Re: cord compression
my best advice would be to speak with your surgeon and possibly obtain a second opinion as well if this is going to be a pretty in depth type of surgery.I would think givent hat your cord is actually being compressed by a fragment that this would most definitely at some point need to be somehow surgically interveined upon.when, would all depend on the extent of actual compression,and any body system functions that may be affected by it.the thing about cord compression is that while this is being compressed,in some cases,part of the cord can begin to necrotize or die off or myelomalacia can result,which is granualizing of the cord,if i remeber right.
you have to really look at what you would face in doing nothing,even with ESIs,this still will not actually really change the actual compression to any real measurable degree(tho it could possibly help with the pain,that all depends what is really generating the actual pain),vs having that fixed and the compression lifted off your cord space.there is always the risk that you may be having tract affectation which could be permanent too.the cord is somewhat similar to actual nerves in that if the compression is long enough and direct enough,it can kill off sections of it or end up causing neuropathic pain syndromes.
you have to remember that your spinal cord carrys a huge load,all of the nerve pathways that actually run all of your body system function signals to the brain run thru it.its like a big cable,if you cut it in half,you would see like little seperate(god,like at least 20 or so)seperate 'bundles" running thru it like cables within a cable?when one of these gets cut off or that flow gets impeded,there will be no or very little or even a derangement of the actual nerve signals to the brain.this is a very very important part of your body that you really don't want to become permanently damaged in any way,trust me on that one.
seeing your actual surgeon for a consult to find out just what his/her thoughts are on how severe your compression actually is,and what they feel would be appropriate would really be the best way to really know for sure what to do.it would be impossible for anyone here to even have a clue really since none of us can see what this even looks like to tell just how badly this is being compressed.if you feel this is causing you severe enough pain,well that should be an indication that maybe it might be time to consider it.are you having actual nerve compression there too?weakness in your legs can indicate possible nerve or cord impingement.alot would also depend on whther this is actually affecting one of the tracts.
sorry i couldn't be more helpful,but your surgeon would be able to tell you much more in depth findings and advice based on neuro evals and what shows in your MRI or even an EMG,where they test the nerve flow and muscle tone.this will only show actual impingement and or damage,not usally intermittant compression unless that position is the one where the compression happens intermittantly.full compression on any nerve would show tho.the type of pain you are having,can you fully describe it and where it runs?or is it only what you stated above,in your back?is it just a plain throb or is there like a strange gnawing type quality to it?
i do wish you luck with this,just have a chat with your surgeon to see what all of your possible options are,they really would know the best ways to go for your extent of problems.please keep us posted,K?marcia
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.