voice sounded like I was a 3 pack a day smoker and was very hoarse and weak. Today, it is very normal. Also, the first day they had me get up and only go a few steps to a chair. This morning, I walked around the nurses station area twice and there was absolutely no leg weakness. My walk is totally back to normal. That is great because it was causing the biggest impact to my life not being able to walk normally.
I can feel improvement in my hand numbness as my fingertips no longer feel like they are freezer burned. My hands still feel numb and I'm sure it will take time if it hasn't already progressed to far. But there is hope as I am feeling improvement.
They said I could stay another night if I wanted but that I could go discharged if I wanted to go home. I chose to come home so they discharged me at noon. My surgery was at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
They sent me home with a soft collar to wear for two days. After that I can wear it for comfort as needed. After seeing the incision I may decide to just wear the collar. Looks like my throat was slashed although it is only a 2 1/2 inch horizontal incision. It has stitches inside and is glued on the outside. I can take a shower tomorrow and am told to keep the incision dry. That should be a trick washing my hair.
My instructions are to not lift anything heavier than 5 lbs and do no bending or twisting. I see my NS in ten days.
Just wanted to update you on my surgery. Will keep you posted as to my progress. I am very pleased so far.