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  • Soon will be getting operation for cervical myelopathy

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    Old 07-23-2009, 02:33 AM   #1
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    timpa HB User
    Question Soon will be getting operation for cervical myelopathy

    I see my NS aug 26th to set a date in sept, he will be pulling C5-7. And replace with bone from a bone bank, then screw at plate in to hold it together. C5-7 are choking off my spinal cord and nerves ( myelopathy ), I asked about if C4-5 or other needed to be done, as it's just now touching the spinal cord but not the nerve.

    He said no if he done that he would have to keep pulling disc, he said they are stronger then most people think. But I know it will have 2X pressure from the plate, I just ask are you trying to buy some time, he said yes and they would do another operation later.

    He said I would have to wear a hard neck brace for 1 to 2 months, I said I could live with out driving 1 month and I talked to him about seeing my kid. I don't want to miss my weekly visit with her, I was looking at back up cams for auto's.

    And was wondering if anyone tried to use one to drive with a hard neck brace or not, I don't turn my head all that much now while driving. And could easy place one in the front of my auto, then hook it into a LCD or my laptop even anyone ???

    Last edited by timpa; 07-23-2009 at 02:34 AM.

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    Old 07-26-2009, 05:20 PM   #2
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    Nicole74 HB UserNicole74 HB User
    Re: Soon will be getting operation for cervical myelopathy

    I had 3 herniated discs in my neck last March. I had one of them repaired due to spinal cord compression. 4 1/2 months later I'm still in a great deal of pain. Now they want to repair the other two discs. I'm not ready to head into surgery right away. It's a rough recovery, especially the first few weeks afterwards.

    You will not be able to drive with a brace on. I never had a brace with the single fusion. I was allowed to drive after two weeks. I do have the camera in my car to see backing up, but it's not the same as looking back to see where your going.

    Old 07-30-2009, 04:05 PM   #3
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    Re: Soon will be getting operation for cervical myelopathy

    I had a hard neck brace for 7 weeks and drove. I had no other option. The biggest problem I found was trying to look both ways at a stop sign so I checked my routes and made sure to go to stops where there was really good visibility with minimum head turning(actually body turning). I TRIED to go to 4 way stops or lights then I didn't have to turn my head. Check now before surgery to find out where you can see without moving your head and it up in the air(yes, your head is up more than usual).

    The problem is it may be illegal...I'm not sure...and it would vary from state to state. I had mine on in the middle of winter so I could cover up with a scarf but you may want to cal your police department and ask.....tell them it's for an elderly relative. If it's illegal, drive at your own risk!


    Old 07-31-2009, 11:48 AM   #4
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    Re: Soon will be getting operation for cervical myelopathy

    I do the same as jenny. I am in an aspen collar right now, and my doctor said I could do a little driving (must be legal here). I only go near my home where I know the streets and intersections and I usually only go out when there is not much traffic. I can't back up out of my garage so my husband puts the car on the street facing the direction I need to go and I take it from there. I did venture onto the freeway the other day but I regretted it. I couldn't check my blind spots to changes lanes. I had to take the surface streets home. You have to turn your whole body to check your blind spots, and that's not really safe to do on the freeway at 60 mph.

    I had a very hard time turning my head for about 6-7 weeks after my ACDF, but my new surgeon told me that my recovery symptoms from my first surgery were unusual and it shouldn't have been as bad for as long. I only had one level done though.

    Old 08-02-2009, 09:42 AM   #5
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    Re: Soon will be getting operation for cervical myelopathy

    hi timpa, i know this is not what you actually asked about, but i am just wondering about a couple things? do you have a copy of your own MRI report that you can read thru yourself? if not, you REALLY need to obtain one and see what is actually in there espescially in that c 4-5 area? having that area actually touching the cord as well as what you also have compressing the cord is also pretty significant. it does not matter whether or not it is touching the nerve roots there so much, what is much more of an issue for you is the fact it IS even touching that cord at all.

    have you had at least one other opinion on this and what really could/should be done by another neurosurgeon? if not, i would seriously contemplate getting one just to really see what another NS may think here on options for you and that c 4-5 area also being compromised at the cord level now. tho it is not yet as bad as the other area of direct compression that is strong enough at this point to even be causing you myelopathy, it could also be worse than what actually can even show upon am MRI. they are not quite as telling as one might think in many cases. any MRI is merely a scan of an area and not an actual picture of one so alot of things may not show as well or as severely as it actually can be at times with certain findings. when you are dealing with ANY actual cord affectation, it just kind of ups the need for possible intervention BEFORE you even get to the myelopathy point or whats called myelomalacia? do you know if that one word was used in the report to describe that area of direct compression? if there is any level of the myelomalacia kicking in, it means that the area of impact upon that cord is severe enough that it is kind of killing off a very direct area of neural tissue in there.

    i am really just wondering since he is actually going to be doing c 5-7 why would he not just take that area too kind of thing? espescially if you are also going to be having hardware placed? it would just be a much more difficult surgical procedure if that hardware is also there when he decides its 'time" to also decompress the cord at c 4? if this area is already being affected to the cord level, that 'next' surgery could realistically happen even right after this surgery depending upon what shifts in that area post op, ya know? there just isn't any real way to know just when or how that area may become much more compressed, espescially after this one surgery will just create some level of instability til you are fused. this is why i seriously think you just really need that second opinion right now before you even commit to a surgical date on this at all.

    when comparing neurosurgeons or any surgeon really, it basically comes down to what their overall level of actual experience and knowledge they have with what YOUR problems are that determines what 'their' overall opinion actually is of your particular issues. another NS may see things in a totally different way and how to proceed with what they feel may occur if this is not intervened upon now, vs waiting til it causes potentially devistating impact upon a very vulnerable cord.

    when i had to have a very scarey surgery done that was going to involve having to actually cut into my spinal cord to try and remove what was basically a glob of blood vessels that were bleeding off and on in there and it was growing, i got three seperate opinions. the thing that prompted that was actually the extremely different opinions i recieved from the first two NSs. i needed a tie breaker type of opinion? the thing is, neither one of those first two actually knew anywhere near as much about these globs as the third one who had just either monitored these or had removed like hundreds of them from peoples cords and brains(he had been a neurosurgeon at the U of MN for well over 30 years). i did not even know that little sucker had even bled til opinion number three actually told me. the other two never bothered to even tell me that one, but they knew. that was a pretty sick thing to withold from a patient.

    this is really why you just need another neurosurgeons opinion on this as far as what could go wrong after only those particular areas are fixed and leaving that other potential for deeper affectation in there at all? i just really cannot see here just how doing only those areas alone would be in YOUR best interest considering how it actually just is right now. just trust me here when i say that not all surgeons are created equal. i would try and locate one who simply has the most experience here with compression and the need for fusion. you are allowed to ask any NS office when you call about who has the most experience in that particular practice. you just should always obtain at least one second opinion when contemplating any real potentially impactful type of surgery done on you, espescially when the cord or brain are involved. these are just very very delicate areas that do not have alot of room for error, ya know?

    i hope i am not giving you something more to just worry about by telling you this. just knowing what i went thru and just really seeing and hearing how very differently three seperate NSs saw my own situation, well it taught me alot about how very crucial just having much more knowledge and overall experience in dealing with whatever issue YOU have going on actually is and how very differently surgeons can see it.
    i would just do here what you feel is really the best thing for you and what you already know is in your c spine. removing just one more disc along with all the others considering it IS an impact there, well, i just think getting that second opinion in your case based upon what you were told by this NS is just really needed. having to simply undergo yet another type of this surgery again is not something i would want to go thru if i did not actually have to? i do wish you luck with this and please do keep us posted, 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 08-06-2009, 11:35 PM   #6
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    sandy220 HB User
    Re: Soon will be getting operation for cervical myelopathy

    edited on 8/7/09

    Last edited by sandy220; 08-07-2009 at 07:44 PM. Reason: posted in new thread

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