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  • Laminoplasty

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    Old 04-30-2003, 07:36 PM   #1
    TCain
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    Question Laminoplasty

    I have severe Congenital Cervical Stenosis from C/3 to C/6. Scheduled for a Laminoplasty on 5/12/03. Has anyone had a Laminoplasty? If so, what should I expect? This is done from the back and I was wondering how long will I remain in the hospital and how long recovery will be? My NS stated my recovery will take any where from 2 weeks to 2 months. I have had 3 NS review this and all have come to the same conclusion. I am at a serious risk for major problems if I have another trauma and surgery is a must. I am freaked out at this point. Please help me with your information. Thank you.

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    Old 10-06-2003, 10:28 AM   #2
    ljp
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    TCain.....are you still out there? I had the exact same surgery and wanted to know how you were.

    LJP
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    Old 10-06-2003, 07:49 PM   #3
    TCain
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    Hello, Iím doing okay. I had the surgery on 5-12-03, as far as the procedure it went real well. Recovery was difficult; to be honest it was the most horrific experience in my life. However, Iím still having problems with numbness, shooting pain bi-laterally, headaches and problems with my legs jerking (myelopathy). Now they want me to have a fusion going in from the front. They told me the front would not be as bad. But after this last experience Iím scared to death. They still tell me the least accident could possibly paralyze me and at this point I donít have any idea what to do. Do I go ahead with another surgery? Or do I wait and see if I have better progress if given a little more time? Iím so confused! What about you? What is your progress? What would you do in my position?

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    Old 10-16-2003, 08:17 AM   #4
    ljp
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    Hi there,

    Nice to finally hear of someone else having laminoplasty...not that I wish it on you. I have felt like such a freak of nature because everyone on this board has had the fusions.

    Sorry to hear you are not doing great.

    I had my laminoplasty on 8/14/2002. It too was for congenital and acquired cervical stenosis at C3 through C6. All of my discs are also "bulging"...some worse than others. However, it was the stenosis that worried the docs. Like you, I was told that I could be paralyzed just by missing one step. My cord was compressed at c3,4 and 6 and indented at C5. Trust me I can relate to your fear. Sorry I hadn't hopped back on the board before this to alleviate some of it.

    I am doing well. I am still very aware that the surgery was done, but I do not have any "cord" symptoms. The tingling/jolting I would get down my arms when sneezing/coughing, etc is gone. I still get the tingling in my shoulders which I believe is parthesis (sp?)from the surgery.

    I started PT in late October 2002 and continued it through February 2003 when insurance cut me off. In January 2003 I started getting massages for the damage done to the shoulder muscles from years of cord comopression and the surgery. These have been a tremendous help and would highly recommend them if you are experiencing shoulder spasms. They are not "relaxing" and can be painful, but in the long run are very helpful.

    Have you had an MRI since your surgery? Why are they saying you could still be paralyzed? I have not had an MRI since the surgery and only assume I am fine. Your legs jerking....is that damage that will never be reverse or may be reversed in time? I only have very exaggerated (sp?) reflexs, but not involuntary movement. I was told that my reflexs would probably not change. That is damage to the cord

    I'm not sure what I would do. I don't blame you for not wanting to do this again....you are not healed from the first one. .

    Would you or have you gotten a second opinion?

    I'm being a bit longwinded! Let me know how you make out. I will be better about checking this board more regularly.

    Leslie
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    Old 10-20-2003, 09:44 PM   #5
    marshalll
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    I'd love more information on laminoplasty from those who have had it. My husband is 46, not in a huge amount of pain and has no loss of motion, yet his doctor is suggesting he has this major surgery because he says he is very vulnerable to spinal cord injury.
    My question is: Do we risk surgery now to prevent something bad from MAYBE happening in the future? How long is the recovery really? How painful is it? Would those of you who have had it done make the same decision again? Thanks for your feedback!
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    Old 10-21-2003, 07:07 AM   #6
    ljp
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    Hi Marshall,

    There really aren't very many laminoplasty patients on this board. Most are ACFD patients. Laminoplasty is most commonly used on patients with severe cervical stenosis on multiple levels. Do a google search on "laminoplasy" and you should be able to pull up information. Also go to [url="http://www.*************.com"]www.*************.com[/url] for more information. In my case my cord only had 8cm of space. 13cm is optimal and 16-20 is normal. This surgery basicaly lifts the spinal column off the cord to give it room. Has your husband had an MRI? If so, the NS can tell you how much room he has around cord. In my case I was compressed at two levels and the cord was indented at one (C4-5). A minor traffic accident could have severed my cord. It took about 2 months for me to accept that this was true, I got a few opinions, including a neurologist, who said that I showed signs of cord damage through my reflexes. He was suprised that I did not have more significant symptoms considering the amount of compression

    Like your husband, I didn't have a tremendous amount of pain (or so I thought). My neck got very tired and my shoulders spasmed. I had a constant knot under my shoulder blade. Also, when I ran up stairs or jerked quickly, I got "jolts" down my arms. So I didn't do the things that caused that to happen. I couldn't stand for long periods of time or shop for extended times..so I didn't. I basicaly tailored my life around preventing pain. I took more advil than the average person. He could be doing the same thing and not thinking much of it.

    The surgery wasn't a joy, but it wasn't horrible either. Post op I did not need a collar unless I wanted to wear it (soft collar). I was in the hospital for 5 days. Because I can not tolerate morphine or any narcotic for that matter, I had them pull it the day after the surgery. I only used two percocets after that time. It hurt, but it was tolerable. I did use valium for the spasms. I was unable to drive for about 4-6 weeks. I was back at work in about 8 weeks. I started physical therapy at about 6 weeks post op and remained in it for 4 months. I have very good range of motion in my neck. I won't lie and say I am pain free, but I also have severe Degenerative Disease in my neck with spurs and bulging discs. I go for massage every other week which helps with spasms. I can work out and best of all the jolts that I would experience in my arms are gone! I would do it again.

    Find the best NS in your area and get another opinion and check with a neurologist.

    Good luck
    Leslie
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    Old 10-21-2003, 02:14 PM   #7
    TCain
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    Hello, Leslie sorry it has been a while. At this point Iím scheduling a 2nd opinion. I really just do not want to go through that again. The only reason I did the first time was the possibility of being paralyzed. Although there still telling me there is a possibility, due to still having severe stenosis at one level. Iím still in constant pain. I still have severe numbness, however I donít care about that because if itís numb it doesnít hurt. The muscle spasms are bad etc. Itís never ending.

    However, would I do it over again? Absolutely not!!!

    I guess I really canít say that, with the chance of being paralyzed if I tripped over my own feet, I really did not have a choice.

    I can honestly say you are amazing. To not take any pain medication after the surgery. My Gosh, that was brave. I would not have made it without medication. I still occasionally have to take pain and muscle relax.

    Hello Marshall

    To be honest if your husband needs surgery I would look at other types. A Laminoplasty goes in through the back, which means they disconnect the muscles from the bones; once the surgery is finished they sew the muscles together so the muscle can eventually attach themselves back to the bones. This itself takes several months. However, if they go through the front they do not cut through any muscle. They just maneuver around it, therefore cutting your recovery time in half.

    However, this does depend on how many levels are being worked on. If its 3 or less they can go through the front. If it more than 3 they go through the back. I hope this helps you.



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    Old 10-22-2003, 08:45 AM   #8
    ljp
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    Hi TCain,

    Iím not amazing or brave. The nausea, dizziness and weakness I have with narcotics is unbearable. For me, itís better to feel the pain than to have that sick feeling.

    I still take muscle relaxers too and its over a year later. You are only 5 months out of surgery. This is a HUGE surgery....you have real neck issues. Give yourself a break. I know it only natural to get down in the dumps and looking at another surgery is not exactly uplifting. The choices S _ _ _K big time. However, if you have people who allegedly know what they are talking about telling you run the very real risk of paralysis you really donít have a choice. Being a QP is not anyoneís desire or choice. Keeping the alternative in mind has kept me remaining proactive.

    The numbness you have....is it due to nerve damage in the neck or the creeping crawly surgery tingles? The level that is still stenosed....is that coming from a disc bulging?

    The muscle spasms can be relieved with massage therapy, physical therapy and stretching. Have you tried any of this? I go for massage every other week (weekly at first). I have been doing this since about 5 months post op. It has mad the world of difference. Because these spasms go deep, it is not the relaxing type of massage people think of. It hurts, but it gets rid of the spasms and in the long run the pain. I would really recommend it. I also had separate PT for regaining ROM. I still take muscle relaxers and can not sit without support on my back. However, I strongly suspect if I got my butt to the gym, that might change.

    I hope today is better for you.

    Leslie
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    Old 10-22-2003, 08:56 AM   #9
    ljp
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    Marshall,

    I'm not sure we are being very helpful. The two of us have had different experiences. TCain is right, the muscles in the shoulder are injured in this surgery and that is what I suffer most from. This is no a painless experience, but the alternative is really horrible!

    On the other side of the equation, I have a friend who had an anterior fusion for C6/7 and she was in tremendous pain following the surgery and is still suffering more side effects than I am. She has numbness is hands and fingers. So go figure.

    Really research what it is your husband suffers from. Asks lots of questions. Read all you can.

    Take care.

    Leslie



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