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C2 to T1 laminectomy and fusion

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Old 06-16-2004, 02:02 PM   #1
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neckpain HB User
C2 to T1 laminectomy and fusion

Dear fellow "spineys",

I had a laminectomy and fusion of my cervical spine (C2 to T1) in Feb. to correct severe compression of my spinal cord caused by OPLL, ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. OPLL is a rare spinal cord disease that is more commonly seen in Asian people.

I'm experiencing lowback pain, which I had before the surgery, and now am also experiencing tingling in my right calf and foot. I did not have this tingling in my right calf and foot before the surgery but I did have numbness and tingling in my left foot before the surgery.

My question to this tingling a common sensation after surgery and will it eventually go away, or is it a symptom of something more serious?


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Old 06-20-2004, 01:19 PM   #2
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Re: C2 to T1 laminectomy and fusion

Since you didn't have the tingling before the surgery I would definately talk to your doctor about it. My husband had a diving accident in june of 2002. He broke C1, C7 (which broke and jumped over 8, and interlocked with T1), T1, T2, and T3. He has no temperature receptors from mid chest down. He has the lower back pain that you talked about and has discussed it with the doctors but they basically say it's normal. Again as far as the tingling goes I would contact the doctor but in all honesty I'm not sure there's anything they really could do. Neck surgery is so touchy. I know when my husband had his he was paralyzed from the waist down (that last 2.5 weeks even though the doctors said forever) and we were told that he HAD to have the surgery but that when he came out there was the possibility of being paralyzed from the neck down because of how delicate the surgery is. It's all guess work in a white coat anyways.

Good luck

Old 06-21-2004, 05:56 AM   #3
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Re: C2 to T1 laminectomy and fusion

Just curious,dales girl, does your husband have any bizarre pain syndromes?I suffered some very sinificant damage to my nerves and sympathetic nervous system during a surgery to remove what was basically a glob of blood vessels from the inside of my spinal cord.I also have loss of the hot/cold and surface pain from just under the right breast and on down on only the R side of my body.It is called partial brown sequard is mostly caused by damage to the cortiospinal and thalamic tracts in the spinal cord.i can totally relate to the wild ride that i am sure he has been on since this happened,everyday when i wake up it seems as though i am hit with some new bizarre sensation or symptom.So, is he able to still walk now?my heart goes out to you both,spinal cord damage is just such a devistating thing to have to live with.It has an effect on the way, thanks for the disability info you gave me. take care, marcia
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
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.

Old 06-21-2004, 08:16 AM   #4
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Re: C2 to T1 laminectomy and fusion

I read your post to him and he said there are times that he just has shooting pain for what seems like no reason. He has said that he is in constant pain but has learned to live with it. In fact all that he has for pain is Tylenol 3 and he really doesn't use them a lot. He is considering changing doctors though because the doctor he has is one that doesn't like to give out medicines and he's asked for a small prescription of something stronger for the bad days and he's refused.

His loss of hot/cold is actually on both sides. We have to watch things like when he takes a bath or is cooking. I've come home and found where his feet are beet red from taking a bath that he didn't realize was too hot until he was into the bath really good. There have been several times where he's dropped hot grease or bumped up against the oven or grill so we have to keep an eye on it because he knows he did it but it didn't hurt.

He does walk. He didn't have any feeling in his legs and had tingling in his arms immediately after his accident. Within a few hours he had feeling and was pretty good at being able to tell what toe they were touching although he was a bit confused from the shock and from hitting his head. At about two weeks post accident he began being able to move one of his legs left to right. Within 4 weeks post accident they had him on his feet. The previous doctors had said the best we could hope for would be braces to help him stand. Of course he had a lot of light headedness dealing with all this especially until the halo came off. He used a walker for probably about 2 more months after his 6.5 weeks in the hospital then went to a cane. He had episodes of falling from time to time but used a cane. He does have a habit of 'stomping' when he walks from time to time. A while back he decided he wasn't going to use his cane anymore but in March he had a seizure and right before that his balance had been off quite a bit so he does use the cane now when we leave the house.

You are welcome for the disability info. That was almost as hard as all the recovery! LOL

Old 11-28-2004, 01:15 AM   #5
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Angry Re: C2 to T1 laminectomy and fusion

Hello Neckpain,

I was diagnosed with OPLL 2 months ago. After several months of numbness in both hands that progressively got worse I was seen by a nuerologist. Sent me for MRI, he did not notice anything wrong nor did the radiologist who read the film. I was lucky that my regular Orthopeadic surgeon was interested and he was immediately concerned. I then went to Spine Surgeon who looked at the film and said WOW what a rare case of OPLL.
I am a 41 year old caucasion male, we both now know it is very unusual for us to have had this condition. My surgery is set for next Tues. Dec 7, 2004. I have done as much research as possible and it is clear there are no US Dr's who specialize in this procedure. I have considered going to S. Korea where the best Dr's are. In my case I have 3 severly bulging discs at c3, c4, c5 and my OPLL begins at c5 and runs to c6. Everyone is amazed that I am actually still walking as my "boney growth" has punctured the dural sac and the Spinal canal. At the point of impact it has compressed my spinal cord to 10% of it's normal size...... The films are crazy as they show the mass to look like a shark's tooth and it is ready to puncture and cut my cord. I was interested who did your surgery and where? I am going to University if MD Spinal Center just outside of Wash DC.
Also, did you get frustrated by everyone who has had a spinal stenosis surgery and said it was no big deal!!! Yeah, well that ain't it for us....They make me feel guilty for not being able to work or do anything until after surgery. I just pray for a good out come. I am worried about your numbness in your legs or tingling. Mine has been my feet and hands. I drop things all the time. [ removed ]

Last edited by moderator2; 11-28-2004 at 06:46 AM. Reason: please carefully review the posting rules - no emails

Old 12-01-2004, 12:00 PM   #6
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neckpain HB User
Re: C2 to T1 laminectomy and fusion

Dear Sparky,

Wow! I'm so glad you replied to my posting which I had forgotten all about. You are the first person I've communicated with who has this rare condition called OPLL. I bet if we spoke Japanese, we would know a lot more people with this condition because it's usually more commonly seen in Asians. In my case, I had severe compression of my entire cervical spinal cord from C2 to T1. It was causing numbness and tingling in my arms, hands and legs and feet. Since my surgery last FEb., the numbness and tingling have decreased significantly in my arms and hands. However, I still wake up at night with some temporary numbness in my hands if I sleep in one position too long. Still that's a great improvement over what I endured before surgery. The numbness in my legs is gone but I still have some numbness in my left heel.

Postsurgery I experienced a long recuperation and had to wear a neck brace for about 6 months. Then I had 6 weeks of physical therapy which really helped me work out the muscle cramps and pain. Now I do the same stretching exercises every day in order to keep the cramps and pain at bay.

My surgeon was awesome. Dr. Philip Weinstein, Chief and Director of UCSF's Neurospinal Disorder Program in San Francisco. His office has since moved within the same medical bldg. to the Spine Center. Dr. Weinstein published an article in 1987 about OPLL but it's somewhat dated now. However, he's recognized worldwide as an authority on OPLL, and people fly from all over the world to see him for neurological and spinal disorders. He uses the latest technology and instrumentation for his surgeries (I have a VERTEX Reconstruction System, or ATLANTIS system that is a flexible fixation system for my cervical spine. It was developed by Medtronic and allows more movement of my neck. The surgery consisted of a laminectomy and fusion of my cervical spine from C2 to T1.)

Dr. Weinstein also has a very nice bedside manner which is unusual for someone who is so busy due to his reputation. My surgery was especially risky due to the extensive progression of my OPLL, and it lasted a lot longer than anticipated.....12 hours in fact! I feel that I owe my life to Dr. Weinstein and can recommend him highly to anyone. If you want to contact him, try calling the Spine Center at [ REMOVED - NO TELEPHONE NUMBERS PLEASE ] If you want to make an appt. you will need to be referred by your dr. and have a current MRI of your cervical spine.

I wish you the best of luck on Dec. 7th and would like to hear from you again regarding your progress. [ PLEASE READ THE POSTING RULES - NO PRIVATE CONTACT FROM THIS WEBSITE ]

Oh! One more suggestion. I donated two units of blood to myself one week before the surgery. They ended up needing 3 units.

Best wishes, Sparky...........Jan

Last edited by moderator2; 12-01-2004 at 12:29 PM. Reason: do not post doctor's websites - post doctors by name, city and state only - no telephone numbers

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