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posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion - what am I in for???

SpineySSpiney Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Scheduled for posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion following failed fusion. What can I expect? How much pain should I expect? How long of a recovery? How long until I can do somewhat "normal" things? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
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Comments

  • It depends on how many vertebrae are involved. I have a friend who had C3-6, and she was pretty functional in a couple of months. I have C3-7, and I'm still having problems (not all of them related to the surgery) 2 1/2 years later.
  • Had ACDF C5-7. C6-7 did not fuse. Doctor will go in through the posterior approach and fuse C6-7 again from the back.

    They tell me this is much worse than the anterior fusion.

    Has anyone had both done and was the recovery much worse?
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  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 1,033
    hi spiney,
    Don't know if I qualify as a source of information but in 2007 I had a anterior/posterior cervical fusion of C3 thru C6. Discectomy, corpectomy,
    strut and cage installed, plates, rods, and screws added for stability.
    6 hour surgery, 3 anterior, and 3 posterior, the procedure was totally successful. Peers of my neurosurgeon have reviewed the results and have called it textbook. As for pain and discomfort the first few days were
    somewhat strenuous but after that with the help of meds it was easier to tolerate. As time passes we forget a few of the details but follow Dr's orders and I believe you can have similar results.
    Best of luck to you,
    ranger
  • Having both posterior and anterior surgeries, I can tell you the most important thing is to be sure you have a good muscle relaxer. The spasms seem to be the worst part of the surgery. Be sure you have someone whom can look or a hand held mirror to keep a eye on the incision as is needed with all surgeries. It is true the healing time on posterior surgery does take a longer time. As far as healing, while the approach maybe the same patients heal at different rates as it depends on what they have to do while doing the surgery. I can tell you on all my surgeries including the last one which was a 360 I did the typical 23 hour stay and was home the next day and began my walking program. So the best advice I can give anyone is to walk and walk some more and of course follow all your surgeons orders.

    Good luck and keep us posted on surgery.
  • I have had 3 spine surgeries..none of them wworked at all..HOWEVER,I have several friends who had 80% to100% relief.
    Did your surgeon tell you how much function recovery to expect?Did he say HOW MUCH PAIN RELIEF TO EXPECT?
    Have you tried cervical epidural steroid injections
    done by an anesthesiologist who has done alot of the aforementioned?
    I would not have an operation to try and lower pain.ONLY LOSS OF FUNCTION AS I CURRENTLY HAVE...the sight
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  • I have had 3 spine surgeries..none of them worked at all..HOWEVER,I have several friends who had 80% to100% relief.
    Did your surgeon tell you how much function recovery to expect?Did he say HOW MUCH PAIN RELIEF TO EXPECT?
    Have you tried cervical epidural steroid injections
    done by an anesthesiologist who has done alot of the aforementioned?
    I would not have an operation to try and lower pain.ONLY LOSS OF FUNCTION AS I CURRENTLY HAVE...the sight of a barbell depresses me.
  • As surgery approaches, I am getting fearfull. Yes, the surgery is to help releave pain and add support to failed fusion.

    I think that I have a high pain tolerance but I am really worrried about the post surgical pain. They seemed to want me to know that the posterior approach will be much more painfull and difficult of a recovery. Is this so?

  • The only post op pain that I EVER noticed was a double hernia that I had last year.
    11 major surgeries and the hernia was the only one.
    Relax,just start yelling for nurse before pain comes....on your part,I mean.
  • I think they want you to be more aware of it, due the fact the pain from the anterior approach isn't to bad. Now I have had three posterior surgeries and the last one just didn't seem to be to bad. But then again the level of pain I was in prior to surgery, I say that the surgery pain was a relief.

    But so you know there will be pain, but don't let it take it's toll on you with worry. They have meds to control the pain. My experience is it is the muscle relaxers. I can say on my last surgery even being a 360(anterior and posterior), I was using percocet when I awoke, and was pretty comfortable. I wouldn't say I was ready to go party, but I wasn't in tears either.

  • I had an ACDF w/ instrumentation 4 1/2 years ago. My previous fusion C-3 thru C-5 had NOT healed completely on the lower level. I am scheduled for a Posterior Laminectomy of C-3 thru C-7 w/ fusion and instrumentation. The bone will again be taken from my left hip but this time from the back of the iliac crest.
    My surgeon told me that this procedure isn't as bad as the ACDF so not sure until I have it.
    I have severe OA literally in every joint in my body, stenosis, a herniated disc and bone spurs.
    I had absolutely NO PROBLEM with the ACDF. The nurses kept coming in and telling me that I had the morphine pump I could use but I think that my pain level is on the high side due to the OA pain I always have.
    Coming home I didn't have that much pain. I took the Percocets when I needed but I actually had more hip pain than neck. I used a walker for 1-2 weeks. May have been due to my OA hips!
    Went back to work in 3 months!
    Good luck to you!
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