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Old 01-27-2003, 05:19 PM   #1
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Unhappy Next step-foramenotomy?

Went to the neurosurgeon again today and his latest thoughts are that if the situation with the pressure and pain doesn't resolve itself, it is posterior foramenotomy time, probably at 2-3 levels.

My MRI after the therapy incident showed a narrowed foramen at two levels, and a bulging disc at C6. The doctor is stating he would also do the foramen widening at C6 as he is afraid I am somewhat symptomatic there also and he wouldn't want to have me undergo another procedure if I have just C7 done and it doesn't relieve my arm entirely.

So, I'm in a holding pattern for another two months. He says on rare occasions he has seen this kind of thing resolve itself after 6-12 months but I sure am not counting on it. And I do not want to waste another year of my life feeling like this and just hoping it will improve.

I know a few folks on this board have had a foramenotomy. Do my symptoms (occipital pressure, ear canal pressure, pain in arm as well as tingling/numbness in hand, pain between should blades) sound familiar to anyone who has undergone this surgery?

I'm also wondering about recovery time and whether you had to wear a collar of any type following the operation.

While I'm no longer in the depression of November, I am certainly feeling frustrated at the moment!


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Nancy D-ACDF C6-7 on 6/7/02. Donor bone with no hardware
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Old 01-27-2003, 07:50 PM   #2
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Hi Nancy,
I'm sorry I don't know enough about this procedure to help you. My symptoms were the pain in the arm, shoulder and numbness in hand, but that is where it stopped and, after surgery it was gone. My prayers are with you, but like you, I hate putting anything on hold. I know how frustrating this is because you have been through so much. Hopefully all this will get resolved soon. You have the right attitude. Good luck Nancy and keep us posted.
Debbie2

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Old 01-28-2003, 07:13 AM   #3
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Nancy,
I haven't had the surgery but as you know my symptoms as well as mel and franjo resemble yours. None of us know yet what type of surgery we will need but should get some answers in the next 2 to 3 weeks. We will keep you posted.
I am so sorry your having to go through this. Charlotte

[This message has been edited by charlotte1 (edited 01-28-2003).]

 
Old 01-28-2003, 07:17 PM   #4
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Hi Nancy,

Welcome back! I'm going to add my two cents' worth. Remember I went to that other neurosurgeon for the second opinion about removing the DKC? Well, when he saw that my left arm had not improved all that much with the anterior cervical surgery, he immediately told me that he wanted to do a posterior foraminotomy!!! (Same thing as you!!!) He told me that my arm would be fully recovered right away (maybe not immediately after surgery, but very soon). He also said that the procedure was pretty easy and would only take about an hour, that I would have to wear a soft collar for only two or three days, and that the recovery period would be only three weeks. (No fusion to worry about.)

I didn't opt for the surgery for a few reasons. First, I was only about 9 weeks post-op from the anterior surgery. Second, although this doctor is top-notch, I don't much appreciate a doctor who says "CUT" right away. Third, since I had been told by both the witch doctor and my regular neurologist that it would take months for my arm to come back, I wanted to give it time to do so without surgery. (The CT scan shows excellent decompression, but there is still narrowing, like yours.)

My arm IS improving, but it is FAR from 100%. In fact, there is one movement that is hardly improved at all. (It's the one when you pull up pants, so it's still very difficult to get dressed (and re-dressed every time I go to the bathroom!)) I've decided that I will go for another opinion in about two months if it seems like the arm still isn't coming around by then. If the next doctor suggests surgery, I'll let him do it.

Well, I hope I've helped a little. Please keep us posted (pun intended!)

Take care,
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Barb

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Anterior Cervical Corpectomy/Diskectomy); own bone from left iliac crest; titanium plate with 4 screws. Freed myself of Evil Miami JTO (not just J) killer contraption against surgeon's orders (and happy I did it!!!!)
Rebellion worked--I'm free with the surgeon's blessing now! YIPPEE!!
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Anterior Cervical Corpectomy/Diskectomy); own bone from left iliac crest; titanium plate with 4 screws. Freed myself of Evil Miami JTO (not just J) killer contraption against surgeon's orders (and happy I did it!!!!)
Rebellion worked--I'm free with the surgeon's blessing now! YIPPEE!!

 
Old 01-28-2003, 07:26 PM   #5
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Barb, interesting stuff about the surgeon and a second opinion. I already had made an appointment with another surgeon I have heard good things about for early March. I am thinking of writing him in advance with my rather involved history, so he has a chance to really digest what I am trying to say before I get in.

Then I see the guy who did the ACDF on March 25 again. I'm also hesitant to have another surgery, but the head pressure is a real bear.

It'll be interesting to see if surgeon #2 feels the same procedure is in order.

As for the march of doctors I've seen, today it was the ENT for a hearing test and exam to again ascertain there is no hearing loss and no reason for the ear canal pressure save my occipital muscles/nerves being in a major spasm. He, like the physiatrist, recommended I consider cranial massage. I think I'll try that prior to the foraminotomy.

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Nancy D-ACDF C6-7 on 6/7/02. Donor bone with no hardware
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Old 01-29-2003, 06:25 AM   #6
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Hi there Nancy,
Sorry to hear the news. I cant help with the surgery advise as I have not had it . But i can feel for you with this occipital pressure, headaches, ears etc. hopefully you will get to the bottom of this very soon.
Just popped in to say I am thinking of you, and to wish you good luck!
mel
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Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity

 
Old 01-29-2003, 05:54 PM   #7
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Hi Nancy,

Just one quick suggestion. I know you want to tell the doctor about your history, but I don't think you should tell him too much. Let him form his own opinion--it's the only way YOU will really feel comfortable. Don't tell him what the other doctor suggested.

Good luck.

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Barb

------------------
Anterior Cervical Corpectomy/Diskectomy); own bone from left iliac crest; titanium plate with 4 screws. Freed myself of Evil Miami JTO (not just J) killer contraption against surgeon's orders (and happy I did it!!!!)
Rebellion worked--I'm free with the surgeon's blessing now! YIPPEE!!
__________________
Anterior Cervical Corpectomy/Diskectomy); own bone from left iliac crest; titanium plate with 4 screws. Freed myself of Evil Miami JTO (not just J) killer contraption against surgeon's orders (and happy I did it!!!!)
Rebellion worked--I'm free with the surgeon's blessing now! YIPPEE!!

 
Old 01-29-2003, 11:23 PM   #8
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Hi there Nanner!
I'm sorry I don't know anything about your problem either, as completely different from mine , but I too just wanted to pop on here to say I'm thinking of you and wish you All the Best with your search for relief ! http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif
Take care .. Love Belle NZ

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