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    Old 12-23-2005, 07:54 AM   #1
    confounded1134
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    Question Laminectomy Question

    I will likely have to have a laminectomy to treat a spinal AVM, but I have some questions about the procedure. I've watched an animation and read a procedure description for the type of surgery I'll have, but I noticed that they don't really close up your spinal column after the bones are removed. I see that they put hardware in to stabilize your spine, but what about the boneless section? Isn't that dangerous, having that portion of your spine unprotected? How is recovery, and are there restrictions later on because of this?

    So many questions...you can read what the doctors WANT you to read, but I'd rather hear these things from some people with FIRST HAND experience!! I think doctors try to butter it up sometimes by leaving out certain things.

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    Old 12-23-2005, 06:08 PM   #2
    bozzie
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    Re: Laminectomy Question

    Hello!

    I had a three level laminectomy in Marcn 2005. There is no hardware unless they are doing a posterior fusion. The area where the bone is removed is real tender for a long time. Mine is still bugging me to some extent. If someone pushes on it (like some trying to be nice and give your neck a massage!) it can shoot "electric" shocks thru your body. If you have herniated discs, this procedure will do noting to help pain. It is to take the pressure off the spinal cord. I was lucky that I never wore any type of cervial collar!

    Hope that helps!

     
    Old 12-26-2005, 07:22 AM   #3
    feelbad
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    Re: Laminectomy Question

    Sorry to hear about your AVM,just where is this located,exactly?The theory is that the muscle helps to protect the lamenected area as it kind of covers it over.I had to have a cavernoma(which was first thought to be an AVM,a cav is kind of the same thing but instead of being fed by arterial flow it is the low pressure venous feed)removed from the inside of my cord at the c 7 t 1 area.they did a tri level lami from the c 6 to the t1.I haven't had any problems at all from the actual lami area,it is all from the spinal cord damage and the secondary spinal cord injuries and pain syndromes that I develped fromthe resection itself.i really wouldn't worry too awfully much about the actual lami,your spine will still be well protected.it just feels a little wierd now when I touch that area as the boney prominences are gone and the area is really flat in comparison to the rest of my spine.just why are they actually having to use hardware?i didn;t have any hardware placed at all and it was never even discussed.i do however have hardware at the front of the same area as a result of a fusion I had to have about a year or so before the cav surgery and the original fusion did not take so 9 months later it was back into the or just to have a plate and screws placed,and that was followed up about a year later with the cav surgery.i guess depending on just where your AVM is actually located and the size of it may be a possoble reason for the hardware.I would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about this,i know how scarey the whole thing is to even contemplate,really.if you could just tell me exactly where this is located,and if it is inside or outside of your actual cord,it would really help me to give you more specific advice.marcia
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    Old 12-28-2005, 10:29 AM   #4
    sunshine221
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    Re: Laminectomy Question

    I had a laminectomy Sept 2 for spinal stenosis. It was a great decision - the alternative was ADCF C4-C7.

    No hardware was used, no post op collar - just instructions to try to keep the head up/good posture.

    I have not had the sensations that Bozzie described. Yes it bothers me a bit that the bone is left open, but the muscles, etc surround it. Actually I'm going to ask the doc to re-explain some of this at my Jan 13 visit now that I am more "coherent" (my spinal stenosis was diagnosed Aug 9 and was described as pretty much an emergency situation to get into surgery - that said, I did get three opinions before surgery - two would have done ADCF).

    You can search my other postings for some of my earlier post-op feelings -- but almost 17 weeks post-surgery I feel pretty great -- the neurological weakness is significantly reduced, numbness and tremors are reduced, coordination and balance are improved. I'm still not walking as well as I'd like, but the doctor says "give it a year" -- he says PT won't really help at the moment - but I do about 6 minutes on a stationary bike and 12-20 minutes on a treadmill (its winter, can't walk outside easily) almost everyday and weight lifting for my legs a few times a week (that said - the physical therapist I was seeing says I have good muscle tone).

    Good luck - there is so much less information about laminectomies - it's frustrating at times, but again -- I think I made the right choice seeing others complications down the road.

     
    Old 12-29-2005, 11:57 AM   #5
    confounded1134
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    Re: Laminectomy Question

    THanks, everyone. I appreciate hearing from you, and to know that it's not that bad. I'm not sure about the hardware - my neurosurgeon didn't specifically mention it. He just told me to do some research on the procedure before I make up my mind to go ahead with it, and the animation I watched showed them putting hardware in after the laminectomy.

    I'm not going to concern myself with the missing segment of spine, since no one else seems to have any trouble with it. I meet with the nuero who will actually be doing the procedure this coming Tuesday, so I will at least be prepared. They will be treating the AVM in the lower thoracic spine - I guess I should be more concerned about them opening up the dura covering of the cord itself, but I'm not too worried about it. I'm just READY to get something DONE!!
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    Old 01-13-2006, 11:33 AM   #6
    confounded1134
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    Re: Laminectomy Question

    Well - just an update - I was finally able to have a surgery scheduled. I will go under the knife on February 9th, and I am, to say the least, pretty nervous. I am not looking forward to a week in the hospital and a long recovery, but I know it will be worth it; I've been down and out a lot worse than I think this surgery will bring me. The doctor mentioned that I may have difficulty walking, but I hope not, since it will be the third time in my life that I would have to become accustomed to walking, once being when I learned to walk, the second being after fracturing my spine in a car accident. But, it's not so bad, I suppose, considering the alternative is possibly never being able to walk again. Well, I just wanted to update with a surgery date and I hope that all goes well.

    Thanks again for all of your replies - you really helped answer my questions.

     
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