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Thread: Corpectomy vs Vertebral Column Resection, and six month follow up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    Corpectomy vs Vertebral Column Resection, and six month follow up

    Can someone explain the main differences in these two procedures? They appear to be very similar.

    I saw my surgeon yesterday for my six month checkup. It's been a long, hard road, but a couple weeks ago, I feel like I just flipped a switch and started feeling MUCH better. Doc and I discussed the different surgical options for the future. The T6-sacrum fusion he did was mostly for stability of my spine, and achieved very little correction. I sill have a rib hump, as well as a slight protrusion of the left side of my chest, and my right rib cage is still hitting my hip. So obviously the VCR would be the most risky and invasive. We also talked about getting the bottom rib removed that's hitting the hip, and having basically a chest wall reconstruction to get rid of the protrusion.

    I have a lot to think about and discuss with people about what to do. The doc never mentioned the corpectomy, it's just something I'm wondering about...

    Otherwise, the doctor is happy with my progress overall. I'm finally going back to work in a week or two, which feels great. I'll finally feel like I have a purpose again. I know my thoughts are all over the place in this post, hope you can make sense of it!
    Pre-surgery- 80+ thoracic/ 60+ lumbar
    Still unsure of post-op numbers
    37 yrs. old, 6'7" ish
    Scoli pics

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    6,797
    Mike...

    A corpectomy removes the vertebral body/bodies (the front of the spine), but leaves the posterior elements. A VCR removes it all.

    CORPECTOMY
    VCR (Image D)

    They're not typically interchangeable, in that there would be specific technical reasons why one would work better than the other for an individual case. If it were up to me, I'd trust that the surgeon was going to do whatever s/he felt would result in the best outcome.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    Linda, thanks for that. I read that info before I posted, but I just couldn't picture it. When my surgeon and I talked about the VCR procedure, he didn't mention using a cage or anything. He said he'd do the removal, then get my spine into position from there, and joining the upper and lower vertebral bodies themselves. Just to make sure I understood that correctly, I asked if that meant I'd lose height, and he said yes. So let's say two VCR's are done, I'm guessing that'd be at least two inches lost. I'd think I would start to look way out of proportion at that point, right?
    Pre-surgery- 80+ thoracic/ 60+ lumbar
    Still unsure of post-op numbers
    37 yrs. old, 6'7" ish
    Scoli pics

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Quote Originally Posted by osumike View Post
    Linda, thanks for that. I read that info before I posted, but I just couldn't picture it. When my surgeon and I talked about the VCR procedure, he didn't mention using a cage or anything. He said he'd do the removal, then get my spine into position from there, and joining the upper and lower vertebral bodies themselves. Just to make sure I understood that correctly, I asked if that meant I'd lose height, and he said yes. So let's say two VCR's are done, I'm guessing that'd be at least two inches lost. I'd think I would start to look way out of proportion at that point, right?
    I think you might notice it, but I doubt anyone else will. There's incredible variation in trunk lengths in humans, so you could still be in the normal range. If he's doing 2 VCRs without cages or spacers, you'll probably lose about 3", assuming that you still have some discs at those levels. If you don't have discs, then 2" is probably about right.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

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