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Old 02-27-2013, 12:59 AM   #1
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Now Need Cervical Surgery

Boy, it just seems to keep getting worse! A little history. I had a laminectomy on L3 - L5 for stenosis, then a discectomy that had complications of a hematoma and ruptured disc which required revision surgery (had to learn to walk with the left leg again), culminating with a 360 degree fusion at L3 - S1 (had to learn to walk with left leg again). After all of that, still left with pain in back, hip, buttock, and leg. Surgeon thinks it is permanent now and that maybe S1 fusion didn't take. Will be having a CT scan soon. Just had a MRI on cervical which reflects moderate to severe stenosis at C3 - C6 and my doctor said I need a fusion there, but he wants to concentrate on lower spine first.

A couple of questions. If an area that has been fused doesn't take, what do they do? Does that require another surgery or can you just leave the hardware in place to keep the spine stable? Anyone out there that has had both lower spine and cervical fusions that can tell me what to expect? Is cervical less painfully and not as lengthy a recovery? How much range of motion loss will there be to the neck area if fused from C3 to C6?

Thanks for any help here.
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27 surgeries, 4 spine, 4 foot, 3 knee, 3 abdominal, 2 hand, & various others. Fibro, accelerated degenerative disease, Hashi Thyroiditis, & arthritis.

 
Old 02-27-2013, 10:41 PM   #2
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Re: Now Need Cervical Surgery

I'll leave the cervical questions to someone else -- luckily, I've only had lumbar surgeries.

The hardware is not designed to hold the spine together long term. If the area is unstable, the screws eventually loosen as the spine goes through movement from daily activity. What the solution is depends on what specifically is going on. Often there will be a revision surgery. Sometimes people are partially fused but there is an area that did not grow bone, causing instability.

You will not want to do anything about your neck until you get your lumbar situation resolved. The body cannot be taxed with trying to stabilize two areas of the spine at the same time.

You might want to consult with another spine surgeon to see if you have any options.

 
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:16 PM   #3
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Re: Now Need Cervical Surgery

Beachgirly:

I can tell you my experience with cervical fusion c3-c6. I had anterior discectomy with fusion on 3/22/12 and posterior laminectomy with fusion on 3/28/12. While around the fifth postoperative day, after my anterior procedure, I was feeling very confident about the surgery, I can't even come close to saying the same thing about the posterior procedure.

Preop I had numbness in my right forefinger and thumb and slight weakness in my right arm. There was pain in my neck that radiated down my right arm. Nothing helped. I agreed to the surgeries after talking to 4 or 5 of my surgeons previous patients that I sought out. The office didn't refer me to them. In hindsight I do have to mention that none of them had the laminectomy. They only had the anterior procedure.

After my laminectomy procedure I woke up not being able to move my arms or left leg and when they did move I had no control of them. I couldn't walk either. I am just over 11 months postop and I have numbness, tingling and stabbing pains in my arms, if I put my left hand or foot into cold water I get a burning sensation, however hot water doesn't burn. I feel like I walk out of alignment and tend to curve to the left. I would never pass a field sobriety test even though I am stone sober. Anything touching my arms is painful. Long sleeve shirts, only when I must. And I am clumsy to the point that if I walk too fast I will fall flat on my face.

I was fine when I went into surgery. No tingling, burning and had total control before the laminectomy. I woke up in a completely different world.

I do see a pain management doctor regularly, have been through physical therapy and I am waiting to see a new neurosurgeon. That appointment is 3/21.

If I had to do it over again I would never agree to the laminectomy. The anterior procedure, as far as I am concerned, was successful. I had no pain after five days out. It all went down hill fast after the laminectomy.

Cindy

 
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:10 PM   #4
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Re: Now Need Cervical Surgery

Cindy, just read your response and Amos sorry for all you havebeenthrough and continue to suffer with. Amazing what our poor bodies have been through and we continue on hoping for things to get better.

I awoke after a directory with severe pain and numbness, and had to learn to use my left foot and leg again. It has never been the same.

Keep us posted on how things go.
Debra
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27 surgeries, 4 spine, 4 foot, 3 knee, 3 abdominal, 2 hand, & various others. Fibro, accelerated degenerative disease, Hashi Thyroiditis, & arthritis.

 
Old 03-10-2013, 02:12 PM   #5
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Re: Now Need Cervical Surgery

Cindy, just read your response and am so sorry for all you have been through and continue to suffer with. Amazing what our poor bodies have been through and we continue on hoping for things to get better.

I awoke after a directory with severe pain and numbness, and had to learn to use my left foot and leg again. It has never been the same.

Keep us posted on how things go.
Debra
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27 surgeries, 4 spine, 4 foot, 3 knee, 3 abdominal, 2 hand, & various others. Fibro, accelerated degenerative disease, Hashi Thyroiditis, & arthritis.

 
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