I'm 60, in good shape, and diagnosed with a pretty lousy cervical spine about 9 years ago. Since then, I've reduced athletics to fast walking. Tried swimming last year, resulting in sharp shoulder blade/trapezius pain and, in Feb. 2009, numbness in right pinkie and a bit up the arm that is still happening.
Saw a surgeon who, after looking at extensive MRIs from 2000 and 2008, recommended a 2-level posterior laminectomy (@C2-3 and 3-4) to relieve stenosis causing severe spinal compression; and (together or separately) ACDF for C5-6 and 6-7 spondylosis. It is the latter area that he thinks is causing trap pain (not experienced since Feb. after 5 bouts in 6 months) and numbness.
I have almost no neck pain or pain anywhere else (except when traps flair), see a cranial osteopath regularly, do light exercise, and thought I had it under control. The numbness and resulting fear of further function loss is making me research doing one or both of these surgeries, which, like everyone else, scare the straw out of me.
Anyone got experience with doing anterior and posterior at once to get it over with? Or with posterior laminectomy (cervical) in general? Not much experience on the net, while ACDF seems pretty well documented.
Hard to choose to go into pain of recovery and fear when I have much reduced capabilities and numbness, but not much pain. I lose a few days here and there with discomfort, and I hate not being able to do more than slow walking, but does that, combined with fear/risk of further function loss from spinal compression, mean surgery?
Any thoughts or experience with all this much appreciated.
I really trust my surgeon, by the way. He is cautious and recommended doing the posterior spinal decompression surgery first, despite instability already there in C5/6 and 6/7.
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