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Old 11-18-2007, 08:07 PM   #1
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how long does the first cervical fusion last before another disc herniates

how long does the first cervical fusion last before another disc herniates? I am having same symptoms and problems with a few new

 
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:31 AM   #2
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Re: how long does the first cervical fusion last before another disc herniates

Hi, a fusion doesn't cause another disc to herniate. It is possible you have another bulge or herniation somewhere else from an injury, moving wrong, lifting, etc. or it could be something completely different causing your problems.

If you have new symptoms see your primary care to help determine what you need.

 
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:38 PM   #3
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Re: how long does the first cervical fusion last before another disc herniates

fusion may or may not add additional stress to the adjacent levels next to the fusion site......depends on what doctors you believe....some go with the domino effect some don't......i too worried about this for quite some time and still do to an extent...i had 5-6 and 6-7 done in june of 04......i continue to lift weights but i try and be careful although i'm not always....but what are ya gonna do? i can't sit around a worry about what may or may not happen...that will drive you bonkers....if it's gonna be it will be and hopefully by then they have some new or improved treatments.....and just cause another disc herniates doesn't mean you will feel pain or that it will require surgery....hope this makes you feel a little more at ease

 
Old 11-21-2007, 06:11 AM   #4
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Re: how long does the first cervical fusion last before another disc herniates

I was told when I had my first surgery in 2003 that the disks below and above would become weaker, and they did. It didn't take much to cause a major issue post a minor accident and I had a acdf for disks above and the decompression collapsed too. So what was that One year 4 months post surgery before I needed a second one.

 
Old 11-21-2007, 07:39 PM   #5
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Re: how long does the first cervical fusion last before another disc herniates

I've read a number of articles about the so-called 'domino effect', where the discs adjacent to the fused ones are more prone to having problems. Doesn't mean it happens to everyone. My surgeon said he sees about 10% 'repeat customers' for patients who have had more than a single level fused, within a 10 year timeline. Patients with only a single level fused didn't seem to have repeat problems so much. (Based on this Drs experience).

I had C5/6/7 fused, and a year later was back for C4/5 - Dr said I was the only one in his experience that had problems that close together.

Another thing - it would depend on how good of condition the adjacent discs were to begin with - my C4/5 didn't look really good when the C5/6/7 was done, but it wasn't causing problems at that point in time.

 
Old 11-22-2007, 11:41 AM   #6
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Re: how long does the first cervical fusion last before another disc herniates

The short answer is.....it varies.

I had a lumbar fusion (L5-S1) in 1993 and recently had some back pain. Surprisingly all the test results show excellent disc space and positioning at L4. So the theory is it's either hardware pain or just typical "getting older backache". Some PT really helped and I feel much better.

My cervical fusion was in 2006 and my orthopedic spine surgeon says that he can never predict if/when the next level will be compromised. He said sometimes he's seen people who have discs that look like they are "ready to blow" and that person never has further problems or symptoms of the next level.
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Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 11-22-2007, 01:03 PM   #7
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Re: how long does the first cervical fusion last before another disc herniates

My husband's lasted two years, with light duty at work. The levels above and below herinated. We look at the bright side, two good years.

 
Old 11-24-2007, 05:03 PM   #8
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Re: how long does the first cervical fusion last before another disc herniates

I had fusion in 1994 for C3-C4. 6 months later I had a second fusion for C4-C5 but I already new that was a possibility because of it was bulging also. I didn't expect to have my 3rd surgery 9 years later for C5,C6 and C7. My lifestyle was a bit more active than it should have been. My surgeon said it is highly unlikely for there to be a problem when going from one group to another. (C7 to T1)

Last edited by Ramsfan; 11-24-2007 at 05:05 PM.

 
Old 11-24-2007, 06:15 PM   #9
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Re: how long does the first cervical fusion last before another disc herniates

I would think if it automatically meant another disc would be at risk than there wouldn't be too many fusions being performed. While my Doctor did bring it up, he seemed to think the risk was low (I'm guessing unless there was another injury or something).

~ Fiona
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Last edited by Fiona_Jo; 11-24-2007 at 06:16 PM.

 
Old 11-25-2007, 05:24 PM   #10
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Re: how long does the first cervical fusion last before another disc herniates

It didn't take an injury or heavy activity for my husband's to herniate after the fusion. They told him when he had it done, it is part of what happens. I think that more doctors should be honest going in.

 
Old 11-26-2007, 10:16 AM   #11
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Re: how long does the first cervical fusion last before another disc herniates

^

See that really scares me. Since I'm really still in some pain since my fusion in July and NOT fusing like I should and am not even stable yet. I know to a certain extent ANYTHING can be a reality. But, I was really expecting my cervical fusion to be like my lumbar fusion and I expected to fuse quickly.

I would hate to think there's additional risk, I guess I was being unrealistic and didn't really think of that.

~ Fiona
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080807-Cervical-Stim~071707-ACDF-C5-C7 w/instrumentation/bone graft~'07/06 Lumber instrum. removed 05/04-Fusion(DDD/Collapsed Disc L5-S1)08/99-Microdisectomy(Herniated Disc) ~Lupus/EDS,Migraine

 
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