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  • My Wonky Spine.

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    Old 05-24-2018, 06:15 PM   #1
    LoGu
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    Question My Wonky Spine.

    I seem to have a really messed-up spine. I am slated for a couple of surgeries this summer. One cervical, one lumbar. These will be the 4th and 5th spinal surgeries for me.

    My biggest concern is the likelihood that the surgeries will relieve my pain. I would appreciate any input anyone might have as to what my expectations should be. I don't want to be either too hopeful, nor too depressed. What have been your experiences?

    Here are the impressions from my most recent MRIs:

    Cervical:
    1. Multilevel degenerative changes of the cervical spine as detailed above worse at C4-C5 where there is severe central canal stenosis at this level.

    2. Slightly increased central T2/STIR cord signal from C3-C4 through C4-C5 with associated cord atrophy, most likely secondary to myelomalacia.

    Lumbar:

    1. Grade 1 (5mm) anterolisthesis of L3 on L4 and L4 on L5.

    2. Multilevel discogenic and facet degenerative changes as detailed above. Findings are most pronounced at L4/5 where there is severe thecal sac stenosis, severe bilateral lateral recess narrowing, severe right neural foraminal narrowing and moderate left neural foraminal narrowing.

    Thank you !!

    Last edited by LoGu; 05-26-2018 at 10:50 AM.

     
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    Old 05-26-2018, 07:16 AM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: My Wonky Spine.

    Welcome to the board. May I ask if you have consulted with more than one spine surgeon? How far apart will the surgeries take place? What were the other spine surgeries?

     
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    Old 05-26-2018, 10:41 AM   #3
    LoGu
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    Re: My Wonky Spine.

    Hello, and thank you.

    Yes, I have been seen by two physicians - they concur. The lumbar surgery will be 4-6 weeks after the cervical.

    Cervical is apparently much more serious than the low back. Although I am having a lot of trouble with stability walking, the surgeon who will be doing the surgery said he wouldn't risk doing the lumbar first.

    I had a L5/S1 diskectomy in 1986 (I was 36 years old) that left me with permanent nerve damage in my right leg and foot. The nerve damage has led to numerous falls, resulting several times in broken bones. I know this will always be something I have to deal with. But the recent exacerbation of the pain is what I hope to have relieved.

    In 1987, I had a laminectomy with fusion at C6/C7, it was plated/screwed. In 2001, the same procedure at C5/C6. These were both successful at relieving the pain and weakness in my arms.

    Now at 67 years old , all I want is relief from the pain, and to feel stronger. I can't even walk to the mailbox. Moreover, I am tired of the pain, and I dread that these aren't end of my back problems. I guess I just need some reassurance

    - LoGu

    Last edited by LoGu; 05-26-2018 at 10:55 AM.

     
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    Old 05-27-2018, 11:35 AM   #4
    teteri66
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    Re: My Wonky Spine.

    I should have asked all my questions at once, but unfortunately, they occur to me as I am reading your responses. I should have asked what surgeries will he be doing? The cervical will add on to your previous cervical fusion I would assume. What is being done in the lumbar surgery? With the spondylolisthesis at L3-4 and L4-5, some surgeons would fuse both segments after clearing out the gunk that is causing stenosis, and some would include L5-S1 since it was degenerating back in 1986.

    I am fused from L3 to S1 (2010) and recently had L2-3 cleaned out and opened up.

     
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    Old 05-31-2018, 12:13 PM   #5
    LoGu
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    Re: My Wonky Spine.

    Scheduled for anterior cervical discectomy and fusion of C3/4 and 4/5, on June 12

    Not altogether certain about the Lumbar, because he was really all about the cervical when I saw him. However I received a patients pamphlet for minimally invasive lumbar interbody fusion as well.

    Another question I had was as to the length of hospital stay -

    Thank you,
    LoGu

    Last edited by LoGu; 05-31-2018 at 12:14 PM.

     
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    Old 05-31-2018, 08:04 PM   #6
    teteri66
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    Re: My Wonky Spine.

    The reason for all the concern over the cervical area is because the potential damage there is greater than lumbar area. You will note that the report indicates a possibility of myelomalacia which has the potential to be a serious disorder of the spinal cord. The surgeon wants to get the pressure of the spinal cord as quickly as possible.

    The lumbar area may cause more discomfort, but you don't run the risk for potential paralysis if the central canal is impacted, as you do with the cervical spine. However, the nerve compression is judged to be severe, so you will want to have those nerves decompressed so as not to develop permanent nerve damage.

    When I had my three level fusion, I was in hospital for three nights, but mine was an open procedure.

     
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