View Full Version : spinal surgery recover rate
17th November 2009, 04:15 AM
Hello all, my 2 year old Todd had surgery almost exactly 7 days ago ( tuesday evening GMT ). I don't know the name of the procedure he had, but it was to help aleaviate 'minor' degenerated disc problems, they went in and drilled holes in the discs to hopefully remove some pressure on the spinal column. Before his treatment his movement was becoming increasingly unstable, but since the operation he seems to have got a lot worse, his legs give way and he looks like a new born lamb. How long after the operation should he start to return to normal if the operation was successful? He has slight good spells ( especially when taking him for a little walk ), but he always seems to suffer a little later on the day. Is this slow recovery normal, I know as a human we would be out for ages, but I am worried that he will need further surgery. I have spoke to the hospital and they said if I am concerned bring him back for more tests, but I am not a vet and I don't know what is normal.
17th November 2009, 08:06 AM
I think I would phone the hospital again and ask for more advice - they should have told you what to expect in terms of recovery and how to be managing Todd right now.
This isn't a common surgery for Cavaliers, so I don't know that anyone on the board will have experience of managing the recovery.
Sorry you're going through this, and I really hope that Todd will make a full recovery.
17th November 2009, 12:17 PM
I'd ask to talk to the surgeon: that's a run around from the clinic. You have every right to expect to be supported in knowing whether this is normal or indicates a problem. I'd want to speak directly to the surgeon, explain your concerns, and get an answer: either 'this is normal" or "it may or may not indicate a concern so keep watching and if after x days he is still doing this, schedule an appointment" ; or " we need to examine him; bring him in for tests". How are you supposed to make that judgement call?
I'd be polite but firm that you want and need some guidance. :flwr:
17th November 2009, 12:44 PM
Also I hate to bring this up, but going back to read your original post: when you say the doctor said he didn't have any significant' evidence of SM/CM, what does that mean? Was there actually a syrinx? What degree of CM? As you are now posting that he is said only to have had very mild disk disease, I am wondering why they chose to do an invasive surgery... and whether perhaps the problem was actually CM/SM pr PSOM, all of which could cause the problems (mild disk disease would to me seem far less likely...?). The disturbance to his spine through the surgery may possibly have created some problems if this is SM/CM...? Did a neurologist familiar with SM in th breed read the original MRI or was it an orthopedist> Asking as recently we had another diagnosis of no SM/no CM and when Clare Rusbridge reread the scans, she found significant CM and hind brain compression. Unfortunately some radiologists and neurologists are not very familiar with CM/SM and especially not CM.
Just think you might want a second opinion on the MRI from say Dr Dewey or Dr Marino or Dr Glass in the US, or send to Clare Rusbridge (all will read them for a smallish fee)?
17th November 2009, 12:44 PM
Thanks Karlin, after posting the question I had come to the same conclusion. I have arranged to see the same surgeon within the next 36 hours. I just feel a little bit like an over protective parent, except I have nothing to gauge the problems against. It is quite distressing to see his back legs give way, expecially when going to the toilet. He is being a brave little soldier. The one odd thing is he really brightens up when we take him out in the car or walking, so when he goes to the hospital he will not show the same level of symtoms, but I am taking video and a diary of his events.
I will be polite but firm, this treatment so far has cost a lot of money ( which means nothing against the welfare of my family), and the hospital is well over an hour away by car.
17th November 2009, 12:47 PM
We posted at the same time -- see my previous post as well -- some other questions nagging at the back of my mind on this... mainly as orthopedists tend to see the problem as orthopedic and tend to recommend surgery... thinking maybe the answer wasn't as straightforward as might have been presented.
Do you have the MRI report? Any images?
17th November 2009, 12:53 PM
Just seen your second entry. I have no evidence to suggest the vet is not experienced with the CM/SM problems. This is what he actual was checking for when the least likely problem of the discs where found. I have been beating myself up for rushing into the operation in the first place, I was just so pleased that the vet said there was no evidence of CM/SM, but the complication he is having must be from some neurological problem, again I am going to have to have my questions ready, and I am going to ask for a copy of the MRI scan.
17th November 2009, 12:53 PM
Oh sorry, thought you were US based but are in the UK. Where was the MRI done? vets do not tend to know too much abut CM/SM so you'd want to rely on the specialist's opinions. :thmbsup:
17th November 2009, 12:55 PM
North east of England, bit of a hike to the US !! lol
17th November 2009, 01:17 PM
I'd talk to the surgeon for advice on the current situation, but also would consider having the scan reread by Clare Rusbridge at Stone Lion Vet Hospital in Wimbledon. Can't remember what she charges but it is less than 100 pounds.
17th November 2009, 01:34 PM
Sounds as if you are describing prophylactic disk fenestration - we discussed that a bit in the thread about Bailey, the 8 year old who had decompression surgery yesterday.
You can google and read about it and about complications.
17th November 2009, 03:53 PM
Thanks for that, I may look at that as an option if I don't get proper answers on Thursday. Thanks again for your help
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