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Old 04-17-2008, 08:26 AM   #1
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fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

New one here,
Scheduled for fusion 5/9. Have DDD, have had for 15+ yrs.
(age 48 male) had my umpteenth epidural on the tues. , no help on this one. Left arm pain, neck , headaches, numb fingers. same old story. Tired of the pain.
Seeing a nuerosurgeon , said he's going in thru the front.
Bone from the hip..6 screws. just looking for any input , what to expect. told me would be about 2 mnths. recovery..brace etc. Luckily I have short term dis, thru work. (6 mnths).
Comments on how to prepare, what to expect?
Thanks

 
Old 04-17-2008, 04:01 PM   #2
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Re: fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

Sorry to hear about the surgery. A few weeks ago, there was a thread posted on this board that listed things you should be prepared for before ACDF. I thought the list was right on. Do a search to see if you can find the original post. It was very helpful information. While I got donor bone, I have heard that most people report the bone graft site in your hip actually hurts more that the neck. As for the collar, doctors vary widely, but I wore mine for 2 weeks full-time and the third week about 50% of the time. I was off work for 9 weeks, but I think that is on the long end of the spectrum. It kind of depends on what type of work you do.

Update: the thread is called: Some Suggestions prior to ACDF

Last edited by Toonces1; 04-17-2008 at 04:04 PM. Reason: add information

 
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:43 AM   #3
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Re: fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

found it. Thanks!

 
Old 04-19-2008, 07:26 PM   #4
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Re: fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

Hi PhilPhan, I'm the one that posted the surgery suggestions. I am now 10 weeks out from surgery and am doing great! I hope you have as much success as I have. I had a 2-level fusion 5/6 and 6/7, with donor bone and a 6-screw plate. My doctor is conservative with activity, etc., so I'm still not back to 'normal' yet. He's really good and comes highly recommended, so I'm listening to him! I'm now using a bone growth stimulator to help with the fusion. I wear it for 4 hours a day. The last visit's x-rays showed that the fusion is going well. They were very pleased.

Good luck with your surgery! I, too, had suffered for years....it's well worth it to have the surgery done! Don't be alarmed to have some similar pain a couple of weeks after surgery, especially if you've had pain for a long time. It's part of the healing process and gets better with time. I still have some residual pain from time to time, but am doing great! Good luck!

Debbie

 
Old 04-22-2008, 02:10 PM   #5
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Re: fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

PhilPhan:
I had a fusion at C5-C7 without using my hipbone...but donor bone. The surgery helped me a lot. I had it in Jan. 2007. It took awhile, (months), but it ultimately made my like MANY MANY times better. I am 52, by the way. I have also heard the hip part hurts more than the neck part.

 
Old 04-22-2008, 09:43 PM   #6
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Re: fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

I was on Short Term Disability for 6 weeks following my C5-C7 ACDF - I had a "desk job" and was deemed able to return to work at 6 weeks. I wore an Aspen collar and was glad I had one (though I thought I would hate it). When they go through the front of the neck it's ACDF (Anterior Discectomy and Fusion)
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Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 04-24-2008, 02:26 AM   #7
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Re: fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

It's 5 am. Another glorious day! Only been up since 3.
How do you explain this to someone?
Thanks Deb for input, Great list been shopping already. and Sks .. have sisters in Co. Loveland and Arvada.
If all goes well..I'll be fishing(sleeping) in the Rockies by???
July!
Thanks All!

Time to wake up the Mrs. and the Kids.
Get them on the road , so i can deal w/ the Ins. Co.
What fun!

 
Old 04-24-2008, 07:25 AM   #8
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Re: fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

Hey PhilPhan:
I live in Arvada!

 
Old 04-24-2008, 10:12 AM   #9
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Re: fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

Spooky isn't it? Actually I think it's Wheatridge. Nice place.
anything to distract you from the pain.
Spoke to them on tues. pm. during the phils/rockies game.
Been a bad week. Been trying all the topical stuff. biofreeze..cold ice. Ice..
Hate taking meds. It's spring and I want to get out in the garden... I Digress. Going to see my primary tomorrow(waste of time and money) Just need them to sign off on the Short term.
but..can't get my HR to call me back.
Just want to get it done. If the pain isn't bad enough!
Thanks All for your input. Hope you are all well..or at least on your way.

 
Old 04-25-2008, 06:20 AM   #10
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Re: fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

Glad to hear that things are moving along for your surgery, even if it seems like it's taking forever, PhilPhan! Hang in there!

Another thing that I found out after surgery: Have something to occupy your time while you're just sitting around. I thought I was going to read a lot.....nope! Can't hold the books/magazines up in order to see them because you can't bend your head and holding them up in that position is not easy and it hurts! I also had plans to organize my photo collection and do some jigsaw puzzles, other things that also require bending and looking down. The boxes of pics that I'd dragged out to work on are still sitting here because I still can't lift that much weight yet in order to move them. Still at a 10 lb limit. I suggest Netflix or something similar You'll be doing a lot of tv watching. I'd have loved to be outside, but in the south, the mosquitoes are already in full force and it was awful to hear them buzzing in my ear and I couldn't swat at them!

Good luck and keep us informed!
Deb

 
Old 04-25-2008, 09:24 AM   #11
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Re: fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

Great news!
Just got back from my primary..BP is thru the roof.(can't imagine why. can't sleep, ins. co. , forms , faxes...did I mention anything about pain?) putting me on meds . for that now. If "we" can't get it under control...put off surgery. so close , yet so far.
Think Positive..It will all be over soon?

 
Old 04-25-2008, 12:00 PM   #12
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Re: fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

PhilPhan:
For 5 years my blood pressure was high due to the pain. When I had my C5-C7 fusion and was in much less pain...it went back to normal ever since!! Maybe yours will too!

 
Old 05-04-2008, 02:38 AM   #13
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Re: fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

Hi ,
Went for pre-admit. yesterday. BP is down. Good news.
Got my collar..Aspen. Quite stylish!. Really annoying as I have a short beard. Wondering what is worse? Shaving or itching? They only gave me one set of replacement pads.
Told me to shower with it on, let the water run thru it.

Excuse me? foam pad, wet, for how many weeks?
I think not.

Did go to a med. supply store to see if they had pads.
" No , you should contact your Orthodist".
Which I had just left . (no more pads)

Is it me?

so now I wait..S-5 days and counting.

I'm sure the wife and kids will be much happier. I'm a cranky S.O.B.

Thanks Again!
Let you you know how I feel next week! well.. maybe the week after!
Mike

 
Old 05-04-2008, 10:45 AM   #14
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Re: fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

Mike:

Call a couple of orthotic places - anyone that "services" and carries the Aspen. I was able to buy an extra set of pads at the place that gave me the brace. I want to say the extra pads were $15-20 for the set but well worth it.
__________________
Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 05-04-2008, 03:43 PM   #15
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Re: fusion C-5, C-6, C-7

Oh my gosh, I can't believe they told you to shower with it on. That is ridiculous. I would think it would get even more disgusting with you wearing it with no air circulation after it was wet. Maybe when you are at the hospital you can ask one of the nurses if they can get you some more. You should not have to wear wet foam. Sounds like a cop out to me, and they were either being cheap, or just didn't have any more and didn't want to order them. I would definitely seek out at least one more set of pads.

 
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