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Myelomalacia: Let's connect

Spine Health | Last Active: Feb 21 9:26am | Replies (50)

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@dhansen78

Here is the update on my surgeon appointments. I saw 4 different surgeons with regard to the Myelomalacia 2 Neurosurgeon, 2 Orthopedic. Of course there were conflicting opinions, one Dr. said she would do surgery but, it would end up being 2 surgeries and she didn't want to do that....2 separate fusions. Dr. 2 appeared perplexed and said he wouldn't suggest doing anything come back in 6 months. Dr. 3 spoke with me in more detail and said I would definitely need close watching, surgery is most likely on the horizon come back in 3 months. Dr. 4 was fairly insistent on surgery within the next 2 weeks and fusion of 2 sections. I have chosen Dr 3 with the help of my PCP, this Dr. has the most knowledge and skill behind him and is affiliated with a large hospital. I am comfortable with waiting as the reading I've done seems to lean towards additional issues following surgery. I have been told in some patients the Myelomalacia doesn't ever progress. Is anyone else taking the wait and see approach?

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Replies to "Here is the update on my surgeon appointments. I saw 4 different surgeons with regard to..."

@dhansen78 Thanks for your update. I'm glad your primary care doctor could discuss this with you to assist in your decision. It is a big decision, and you cannot change it once the surgery is done, so it makes sense to get a lot of opinions before you decide what is best. I had 6 opinions, and only one surgeon got it right, and I chose him of course. Fusing vertebrae does put more stress on adjacent discs, but if you maintain good posture, and stretch out the tightness that puts extra pressure on the spine, I think it will go a long way to help prevent future issues. I periodically stretch out my incision scar when it gets tight and stretch tight muscles in my neck. I have learned this from my physical therapist who does myofascial release to loosen the overly tight tissue and get the body moving again properly and with good mechanics. My surgeon told me that maintaining core strength was the best way not to need spine surgery again. I find riding my horse at a walk helps a lot with back strength and posture and all of that supports my neck. I am 6 and a half years post op from my fusion with no further spine issues.

I think a wait and see approach when dealing with something as serious as myelomalacia is much too casual. It is an extremely dangerous condition and can cause paralysis and death. I have the condition and my arms and hands are atrophied due to irreversible nerve damage that the condition has caused. In my case the condition is very progressive and has ruined my health. Once the damage is done, that's it. I think the doctor who suggests surgery ASAP is trying to help you. Neurosurgeon's are not surgery happy because spinal procedures are very serious. I would have the surgery's as quickly as possible because if it progresses too far you will have no options. I wish you the very best.