ccb711MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 3:10 pmPost count: 5
MRI that showed cervical spine stenosis and led to the ACDF at 3 levels also indicated a bruise on cervical spinal cord. At first pre-op visit, the Dr indicated the bruise may or may not ever heal. I am wondering if the bruise might be affecting the numbness/tingling/exaggerated touch reaction in front (not the back) of left leg and foot and toes. This tingling had started traveling up my left side to mid-chest level prior to ACDF surgery (8wks ago), and I’m still having the symptoms. Immediately after the surgery, all of the left side affects listed above went away and have come back. The Dr said it was probably the steroids he used during surgery and I need to give it more time… and that some deficits do not recover, but do not get any worse… hard to accept after the surgery. I’m in waiting mode and trying not to be impatient while I am working on strengthening neck and relearning to use right arm and working on the balance problems with left leg. So, please tell me about bruised spinal cords and how they recover and how long it might take.Dr. CorenmanModeratorJanuary 12, 2012 at 6:27 pmPost count: 3547
A “bruise” on a spinal cord is really an injury to the tracts of the cord. The signal change (white spot on the T2 MRI images) is swelling into the substance of the cord. The surgery is designed to prevent further injury. It is up to mother nature to allow healing of that injury site. Healing- if it occurs, can take 6-12 months.
I agree that the steroids might have given you some temporary symptom relief. These steroids are critical to prevent any irritation that can be caused by surgery.
I always tell patients with myelopathy that surgery is designed to prevent further progression of the disease but any symptom improvement is a bonus that should not be expected.
Dr. Corenmanccb711MemberJanuary 13, 2012 at 8:12 amPost count: 5
Thank you, Dr Corenman, for your fast response. Your response is what I expected, but thank you for the education.
Another quick question…have had a severe cough with chest cold, and the “knot” (esophogeal scar tissue??)I have been feeling in throat post ACDF seems much worse. some extreme coughing spells. Is it possible for any damage to the fusions to occur from severe coughing?
Thanks for your insight.Dr. CorenmanModeratorJanuary 13, 2012 at 1:15 pmPost count: 3547
Coughing should not cause any damage to a healed fusion. The dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) that you have experienced can occur with the surgery. The esophagus is retracted during surgery and can dysfunction for as long as six months.
Dr. Corenmanccb711MemberJanuary 13, 2012 at 2:00 pmPost count: 5
Thank you for the response. I’m sure my fusions have not healed at 8.5 wks post op, but perhaps the plate and screws prevent damage.Dr. CorenmanModeratorJanuary 13, 2012 at 2:21 pmPost count: 3547
If the surgeon used your own bone (autograft), you might be fused by now. If he or she used allograft (donor bone), the fusion may take another 5 weeks to unite. If a plastic cage was used (PEEK cage) it might take as long as six months to unite. The plate will help keep the graft stable until fusion.
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