Monday, December 6, 2010

Foraminotomy, Laminotomy and Microdiscetomy

Foraminotomy is a surgical procedure performed to enlarge the passageway where a spinal nerve root exits the spinal canal.

Laminotomy is an open surgical procedure whereby a small opening into the spinal lamina is made and access to the spinal canal is created on the backside of the spine.

Microdiscetomy is the surgical removal of herniated disc material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord.
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You might be wondering why I'm posting this information.

Several years ago I was in a pretty bad auto accident. It caused the herniation of a couple of disks in my neck. As time has passed the vertebrae has grown new bone to make up for the missing disk tissue. As a result the seventh cervical vertebrae is putting quite a bit of pressure on my T1 nerve. This nerve runs along the upper back, goes through the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and ends in the two little fingers.

Whenever I look up and turn my head to the right, the nerve pinches. In the same order as above, all of those areas of my body feel like they've been stabbed with an ice pick. Then it all goes pins and needles. Not a good thing. Codeine and Lyrica work pretty well, but I've taken entirely too much of them.  Not a bad thing, if you don't mind being in a fuzzy state all the time. As you may or may not know, drugs played a major role in most of my younger days and I liked that "fuzzy state" a bit too much. So I stopped taking the medications a while back.  Pain or fuzzy? At this point, I've opted to live with the pain.

Living with the pain doesn't work either. So I'm going through with the surgery mentioned above. It's happening two days from now and when I wake up in the post-op room, I fully expect that the pain will be gone.  Depending on how it feels and how quickly I recover, will determine when I show my face here next. I'm hoping it will be just a couple of days.

I'm not worried about the surgery at all and I'm looking forward to the warm and toasty pre-op blanket!  Talk to you soon...

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83 comments:

  1. Pat, all the best for a speedy recovery from the surgery and a pain-free future.
    My thoughts are with you and your family, and hope to see you back on here again soon!

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  2. It will be great to be pain free, Patrick, I wish you a fast recovery. At this stage in life I cannot bear another surgery, for any reason except if they promise that it comes with no more pain, which they can't and won't. Life for you will soon be amazingly freer, once recovered, take a previously painful pose and give out a barbaric yawlp. Just for me.

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  3. Good luck Patrick! It sounds like a crazy surgery. I hope they get rid of your pain - living with pain every day is not something you should have to deal with.

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  4. Oh Patrick, good luck with the surgery. I had similar surgery almost 4 years ago but on my lower back. Once I recovered from the surgery, I wondered how I ever managed before it. And yes, I love those pre-op blankies! I remember telling anyone who would listen (I was pretty doped by this point) that I wanted one of those blanket ovens installed at home. Take care! - G

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  5. Wow, sounds scary! But, I'm sure it will turn out well. I'll eagerly await other posts from you in the coming days. We want to know how it turns out.

    CD

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  6. Patrick--Sending you all sorts of positive thoughts for your surgery and RAPID recovery! Love those blankets too! I almost had another child just to get one.

    Happy Healing, my friend.

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  7. You'll feel so much better when it's over. My husband has had 2 laminectomies in lumbar 5 & 6. He had the first one @ 20 and the second @ 37; both the result of disc ruptures from a car accident at 19. Sounds alot like what you refer to as "laminotomy".

    Good luck Pat! I'll think good thoughts for you. :)

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  8. Wow.
    That is a medical lesson in itself!
    Sorry you have had to go through such pain...and glad they can do something to alleviate it.
    Best wishes to you for the surgery....I like your take on the warm blanket;)
    Of COURSE you would find the positive;)))
    Talk to you soon when you're back and painless:)

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  9. Wish you good luck Patrick, and send you a warm hug.
    Greetings, Berit.

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  10. My best wishes and prayers are with you. I had a herniated disc pressing on the sciatic nerve which caused the same sypmptons in my leg that you describe in your arm....there was immediate, total and sweet relief the second I woke up from surgery, you will be glad you did it !!
    Be well, Vickie

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  11. I hope it works! I can totally relate to what you are going through. I've been suffering with the same problems for years except mine is the lower back and leg. I had surgery and it made it worse so now I've been in a "fuzzy" state for several years.

    Best of luck!

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  12. All the best, Pat. I hope you'll be feeling on top of the world very soon.

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  13. That sounds like a whole load of suck! I hope the surgery works well for you man. Will be waiting to hear that you're pain free, doing cartwheels in your front yard. Or at least looking in directions you previously couldn't.

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  14. oh I love that pre-op blanket :) I asked the docs if I could take mine home ... sadly, they don't work as well when you don't have that thing to shoot hot air into it.

    good luck with the surgery! hoping for an easy procedure and speedy recovery.

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  15. Hoping all will go well! Speedy recovery, Pat.

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  16. Patrick, such big words to describe your pain! I will be waiting to hear how it all goes.
    Blessings, Rosemary

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  17. Good luck, Pat, here's hoping you wake up a new man and ready to do somersaults around the recovery room. :) Or at least feeling pain free.

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  18. Praying for an awesome outcome!

    I have the same in the Lumbar Spine and Wife has it in the Neck--Auto Accident--Paramedicing, and Football!

    Will be thinking about you and your DAMNIT-OTOMY!!!!

    John

    Healing and well being my Friend!

    John

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  19. I am no a religious guy but I know people who are so I will ask them to pray for you. I know you will come out okay and with less pain on the other side of it. Good luck to you and your family. I hope to hear from you in a few days either way.

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  20. Oh, That was so sweet of Kal. That guy just gets me sometimes.

    Well Pat, I'm so happy that you will soon be feeling better. Life is too short to put up with that sort of thing if it can be fixed.
    Look forward to hearing from you on here soon!

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  21. You will notice the difference way before you wake up fully in the recovery room, after a disc replacement several years back just before I opened my eyes in recovery I noticed that the pain all the way down to my fingertips was gone and I have faith that you will have the same results.

    Pain free is great, but like you I will choose pain over fuzzy.

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  22. I sure hope you get rid of that nasty pain and I'll be thinking of you!!!

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  23. And right before Christmas too! Best to you Pat, I'll be sending warm wishes for rapid recovery your way.

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  24. All the best for a speedy recovery.

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  25. all the best Pat! May you get 2 toasted blankets in recovery

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  26. All the best, Pat. Here's to no pain and no fuzzy. Get well.

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  27. Oh Pat.. I'm going to miss you.. very much.. you are like a cool next door neighbor I wish I had..I will be sending healing light and energy your way on Wednesday and enjoy that warm blanket. They do feel so cozy..
    So here's to a pain free Pat!!!!

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  28. And, when you wake up, remember that everyone who reads your posts will be thinking of you and wishing you well.

    Esther

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  29. Sending good thoughts your way for a speedy recovery. Stand tough!

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  30. Good luck and good doctoring to you Pat. Look forward to your speedy return.

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  31. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Here's to pain-free days ahead! xo

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  32. Thanks so much everyone! I appreciate the nice words and for once, I'm actually looking forward to it! I still need to know why you always have to get to the hospital at 6 in the morning?

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  33. Best wishes for a successful surgery and quick recovery, my friend! Will be thinking of you. I think I need to get your mailing address from your daughter so I can send you one of my famous snarky cards!

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  34. Good luck Pat!! I am sure you wont need it and will wake up feeling back to normal :)

    i have met with the pre-op blanket a couple of times and dang, they are a comfy bunch aren't they?

    Here's wishing you a swift recovery my friend!

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  35. Since I work for three neurosurgeons, I can tell you why you have to be at the hospital at 6 a.m. Besides prep, it's because they like to do the surgery early, so they can see patients in the afternoon. Best of luck for a successful surgery and speedy recovery! You will be in my thoughts and prayers!

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  36. The same thing happened to my sister only in her lower back.

    Right before surgery make sure you tell the anesthesiologist (whew) that you are really really nervous so that he'll give you something to make you feel wonderful. You have to get that happy shot Pat. That's the best part about surgery.

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  37. OMG!!! Good luck with surgery. I'm sure like every other hardship you've encountered in your life you conquer it (and then some). You're a true superman and a helluva blogger!!!

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  38. So -- best of luck to you with the surgery...I had a surgical spine stabilization; spine and brain surgery still makes me dependent on pain meds but the neck surgery has helped the pain...I hope your surgery addresses the pain...those blankets are toasty!!

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  39. Pat-- They can charge you for an extra day if you get there b4 11:00!!!

    Plus- 25.00 each for 3 extra strength Tylenol, 32.00 for a Shitty meal......etc!


    :-)

    JMc

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  40. Again, thanks to everyone for the nice and supportive words!

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  41. Good luck, Pat. Hope you feel better soon.
    I'm still around and hope to be back blogging permanently again after Christmas.
    Take care, big hugs!

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  42. Pat! Good luck with the surgery and a fast recovery. See you on the other side - we'll miss you!

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  43. Oh gosh, I'm glad I decided to hijack my son's notebook today, in time to wish you well and God-Speed through your surgery.

    Be well and post as soon as you can to let usknow you are healing.

    Love
    Me

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  44. I sending good vibes your way for a speedy recovery!
    Ann Best, Long Journey Home

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  45. All the best for your surgery! Hope your recovery's quick! :)

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  46. Oh, wow, Pat. The same procedure was recommended for me as well.

    A speedy recovery to you.

    Pearl

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  47. Wishing you all the best and a speedy recovery, and a pain-free future. I'll keep you in my prayers.

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  48. Pat,I hope and pray that all goes well with your surgery and it brings you relief from the pain you have been living with.
    Pam

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  49. That sounds pretty nasty Patrick. My Father in Law had a similar surgery and it helped a lot... for a while. Good luck! Hope it relieves the pain.

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  50. Pat,

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

    Darryl and Ruth : )

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  51. Just a cotton-pickin' minute, Patrick! You're in the hospital writing to me about green alligators and long-necked geese!?! Now was that before or after?! If after, I can stop holding my breath that you are okay. You may have been looking forward to that warm toasty pre-op blanket, but that is/was not having-a-mole-removed surgery! But I agree, neither a chronic fuzzy nor pain are good options. You have a good community of friends praying/rooting/send you healing energy here...

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  52. PS. I came to tell you I posted the link to the Unicorn Song... Thanks for the kick in the pants... :-D

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  53. Sneaking back here to see how you are doing! Hope you are recovering quickly!

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  54. Why, that's today, then. Sending you many good wishes -- absolutely sounds like you made the right choice.

    Hear from you soon.

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  55. Good luck with that surgery. Pain is no fun unless you're into that sort of thing.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  56. All the best with the surgery Pat. I had a hernia, T5 I think, and it was painful. Painkillers, physio in a horse's bridle like contraption and heat pads helped. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

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  57. Sounds like quite the procedure. All the very best to you :0)

    Marnie xo

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  58. hope you have a quick recovery and pain free life thereafter...take care.

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  59. Saying a prayer for you, Pat, for a quick and complete recovery. I've been there so many times before, and know what it's like to have the surgery hanging out there ahead of you. It's such a relief to get it over with and be done with it.

    We'll be here when you're back. Rest well.

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  60. Pat--- You BACK?????? ar ar!!!

    Prayers and no pain my friend!

    John

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  61. Hope you are okay Pat. I am recovering from my surgery and doping pretty good. I wish the same for you. It's not fun to be in pain all the time. Hope you will now be able to enjoy your holidays.

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  62. Wow! I had no idea. Good luck man.

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  63. Hi Pat, I hope the surgery goes well so you can be totally pain free.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery!

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  64. Helloooooooooooooooooo? Thank Goodness you are in the hospital sending e-mails to someone, at least we all know you are still among us! Or were you e-mailing for rescue, cause in that case I'll be right there :}

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  65. Yeah, totally with you on the Codeine stakes..a little too nice..(ditto re early days)

    hope the surgery went ok mate...and that yr back on track...
    sure youll be back posting any day now..

    cheers Patty!

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  66. By now I hope you are feeling un-pinched when you look up and to the right. Back/neck pain is a horrible thing to have to live with. Bless your heart...and your spine!

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  67. Just checking in too. Plus it's the only place that I can make contact with my Cotton Blossom. How sick is that? She's a cotton farmer. I only have had nothing but trouble having crushing of women who produce natural fibers.

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  68. I know I'm too late to wish you "good luck", but I really hope all is going perfectly well. I can't wait to get news from you..!

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  69. Pat, I hope that all went well and by now you're feeling better.
    Sending positive thoughts your way
    and wishing you a really speedy recovery.

    (((hugs)))
    B

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  70. Pat! Good luck! I'm late to the prayer party but they're coming your way now! I suspect you'll be back to your ornery self really soon!

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  71. Somehow I missed this post until now. I was wondering where you'd been! I hope you are healing well. Looking forward to your return.

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  72. thanks everyone! I'm moved and overwhelmed by all the caring comments and good feelings that came my way! I'm happy to say that I'll be posting in the morning...

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  73. OH CRAP GUYS! HE BOUGHT IT AND THINKS WE REALLY CARE!

    Now we'll never get him over it!!

    :-)

    Love ya Man!

    J

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  74. Sorry I didn't notice earlier. Glad that it seems everything went well.

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  75. Oh my word! I hope you are doing well and it appears it well. Get recovered soon and get lots of rest!
    Thinking of you!

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  76. One more time! Thanks so much to all of you! I'll be hitting everyone's blogs within the next couple of days! I'm so appreciative of all the nice words and thoughts...

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  77. I've been so involved in 'other things' that I have forsaken spending time here and understanding what is going on with my friends.

    Holy crap! While I'm off doing piddly stuff, you are embarked on major stuff.

    I will pay more attention.

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  78. Jerry - Thanks! Sorry about the delay. I'm doing very well now!

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