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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


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Thank you WebDozer for your time and thoughts.

I read up on the buckling of the ligamentum flavum that was reported in my MRI results. From what I understand, it means that it has thickened and lost elasticity. When the ligamentum flavum is stretched and then released it's supposed to tighten back to it's original size/length. In my case it seems the ligament does not return to it's original shape, it remains elongated and sort of folds and contacts the cord.

I took your advice and read the thread regarding your surgery and recovery so I'm assuming that you are of the opinion that surgery is definately something I need to prepare myself for. I find it pretty scary that your pain increased considerably afterwards. Unfortunately the thread ended and I wonder how you're feeling now and how long it took to feel improvement, if in fact there was improvement?

I've also read some information on both Laminectomies and Laminoplasties. I really don't enjoy the thought of having a Laminectomy, it's a bit scary having the bone removed and nothing remaining there to protect the cord from trama.

I have a lot of faith in the surgeon who did my lumbar surgery but checked the Tier 1 Institute web site for the procedures he offers and found Laminectomies with no mention of Laminoplasties. If surgery is recomended, I will be discussing the pros and cons of each. I will also follow your advice and get a second opinion.

I have to say that I'm definitely concerned about my primary care doctor who was highly recommended by my sister who's been seeing him for several years. In in his defence I'm a brand new patient who had no complaints at my initial visit. I was feeling pretty darn good that day and was a bit nervous seeing a new doctor, I told him I had no current complaints. Two months after my initial appointment I visited him with severe knee arthritic flare, upper back & neck pain and a list of other painful joint symtoms.

What really really gets my goat is how doctor's eyes glaze over when you mention pain. I haven't had a primary care physician in a few years. I wasn't happy with the staff at my previous doctors office so when she moved to another practice, I didn't follow her. In the relatively few times I've had to see a doctor for various colds or illness since I've visited a local walk in clinic.

I'm a 55 year old professional woman and definitely don't come off as some sort of druggie. However, doctors automatically assume you're a pill shopper. I've lived on ibuprofen for 20+ years due to ongoing lower back pain and choose to deal rather than seek narcotics. Unfortunately I'm used to living with pain. I tried to tell him this and it seemed that he quit listening from the time I mentioned the dreaded four letter word 'PAIN'. When I do ask for pain meds, which is seldom, it's for good reason. Unfortunately, my new doctor doesn't know me or my history so I'm trying to be understanding about it. In a last ditch effort to remain his patient, I'm scheduling a consultation with him along with my sister who is a long standing patient to set things straight. Hopefully the consultation and the results of all of my previously mentioned issues being documented as valid and painful will show him the light. If this doesn't improve things, I'll be searching for a doctor who listens and treats his patients without immediately jumping to conclusions.
<< I took your advice and read the thread regarding your surgery and recovery so I'm assuming that you are of the opinion that surgery is definately something I need to prepare myself for. >>

I do. Of course, that's just my amateur opinion.

<< I find it pretty scary that your pain increased considerably afterwards. Unfortunately the thread ended and I wonder how you're feeling now and how long it took to feel improvement, if in fact there was improvement? >>

The PTB determined that that thread was a "blog" and cut it off. Actually, my pain improved immediately and dramatically shortly thereafter. While the pre-op symtoms came back, they went away again. New symptoms (chills) came on, then went away. Fourteen months later, I'd say the op was a success, but you never really know, with these things.

<< I've also read some information on both Laminectomies and Laminoplasties. I really don't enjoy the thought of having a Laminectomy, it's a bit scary having the bone removed and nothing remaining there to protect the cord from trama. >>

Supposedly, that's not so much of a problem, as there's a thick layer of muscle back there, but I'm inclined to agree with you.

<< I have a lot of faith in the surgeon who did my lumbar surgery but checked the Tier 1 Institute web site for the procedures he offers and found Laminectomies with no mention of Laminoplasties. If surgery is recomended, I will be discussing the pros and cons of each. I will also follow your advice and get a second opinion. >>

And a third, I would hope, including one from someone who does laminoplasties. If you're within range of LA or Boston, I will give you a name. I think that someone here - besides me and Jennybyc - reported on a laminoplasty, but I don't remember who.

I could well be wrong, but I think that laminectomies are now the province of older surgeons who've never bothered to learn laminoplasties. Also, there are lots of surgeons who will tell you that only an ACDF is the answer for you, because they only do ACDF's.

<< I have to say that I'm definitely concerned about my primary care doctor who was highly recommended by my sister who's been seeing him for several years. >>

From your symptoms, he should have ordered an MRI (in my amateur's opinion).


<< I'm a 55 year old professional woman and definitely don't come off as some sort of druggie. However, doctors automatically assume you're a pill shopper. >>

Well, in their defense, docs have to be very careful about this kind of thing, for their own protection. The DEA is watching. Also, docs know something that a lot of their patients may not know, which is that aging is a process of getting used to increasing levels of pain and disability, and there's not much they can do about it. And there's a lot of hypochondriacs out there.

One thing that just occurred to me. If you read the literature on laminoplasties, you'll see that they were largely developed in Japan, and possibly Korea, and were widely practiced there before gaining what little popularity they have in the USA. I think that MAY be because of a hereditary propensity in that part of the world for hardening (ossification?) of the ligamentum flavum.





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