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Old 04-02-2010, 09:17 PM   #1
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Question C5 C6 fusion failure

I am a 37 year old female and In feb 2009 I had a C5 C6 fusion with a bone taken out of my hip. I was told in July 2010 that the fusion had failed and I had also gone back to work and stressed my neck. I have recently gone to the surgeon and he talked to me about putting plates in. I understand that having a second surgery is more difficult and my chances of complications are higher. I didn't hesitate to have the first surgery but am nervouse about doing it again. I have been unable to work or do many daily activities due to pain in my neck, muscle spasms and pain and numbness in my right arm. I am on alot of pain meds for my neck and also meds for fibro. I have come to the conclusion that I need to have this surgery to have a productive life. Has anyone had a failed surgery or had a second surgery? I would appreciate any advice or info anyone has.

 
Old 04-06-2010, 11:56 PM   #2
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Re: C5 C6 fusion failure

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Originally Posted by hadamsper View Post
I have recently gone to the surgeon and he talked to me about putting plates in. I understand that having a second surgery is more difficult and my chances of complications are higher. I didn't hesitate to have the first surgery but am nervouse about doing it again. I have been unable to work or do many daily activities due to pain in my neck, muscle spasms and pain and numbness in my right arm. I am on alot of pain meds for my neck and also meds for fibro. I have come to the conclusion that I need to have this surgery to have a productive life. Has anyone had a failed surgery or had a second surgery? I would appreciate any advice or info anyone has.
Hello hadamsper. I'm really sory to read you're having a severe neck pain. I can sympathize with you cause I suffer from chronic neck pain(severe)day in day out. It's horrible.

I've never done any neck surgery cause I have 2 bulging disks and doctors don't do any surgery on bulging disks. So I really can't tell you anything about having a second surgery. But I do know neck surgery is really risky. Noone can promise you anything, chances are you get worst when you do a second surgery things can fall apart, it's like a domino effects, so I've heard.

How were you injured? were you in a car accident?. and if you don't mind me asking what meds are you on?. Perhaps your doctor can increase the dose?.

Just to let you know, I also can't FUNCTION if I won't take narcotic pain meds and my memory won't work.

Those are the meds I'm taking right now(I stop whenever I don't have money): Oxycontin 40mg(that's the only mg that works for me), Percocet 10/325mg, Neurontin, and sleeping pills. All caused by one car accident.

I hope to hear from you and I hope somebody here who had gone through 2 neck operations can answer your question.

I just wanted to write you back cause I feel your pain and am really sory.

Last edited by nochange; 04-06-2010 at 11:58 PM.

 
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:11 AM   #3
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Re: C5 C6 fusion failure

hi hadamsper,
I am a 38yr old female and in January of 2009 I had a c5 c6 fusion with a titanium plate and four screws put in. My own bone was supposed to grow and fuse within a year and unfortunately that did not happen. Today I saw my dr for my ct and mri results. My pain has returned in my neck and all the way down my left arm and the burning. She asked if I smoked because that is the number one cause of non fusions and I told her I quit four years ago so that would not be the cause. She explained that its rare to not fuse in a one level acdf but for some reason I always get the rare things happen to me. Anyway I will be getting a 2nd surgery because for me I do not wish to live with this pain. For my 2nd surgery they will go in through the front again through the same exact scar and remove the old hardware and screws and replace them with new ones and I am not sure if they are going to do something different this time in regards to using a donor bone or what till I meet with the ortho surgeon. I am scared yes about having a second surgery however I am also scared to do nothing about it and not have surgery. I was almost paralyzed before my first surgery from the disc that had herniated because it had compressed my spine so much and I don't wish for anything like that to happen again so if I can do something to fix it now before anything gets worse that is what I would rather do. There are always pro's and cons to any situation and I just think in this case the pro's outweigh the cons. I am glad to have found this forum, there is alot of useful information. I hope you are able to come to a conclusion you are comfortable with that will work for you and will in the end be able to alleviate your pain.

 
Old 04-09-2010, 06:56 AM   #4
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Re: C5 C6 fusion failure

Thank you for your replys, sometimes I feel alone. I stressed my neck at work and what really got it was a whiplash motion. I work like a man and throw around 50lbs bags push heavy cars etc... I felt pretty good after my first surgery, not 100% but better. I did still have some tingling in my right arm and it did still fall asleep occasionally. I went back to work on light duty and was given a not so light duty job. I did the work because I felt I had to do it. I stressed my neck and was right back to the beginning. I am in so much pain I can't work, I was terminated because I can't do my job. I have a hard time with daily activities because of the pain and I get really confused because of the medications. Im currently taking Percocet, Naubumetone, and Neurontin (sp?). I do have fibromyalsia which doesn't help the pain from my neck at all. I don't want to live like this any longer so after much discussion with my family I decided to take the chance and have the surgery. I am very comfortable with my doctor, I just have to wait for my work comp hearing so that the surgery will be paid for. I hope that you both find some relief soon. I hate to see anyone suffer like this.

 
Old 04-10-2010, 08:14 AM   #5
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Re: C5 C6 fusion failure

Sorry you are having issues with your neck. I have had 3 surgeries on my neck. All three from the front going in from different areas. (Looks like I was in a good knife fight) lol. So as far as multiple surgeries go, I can tell you mine did go well. My first two fused solid ( BTW, I was smoking almost 2 packs a day when I had my first two surgeries and fused with no problem. I know I am probably the exception). I had my last surgery for the two levels inbetween about 3 weeks ago. Everything is going fine again. So there is hope for you. I would caution you about going back into work where heavy lifting is involved. I know that is easier said than done. I had to quit a real good paying job of 13 yrs after my second surgery and get a desk job. Mine was not workers comp. So I dont know how that will work for you. But if you go back to heavy lifting, it will cause stress on the levels above and below the surgery level. This is called the Domino Effect. If you look at my signature, I am a walking example of this. I have just about my whole neck fused now. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I will be happy to share anyway I can. *note* let's please not start a conversation on this tread about smoking and ACDF surgery. We all know you should not do it. Thx. Take care,

Tim
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:24 PM   #6
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Re: C5 C6 fusion failure

Hi there. I had C5-6 ACDF and failed. I had a second posterior fusion at C5-6 with wiring. Something was really wrong with my first surgery, so my second surgery, although more invasive, seemed like a dream. I was off work for 7 weeks after my second surgery. Unfortunately, I think this one has failed, too, which I'll do a different post on. I really didn't have any complications after my second surgery. I did have to rest quite a bit for at least a month, lying down about once every 30 minutes. My neck muscles in the back were just very tired and sore. Ultimately, after the initial surgery pain, my pain wasn't that bad during recovery. I was in the hospital for one day. After the first night, the surgeon sent me home because I was doing so well. If I had to do it again, I probably would have spent an additional night in the hospital because it was pretty hard to get in and out of bed at home. The hospital bed would have helped me get up.

Because I was in so much pain, I actually welcomed the second surgery because it had hopes of lessening my pain. Make sure you find a very good surgeon that you are completely comfortable with.

I echo the others that you should really be careful with lifting such heavy things at work. If you get another surgery you could do damage again if you go right back to that. Please be careful.

 
Old 04-11-2010, 01:39 AM   #7
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Re: C5 C6 fusion failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by hadamsper View Post
Thank you for your replys, sometimes I feel alone. I stressed my neck at work and what really got it was a whiplash motion. I work like a man and throw around 50lbs bags push heavy cars etc... I felt pretty good after my first surgery, not 100% but better. I did still have some tingling in my right arm and it did still fall asleep occasionally. I went back to work on light duty and was given a not so light duty job. I did the work because I felt I had to do it. I stressed my neck and was right back to the beginning. I am in so much pain I can't work, I was terminated because I can't do my job. I have a hard time with daily activities because of the pain and I get really confused because of the medications. Im currently taking Percocet, Naubumetone, and Neurontin (sp?). I do have fibromyalsia which doesn't help the pain from my neck at all. I don't want to live like this any longer so after much discussion with my family I decided to take the chance and have the surgery. I am very comfortable with my doctor, I just have to wait for my work comp hearing so that the surgery will be paid for. I hope that you both find some relief soon. I hate to see anyone suffer like this.

 
Old 04-11-2010, 01:48 AM   #8
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Re: C5 C6 fusion failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by hadamsper View Post
I work like a man and throw around 50lbs bags push heavy cars etc... Im currently taking Percocet, Naubumetone, and Neurontin (sp?). I do have fibromyalsia which doesn't help the pain from my neck at all. I don't want to live like this any longer so after much discussion with my family I decided to take the chance and have the surgery. I am very comfortable with my doctor, I just have to wait for my work comp hearing so that the surgery will be paid for. I hope that you both find some relief soon. I hate to see anyone suffer like this.
You should never lift heavy bags. For neck pain patients it's better to do light jobs like desk jobs etc tha't what my doctor told me anyway. Percocet is a good medication, I'm really happy with it. Not sure what I would do without percocet to tell you the truth. There is a also oxycontin but I believe doctors feel more cofortable with percocet than with oxycontin. Oxycontin is long acting med.

Please keep in mind there is no guarantee a surgery will take the pain away, especially when it comes to neck pain unfortunatelly.

I still don't understand how were you injured if you can tell me, at least it will comfort me?. Mine was caused by a whiplash/car accident.

I wish you all the best with your decision and to tell you I feel for you.

 
Old 04-11-2010, 05:04 AM   #9
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Re: C5 C6 fusion failure

Hadamsper wrote that she was injured at work "I stressed my neck at work and what really got it was a whiplash motion. I work like a man and throw around 50lbs bags push heavy cars etc."

Just thought Id throw that out there. She did answer the question.

Hadamsper, Im sorry you are going thru all this. You also mentioned waiting for a WC hearing. Hows that going? I hope you get whatever help you need and they do not give you any problems. Im also going thru a WC case right now and Im hitting the wall everywhere I turn. Because I have Multiple Sclerosis, the Orthopedic Surgeon and my Neurologist are on differnt pages as to how to treat my injuries (which are C3-C5 herniated discs).
keep us posted and good luck to you!
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Last edited by MSNik; 04-11-2010 at 05:04 AM.

 
Old 04-14-2010, 07:51 AM   #10
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Re: C5 C6 fusion failure

Tim thanks for your reply. I read my last MRI and it does show that I have other problems but they are not to the point of doing surgery yet. Are you able to do any type of activities? Like working in the yard, mild sports, ride a bike, etc..? I was very active and can't do much now. Is it painful for you to work at a desk. Sitting for a ling period hurts. I am up an down all the time. There is no way I could work right now with the pain meds im so confused. Are you still on pain meds? I would love to no have to take them anymore. Sorry so many questions but I don't have any idea what the future holds yet.

 
Old 04-14-2010, 08:09 PM   #11
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Re: C5 C6 fusion failure

hadampser:

Just a suggestion, evaluate with your surgeon any other areas that may have problems. I had an ACDF C5-C7 in 2006. At the time C4 was showing some signs of eventually being compromised but the doctor decided not to include that level in the fusion. Given my history of stuff not holding out too well I should have pushed for C4 to be included (there's a possibility I'll have that done this year). So, if they are going in again be sure to see if adjacent levels can be added if needed. Especially if he's going in from the front (which is preferred as via the back of the neck is a bit more painful). If I could go back in time I'd have insisted on adding C4.

Also, ask your surgoen if he will prescribe a bone growth stimulator. I was prescribed one, insurance paid for it, and I wore it 4 hr a day for 6 months. It helps the bone grow to enhance and accelerate the fusion.
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:31 AM   #12
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Re: C5 C6 fusion failure

I appreciate all your posts everyone of them has helped me in some way. I have recieved news today. My surgeon called and he suggested that my fusion be redone. I am very comfortable with him and am going in to talk to him about what he is planning to do. I am thankful that the chance of being out of pain or most pain is coming.

 
Old 04-22-2010, 05:17 PM   #13
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Re: C5 C6 fusion failure

I hope everything works out well for you hadamsper.

I finally met with my surgeon today. Since I did not fuse from my acdf done January of 2009 he will be doing a corpectomy. Is anyone familiar with this?
I just want to be out of pain.

 
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