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  • Update 5 days after corpectomy and level 3 discectomy

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    Old 10-23-2007, 03:52 PM   #1
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    mllsj53 HB User
    Update 5 days after corpectomy and level 3 discectomy

    Hi there
    Just wanted to give you an update on my surgery which occurred Thurs, Oct 18, stayed in hospital 4days. Everything was positive. They only had to do an anterior corpectory and level 3 disectomy with instrumentation. The surgery lasted 6 hours because at level c-7/t-1 there was a extra large herniation with a large mass of calcification compressing the spinal cord and they had to dig and dig to get it all out. I had a bone graft with about an inch bone taken from my hip. They went in on my right side for both.
    My doctor is wonderful! I'm so happy that I am over this first hurdle. It was a little scary when I first got into my room. I could not lift my right leg off the bed but doc said since I still had feeling in my leg it was probably just my brain telling my leg it was hurting (even though I couldn't feel any pain) I was unable to move it. But just to be safe, they ordered an MRI. MRI showed nothing.Leg problem rectified itself and I could move it by the morning. Then the next day I could not lift my left arm up off the bed. It felt like it was glued to the bed. Another scare since this was not an affected limb before surgery. They did a CT scan to make sure that the fusion hadn't moved. It was all okay. So now it's a wait and see game. I now have movement in the lower portion of my arm from the elbow down, but I can't lift my shoulder. This may take several days to several weeks to get better. They can't see a reason for this other than an angry c-5 nerve that didn't like the surgery.
    I was up and moving the next day of the surgery and feeling no pain. The only soreness I felt was at the graft site, but nothing to prevent me from getting off my duff and walking around. The throat soreness is gone, but I am a little hoarse and feel like I have a lump down in my throat. I am eating just fine.
    I am having a hard time getting used to the collar (aspen). It is a pain and can't wait to get rid of it.
    Something they don't tell the women and you need to be aware of to wear your hair. I have shoulder length hair and I walked around looking like a lion with hair everywhere since I didn't want it sitting inside the collar. Now I have to have hubby put it in a pony tail on the top of my head. Not flattering at all! haha
    Wishing everyone wellness, much success and wonderful support from their doctors, families and friends.
    Will keep you posted on my progress.


    Last edited by mllsj53; 10-23-2007 at 04:05 PM. Reason: additional information

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    Old 10-23-2007, 05:00 PM   #2
    Join Date: Feb 2007
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    chablis3 HB User
    Re: Update 5 days after corpectomy and level 3 discectomy

    mills, Just wanted to say I am glad you got through your surgery good, and sorry to hear you had such problems afterwards. It was interesting to read that you weren't in any pain, just mild soreness. That makes me feel a bit at ease for when the day comes that I might be facing some surgery. I am trying to read everyone's posts so I can be more informed on everything, and I have learned lots of valuable and interesting things so far. I was surprised to hear you were up and moving the very next day. Good for you! May you have a rapid and complete recovery and my very best wishes to you.


    Old 10-23-2007, 07:17 PM   #3
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    Re: Update 5 days after corpectomy and level 3 discectomy

    Glad to hear you are home and doing well. Take it easy and listen to your body.
    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

    Old 10-24-2007, 01:02 PM   #4
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    Janatee HB UserJanatee HB User
    Re: Update 5 days after corpectomy and level 3 discectomy

    Hi Mll.. Just saw your post and I too have had a 4 level and 1 corpectomy done, 8 weeks ago this Thurs. I am in the Aspen collar. Gets to me sometimes, but I m doing everything the doc said to do. My incision is healing great. Its on my right side. Unlike you with the hip bone, they took the vertabra they removed from my neck, and shaved it down, and mixed it with some cement (or what ever they use) and placed it back in to me with a cage. They also went down to T-1 where the doc went behind my breast bone, and removed some disc there. Amazaing what they can do today. I hardly had any pain. After I got back into my room , my legs went numb. (both)... I was so scared. Doctors were running around, and they started to pinch my toe, and run something up my foot from heel to toe... I was yelling OUCH.... I could feel, but not lift. After about what seemed liked a long time, all my feelings came back. Also my right arm at the same time I could not lift. All came back to normal, and they think things shifted a bit when they were getting me into my bed after surgery. My throat just felt like a very sore throat, and with in a few weeks that kinda went away. I still have some soreness when I talk a long time (like on the phone) or when I try to yell for my husband, if he's in another room...I drank with straws and ate a lot of soft foods that just slid down. You sound like you are doing really, really good for all the time you spent in the OR. I know about that calcification. I had that in my lower lumbar (2003) and when they did the surgery on that, they had to chop away, it was really in there. Well, glad to hear you are on your way to a good recovery. I go back for my second visit on the 30th. for x rays and check up. I pray my fusion has taken. I feel pretty good. This problem was effecting my legs. If I did nothing to fix it, I was told I would be in a wheelchair in the future. Hang in there. Time has a way of going by so very fast. One week seems to turn into another. Keep the faith. That really got me through. PS: Can't help with the hair because mine is super short.
    But now, its getting on my nerves, and I need it cut again... Good luck...Janatee

    Old 10-26-2007, 05:35 AM   #5
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    alex12 HB Useralex12 HB User
    Re: Update 5 days after corpectomy and level 3 discectomy

    Glad to hear you are doing well.... rest, rest and rest....

    Old 03-31-2008, 04:44 PM   #6
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    terrild53 HB User
    Re: Update 5 days after corpectomy and level 3 discectomy

    This is my first visit to this message board. I am hoping to hear from some of you who have had Anterior Cervical Corpectomy & Fusion. I had my surgery 2/4/08, C5&6 discs removed, titanium cage, plate, etc.Stayed overnight in hospital and did fairly well pain wise. Came home with a soft collar as I was told I would not need the hard collar. My neurosurgeon said his patients do not usually need a hard collar if their diagnosis was not for a real severe prob.
    I had a terrible time with swallowing for 3 weeks, had a lot more swelling than the usual person and my voice was gone.....barely audible for two weeks, then not much improvement until this week. Now it goes in and out but usually I sound like a high pitched monotoned voice. I am 2 months out from my procedure. Yes, I had problems sleeping and I use a ton of pillows, but I still have muscle spasms and am still taking Robaxin twice a day. Pain is only from the spasms. Sleeping disruptions are now from the spasms.
    I am getting scared when I read that many who have had this procedure wore/wear a hard collar, and have had limited movement allowed in lifting arms, etc. Do you think my surgeon was not doing the right thing by letting me go without a collar? Will I continue to have these spasms in my neck & shoulders? I have seen an ENT for the voice and am still having some probs there, but the spasms are what I'm worried about. My two xrays to date have shown good healing. Please give me your input folks. I am an NP and would welcome some patient opinions! Thanks for listening/reading! Terri

    Old 03-31-2008, 11:27 PM   #7
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    Smile Re: Update 5 days after corpectomy and level 3 discectomy

    Hi- sounds like you are healing well. The collar is doctor choice, we tend to hear about less use for one level surgeries so I wouldn't worry about that aspect. The instrumentation will hold. If you are back at work in your field I would continue to protect the neck so fusion doesn't get interrupted. The spasms are par for the course, for some people they never go away. Others find they pass in a few months. Heat works as does ice to help calm them. Some people use massage and TrP injections and PT. Good luck!

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