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Thread: Spinal fusion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2

    Spinal fusion

    Hi,

    I'm new to this site. My 14 year old son will soon be having a spinal fusion on C4-6. He doesn't have a curviture, but does have neurofibromatosis which has caused instability.

    I know they will be shaving bone from his hip, and he will have to wear a halo. I just want to know if anyone's child has gone through anything like this, and what to expect. I went through a similar surgery 35 years ago, and hope things have improved.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    146
    Hi Dad - I saw that no one had chimed in yet, but wanted to welcome you to this site. There is a wealth of knowledge here. I don't see much on cervical fusions, but I'm sure someone will have your answer.

    My DD is in for surgery 2/9 - it's T-11 -> L-3. From the threads I've read fusions have come a long way in just the past 10 years. The techniques are getting better and better and the recoveries faster and faster.

    Wishing the best for a smooth surgery and fast recovery for your son.

    Dee

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    254
    Hi Casey's Dad

    I had C4 to C6 fusion in April 2006. I spent one night in the hospital and was released the next day. I was not put in a halo and they did not use bone from my hip. I wore a large hard plastic brace for 6 weeks and and they used cadaver bone for the fusion. Post surgery the meds took care of the pain and it was not bad. Pre surgey the pain was horrible and nothing seemed to work. Best of luck to your son.
    Patty 51 years old
    Surgery May 23, 2007(43 Birthday)
    Posterior T3- L4
    Pre surgery curves
    T-53degrees
    L-38degrees
    and a severe side shift to the right.
    Post surgery curves
    Less than 10 degrees
    Surgery April, 2006
    C4 - C6

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Euharlee, Georgia
    Posts
    449
    I had my hip bone shaved for the fusion and have had a lot of pain in the area over the years. When my daughter had her fusion, they used donor bone (cadaver bone) and she does not have the pain. Her doctor said that they have found using donor bone causes less pain in the future. My daughter named her bone Sir Francis and when she did something wrong at school, she would tell her teachers that Sir Francis did it.
    T12- L5 fusion 1975 - Rochester, NY
    2002 removal of bottom of rod and extra fusion
    3/1/11 C5-C6 disc replacement
    Daughter - T7 - L3 fusion 2004

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    385
    My son had a thoracic and lumbar spinal fusion 2.5 years ago and they also used cadaver bone. I haven't read of anyone using hip bone in a long time - maybe it's being used on your son because of his neurofibromatosis?

    I hope the surgery goes really well and your son recovers quickly!
    Laurie

    Mother of Alexander & Zachary:
    Alex is 16 years old and in the 11th grade. He has congenital scoliosis due to a hemivertebrae at T10. Wore a TLSO brace for 3 1/2 years. Pre-op curves were T45 & L65; curves post-op are approx. T31 & L34. Had a posterior spinal fusion from T8 to L3 on 7/12/07 at age 12. Doing great now in so many ways, but still working on improving posture.
    Zach is 13 years old and very energetic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Hip bone was never used. It is iliac crest (pelvis) bone that was, and still is, used.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2
    Hi,

    Thanks for your responses. Casey saw the Neurosurgeon and he said they will probably use cadavier bone since a big piece of bone will be needed. He also may not need the halo as they will be going through the front and back of the neck and the surgeon says it will be "rock solid". We see the Orthopedic surgeon this Thursday and he will make the final decisions. Surgery will be about 4 weeks out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,258
    Casey's Dad -

    Wishing you and Casey all the very best. I had a cervical fusion myself over 40 years ago. Prior to surgery I was placed in traction (holes drilled into my skull for this lovely procedure). Bone was used from my hip. I had an amazing neurosurgeon. I remember him telling me at the time that he would know, on the table, immediately how well the procedure would work. He was at my bedside in recovery himself (holding my hand) to tell me that everything went perfectly well. The worst part of my recovery was hip pain - and I've (knock on wood) never had a problem with my neck ever since. If things could go so well that long ago - I'm sure they can go that well now. Hope you will keep us posted.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Topeka, KS
    Posts
    397
    Hello Caseys dad, yes I can mirror that. 3 years ago I had a slipped disc and got 7 screws in my low back. They used cadaver bone from my hip to fuse it together and my hip hurt the most in recovery and I had to ask why it hurt so bad. Not that I would ever remember at that point.

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