Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Back Pain Forum

Cervical Fusion/post-surgery Questions For Anyone! (Page 2)

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...

April 19th, 2009
Cervical Spine Surgery
I am in the process of scheduling surgery to have C1-C2-C3 fused, using donor bone between the discs and a titanium stabilizer plate. The neurosurgeon will also be addressing my moderate-to-severe spinal stenosis during the surgery. I have not been able to find any forums or chat rooms in which a patient has undergone more than two cervical disc fusions.
Has anyone had such extensive surgery? Can you offer any advice? information? warnings?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied May 20th, 2009
Anyone have the titanium plate removed?
I had my double cervical fusion with the titanium plate over 1 1/2 years ago. I now have forminal stenosis and, I also have the ugliest large purple bruise on the front of my throat and near the scar. My neuro said 8 of 10 people have no problem with titanium. Of course I fell into the "other" category". I am gettting a second opinion about getting the plate removed. He said, "once the bones fuse the plate is not necessary. I just hate having another surgery. Anyone ever had the plate removed and if so, was it worth it? Did the pain get better? I cannot turn my neck to the laft or look down, as it locks up. Thanks for any info on this area.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied May 20th, 2009
Re: Anterial Diskectomy And Fusion At C6 And C7
Nicola2382 wrote:
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


I am getting a second opinion for a second surgery. It has been over 1 1/2 years and I have forminal stenosis and horrible brusing on my throat and near the scar area. I have terrible headaches from the forminal stenosis, and I may need the plate removed. I am going to check this out and see if it is worth another surgery.
Apparently, some do real well, while some of us live with chronic pain forever.
I swim 3 x's a week, but can never do the crawl stroke since I had my rotator cuff done on the same side (left). Good luck and let me know if you have another surgery and how you're doing~ rainbow
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 7th, 2009
I just had cervical disectomy fusion last Wednesday on C5-6 C6-7 with cadaver. Some of my pain that I had immediately before the surgery on my right side was gone upon waking up from the knife. Unfortunately I am still having burning pain on my left side, where everything originated. Also my right side is beginning to act up again. It is so difficult to sleep at night. I have ended up all twisted around and awoken in big pain. Eventually I get up out of bed and end up having to sit up for awhile. I have had to take Ativan to calm me down so that i try to go back to sleep again. Now all of a sudden I have been getting throbbing like pains every time my heart beats where the discs are fused. This is going to be a depressing summer for me. I will see the doctor in 2 days so hopefully he can tell me more of what to expect in the coming weeks.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied June 7th, 2009
So, nobody has had their plate removed? My neck is discolored since my November 2007 dbl cervical fusion w/titanium plate.....I am going to a cranio-sacral lady who helps relieve the FORMINAL STENOSIS pain....I take 15mg of oxycone 3-4 x's a day....Pain clinic is my only relief and tje cranio-sacral therapy.
I really do not want another surgery, Guess I will try and teach myself to forget it is there.
Kind of like denying the pink elephant is in the room~
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 7th, 2009
I find it very surprising that so many of you get such strong pain medications. For some reason my doctors have only ever given me 5/325 percs or 5/500 vics. thats really all I ever got from anything my whole life. I have seen on occasion others getting big powerful pills like oxycontin or even morphine for little things like small elbow pains and so forth. So whats the secret? You dont have to 'do' the doctor do you?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied June 11th, 2009
Pain Medication
FlipperX....ask your neurosurgeon to refer you to a PAIN CLINIC....my cranio-sacral lady calls mine, "The candy-man"...he was going to give me a patch, but I swim and love the sun so those 2 things proclude me from having the patch. He gives me 120 15mg oxycodone 4 x's a day....
Still, I have forminal stenosis which is a narrowing of where the nerve comes out of your spine, so mine is squished...it hurts like hell.....my neck is an ugle purple color all the time. I lok like I have been strangled and the surgery was November 2007!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied June 11th, 2009
30mgs!!!! WOOOOOOW.....you must be very tired.....you need a second opinion if you feel that lousy. I alter what I do and have good and bad days....I an grateful for the pain management clinic and my cranio-sacral lady who is just amazing! My insurance pays the whole bill for her...I do not even pay a co-pay.
I am wondering if it is worth having the titanium playe removed...anyone evver have that done???
What are the odds that I will get better, worse or stay the same? So far, I have not heard anyone that has had the plate removed after the fusion took.
Do we need to get x-rays every year to make sure the screws stay intact,or, do we wait for something bad to happen????
Good luck to all.....misery loves company, and we all need to hear from others just like us~
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 23rd, 2009
Hi anyone who can help. First dr. had me scheduled this Thurs (I cancelled) for a Anterior cervical discectomy(?) fustion. Second dr opinion was , I should have corpectomy, titaniuum implant, anterior instrumentation. MRI's-at C3-4 disc bulge diffusely w/mild canal stenosis--at C4-5 disc bulge diffuely with moderate canal stenosis--foraminal narrowing--anterolisthesis is identified. C5-6 central disc herniation causing severe canal stenosis w/ventral cord compression. superimposed disc bulge is identified. Formainal narrowing identified--bilateraly, worse towards the right moderate to marked in severity. C6-7 disc bulge and osteophye with left central disc herniation and moderate to severe canal stenosis w/ventral cord com-ression. Loss of vervical lordosis w/kephosis. What a bunch of dr.jargon, huh?? What does all of this mean to me. They--both drs. and a neurologist said I could be paralyzed if I trip and fall or get rearended in a car accident. Surgery is needed sooner rather than later. I can't get an appointment soon with any qualified dr. University of Tampa can see me 'till m;iddle of Aug. How long is recup? This sounds stupid, but we have vacation plans mad for Aug28-Sept14. Which do I try to schedule/reschedule? How do I get a doctor to see me. One drs office said--private ins. only--I'm on medicare and have good supplemental--what in the world do they mean--no insurance taken? Please, Please someone HELP. Thank you in advance.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied June 23rd, 2009
urgentandconfused wrote:
Hi anyone who can help. First dr. had me scheduled this Thurs (I cancelled) for a Anterior cervical discectomy(?) fustion. Second dr opinion was , I should have corpectomy, titaniuum implant, anterior instrumentation. MRI's-at C3-4 disc bulge diffusely w/mild canal stenosis--at C4-5 disc bulge diffuely with moderate canal stenosis--foraminal narrowing--anterolisthesis is identified. C5-6 central disc herniation causing severe canal stenosis w/ventral cord compression. superimposed disc bulge is identified. Formainal narrowing identified--bilateraly, worse towards the right moderate to marked in severity. C6-7 disc bulge and osteophye with left central disc herniation and moderate to severe canal stenosis w/ventral cord com-ression. Loss of vervical lordosis w/kephosis. What a bunch of dr.jargon, huh?? What does all of this mean to me. They--both drs. and a neurologist said I could be paralyzed if I trip and fall or get rearended in a car accident. Surgery is needed sooner rather than later. I can't get an appointment soon with any qualified dr. University of Tampa can see me 'till m;iddle of Aug. How long is recup? This sounds stupid, but we have vacation plans mad for Aug28-Sept14. Which do I try to schedule/reschedule? How do I get a doctor to see me. One drs office said--private ins. only--I'm on medicare and have good supplemental--what in the world do they mean--no insurance taken? Please, Please someone HELP. Thank you in advance.


Do you have a Primary care doctor?(PCP) Ask him to give you a referral to a neurosurgeon. I had my surgery booked 1 month after they read my MRI. I had a double cervical fusion with a titanium plate and cadaveor bone....I now see a cranio sacral woman since I have forminal stenosis and live with chronic pinched nerve that is horrible. I am trying to get an apt., for a 2nd opinion, but so far the referals I was given, not one neurosurgeon will look at someone else surgery. Good luck...the recovery is not too bad, but I would wear the neck brace if you are a passenger in a car or fly. 4you
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 23rd, 2009
to upstate73, I'm in kind of the same fix. I'm at the point where I'll go to almost any neuro just to get it done. I know neuro's think their God, but this is ridiculous. Who will only see new patients every other week on Thurs., who will even talk to you at all--and when they do, condecending as all get out. First they scare the livin g daylights out of you--then, oh well, maybe in August..Thanks a bunch, what am I supposed to do until then? Wrap myself in bunting???? Oh= just be careful. Come on--I think that's why they call them"accidents". Anyhow, I'm venting. Been on the phone for three days--still am uncomfortable. By the way, the first surgeon who was supposed to perform this surgery on me this week--he's an ortho--My neck, spine, etc, needs a neuro, not an ortho, but he never said that. Thanks all for listening. Marie
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 24th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
Marie,

An orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spines is equally qualified to do any kind of spine surgery as a neurosurgeon is.

As a matter of fact, if the neurosurgeon does not specialize in spines only, then if it where me, I would not let that neurosurgeon operate on me. He needs to be a specialize in spines only.

I have had 2 lumbar spine surgeries and have seen both orthopedic surgeons that specialize in spines and neurosurgeons that specialize in spines.
the neurosurgeons are always the ones that want to do far more surgery than the ortho and many times that extra surgery that neuros want to do isn't necessary.

I personally wouldn't let a neurosurgeon operate on my spine. I have used an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in spines only to operate on my spine.
When my husband had some cervical spine issues, he saw my spine surgeon.

My spine surgeon operated on my neighbor's cervical spine, doing a fusion a year ago and she never thought twice about using an ortho vs a neurosurgeon.

Good luck

Fran
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied June 24th, 2009
I had a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic doctor. they switched on and off sicne the surgery was 5 1/2 hours long......
Your right about neurosurgeons with the "God-complex". Mine cancels my apts last minute, 3 times now. Then when you finally get there, the apt, is about 2 minutes long!!!!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 24th, 2009
Jahmayka, Oh yeah!! Have you ever tried to cancel on them last minute, or even better yet, show up half hour late? Shame, shame-- Marie
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 24th, 2009
Hi cupofnuts---boy do I know the "itching" feeling. My entire right arm (now shoulder) itch almost constantly. If I hear one more well-meaning person say "stop scratching, use cream (or itch cream)" I will SCREAM. you can't soothe an itch you can't really get at. (Bad grammar, but you get the point). I'm in the jprocess of sorting out three different drs, for the final choice-- I'm beginning to think this whole thing is a crap shoot (picking drs, I mean). If I wan't so paranoid about being paralyzed, I'd forget the whole thing. (they say papalyzed like it's a case of the measles) I guess the problem is that my spinal cord is being squeezed too much (stenosis), along with the c4,5,6,7, etc,,who the heck knows. Anyhow, I'm also venting. Marie
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied July 19th, 2009
Re: After Laminectomy
kingjanet wrote:
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?


I had a double cervical fusion with cadaver bone, titanium plate and screws in November 2007. I STILL HAVE BRUISING.....I told the neurosurgeon, and he just shrugged. He saw it as well. I am getting a second opinion for the bruising, ongoing numbness in my left hand and fingers and also to see if having the titanium plate removed might help with the bruising and heavy feeling. I was also told I have forminal stenosis and ridging.

They seem to "write you off" when they have no answer to your problems. I had to wait 3 month to get a second opinion appointment, that comes July 29th.
I will let you know what happens then.
I look like I have been choked severely.....laying in the sun makes it look better, as the suntan blends in with the bruised area. sunny
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied August 13th, 2009
Post of cervical fusion symptoms
wow, I had to reply to your post. you poor thing, I just had my third anterior cevical fusion (c6-7). I was wondering why they did a posterior fusion- that is confusing.
Sounds as if your operation didn't relieve the nerve pressure. I hope you aren't being quiet about this to the speciallist, if he isn't doing anything about it I'd be getting a second opinion. I also wonder why you went back to work with symptoms like you are describing.
I have good relief from nerve pain already, not all of it is gone because afterall it is a fusion. My specialist put in a plactic disc shaped like a life saver. He took the osteophytes and placed them in the middle to help with the fusing. I have high hopes and I feel atm moment much better than I did with my earlier fusions. (that I remember) Ok, I can't tell anyone to have another fusion because I have learned you still after 6 months can have lots of pain, Your fusion can take as long as 2 years to settle. After more than 20 years of fusions (lumbar too) that you need to baby your spine especially when it is hurting. Keep yourself busy, you need to keep your mind off the pain. I have found slow release morphine is good for this so that you don't forget your meds and wind up in a lot of pain when it wears off. Believe me, the drugs can tell you that you are in more pain than you really are. Your body becomes used to the dose and they do not work any more. I have come off my meds three times to make them work again. It isn't easy but what the heck, if they aren't working then why not do something to make them work. Just so you know how I did this without problems is - I would open the capsule and remove a very small amount of the 'little balls' each day. With the solid tablets I would just shave the tablet smaller and smaller each day. Then when I got to a certain stage I felt ready, I started taking a third of my previous dose again, and worked my way up again until they worked. I am very paranoid I guess you could say of doctors controlling my meds now- my original pain specialist died. The others were going to insert 2 spinal stimulators and a morphine pump. I didn't like that idea. I later found out there was much more damage to my spine than they were trying to 'mask'. So as a result I also do not trust any of them. BTW I found a good nuerosurgeon now, at least he has an excellent reputation, and he seems to have helped with this last operation. If I were you I would go for a second opinion and then decide what to do, take good care of yourself.
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Users who thank MyGully for this post: azgina 

replied May 31st, 2010
ACDF - C5-C7 - Post Op questions
I couldn't believe how difficult it was to find a forum online to exchange experiences with this procedure.

Anyway, i had anterior cervical fusion of C-5 through C-7 (w/ disks replaced with cadaver material). I am a little curious as it seems that with those i have spoken to and from what i have read here, everyone has had very different post-op experiences.

Some say they are sent home in a hard collar, some with soft collar, some with no cervical collar at all, ...and the period of time patients are told to wear their collar post-op varies from zero to 6 weeks or more.

My surgery was almost 3 weeks ago. I was sent home with a soft collar & after 2 weeks i was told i could go ahead and take the collar off and turn my head all i want, etc.

My surgery pain seemed to go away quite quickly. The first week was the worst: unable to talk, could not swallow, could not cough, and felt like i was being choked to death. I was never told to expect any of these things post-op, so needless to say i was quick to get on the computer and hunt for answers (since i could not pick up the phone and ask anyone with no voice!)

So i wonder: should it be safe that i am not wearing my collar?

Also, although it feels that my "surgery pain" (i suffer from other unrelated pains) has dimished almost entirely, but still feeling quite a bit of the usual nagging pain radiating around my neck, shoulders, upper back and arms. Would this be because i have not healed completely from surgery, or should that pain be gone?

...Do many people come out of this surgery with pain pretty much same as before, and that's it? Live with it?

I should be clear: From what i can tell, i would say my pain level is perhaps 30% better than pre-op and i am quite satisfied with that because i kept my expectations very low to avoid disappointment.

(I was ready to chop my arms & head off before surgery. Now i am thinking that keeping my arms & head may be something i can be OK with. I'd say that is a great improvement. *grin*)

Aloha!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied June 1st, 2010
Hi,just wanted to say congratulations for getting through this so far.
I think that as soon as you can to take off the collar. The area will just get weaker and then you become dependent upon the collar. Sit with your head supported, like in a recliner instead. If you want when you drive or have to sit to eat (remember when you have to)wear a collar so you don't get tired. I hate when I have to be a passenger- you never know when you get jerked around.
I am progressively more Unhappy with the results of my surgery. I can not use my arms without setting off the cycle of spasms (I hope this makes sense).
In my last appt he said that I would have to find a balance of activity to rest so I wouldn't cause spasms. I seem to have constant aching pain in the middle of my thorasic spine. and my anxiety is pretty overwhelming at the moment. I think I may have written this but he said it would take as long as the nerve was injured to get better. Fifteen years is just a start of an estimate. I think you need to take it one day at a time and try not to predict anything atm, Best Wishes
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 2nd, 2010
MyGully wrote:
Hi,just wanted to say congratulations for getting through this so far.
I think that as soon as you can to take off the collar. The area will just get weaker and then you become dependent upon the collar.


That is exactly what i thought. I was just concerned whether it would jeapordize my neck from healing properly.

MyGully wrote:
Sit with your head supported, like in a recliner instead. If you want when you drive or have to sit to eat (remember when you have to)wear a collar so you don't get tired. I hate when I have to be a passenger- you never know when you get jerked around.


Agreed! I started driving myself after 2 weeks because i could not take it anymore (for many reasons that i am sure most people would understand).

MyGully wrote:

I am progressively more Unhappy with the results of my surgery. I can not use my arms without setting off the cycle of spasms (I hope this makes sense).


I think i understand.... Although my spasms are primarily within the mid-back (bra-line area) and shoulders. My arms (although not 100%) are much better than they have been in many years. I am SO sorry to hear yours are still giving problems...

MyGully wrote:

In my last appt he said that I would have to find a balance of activity to rest so I wouldn't cause spasms. I seem to have constant aching pain in the middle of my thorasic spine. and my anxiety is pretty overwhelming at the moment. I think I may have written this but he said it would take as long as the nerve was injured to get better. Fifteen years is just a start of an estimate. I think you need to take it one day at a time and try not to predict anything atm, Best Wishes


15 years?? My heart goes out to you! If what you say is true, i will be looking at 7 years or so for my nerves to recover. Then again, i am just so happy to feel the amount of relief i do have.

Hmmm... sorry if this comes through jumbled up. Every time i type, the screen scrolls up & i cannot see what i am typing.

Many thanks for the feedback & wishing you best of luck!

Aloha!
|
Did you find this post helpful?
<< 123 >>
Quick Reply