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Long term effects of a decompressed spinal cord with myelopathy

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  • Long term effects of a decompressed spinal cord with myelopathy


    I've been reading a lot on my condition since I've had my decompression laminectomy surgery on C5-C6 almost 2 years ago. On my latest MRI dated from 2 months ago there can be seen that the myelopathy lesion on my spinal cord has become smaller than it was right after surgery, but has not completely vanished unfortunately. I know this was also not the be expected to happen.

    My fingertips regained sensation but my left arm still has pins and needles sensation, my walking gait improved to a point that it's not visible to the untrained eye I have spinal cord damage. I can run again and my GP says he only notices the myelopathy because I have some minor extra muscle tension.
    I still have full sensation and no loss of bowel / bladder control. Except for the pins and needles in my left lower arm/fingers.

    Now I'm kind off curious. I've been reading lots of things like spinal cord atrophy after a spinal cord injury and deteriorating. Do these things also happen with a minor injury caused by myelopathy? Or does further deteriorating only occurs when there is a new compression of the cord?

    I kind of am curious if I'm kind of safe with my symptoms after 2 years since my surgery now the spinal cord has been decompressed.

  • #2
    Just letting you know we are in a similar boat. I've no idea what caused your compression. If it was stenosis from bone spurs or disc herniations then you need to keep an eye on any function change.

    I'm holding about the same as I was post surgery. I have more sensory issues than motor issues, but I do have motor issues. It's been just over 2 years for me also and I've not been told anything about atrophy, syrinx or anything else. I'm assuming that with any cord injury there is always a possibility that things can deteriorate. I do know quite a few people, several years out with similar cord injuries who have had no further issues. My guess is, it's a crap shoot and we just hope for the best, take each day as it comes.
    CCS/Walker's a long story


    • #3
      Each person is different, so depending on the damage that was caused to the spinal cord, each person will recover differently and at a different rate.

      That being said, if you had only peripheral nerve damage, then the chance of the spinal cord complications is small. If you had spinal cord damage, then your chances increase. If you notice any changes for the worse, no matter how small, you need to contact your doctor. These include changes in sensation or muscle strength.

      Given your excellent recovery, I would guess that you should be vigilante, but not worry too much about the future.

      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.