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  • Corpectomy problems

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    Old 11-09-2009, 04:06 AM   #1
    manor Farm
    Join Date: Nov 2009
    Location: Bedfordshire UK
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    manor Farm HB User
    Corpectomy problems

    Two weeks ago I had an operation on my lumbar area [specialist knew I had a dodgy neck]. Woke up paralysed, slowly got bits and pieces back a little over the next day or so]and was rushed to a specialist hospital once the surgeon got my neurologist there and he started me on steroids [that got me back to normal]. My head had been allowed to drop back while I was unconscious in the op and my spinal cord had been squashed against my bad vertebrae. A preventable accident. I feel sorry for my surgeon who never meant to hurt me but so upset as it could have been prevented.
    Now I am told I MUST have a double level corpectomy [fast] to prevent me being paralysed by a slip or a sneeze [I'm wearing one of those horrible hard collars]. This seems so unfair. I only ever had odd twinges when I was silly enough to lift things. Now I might lose mobility from the corpectomy when I was OK before.
    I'm scared. I do trust my neurologist and neurosurgeon who say I have no choice but it is such a huge op to face when all I had before was a bad back. I'm an academic, I've read the papers and know what can go wrong in detail which maybe isn't good.
    I don't know how anyone can face this at all. I don't know how my neck will feel after a double level corpectomy. Help please. I feel like life has stopped and will never be the same.

    Last edited by mod-anon; 11-09-2009 at 04:27 AM. Reason: starting a new thread with this post.

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    Old 11-09-2009, 10:53 PM   #2
    Join Date: Jan 2005
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    Re: Corpectomy problems

    Hello manor farm. very tough luck - I don't know how they let this situation happen. What levels are they going to do the cervical corpectomy and fusion? Are they going to use hardware instrumentation? I am asking about hardware because there are some surgeons who still only use a bone graft in a corpectomy. I think I would ask for hardware and I think I would demand to wear the collar during healing. I have 3 levels fused in my neck now, and I really haven't lost much range of motion. Maybe just a little turning left, a little up. I think the loss is not much more than maybe 10% of motion. My levels are C4-7. They say there is more loss in the C2-3 level. I need C2-4 fixed someday but am stalling.

    I think your experience will be similar to the other surgery as far as pain and healing. You may have some additional pain so close together.

    I have talked to many others like myself and they didn't have much loss of range of motion in their necks either. You are going through a tough time right now, but the sooner you get this addressed you can get back to your life!

    Last edited by PNo; 11-09-2009 at 10:53 PM.

    Old 11-10-2009, 01:14 PM   #3
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    jennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB User
    Re: Corpectomy problems

    Hi Manor Farm.....thanks Neckpatient for all the great work you are doing.

    Manor Farm, I see this differently. You knew you had neck problems but your surgery let the you and your doctors know just how bad it was before you found out the hard way. I didn't know I had a bad neck until I shoveled snow one day and went numb from the neck down. Two surgeries later and I've got a 6 level fusion and permanent nerve damage to my left arm, complete with dislocating joints. I wish I had known earlier and been able to act earlier.

    If one of your concerns is the lack of movement post surgery, I can assure you it's not what you think. I am fused from C3 to T1 and have at least 50-60% of movement of my neck. I can still drive and paint and do just about everything I used to. I do have pain most days but it is tolerable and lessens with each passing year. I will have to watch the remaining disks and vertebrae forever as they are more prone to damage and I expect to eventually end up with additional problems. As for my lumbar spine, it is too badly damaged to be fixed. I wish I was you.

    No one wants spine surgery.....I surely don't. But I am a realist. I've had 14 knee surgeries and recently found out #15 and 16 will be next's just the reality of the prostheses they use and the wear and tear of the body. If you think spine surgery hurts and takes it out of you, try having both knees replaced at the same time.....and I'm going to do a second time(I must be crazy).

    I'm sorry you are going through this. But look around these boards and you'll see others with far greater problems and pain. That is how we get through the day...realizing that others have it worse and reaching out to help those in need. You say you are an academic....stick around and learn from some amazing folks here. And perhaps you'll even learn that you are far stronger than you think you are.

    gentle hugs................Jenny

    Old 11-14-2009, 06:33 PM   #4
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    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: Rural NH, USA
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    Suzy-Q HB User
    Re: Corpectomy problems

    Manor Farm,
    Just wanted to toss you some sympathy. I have low days when I regret ever having agreed to have a single surgery - I've had 3 major and 3 minor in 6 years. Each one is harder than the last and I've had more than my share of, shall we call them...mishaps. Yours is more than regrettable and I can imagine it is hard to get past. FYI- my 2 time lumbar fusion has left me with some loss of range of motion. It isn't much though. And I have to admit I am better off, by a lot, even if it was a hard 3 years getting that fusion taken care of. Let us know how you're doing and how your decision-making process is coming along. I'm in the process of deciding on ACDF so I can relate to that, as well. Best of luck to you. SQ

    Old 11-16-2009, 08:54 AM   #5
    manor Farm
    Join Date: Nov 2009
    Location: Bedfordshire UK
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    manor Farm HB User
    Re: Corpectomy problems

    Thank you so much for the mails. It's good to hear from people who have been through this.
    This time next week I'll be in theatre so at least that bit will be over for me. Mind you I hope my voice doesn't take a year to get right. I was a lecturer and talk a fair bit :-))

    Yes jennybyc, I am glad that I wasn't paralysed anywhere but in a hospital but my neurologist checked my neck in January with an MRI and was happy that all was as it was in 1994 so it was a shock that dropping my head back in an operation could do this.
    Thank you again for all your best wishes.

    Last edited by moderator2; 11-16-2009 at 09:17 AM. Reason: please do not post websites except as described in the Posting Policy

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