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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


Hi Kaycee and Binx...sorry you haven't gotten any better Binx but don't let the experiences of your family decide for you what will happen. Everyone is different and your response to the surgery may be very different. The laminoplasty has been further refined and is a much better surgery now but it isn't usually combined with an ACDF. They do one or the other. But it is still considered a stop gap surgery until fusion is necessary....buys you many years of none fusion relief. And ACDF's have come a long way too. There is no need, in the hands of a top notch neurosurgeon to end up disabled these days.

But part of the problem may lie with what I was about to tell Kaycee. Studies have shown that if you are going to do surgery it is best to do it within the first year after the injury. That is when you have the greatest chance of having a pain free recovery. After that, the chance of surgery relieving your pain is only 30%. Surgery then is mainly to stop mylopathy... nerve damage.

Yes, disks can resorb but they will eventually herniate again and you will be back to square 1. May take 20-30 years but by that time, the chance of a pain free recovery are gone. Or worse, like what I had, they slowly oozed out all over again far worse than the first time and not only pinched the nerves but compressed the spinal cord, badly.

Binx, with your spinal cord compression, yes, it can be let go for a quite a while longer but if you are miserable, why wait. Why risk more damage. If it has to be done, get it done now before it lasts so long the damage is permanent. You know the numbness and weakness is not good but surgery to relieve those is 70% successful...beats 30%! But since your sister did so poorly with an ACDF, ask your neurosurgeon about doing a posterior fusion. Mine is simply 2 titanium rods attached to the tops of the screws which are placed into the vertebrae prior to attaching the rods so the placement can be checked by X-ray right in the OR. I take no pain's a harder recovery as they have to cut all sorts of muscles but after the tales I've heard here, I'm glad I had it done that way....seems to have worked better than the front approach.....just a thought. Just something to consider.

Kaycee, I think your hubby may have gotten the advice he did because of the studies showing the better healing in the first year. He can wait but yeah, it will come back as some time but it could be in a couple of years or 30 years but it will never heal as well as it will right now. But the fact that the neurosurgeon didn't tell you that a disk could resorb and then re-herniate is disturbing to me. Makes me wonder about his competence and if he's a money doc....shade the truth to get the surgery now and the money now...he doesn't want to wait. The biggest key to a good recovery is getting the very best spine surgeon you can. Whether ortho or neuro, it should be a dedicated spine surgeon....not a neurosurgeon that divides his/her time between the brain and spine. Spine only and operates regularly...you can even find docs who do the cervical spines only but mostly in very large medical centers. My doc operates 4 days a week and sees patients one day a week....which is why I wait 4-6 months to get an appointment. But does anyone really want an appointment with a "not so busy" surgeon? Tells you something about their ability! So I'd think about getting a second opinion for your husband. In fact, I think anyone contemplating spinal surgery should get at least 2 opinions anyhow. It's not a place to screw up!

I feel for both of you. These decisions are so hard to make. But we are here for support and questions. If you'd like some educational resources, let us know and we can PM them(can't post them here). And I know others will be along to add their 2 cents. Ask and we'll try to help or do whatever you need doing.

gentle hugs to all..............Jenny(titanium from C3 to T1)





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