I had decompression surgery with a bovine patch and C1 laminectomy at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN with Dr. Bydon 2.5 weeks ago. I’m a 40 year old fit healthy woman and didn’t find out about the problem until August - so 5 months before surgery. There was a 15mm herniation and a huge syrinx - 8mm in diameter from C2-T2. My brainstem and spinal cord were being compressed - there was no room. The central canal of my spinal cord was so full it was stretching my spinal cord. Aside from the first few days post-op, I’ve only had a headache and a neck pain. I honestly woke up from surgery feeling some symptom relief and it gets better every day.
My symptoms prior to surgery were only “bad” for about 12 months, but had been present all my life. I saw about 25 specialists of various sorts over the last 7 years alone trying to address all of these random symptoms. I hit my head 7 years ago…The last 3 months or so before surgery were fairly horrible if I’m being honest - I had to quit my job and was in bed most of the time. That was really difficult for a woman who was running and powerlifting just prior to another surgery a year ago.
The surgery a year ago really seemed to set everything off - as I’ve read general anesthesia can do. Looking back, I can see now that every time I had general anesthesia over the years, I had more symptoms. I’ve hit my head a few times too and there was an increase in symptoms after those instances too. Many symptoms that have been blamed on a host of other health problems have already resolved: my ears don’t ring anymore, I can concentrate to read, I can sleep again, I don’t feel as anxious, even my heart rate is a little lower, I can swallow better, I don’t have as much tingling in my arms/hands/shoulders, the “hot poker/electric shock feeling” as well as the swelling around C6-T2 every time I twist seems to have gone down a lot and I bet it’ll go down more. There’s so much good! I feel like a new person and I know it’s just going to get better. I’m super grateful they finally figured out what was wrong with me and I’m looking forward to these next few months.