I'm having neck fusion Jan 19th . I will be having C3/C4/C5 fused with screws. I had A/P surgery in 2002. I'm very interested in those of you that have had neck fusion and the results. What kind of brace ( will be braced for 6 weeks). Can you still drive? How is the range of motion after the surgery?
neck and back surgery
I'm now fused at C4 to C7 and T8 to sacrum. I was supposed to be fused from T3 to sacrum. I'm not driving yet, but I can still twist my body and I don't think the driving will be much worse than it was with just the cervical fusion. The cervical fusion just made me more careful before turning into traffic, it took me a little longer to decide if it was safe or not. I plan to get some side large mirrors on the car to help. I'm curious about how much more movement I will lose if I get T3 to T7 done. I feel like I can arch my back a little now.
I had a hard Miami J brace that I had to wear for six weeks. The doctor chooses what brace you'll be wearing. I took valium for the first few weeks because I had severe muscle spasms in my neck. I had a small curve in my neck that was straightened with the surgery and that brace really spazzed my neck muscles. The valium made the pain go away. Now my neck is straight and I don't have any pain there, even when it rains. One of the problems with all of this fusion is that the discs wear out above and below the non fused areas.
I read your post about your daughter and I can only imagine how distressing that news was. I've been on websites discussing cervical surgery and I've never read that high fusion prevents one from driving.
Thanks. With Jamie being 14 now, she is already talking about driving! Yikes! lol The thought of more surgery is already upsetting to us, but she would freak out if she knew the surgery would prevent her from driving.
scoliosis and cervical fusion
You'll have 5 unfused vertebrae between the two fusions. I'll have only 3 if I get my thoracic curve fused. My surgeon said that I will have the minimum number of unfused vertebrae allowed between fusions. He said that more than likely I would eventually have to thave those 3 fused also. I guess that the very long fusion would cause all the stress to end up at S1. I'm going to talk about it more with him when I see him in February. I had been thinking that by the time those discs wear out they could be replaced with artificial discs. Now I'm not so sure about it. I guess it's naive to put my hopes in something that is so new. I'm glad to hear that you are getting fitted with the collar before surgery. The physical therapists kept putting the wrong size collar (initially after the surgery, I had sandbags on the sides of my neck ) First they put a adult medium, then an adult small on me. Every time the surgeon came to visit me he told them that the collar was the wrong size. I ended up with a child's collar because of my skinny neck. No, it's not as bad as the A/P surgery, the recovery is quicker.
I had a cervical fusion on c56 and c67 in 2003. I was just told I have a Moderate protusion indenting my spinal cord at level c45 and c34 is protruding also but without spinal cord depression. I am seeing a surgeon on wednesday and i would like to know if anyone knows any alternatives to this problem. Does an injection help with spinal cord depression?
Hello. I had anterior neck surgery on April 26, consisting of donor bone and fusion of C4 & C5. I was told by others that I would be hoarse for quite a while after the surgery. The doctor made the incision up and down instead of across. My voice was only a little raspy for a day or two. The following morning I had and egg mcmuffin and hash browns for breakfast. The collar gets so uncomfortable! I had my Mom sew me some cushions to put by my neck for comfort and to absorb sweat. The helped so much! The neck pads are 9"X7", for the back of the neck and 6"X5" for the chin. My Dr. told me that we won't know the final results of the surgery for two months because it takes that long for the nerve endings to heal. I have already noticed that my headaches have calmed down immensely. I used to feel like I had an axe in the back of my head and had a lot of pressure in my temples. I am glad that I had it done weather it relieves the trap cramping and upper arm pain or not, but hopefully all will subside with time. Good luck everyone
Last edited by Katt; 05-19-2006 at 10:40 AM.
Well I had my neck fusion C5/C6/C7, in January. I'm very happy to report that it went very, very well. My doc did an anterior approach. The incision line was put in a natural occuring line in my neck and now 4 months later it has nearly disappered.
I was a little horse for a couple of days after. I also had some slight diffuculty with swallowing for about 1 week, but nothing that was a problem.
The pain in my neck ( no pun intended LOL) and my right arm are totally gone. The strength in my right hand is also back.
happy to hear you are doing well
I was wondering how you were doing. Do you have any trouble turning your head when you are driving? My surgeon told me that I will probably need some unfused vertebrae fused at some point, because of the wear and tear on them. I can feel my unfused vertebrae bouncing up and down when I walk if I put my hand back there. I am fused from sacrum to T8 and C7 to C3.
I'm fused from T4-S1, just a bit more than you. At first I was having a moderate problem turning my head, but the PT helped. The only time I really notice my ablity(or not) to turn my head is when I have to back out of a parking space. I do so very carefully and slowly. Since my torso is also fused it makes it harder to turn around enough to see behind me when backing up. Otherwise I really no longer notice the turning of my head.
On 3/6/08, I had anterior cervical fusion of C3-4, C4-5. The neurosurgeon obtained bone from my right pelvis, extracted the bad discs, put the pelvic bone into the disc areas, and finished by putting a plate on with 4 screws. I am almost 60, and have had right neck pain with some numbness into my right arm/hand for 10-12 years. The past year the numbness had worsened to where it is tough buttoning shirt buttons, writing, etc. All I ever used was Advil for pain, and surgical neck injections had not helped.
To date, I am wearing the cervical support collar 24/7, and hopefully i'll return to work (I am a Physician Assistant) next week. I can not drive for another 4 weeks - ugh.
The right arm numbness is no different, but I'm hoping this will improve with time. The post-op pain is handled easily with Tylenol, although they gave me gobs of Oxycontin , Flexeril, and Lortab. Hopefully time will tell.