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Old 03-19-2010, 11:46 AM   #1
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Unhappy post-op cervical fusion images, confused!

I just looked at my post op images and I can see where the fusion of my
C5-C6 is and then about an inch below it and in front closer to my throat I see what appears to be a BOLT! It looks like it is just sitting there, not connecting anything from what i can see. Anyone else have an image like this? The MRI post op report reads that: Postoperative findings without any specific complications identifiable. I dont see my neurosergeon for another month, and my family doctor wont look at the images cause he says that is for the neurosergeon to discuss with me.. Im scared that bolt there does not look right. Estella

Also 5 weeks post op and still having more pain now than before the surgery. My neurosergeon assures me it will go away with time, that it is nerve inflammation and muscle spasms. Im still taking Percocet, neurotin, flexeril, and ibuprofen. I was hoping to be off the Perocet by now. My mornings are absolutely unbareble, the worst time of the day for me. The nerve pain radiating into my left arm gets so bad my fingers were trembling, the pt therapist said that is was the nerve causing the trembling. It also feels like i have tennis elbow or something, I get severe pain at my inner elbow area, the pt therapist says that it is due to the nerve coming out of my cervical area. I hope that I am not stuck like this forever. Estella

 
Old 03-19-2010, 03:52 PM   #2
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Re: post-op cervical fusion images, confused!

Estella, I know it is scary after having a fusion done. The "bolt" you are seeing is most likely a screw. If you had a bone graph put in to replace the disk, most likely they also put a plate in with screws to help keep the area stable until the fusion takes. This can look scary on a Xray or MRI. It can also take a few weeks or even months for your pain to go away. They fixed the problem that was causing your pain with the surgery, but the nerves still have to heal. That will take time. Of course, no surgery can guarantee you will be pain free, but I wish you the best with this.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:25 PM   #3
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Re: post-op cervical fusion images, confused!

The other possibility is that it's some type of spacer or implant put in the disc space. On my recent L3-S1 fusion they removed all of the disc between L3 and L4 and placed a "spacer" implant which stands alone. This is done sometimes in spinal fusions to maintain that disc space height during the fusion. My surgeon said eventually the fusion will surround the device and it will be barely visible though will always be seen from some angled, intentionally, in case anyone were to ever do tests in the future they will see it.
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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 03-20-2010, 12:22 AM   #4
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Re: post-op cervical fusion images, confused!

Estella, sorry to hear your still having problems. I had an C6/7 acdf w/ hardware on 03/04/2010. Hang in there!

Last edited by moderator2; 03-20-2010 at 06:48 PM. Reason: do not ask for people to contact you, as per the Posting Policy

 
Old 03-20-2010, 07:50 AM   #5
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Re: post-op cervical fusion images, confused!

Hey Fox, how are you saving your xray images? I got my disk and I go Tuesday for my 6 week follow up. How do you save these to yo ur computer? Estelle, I'm about a week ahead of you. Sorry to hear you are still hurting, but like you I am still having muscle spasms in my left arm. Also some pain in the neck area. I am still having the numbness in my arm too. Our pain meds are the same! Evenings are worse for me.
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Last edited by moderator2; 03-20-2010 at 06:49 PM.

 
Old 03-20-2010, 08:10 AM   #6
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Re: post-op cervical fusion images, confused!

Hi Charley,

I think you have to have that specific program in order to view the films from the disc. I had the NS staff print me pics and then I scanned them. They also offered to email me the photos as a file. So you could try either of those methods.

Last edited by moderator2; 03-20-2010 at 06:49 PM.

 
Old 03-22-2010, 12:02 PM   #7
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Re: post-op cervical fusion images, confused!

its not a screw, i saw the screws, they were in place. Maybe this is a spacer, it looks sort of like a bolt and is laying about an inch below the fusion of my c5 c6. I am hopeing that it is supposed to be there. I am scared and no one is returning my calls. estella

Last edited by estella3; 03-22-2010 at 12:03 PM.

 
Old 03-22-2010, 12:21 PM   #8
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Re: post-op cervical fusion images, confused!

hey,,,, what does a spacer look like? is it round and looks like a bolt kind of and lays slightly below the fusion? ,, what i have is standing alone and it is adding space. estella

what a nightmare, now i am wondering if my esophagus is intact, cause this is adding space, but leaning right against it.

Last edited by estella3; 03-22-2010 at 12:24 PM.

 
Old 03-22-2010, 12:33 PM   #9
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Re: post-op cervical fusion images, confused!

I just viewed an image on here of what a spacer looks like, and it looks like what i am seeing on my images, like a bolt, i did not know i had one. I will call the surgeon office and ask to make sure. I am going to have a heart attack before this is all over. estella

 
Old 03-22-2010, 12:56 PM   #10
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Re: post-op cervical fusion images, confused!

When and where were the x-rays taken?

If they were taken at a radiology facility call them and tell them you'd like to pick up the radiologist's report (narrative report where the radiologist dictates a report as to what he/she sees). If it was taken more than a week ago your doctor's office would have received and reviewed the images and report as well and would be in contact if there was anything of concern,

If taken at the doctor's office the x-ray tech would have alerted the doctor of anything that was of concern. Then the doctor would let you know.

If the thing you are seeing appears to be in between the vertebrae then it's most likely a spacer/implant that was put in to maintain the distance between vertebrae after disc removal.
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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

 
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