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Thread: does anyone have neck fusion?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Savannah, GA
    Posts
    12

    does anyone have neck fusion?

    Hi all. I had my second opinion this week and some of it was news to me.
    Unlike many of the patients stories that I've heard, I don't have an s-curve. Instead, I have one curve, in that my spine sticks out of my pelvis at an angle, is accompanied by DDD, and most of the discomfort and imbalance I've been experiencing is a result of trying to hold myself upright.
    However, at the same time but totally unrelated to scoliosis, I have some DDD in my neck as well as a bone spur.
    Both of these problems will definitly require surgery (sooner the better!), and I will be scheduling them, neck first, in April, with Dr. Cohen at JH.
    I know I'll be better off on the other side of all this surgery than I am now, but I would really like to hear what the surgery experience is like from anyone that has had fusion in the neck.
    merci mille fois,
    Piper

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Hey Piper,

    I didn't have a cervical fusion but one of the maintenace guys at school had one this past summer. He was back at work in 6 weeks, he said at first his neck was stiff but that has loosened up some. He also said he can't turn his head to the side as far as he could before. He is happy with his outcome.
    Theresa

    April 8 & 12, 2004 - Anterior/Posterior surgery 15 hours & 7 hours
    Thorasic - 79 degree down to 22
    Lumbar - 44 degree down to 18
    Fused T2 to sacrum
    June 2, 2005 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @L3 7 hours
    MAY 21, 2007 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @ L2, extended the fusion to S2 and added pelvic instrumentation 9 hours

    FUSED T2 - SACRUM 2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    64

    cervical fusion done, thoracic and lumbar fusion next.

    Hi Piper,
    I had laminectomy and fusion of C4-5.5-6 and 6-7 three weeks ago. I am still in a neck brace (24/7) and will be for another 3 weeks. There was pressure on my spinal cord at these vertebrae and I could not get scoliosis surgery done unless the pressure was relieved in the cervical area. The recovery is longer than I expected and I am worried about driving after the scoliosis surgery. I will have limited ability to turn my neck and twist my body. On the up side, I have fewer headaches and my head seems clearer. I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you have.

    Linda

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Fernley, Nevada
    Posts
    352
    Linda,
    I'm interested in how bad was your neck before you decided to have the surgery. I have already had a/p surgery for my scoli. But my neck was very mild when I had the surgery. Since then my neck has become more painful, not to mention the "sandpaper" sound everytime I move my neck. Are you in a halo?
    SandyC
    SandyC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    64

    neck surgery

    Hi Sandy,
    My neck wasn't hurting at all, I had some very mild tingling in my fingertips and bad headaches every 3 days or so. I've only had 2 headaches since surgery 3 weeks ago, but I have modified my diet, so that could be the reason. One of the physicians who I saw for a second opinion said he would hold off on the surgery.
    However, I have curves in the upper 50's and mid 70's in the rest of my back. The surgeon who did my neck will be doing the scoliosis surgery and he could not do it without relieving the pressure on my spinal cord at my neck because scoliosis surgery does involve some stretching of the spinal cord. I do have some numbness in my right thumb and index finger that was caused by the neck surgery.
    Linda

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Savannah, GA
    Posts
    12
    Thanks for the responses. I also am having the neck surgey before any scoli surgery for a reason (avoiding further complications).
    From what I understand, I am having the bone spur removed, then having a disc removed and replaced with femer bone, then there will be a metal plate attached to it all, I guess to secure it all together.
    I'm glad that we've figured out what was causing so many symptoms that were just exacerbated by my job (looking down while drawing).
    I have no idea what it will all be like. By the way, I am planning on going through with the scoli surgery when I am able-fusion from t11 or 12 down to my pelvis. I am a little concerned about the flexibility after such an operation, but that is a different subject alltogether. I have to get through my neck business first. My Doctor sais typycally People are down for about a week after this one, would anyone disagree?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    64

    recovery after neck fusion

    Hi Piper,
    Some doc's do anterior surgery through the neck and some posterior through the back. I had posterior, the disadvantage is that back of the neck muscles as opposed to throat muscles are cut and it is more painful. Anterior can leave some people (a small percentage) with permanently hoarse voice or a feeling that something is "catching in the throat" after eating something dry. I had 3 levels fused, you are just having one. After three weeks I still tire easily when attempting to do simple household chores. No driving for six weeks after surgery. What level are you having fused?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Savannah, GA
    Posts
    12
    I beleive I am having c2 and c3 fused. It will be an anterior operation, this I know for sure, because I asked where the scar will be.I will have an even better idea of it all after I go in for pre-op testing on the 15th.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Morrill Maine
    Posts
    3

    C-4toT-2 Anterior and Posterial Fusion

    Hi All,
    I'm in the Army and got injured over seas in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was sent out of country to Germany and then on to Walter Reed Army Medical Center were it was found through an MRI that I had several herniated disks in my neck. The Doc there felt that I needed the surgury mentioned above.It has now been 1 year since the operation. The hardware that i have in my neck now it two long rods two plates and 18 screws.My range of motion is almost non existing around 9 degrees in each direction.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Savannah, GA
    Posts
    12
    I don't think I am going to have rods and screws in my neck. Well, I hope not after hearing that! I would like to preserve my range of motion (I was a dancer).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Morrill Maine
    Posts
    3

    Talking hi all take a look at the hardware in my neck

    2 rods 2 plates and 18 screws
    C4 Through T2 Anterior/Posterior Fusion

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2

    Anterior Cervical Fusion

    I had this surgery in 1992 at age 54 due to DDD & loss of use of my left arm from a pinched nerve. A neurosurgeon performed the operation as the orthopedics would not. He informed me that I had a number of bone spurs, but that he could only trim some partially since it was so close to my spinal cord. I will say that I regained the use of my arm and much of my ability to rotate my head. But, sorry to report that my pain was excruciating and lasted in part for two years. After being dismissed from the hospital, I no longer had access to morphine and the pain medicine prescribed did not touch my pain. I could not lie down, stand, walk, or sit without unbearable pain and went without any relief or sleep for 48+ hours. Finally, my family took me to our small local hospital and I was given an injection for pain and I slept for the first time. I would like to think that pain medications prescribed nowdays would work better for others. I had to wear a stiff neck brace for about six weeks and a soft collar for three more months. These things caused awful muscle spasms for me the entire time. I really did not think I could survive for months after that surgery.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Savannah, GA
    Posts
    12
    Hi all, it's Piper. I had my surgery on St.patties day and am happy to report that I am having minimal pain at night and am otherwise out of neck braces (wear one at night and when riding in a car). I have a small scar jus over my left collarbone. I want to see the x-rays. I will see them when I go into check up and on the same day sign the forms for my second surgery, in my lower back (see my post about that one). Thankyou all for the information and I hope everybody heals as well as I feel I have this time around.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    64

    keep in touch

    Hi Piper,
    I'm glad to hear that your neck surgery went well. Can you turn your head as far as before? I have slightly less neck rotation after the surgery. You will probably have the scoliosis surgery before me. Let me know how it went. I'm curious to know how easy or difficult it will be to look or reach behind me after I have more fusion. You can post or send me private messages.
    Linda

  15. #15
    Mary Lou Guest
    Hi. I'm curious how everyone is doing. I just found out yesterday that my daughter may have to have her fusion extended into her cervical area to correct some Kyphosis that has developed. My mind is racing right now and I could ask a ton of questions, but I'll try not to ask that many. My main questions are these: How much mobility do you have? Has anyone had a good surgical success without pedicle screws? Jamie already has a long fusion-T3-L2-and her pedicles were too small for them to use screws so I'm guessing that might be the case with this. I was told that if you've been fused at the C2-3 level that you aren't allowed to drive? Anyone know if that's true?

    Thanks in advance.

    Mary Lou

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