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Hi - I live in Chicago and kind of feel as though I'm in an episode of House without House being available to see me. I have: inverted c-spine, disc herniations in my c5-c6/c6-c7 area; circumferential osteophyte formation from c-4 through c-7 resulting in seizing muscles across upper traps/levator scapulae (base of neck to scapula)/and recently reaching to the serratus anterior; and ulnar nerve compression resulting in numbness and tingling in right arm, loss of feeling in biceps, pointer finger and thumb.

I injured my neck 7 years ago, and as I was a dancer at that time and very physically active, I was not considering fusion until the pain was unbearable. In December, I had surgery for a shoulder tear from competitive volleyball, and that sent me on a downward spiral with my neck. I am now looking into surgery, but every neurosurgeon (I've met with 4 now) has told methere is no such thing as anterior cervical foraminotomy, only posterior, and that my only option is the ACDF or a disc replacement. I then forward them the articles from the medical journals I've read detailing the studies that have been conducted on the procedure since 1996, and they have no one to forward me to or recommend.

I've found one doctor who performs the surgery, at UCLA Spinal Center. He accepts no insurance, and only takes cash payments.

I'm leaning towards this procedure because if it doesn't work - it does not impede on my spinal structure enough to inhibit an ACDF in the future. If it DOES work, I have full range of motion in my spine. The procedure itself opens up the nerve space that is being compressed and they remove osteophytes that may impede the nerve space. I just do not want to jump to the ACDF. On a healthy spine, an ACDF procedure has a 30% chance of adjacent fusions 10yrs down the road. All the disc in my cervical spine show deterioration due to the 7 yrs of restricted mobility in my neck, which means my chance of adjacent fusions increases. Essentially, by 50 I could end up with my full cervical spine fused.

Anyone have any leads or stories about their experience with Anterior Cervical Foraminotomy?

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Hi Denver,

If you're interested in an anterior cervical foraminotomy, I do know that Dr. Jho in Pittsburgh also performs this procedure. He does take insurance.

Have you checked him out?

I also have symptoms from C4-C7. I have surgery scheduled for the end of this month. I'm flying from the West Coast.

Barbara
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I had this done twice...the first was 11 yrs ago..fusion from bone bank with a plate with 5 screws. Dr. went through the front...went well i felt ok after 3 mos and went on...a yr later pain etc. went back.....had narrowing and spurs....dr. had to go through the back of neck this time to get to it...drilled out the foramins.....and got spur.....never recovered..and i think it was from going in the back.....my body feels like its devided in half and i never got my upper body muscle tone back and am limited as to what i can do now..i still work..but lessened my hrs. neck hurts alot...aches, sometimes dont feel i can hold it up much longer...and stifff...i feel like the weatherperson.....metal isnt the best option for a human i dont think.......wish i had not had it done.....i've had the shots and tried the laser to numb the nerves but none of that has worked so iam just trying to live with it now.......its been 12 yrs since both surgeries and iam not looking to have another one till they get the plastic discs!......iam afraid i wont come back from a surgery now....and will lose more mobility........i had 4-5 and 5-6 fused...btw.....
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I know the original post is old and would like to know if you ever ended up having surgery and how it went! I'm having a posterior laminectomy foraminotomy at C5, 6 and 7 on July 12th with no fusion. The lamina is in the back of your neck so it makes more sense to do the posterior approach as opposed to the anterior.
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I don't know if that's the exact terminology of my condition I just had anterior cervical discectomy without fusion for c4 c5 and c6 I have no mobility of my left arm from the elbow up I can not raise my arm I cant brush my hair reach up for anything etc.... I have tingling down my all of my arm and fingers but function is normal after elbow... I had the surgery 2 weeks ago... so I'm still healing the pain is gone on the left side but no mobility has returned and the tingling is still there and no I have pain in my right shoulder as well which wasn't present originally.... anybody had this and does anyone know if the mobility returns?
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just underwent anterior cervical foraminontomy on left side but now have neck and shoulder pain plus loss of strength in right arm any idea if this will correct itself over time
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I have same exact problem left side procedure right side problems after surgery curious if it ever resolved
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Try "Extended Anterior Cervical Foraminotomy" performed by Dr. Jho at Allegheny Hospital near Pittsburgh.... No loss of structural integrity or use of metal plates. Been doing it for 20 years while perfecting the technical... great results.
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