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Prior ACDF, Now Posterior Laminotomy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
In 1993 I had a C6-C7 ACDF. Since then I have had minor neck pain, but other symptoms of pain and numbness resolved immediately after surgery. I have had episodic problems (always on the left side) that have been resolved with PT, although MRIs have shown continual DDD and worsening spondylosis.

In late July I got sudden pain and weakness in left the left shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers. The NS advised that surgery was necessary quickly do to the severe weakness. H squeezed me in for surgery on August 14. He performed a three level posterior foraminectomy and foraminotomy at C4-C5, C5-C6, and C7-T1. They were correct when they told me that the incision area would be much more painful for the posterior surgery than the ACDF.

Immediately after surgery (and currently) the pain was lessened in my shoulder and arm (but not eliminated), the numbness was greater, and the weakness was about the same. The NS told me that my neck was a lot worse than appeared on the films, and he really had to manipulate the nerves. i don't have my post-op follow up until September 17.

For all you experts out there, when can I expect to get back the function of my wrist, hand, and fingers?



  • I am a lumbar patient myself, so I can't provide any info for you, I just wanted to wish you the best for your visit on 9/17. Hope your problems will eventually be resolved.

    Best wishes,

  • Welcome to spine health. I am not a expert, but in my case I am still dealing with numbness in my left arm and hand. I had my laminectomy in March to deal with myelopathy. The doctors have told me that it could take up to three years for the numbness to go away, it just depends on how well the nerves repair themselves after being damaged. I have had some improvement, but it is going to take a longer period of time for me to heal. I probably will never be 100 per cent, but I am much better now than I was 10 months ago. PT has also helped with my ROM and strength. It has only been a couple of weeks since your surgery, your nerves are probably still rebeling. Good luck and I hope your recovery goes well.

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  • Thanks, Mark. We decided to go with the foraminotomy/ectomy to try to maintain some flexibility and srsbility. I hope this works because I'm not really interested in additional surgery. My neck is pretty well shot at all levels.
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