Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • Avataraprokop
    Participant
    Post count: 15

    Hello,

    My MRI reading stated that C3-C4 had Disc Osteophyte complex and uncinate spurring causing severe right and moderate to severe left neural foraminal narrowing. Mild spinal canal narrowing.

    My surgeon recommended that I get a Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy. Do you agree that this would be a good option? Can a level that is severe heal on its own? What can I expect with this surgery? Is it a easier recovery than a ACDF? I have had symptoms for 3 years now. All my symptoms are on the right side. Which include: headaches, upper trap pain, pain in the shoulder and loss of ROM. I can’t not swing a golf club or throw a baseball without pain. I had a ACDF on my C5/C6 and was told that level healed fine and had a solid fusion by at least 3 different surgeons.

    I can manage the pain with reduced activity and lots of Tylenol and advil etc. However I would like to be pain free and able to do the activities I once did. My biggest concern is that the Posterior Foraminotomy would make things worse and leed to my 3 neck surgery.

    Thanks,
    Andrew

    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 7735

    It is my opinion that compression originating from the front (“Disc Osteophyte complex and uncinate spurring”) should be removed from the front to directly decompress the nerve root. This would require an ACDF (anterior decompression and fusion). A posterior foraminotomy enlarges the exit hole (foramen) but does not remove the spur that is compressing the nerve root. This procedure can still work but is less effective than the ACDF.

    The problem in your case is with a prior ACDF at C5-6, this would leave the C4-5 level between two fusion levels and this could prematurely wear this level out. In your case, a posterior foraminotomy might be OK as if this procedure does not yield relief, you can always go back and do the ACDF. However, you could also consider an artificial disc replacement at C3-4 which might help preserve the C4-5 level.

    I would first however consider a diagnostic block of the right C3-4 level (SNRB-see https://www.neckandback.com/treatments/epidural-injections-and-selective-nerve-root-blocks-diagnostic-and-therapeutic-neck/). This would confirm that this problem is your pain generator.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    Avataraprokop
    Participant
    Post count: 15

    Is a Posterior Foraminotomy as painful as a PCDF? I hear that Posterior Fusion are very painful. I was wondering if the Posterior Foraminotomy is just as painful and difficult to recover from?

    AvatarDonald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 7735

    Is a Posterior Foraminotomy as painful as a PCDF (posterior cervical decompression and fusion)? No.

    The posterior route is more uncomfortable than the anterior route (ACDF) but generally a foraminotomy is much less uncomfortable than a posterior fusion. Also the ACDF heals in 6-8 weeks generally while the PCDF heals in 3-4 months.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.