I had a 6-level cervical laminectomy with fusion in October 2012 due to severe stenosis. It was the most painful experience in my life. Prior to surgery I experienced little or no pain in my upper extremities --some mild twitching and cramping in my arms and some weakness in my arms which I felt when lifting myself up on my elbows while getting out of bed. For many years I also had pain in my lower back (sometimes severe), in my right thigh (also quite severe at times) and extreme weakness in my legs, especially navigating stairs. The original surgeon I saw said I needed surgery in my lumbar as well as cervical spine, but the cervical problem required more immediate attention. He told me that the longer I waited to do this "the more dangerous the operation and the less predictable the outcome". Two other surgeons agreed
Now a year and a half later my legs are getting weaker. After the surgery I felt pain only on the left side of my neck; now both sides hurt. I have nerve damage in my right hand. I have constant stiffness between my shoulder blades and my arms are grower weaker. Driving, working on my computer, doing anything that keeps my neck in the same position for too long is getting harder to do. Since February I've also experienced new, very scary feelings in both arms -- I get awful cramps in the crook of my elbow when I bend them such as when talking on the phone. When the cramping starts, I immediately need to straighten my arm at which point I experience tremors in my hand and forearm and pain going straight up the back of my arm to my shoulder.
In 2013 I had PT for the upper extremities which helped somewhat but I seem to be regressing. I'm currently undergoing a PT regimen for my legs, including the Graston technique which is helping my right thigh considerably. My legs are NOT getting stronger. My surgeon recommends I do the surgery for the lumbar to strengthen my legs, but after my experience with the cervical surgery I'm afraid I'll be worse off.
I've highlighted here the most severe of my symptoms -- there are many others I've had for years and those that have developed or worsened since the cervical laminectomy.
Is this a common result after this type of surgery? Can anyone tell me if I will get better or worse with time? Other than surgery, is there another course of action I can take that will strengthen my legs? I can manage the pain, but the weakness has got me worried.
Any comments will be greatly appreciated.