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Old 12-10-2007, 08:59 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 1,197
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Re: OPLL: ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament

Hi and welcome. I am female and do not have OPLL.

First, most people here - although we do not have OPLL we do have similar issues of one or more of (radicular pain, nerve root compression, numbness, tingling, burning, neurological signs, (myleopathy). so we have that in common with you. Your issues are caused by a different process, but it is similar to ours - bony growth, calcification, hypertrophy - narrowing, sometimes lesions and growths, etc.. So lots of what we have experience in, we can help you with.

There was something I read (and posting rules prevent us from sharing URLs), but it had some data that you would be interested in. There is this cool thing called neurosurgery tv and there is a module on OPLL.

The goal of your surgery is the same as most of ours - to open up more space and decompress in there while keeping stability.

My personal experience agrees that the faster you take care of something this serious, the better potential outcome you will have. You do not want to risk your spinal cord and permanent loss of use.

Your goal should be to ensure stability for your spine and with so many levels make sure to do research to get all the data. Post-operative issues like kyphosis or deformity can further exacerbate your problem down the road. Surgeons commonly refer to their favorite research that supports their viewpoint. Not saying your docs are bad, just be an informed patient and do your research. There are variant forms of laminectomies, you might ask why they are not choosing lamnioplasty or a combo of lam and acdf which is also used successfully in OPLL. Another thought is to find an opposite viewpoint from a spine orthopedic surgeon and see what that surgeon says.

I am fused C4-7 so yours would be two more levels, but I do not have any appreciable loss of range of motion. But maybe they can do a combo surgery and only fuse some levels for you? I think the big one for you is C2-3 when it comes to flexion. Below the C2-C3 level , lateral bending and rotation are coupled so I think you get less loss there.

Good luck and will be interested to hear your story along the way.

NP