I haven't posted for awhile. I have cervical spine issues from C3-C7. In 2005 I had fusion done on C4-C5.
I'm now experiencing balance problems again. A MRI done in October 2008, showed deterioration especially C3-C4 & C5-C6. I was referred by my neuro to a neurosurgeon who recommended a laminectomy - fusion C3-C7 & hardware which will result in "significant loss of range of motion moving head from side to side and up and down". She (the surgeon) also mentioned a laminoplasty, but said that it carried more risks and she did not recommend that surgery. She never did a neuro workup - just looked at the MRI, had me walk a bit and gave me her recommendation. My appointment with her was in November.
I asked to be referred to another neurosurgeon for a second opinion. I just saw him on Monday (Dec. 8th). He was very thorough, giving me a complete neuro workup. He was surprised that the first surgeon said that a laminoplasty carried more risks, and asked if I thought that I heard her correctly. I had written everything down, and yes, she told me that, plus she told me she did not like doing them. He (new surgeon) told me that the laminoplasty actually has LESS risks, less cutting and very little hardware. He also told me that because C1-C2 would not be involved, I would still be able to move my head from side to side, regardless of which surgery I have.
Needless to say, I was very surprised; it also told me that I do NOT want the first surgeon to touch me!
The second surgeon told me that I should keep track of my symptoms - how often I'm off balance (all the time); how many times I fall (if I do fall - I have fallen about 3x in the past year). He told me that if I feel that the symptoms are getting worse, then I definitely should have the surgery. I could have it now, but he felt that I could wait and see if my symptoms get worse. Believe me, at the first sign of any tingling, I'm going to be on the phone with him about scheduling surgery (laminoplasty).
Has anyone here had a laminoplasty, and has it involved that many disks? My main complaint is the balance problems - I almost fell into my rose bushes this afternoon! Plus the pain - I have lots of pain in my neck, shoulders and arms. But I also have fibromyalgia, and that could certainly be part of the pain.
I guess what I'm asking, is if anyone has had a laminoplasty, and how they are doing. The surgery would be through the back, just as it would be with the laminectomy. So pain wise, I know there will be much more than my first surgery in 2005, as that was an ACDF.
Any comments? I would like to know others who have had this surgery.