Will my gait improve after cervical la... - Cervical Myelopathy

Cervical Myelopathy

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Will my gait improve after cervical laminectomy?

girlfromtexas profile image
8 Replies

I have cervical myelopathy at c6, 7 and T1. I am 68 year old female.I am having a posterior cervical laminectomy next week in Houston. Main noticeable symptom is my gait, balance, clumsiness and spastic walking and my slowness. I am on a walker. I have shoulder pain, arm pain and recently bladder problems are developing. Walking probs have been with me over 3 months.

My question is if anyone has been in this situation and if so, could you walk normally after the surgery? The surgeon is encouraging.

8 Replies

Hi There

Good luck with your upcoming surgery. If it has only been 3 months since in your symptoms deteriorated, then your surgeon intervening so quickly gives me hope for optimism too. Certainly the longer folk are left without treatment, the less chance of regaining full function. Any further deterioration should be halted, because, after all that is the aim of surgery. The only thing I will say is that it is sometimes hard to tell when spinal cord compression started & if you have had spinal problems in the past this may influence the outcome of your laminectomy. What I do understand about laminectomy surgery is that it is particularly painful, so be prepared - don't skimp of the pain relief & make sure you rest as much as possible in between being gently mobile. And delegate, delegate, delegate. I wish you well.

SheilaDugan profile image

Hi there, I really and truly pray the surgery will do what is needed. However, my surgery was a discectomy and a fusion for c3/c4 then 18 month later c5/c6. My symptoms were much like you are suggesting I believe and they never got better, I was 54 when all this started and my disease has progressed. I needed a walker just prior to surgery and now anything over about 100 feet in distance I need an electric wheelchair. I am more than willing to discuss further is needed. However, I pray these are different and your doctor has gotten your diagnosis in time. Mine took 3 years to properly diagnose.

Hugs and Good vibes!!

I had posterior cervical laminectomy surgery 3 mths ago and my gait problem has not improved, I’m still suffering with all the symptoms I had post op

in reply to

Hi Traypod

I've just seen your post, so it will be approx 4 months since your surgery. $ months after spinal surgery is still relatively early days, post-op wise.

It's difficult to know exactly how much improvement, if any there will be, until at least the 18 month - 2 year mark. Spinal cords take an awfully long time to heal, if they are to heal at all. It is complicated by the length of time between the spinal cord compression starting & it being relieved by surgery.

Gait problems are usually due to hyperreflexia & spasticity in the legs due to the spinal cord compression. It is a late sign of myelopathy. Also because the spinal sensory & movement pathways are damaged, the signals to move from brain to limbs & ability to "know" where your limbs are in space in relation to the rest of your body (aka proprioception) take longer to travel up & down to & from the brain. Think of it like an interrupted internet connection that keeps buffering or taking ages to download something.

The result is that you can feel as if you are wading through mus or treacle, legs feeling very heavy & off balance. There are medications available such as muscle relaxants & antispasmodics, such as diazepam - which is only suitable for short term use due to risk of addiction, or things like baclofen but they are only available on prescription. So if you are not taking anything in the meantime, it might be an idea to contact your doctor. neirologist or neurosurgeon for advice. Hope this helps.


in reply to

Thankyou for your reply that does make sense, I am on now pregablin, everyday can be different if that makes sense x

Chrisriley profile image

I had balance problems four months before my op now walking has returned to normal.luckily for me my doctor referred me straight away to a private clinic.

Pattycakes1990 profile image

Hello there and my prayers are with you. Yes I am 3 months post surgery and honestly today I feel like I walked normal (almost) for the first time. I will probably never get the feeling and full use of my hands back, but my walking has improved and it’s been a great day for me.

Hi there, good luck in your recovery I hope you get some it's not a nice illness I had op in 2013 but nothing changed I was to late as I was misdiagnosed for nearly 20 yrs but if I can help anyone im always here

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