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removing my L2 vertebra

LisaRachelLLisaRachel Posts: 286
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in New Member Introductions

Wondering if any one has ever had this type of operation? In Nov I am having a spine fusion from L1toL3 but they are removing my damaged vertebra L2 with rods and hardware. I have been searching for information on this type of operation but can't find any.




  • I am having this same type of surgery. It is very hard to find information- but it is called "vertebrectomy" (if they remove all of it) or "corpectomy" (if they leave part of it) if that helps. I am so glad to find someone else who is in the same boat! I have been searching and searching, but have found nobody.

    How did your vertebrae get damaged?

    My profile pic shows my L1 and L2 vertebrae, self-fused.
  • Omg! It's so great to find someone else too! I actually only had 30% hight loss. My surgery is Nov 24th. What vertebra are they removing?

    Yes we should have vertebrectomy club :)

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  • I don't think mine is as bad as yours!!


    Comparison Study: 3/25/2009

    TECHNIQUE: 2.5 mm images through the thoracolumbar spine (inferior
    T11 to the coccyx) were obtained with 2-D reformats

    FINDINGS: There has been previous posterior decompression at the
    L2 level. Interval removal of posterior spinal instrumentation
    (rods and pedicle screws) from the L1, L2 and L3 levels. Previous
    L2 burst fracture predominately involving the superior endplate
    with unchanged vertebral body height loss and retropulsion. No
    change in position or alignment. Irregularity at the L1-2 facet
    joints related to the hardware and degenerative changes. Mild
    narrowing of the left L1-2 intervertebral foramen. Mild
    degenerative changes at sacroiliac joints.
  • I also have an L2 fracture. It was in November 2007, the day after Thanksgiving.

    I would not have so much height loss, but they did not follow up, and did not even put me in a turtle shell or anything. So they thought it was a mild compression fracture based on the initial x-rays and since Kaiser down here does all back (even injury) stuff through physiatrists rather than orthopedists, he just kind of blew it off and didn't know how to treat it or have the skill to catch the radiologists mistake.

    But I console myself with knowing that with burst fractures, even when they do intervene right away, they usually end up causing life-long problems. So maybe he couldn't have saved me. This way I have one surgery and maybe that's it.

    My symptoms are generally moderate to severe back pain and moderate pain in the hip/buttock/outer thigh area. Also, obviously, very limited range of motion. I also have numbness/burning in my back, my left foot goes to sleep if I sit too long, and lately I am developing weakness and gait issues especially in my left leg.

    I kept up with riding and it kept me going for quite a while- I feel much worse since I quit, but I can no longer deal with even lifting a saddle, so my horse went on the market in July (I actually had to be coerced by financial reasons, even though I was basically incapable of caring for him), and he's still at a consignment barn waiting for new owners.

    Um, what else. I've done some research on the surgery via Pubmed and it looks to be about as effective as any back surgery. It's most common for people with osteoporosis or cancer so it was hard to judge complications since the population would be more prone than we would, but most of the studies had low complications and high rates of successful fusion.

    Will you be getting a titanium cage?
  • I'm so sorry about your horse, I'm sure that's a big loss for you. I can't lift anything above 5lbs. My pain is lumber with upper thigh and buttock area. I take morphine for pain. At this point I'm waiting for this surgery to help. I work part-time but after 5 hours I'm done. My social life sucks but my friends are great they usually come to my place and hang out. Where do you live? I was lucky that my accident happend in France they have an amazing health care system. You are right no matter if they did surgery we will have problems. This is my 3rd spine surgery. My accident was Sept 08.
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  • Lisa, HB,

    You guys are helping me out a bit on the symptom side of the house. Mine are the L2&3 nerve roots affected by protrusions into the exit nerves and cord for the L2/3/4. Mine will be fusion of those levels, but you guys have the same nerve level - which is not common. Thanks for posting some of what you're feeling, as now I am confirmed that my 'nerves' are at least fussing the way they are suppose to! Sad huh... :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • LOL, Avi, glad my misery is of use to you! You could always have just asked ;)

    Lisa, I wouldn't expect yours to look like mine since yours was shored up right away. Mine was just left to crumble. But in a way, we both are in the same boat anyway, huh? Weird.

    Yes, by back is in very sad shape. I don't work and just applied for SSDI. I haven't been able to sit at all since the accident- since I can't sit, can't stand, and can't lift, twist, etc, I can't figure out what I can do! Luckily I have a great hubby and 2 kids at home and so far it hasn't been a huge hardship.

    I also take ms-contin (long-acting morphine) and norco (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) for pain, along with topamax and cymbalta. I have had 4 epidural steriod injections and 5 level facet rhizotomy on both sides (my facet joints are totally shot, and they are half of the pain!) this year. I sometimes wonder whether all of that made things worse or better, though.

    In the last year or so the disk between L2 and L3 has deteriorated severely, the disks at L4/L5 and L5/S1 have worsened, and I've developed a retrolisthesis at L4/L5. So it's really time to stabilize my spine!
  • I think the worst part for me besides the pain is that people don't understand what I'm going through! My family kept saying well, you were fixed up in France and the doctor's said you would be fine so you are FINE! And now with the upcoming surgery my father thinks I can be back to work 3 weeks after and I will be fine. I almost had a heart attack trying to explain that It might take more time and he thinks I'm just so negative. Grrrrrrrr.

    I saw a list that someone wrote about chronic pain, I think I will forward it to my family!

    It's so nice to be here and to know that you guys understand. I will take this as a learning experience. I work in a doctor's office this has helped me to be less judging with other pain sufferers.

    Sorry about my spelling! there is no spell check on here!! LOL

  • The letter you're talking of is "Letter to Normals", and another one that may be of help presently ...do a Google search for "The Spoon Theory". One explains to a 'normal' what we go through daily, the other shows to others (though her story is based on her Lupus) why can't always do xx today, but maybe tomorrow. Hope that helps your search, and too with helping *them* understand, even if only a little. :)

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