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Old 03-24-2004, 03:04 PM   #1
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bpbullets HB User
Multiple Cervical Fusions Quality of Life

I am facing having 7 thru 3 vertibrae fuzed. Can anyone tell me about my quality of life expectation after this procedure?

thanks,

 
Old 03-24-2004, 10:47 PM   #2
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Wink Re: Multiple Cervical Fusions Quality of Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpbullets
I am facing having 7 thru 3 vertibrae fuzed. Can anyone tell me about my quality of life expectation after this procedure?

thanks,
Hi bpbullets,

I had anterior and posterior diskectomy fusion of the T4-T12 on January 13 of this year to correct excess kyphosis caused by scheuermann's disease. I am extremely surprised at how fast I am healing. I am a little more than 10 weeks post-op and I feel great. My pain level is already much lower than before the surgery. My surgeon says i'm ready to walk a mile day for exercise! I am already performing every day tasks like cooking, bathing (with a shower chair of course), and other things that don't involve excessive lifting, bending, or twisting. Moderation is key! In short, from what I have seen so far post-op I am very confident I will lead a health, productive, normal life when I am done healing.

Before I go I would like to give you some extra advise. Unless it is absolutely necessary I would recommend not getting the fusion. They are very long complex surgeries with many risks involved. The time period for healing is also quite long, complete fusion usually takes 9-12 months.

If you do have the surgery and you are sick for a considerable time after the surgery, try swithing your narcotics (pain medicine). I was hosipitalized a second time after surgery because of this. I literally did not eat for 3 weeks and lost almost 20 pounds. The doctors figured out that it was my pain medicine, oxycontin and oxycodone that was making me sick. They switched my pain medicine to Tramadol and Vicodin for beak through pain. After switching I stopped getting sick and was able to eat again. Try to keep this in the back of your mind, it could really help you out.

Best of Luck,

Mark

 
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Old 03-25-2004, 05:22 AM   #3
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Re: Multiple Cervical Fusions Quality of Life

I had a C5 & C6 corpectomy April 2003 for stenosis, now fused C4 - C7. I next had a C3/C4/C5 laminaplasty November 2003, again for stenosis. Although the laminaplasty is not a fusion, my range of motion is not the same as before the surgery. So I'm "almost" fused C3 - C7. My quality of life is different than before the surgeries, but not significantly. I can't look up very well, and turning side-to-side is limited. There's still pain on a daily basis, but it's manageable with aspirin and vicodin when necessary. I'm in the middle of reconstructing our bathroom at home. Last week I tore out the ceramic tile walls and floor and re-ran all the plumbing for the shower. This week I have to tear out the wallboard in the rest of the bathroom.

I'm not saying this to impress anybody. My point is - your life after surgery will be what you make it, living within any physical limitations you may end up with. I have some excuses I could use to not do anything anymore, but I choose to ignore them as much as I can. I can't do as much as I could before, but that's life. I hurt more now whenever I do these things, but I choose to not let that stop me. My surgeons tell me that I'm not going to harm myself by doing these things, so I continue to do whatever I can. Having a cervical fusion is not going to change your life dramatically, assuming the surgery and recovery go well and nothing else gets damaged while they're rooting around in your neck and spine. There are a lot of successful cervical fusions - just assume you're going to be another! Good luck.

 
Old 03-25-2004, 05:45 AM   #4
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Re: Multiple Cervical Fusions Quality of Life

I have 3 through 7 fused also. (3 different surgeries) My quality of life has changed as far as physical activity involving sports such as softball and football. I switched to golf and fishing. (I am als 47 which affects it also) Other than that I learned that if I paced myself and limit lifting heavy objects I can do just about anything else. My range of movement in my neck has changed somewhat but nothing I can't live with. Compared to the discomfort I had prior to surgery I would do it again if I had to.
Frank

 
Old 03-26-2004, 10:19 AM   #5
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Re: Multiple Cervical Fusions Quality of Life

I'm fused C-4 to C-7. It does stiffen your neck up a bit, but I was surprised how functional I am. I can drive and do most ordinary activities. I don't do alot of sports, but walk and hike. I can do the crawl stroke swimming, but if I do anything that involves a lot of head turning, or hold my head to one side for a long time, the muscles get sore. In my case, the spinal cord was actually "kinked" from a displaced C-6 that had begun to fuse to C-7 out of place, so surgery was very necessary as a fall could have paralyzed me. I'm glad to have it all out of the way as at this point I don't need to see the surgeon anymore for follow up visits!

 
Old 03-27-2004, 04:36 AM   #6
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bpbullets HB User
Re: Multiple Cervical Fusions Quality of Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramsfan
I have 3 through 7 fused also. (3 different surgeries) My quality of life has changed as far as physical activity involving sports such as softball and football. I switched to golf and fishing. (I am als 47 which affects it also) Other than that I learned that if I paced myself and limit lifting heavy objects I can do just about anything else. My range of movement in my neck has changed somewhat but nothing I can't live with. Compared to the discomfort I had prior to surgery I would do it again if I had to.
Frank
How about being able to drive a car? Can you still do this safely?
Also, I like golf and fishing. Swinging a golf club doesn't hurt?

thanks,
ray

 
Old 03-27-2004, 04:40 AM   #7
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Re: Multiple Cervical Fusions Quality of Life

Hzz

Did you have them all done at one time? How long was the recovery period? Did they use metal plates to stabalize your vertibrae?

thanks,
ray

 
Old 03-27-2004, 04:49 AM   #8
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Ramsfan HB User
Re: Multiple Cervical Fusions Quality of Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpbullets
How about being able to drive a car? Can you still do this safely?
Also, I like golf and fishing. Swinging a golf club doesn't hurt?

thanks,
ray
I can still drive safely. I have to turn my body a little bit to look behind me but it doesn't affect my driving. When I parallel park or back into my garage I usually undo my seatbelt so I can turn back to look but I can park with no problem.

It doesn't hurt to swing a club. My golf game stinks, but then again it stunk before I had surgery. I had 3 different surgeries over a 9 year period. The last surgery I had a plate put in. My recovery period was 2 months this last time but I felt good after 3 weeks. Doctor just wanted to make sure fusions were solid.

Frank

 
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