Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Back Pain Forum

Cervical Fusion/post-surgery Questions For Anyone! (Page 1)

Must Read
What structures make up the spine? We review basic spine anatomy here...before identifying potential causes of back pain....
Click here to learn about the most common causes of back pain, and things that increase your risk of backache. We cover lower back pain and upper back pain....
Back pain symptoms may seem obvious. But do you know when symptoms of back pain are more serious or when to see a doctor? Learn what action to take & when...
I have just a few questions for those of you that have had cervical fusion....


* when were you able to remove the brace/collar after your cervical fusion?

*when did you start trying to move your head around...Up and down...Right to left?


* how long were you in the soft collar?


*what do they do at the six week checkup usually?


I was moving my head around today to see how much rom I have...Not much to the right, but do have some to the left....There is a lot of swelling on the right side of the neck yet. Is that why I have no rom to the right? Will that improve with pt or is that all there is folks? I am only out of surgery six weeks...I cannot hurt anything by moving my neck can i? My husband thought I should not be moving it...But I was a little curious....! I have no regrets about this surgery! I am feeling a little better each day!

I wish I could say that about the lumbar!
__________________
1/4/05 - lumbar laminectomy - l 3,4,5,s1 and s2 - obliteration of tarlov cyst at s2. Failed surgery!


8/17/05 - cervical fusion - c4-5, 5-6, 6-7 - anterior and posterior fusion with plates in front and rods and screws in the rear - corpectomy at c 5. Microdisectomy at c6-7.. I can feel my toes and the pain in the arms, hands, and shoulders is gone!



Last edited by gjzh on July 21st, 2007 12:47 PM; edited 2 times in total
Did you find this post helpful?
First Helper User Profile MyGully
|

replied October 11th, 2005
Experienced User
I remember having to wear the hard collar and sleep in it for the first couple weeks. The only time I took it off was to shower. Get yourself a couple sets of the foam padding cuz it gets icky and you'll need to wash it and change it often. That way you'll have one always clean.

I had the bone taken from my hip so that hurt.... But I made myself start walking around the school track by my house 4 days after the surgery. I swear it made me heal faster.

After 4 weeks I went back to work and wore the soft collar for about another 6 weeks.

I always tried to keep myself from bending my neck down and turning my head for the first few months after the surgery. It was hard driving but somehow got through it.

Good luck in your healing procces.

God bless
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied October 16th, 2005
Hello gjzh, I just had both ant. And pos. Surgery on the c-6 to c-7, it's only been 3 weeks so I can't answer all of your question but my surgeon said I could remove the soft collar 4 times a day up to 1 hour at a time. I am more cautious than that seeing this is my neck were talking about. I take it off to shave and shower and also when I lay back to watch t.V. With my head resting back in the recliner. I try not to move my head at all at this point. 6 weeks in the soft collar as far as I know. Take it slow and easy you have gone through much more than I have. I wish I could say more and I will as I learn, keep in touch, I think we can help each other. I to have a crushed t-5. Steevo
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Users who thank steevo for this post: michellesbetter4it 

replied October 21st, 2005
Hey gizh, just one question, how long after your cervical surgery did your pains go away? Thanks. Steevo
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 2nd, 2005
Hi all! I'm new to the forum but was interested in this particular topic so I thought I would share with you. I had pain in my arms for approximately a year and was dropping things more and more often because of numbness. I exhausted all other options (anti-inflammatories, pain meds, injections, physical therapy, etc.) the pain was so intense at times that I experienced nausea and vomiting.

I had anterior cervical fusion(s) in 1997 - had bulging disc at c-5/6 and ruptured disc at c-6/7. I had bone grafts done (from bone bank). I had my surgery done as an outpatient and was quite concerned at the time that they were going to send me home so quickly. But in all actuality as soon as I woke up fully from the anesthesia I was pain-free. I don't remember all of the time-limits/restrictions, etc but I do know that I returned to work only 3 weeks after my surgery (i have an office job). I was driving (with a collar) two weeks after my surgery.

It's been eight years since my surgery and i'm beginning to experience the same kind of pain in my arms. The neurosurgeon explained to me that sometimes when multi-fusions are done it puts more stress/strain on the adjacent vertebrae and may cause recurrence of the pain which could require additional surgery on down the line. At any rate I do not regret having my surgery and would recommend it to anyone who is considering the surgery.

Susieq
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 14th, 2005
Experienced User
Gjzh,

you had laminectomies from l3-s2 inclusive of all levels? You didn't mention and fusion conducted, seems to me that your spine would be instable now, at least have a little instability which does cause a lot of pain. I've had two spinal fusions in the lumbar area I would definitely seek another opinion as far as your lumbar region goes.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 14th, 2005
Active User, very eHealthy
Laminectomy without fusion is a well accepted practice but like you, I would not want it that way.

They normally do the lamy and then drill out the bone to make extra room for the nerve roots to be untouched and not have them become the problem after surgery.

Also you do not need the disc material for stability because the spine is surrounded by 4 ligaments and so the spine is very stable.

Again, I would not want to have no mechanical stabalization because in my mind, I need it but in reality it is not and with the lack of stiffening, you get a better chance of not having the disc above and below becoming a problem.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 6th, 2006
Anterial Diskectomy And Fusion At C6 And C7
Hi there,
8 years I had an anterial diskectomy and fusion at c6 & c7. I had experienced severe pain in my neck and running down into my right arm. My index finger was numb and the sensation has never returned. Other than that the operation was a success and my hip where they took the bone out was the most painful.

Lately I have been having a lot of discomfort in my neck and up the back of my ear and into my head, with some intermitting pain down my right arm again. I have been referred back to my surgeon and he said that sometimes the added pressure of the fusion adds pressure onto the next disk and and has referred my for an mri scan. I have been waiting on this for over a year, but the pain is still unbearable at times.

Can anyone reply to me who has had the second surgery done and what way they were affected

many thanks
nicola 2382
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 6th, 2006
I can't say I have had a second surgery, but if you read my post "post-op. Cervical pain" it will explain more. I am now 3 month's since surgery and most of the pain's are gone, my finger and thumb are still numb along with some pain in the shoulder/bicep area but not like before. What you said is what I know too, after fusion year's later, the pain may come back caused by a different nerve in a different area. My cousin in law had fusion 10 year's ago and is now having similar pain's to your's. They say it's from a degenerative disc above the fusion. I wish I knew and could say more. This is not very encouraging to hear for all of us. Hope the best for you. Steevo
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied January 7th, 2006
Experienced User
Nicola 2382 ~

I have had a second and third cervical surgery and I have had 4 lumbar surgeries. I had both anterior and posterior with hardware. What would you like to know?


imshirl :d
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied July 26th, 2011
Hi,
I fractured c6 and c7 a little over a month ago. I had 4 screws put in, a titanium rod as well. And the vertebrae were fused. I have increased my activity a lot. I have been doing a lot of bending which i know i shouldn't be doing. I am now experiencing a lot of pain in my neck and shoulders. Whenever i am up now, they are hurting more than they have been. Is this normal or really concerning. Is it possible for the screws and things to get disrupted and have to do re-do the surgery? What are your thoughts?
Thanks,
Will
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied July 26th, 2011
Hi,
I fractured c6 and c7 a little over a month ago. I had 4 screws put in, a titanium rod as well. And the vertebrae were fused. I have increased my activity a lot. I have been doing a lot of bending which i know i shouldn't be doing. I am now experiencing a lot of pain in my neck and shoulders. Whenever i am up now, they are hurting more than they have been. Is this normal or really concerning. Is it possible for the screws and things to get disrupted and have to do re-do the surgery? What are your thoughts?
Thanks,
Will
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 8th, 2006
to Anyone With Advice
I have herniated cervical disc. Its been 3 weeks since I was diagnosed. I am still having severe pain, numbness in left arm, whooshing sounds in my left ear. Started therapy 3 days ago, doing in home traction, heat and ice, anti-inflamatories, and so on. My doctor has yet to refer me to a specialist, do I need one? How long before I have any relief? I do notice the more I do, the more it bothers me. I havent worked in 3 weeks, just little things around the house are becoming a nuisance. Help if you can.

Tigerlady372
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 8th, 2006
Active User, very eHealthy
It is totally dependant on the aggresivness of your treatment and how well you follow the instruction of the pt people and your doctor.

If you are not getting help from a neurologist for the bulging disc in your neck, you should be. They need to look at your films and see if this is surgical and if it is, do you need laminectomy and fixation/replacement or idet/nucleoplasty.


Check out Spineuniverse.Com for lots of good info. Also you can look for a doc to be refered to in your area.


-brian
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 9th, 2006
Thank You
I thank you so much for the advice. The last thing I want is surgery. I really do need to see a specialist, I have no idea what my doctor is waiting for. The sooner I get better, the sooner I can go back to work.

Thank you again, lisa
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied July 10th, 2012
surgery is not good i have not heard or seen anyone benefit maybe short term then worse or back to as much pain
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 17th, 2006
Cervical Fusion Surgery
I am 43 years of age and as of today, I have had 8 cervical operations and waiting for authorization for another. I am fused and plated c2-t1 with a fracture at c7-t1. I've had failed fusions, a screw back out, rejected coral and my own bone. You name it, it probably happened at some point in this journey. For anyone that is considering any type of cervical surgery, I say try everything else first! My operations began with a short fall. I've had 16 operations total from it. Btw, it's not the fall, it's the sudden stop that jacks you up! :shock: if you have exhuasted all avenues then and only then, should you even consider this type of surgery. I am now totally disabled. Not how I pictured myself...Ever :!:
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 12th, 2007
After Laminectomy
My friend just had a laminectomy 4 days ago (L4-L5)...of course it is the weekend and I have a question. Do you know if it is common to be almost black and blue above the dressing area? And she is red 3 inches on both sides of the incision. It does not look like an infection and she has no temperature. Just looks like a huge amount of bruising. When I spoke to the doctor 3 days after surgery and told him about the redness he said it would be rare to have infection this soon but now I'm wondering if she is having to much bruising....did any of you with laminectomies have a lot of bruising?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 1st, 2008
cervical fusion c5 c6
Laughing Hi has anyone had c5 c6 or c6 c7 cervical fusion ?
How is your neck movement? Has the pain returned? I am about to have an operation fusion c5 c6 i am scared that it will come back after 5 to 7 years after....then what?
Thanks for replying!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 18th, 2012
I had this done in 2008 and for the past year I have been in constant pain. I wish I would have never had this surgery. I had a new xray and MRI and they say that the fusion is still in tact and that there is no reason I should be in pain. But I am I haven't been able to go out or ride in the car for months. I would definitely never recommend this to anyone. I feel hopeless!!!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 18th, 2012
Cervical Fusion
I had this done in 2008 and for the past year I have been in constant pain. I wish I would have never had this surgery. I had a new xray and MRI and they say that the fusion is still in tact and that there is no reason I should be in pain. But I am I haven't been able to go out or ride in the car for months. I would definitely never recommend this to anyone. I feel hopeless!!!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 18th, 2012
Cervical Fusion
I had this done in 2008 and for the past year I have been in constant pain. I wish I would have never had this surgery. I had a new xray and MRI and they say that the fusion is still in tact and that there is no reason I should be in pain. But I am. I haven't been able to go out or ride in the car for months. I would definitely never recommend this to anyone. I feel hopeless!!!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied February 1st, 2008
Experienced User
Hi Nico2
Hi Nico2 ~

Welcome to the board. I am fused from C3 - C7 after 3 surgeries. I am fused anterior with bone graft, plate and screws and posterior with bone graft, rods and screws. My ROM (Range of Motion) is some what more limited than you may have because I have 2 more levels done. The higher up they go with fusing the more limited you will be.

I am very pleased with the out come of my spine surgeries which also includes 4 lumbar surgeries where I am fused anterior and posterior with hardware as well. I will not say I am pain free but I am feeling much better. I have less pain and many of the symptoms I was having prior to surgery are gone.

May I ask what your symptoms are and how did you injure yourself Question When is your surgery Question Will you have an Ortho. or a Neurosurgeon?

To answer your question about pain coming back..... Speaking from my experience my pain didn't come back from the level where I had the fusion but ......... I had levels above and below that were bad and needed surgery.


Sometimes it is so hard to type out just what I want to say. hehehehe

If you have more questions please let us know. We may be able to help you out with Pre- and Post-Op tips. Idea

IMShirl Very Happy
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 1st, 2008
cervical fusion c5 c6
Hi, thanks for your reply, its very hard to find someone to talk too that understands that problem. I understand that for a partner, they feel helpless as they don't see the problem.

I beleive it started around 6 to 7 years ago. I am children's performer and on the end of a tour, very tired i accidently hit the top of my head on my equipement trailer. So the top of my head came down as i hit my head. that's the only things i can see that happend as after, i had pain in my neck and shoulder for about one month.
after a year or so after my foreharms started feeling funny, numbness, flue like aches. Then my left arm and hand became very week. finaly found a Doc. that beleived me. Went for MRI then was refered to neurosergen. I wanted to operate then as i had a herniated disc c5 c6 and a stenoses. I refused, wanted to try other treatement... beleive me i tried them all$$$. I don't have i good back so when i try to strethen it my left harm and hand just kill me. One specialist reffered me back to the neurosergen so i was back to square one. So now i am waiting for the call for the operation.... any day now. What scares my the most is some recherche says that it might come back elsewhere after around 7 years....
thanks, and sorry the length of my message and for the spelling.... i am fench.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 16th, 2008
2 cervical fusion
I had my first fusion feb of 06 c4 c5 c6 went in from the front of my neck ended up with mrsa in the insions site and in my lungs then had 3 tia's went back to work still in pain never had any relief had my 2 surgery nov of this year c4 c5 c6 and c7 I went back to work 8 weeks after surgery, because I had to or we would loose everything, now I am off work the pain is horrible I have very limited movement and have started to have pain in my face, and no one seem to care am going to pain mgmt taking Norco 10 and they have just cut in down, pain mgmt says you can't take this the rest of your life, well you know I either take and get out of bed and attemp to have a some what normal life or I stay in bed and do nothing and I have been taking it for about 3 years now and It does not help like it did when I first starting taking it they make you feel like you are crazy and just want the meds, well I am to the point I do not know what to do I am 39 years old the mother of 2 children who still need me and a husband who has had to take care of just about everything thank god for him, he has been wonderful. I just wonder if any one has any advice on where I should go from here.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied March 14th, 2009
cervical fusion from c-2 thru t-1
i had posterior cervical fusion on oct 2007. very painful operation i might add. but i made it thru the recovery and went back to work on the first of jan. but starting in march i started having the numbness and the pain inching back. it was getting worse almost weekly. now i've been out of work since last april 08 and i still can't go back. my left arm and hand are almost completly dead. i'm losing all the muscle in my arm and hand it is starting to look awful. i'm going to a pain doc and taking alot of oxycodone 30mg 6 times a day. it makes me sleepy groggy and alot of anxiety. i'm so worried that i'm going to suffer with this for the rest of my life. i can't do even the simple things in life. nero doc says discs above and below are bad now but i don't won't another surgery. some days my arm feels as though i've got ants crawling on me and it won't go away i scratch it but it's all numb so i can't feel it. i'm 49 yrs old, i justwanted to vent thanks to anyone out ther that can help
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Quick Reply