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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

I returned from surgery with Dr. Jho on 7/29. It was sure nice to pull up the Forum and see messages from Jdog, Joprud and Belly Button Lover. Thanks for your concern! You guys are great!

I know that several people on this Forum are looking into surgery with Dr. Jho, so I will give you the entire story of my experience. For those of you who are not familar with Dr. Jho, he performs a microforaminotomy technique through the front of your neck, without fusion. His procedure does not require a collar and should allow quicker recovery than traditional fusion.

My symptoms became much worse over the past two weeks and had progressed to myelopathy. Dr. Jho moved me up to a 7/29 surgery date. I decided to have the whole family fly out to Pittsburgh with me (John-husband, Cassie-15 and Clark - 11. It turned into a fairly odd summer vacation.

My pre-op evaluation was on 7/28. Dr. Jho's P.A., Frank, did a thorough evaluation. We still hadn't concluded how many of my discs he would operate on during this surgery. Dr. Jho came in and we discussed my symptoms. We concluded that he would focus on C5/6 and C6/7. He did not want to operate on all four levels. He felt that the myelopathy was coming from C6/7, so he would need to do cord decompression at this level.

After the appointment, I was a little bummed that he would not fix all four levels. The idea of two surgeries was overwhelming. I had been telling myself that I would be back to normal in 4 weeks.

Surgery was scheduled for the next morning at 10:45, but I arrived at 8:00 for check-in. Dr. Jho was dealing with a difficult brain surgery, so my surgery was 3 hours late. The surgery lasted about 2&1/2 hours. I was in recovery for two hours. Woke up with a very raw throat. I later looked in the mirror and saw two large scraped patched on the back of my throat from the intubation. My only other complaint when I awoke was from muscle cramps in my legs and pain in my back, ulnar nerve and shoulder.

I was taken to a really great suite on the 11th floor with a view of Pittsburgh's downtown. Dr. Jho came in and told me it was the best "hotel" room in town. The hospital staff were all very good and responsive to any request. The food was terrible, as expected. I had to stick with soft food for the first two days anyways.

Went through a bad spot in the morning. I was icing my back and shoulder, since the pain was really bad. The percocet had worn off and I had been cold turkey off Neurontin for about 36 hours. I just started shaking and felt very anxious. I called the nurse, who was very sympathetic and helpful. She explained that I was so sore from the positioning they have during surgery. I have hypermobile shoulders (former gymnast) and they actually pull your shoulders back and apply weights. They also extend your neck back to expose the surgery area. She explained that it can almost resemble some kind of contortionist position. She thought that I was having muscle spasm which were made worse by the ice. We switched to heat and she had me resume the Neurontin and Ultram. I don't handle percocet very well. I felt much better within an hour or two.
PART 2 on next post!

C3-4 through C6-7 disc herniations, three with cord contact.
C2-C7 Severe right facet degneration with significant forminal stenosis.
C5-6 & C6-7 Severe spondylosis

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