Arachnoid Web Spinal Surgery

Welp, on January 9th I had a neurosurgeon from the Mayo Clinic crack off a few pieces of my vertebrae (the lamina portion of the vertebrae) from T5-T8, cut through the dura covering my spinal cord, and then remove a 3 cm long arachnoid web that was compressing my spinal cord. They are pretty certain that the arteriovenous fistula that I had previously been diagnosed with and treated for was completely unrelated to the spinal cord issues I’ve been having. Similar to the fistula though, arachnoid webs are also very rare, about 1 in 500k or so. This paper has some good summaries if you really want to read a lot.

As three (and three quarters) year old Morgan has excitedly whispered a few times:

They figured it out!

I’m trying to not get overly optimistic, but it is quite possible that now that my spinal cord is no longer compressed it may just float back to where it is supposed to be and will conduct signals much better. Really only 1-2 years and a lot of rehab will tell though. I’m pretty excited about the idea of rehab where I can actually make progress though.

So now I have about 5 more weeks of recovery where I’m not supposed lift more than 10 pounds. Unfortunately at almost 4 months now, Connor is already bigger than that. I can however do as much walking as I can manage. Right now I can safely do about 300 feet as long as I have hiking poles to help my balance. Still a lot of pain from the surgery, but it is a lot better than it was last week, so seeing some improvements.

Thanks everyone for all the thoughts and notes. The past month or so has been a hectic whirlwind trying to figure out how to get to the bottom of why things were getting worse. Turns out we hadn’t really figured out the right cause in the first place.

Below is a video of a similar surgery, and a few images of my spine.

This is the removal of an arachnoid cyst which is pretty much the same procedure just a slightly different malformation.