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Old 10-02-2003, 08:17 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: san francisco
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renee38 HB User
Red face Looking at a 3 Level Cervical Fusion - Scared

Hello everyone, I just got back from my Doctors yesterday and now I am really scared and confused about my neck situation. Here is a quick and dirty update of what I am looking at. I am a 38-year-old female that has been having trouble and pain with my neck for the past 3 years after a car accident in 2000. The MRI results showed bulging of my disks at C3 thru C6. My Doctor has scheduled me for a 3 level anterior discectomy on Oct 27th. I am scared to death of surgery (I fact this will be the first surgery I have ever had).

How long does a surgery like that take? What will I be looking at as far as pain? How long will I be in the hospital? How long is the recovery time?

He told me that post op I would be looking at 8-12 weeks in a neck brace called a SOMI? (I think that is what he called it?) Has anyone here ever heard of a SOMI type brace or collar? He really did not explain much about it other than I would need to be fitted for it prior to my surgery. It seems like a lot of people have the hardest time dealing with the collar afterwards so the whole collar brace things scares me.

Thanks for any and all input and I will keep everyone posted.

Renee

 
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Old 10-02-2003, 08:39 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 83
luvwindnhair HB User
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Hi Renee, and welcome~

I had cervical fusion 6 1/2 weeks ago. But mine was only one level. I feel great. It was a pretty easy surgery. I went in on a thur morning, and was home on friday at noon. I had minimal pain in my neck, really I had none. My pain was in my hip, where they took the bone from. That still hurts on occasion. I am sure you are worried, not ever having a surgey before. You will probably be scared the day of. The prep is confusing and intimadating. Just remember that they will take great care of you, and dont be afraid to ask millions of questions.
The brace will keep your head from moving at all. Youll need lots of pillows once you are at home. Dont forget straws! Stock your pantry with soups. You may have a sore throat for a few days. Dont forget there is light at the end of the tunnel. Whats 6-8 weeks of time when you will feel wonderful for the rest of your life?
keep us posted, ask us millions of questions!

Good luck to you, Cindy

------------------
L5/S1 herniation 7mm 01/18/00
Microdiscectomy/Laminectomy 10/12/00
Thoratic pain began Dx buldge @ T-8 08/02
Had MRI on Lumbar because pain was returning, also scaned T spine 8/02, Dx recurrent L5/S1 herniation and new herniation @ level L4/5
Cervical pain began 2/03
Had MRI~Dx herination @ level C 6/7
Had anterior decompresion with hardware and use of my own hip bone graft to C 6/7 8/14/03
Now waiting for neck to heal to get my lumbar fusion...whoo~hoo
Saving all my pennies for trip to Austrailia to get the ADR!!
__________________
L5/S1 herniation 7mm 01/18/00
Microdiscectomy/Laminectomy 10/12/00
Thoratic pain began Dx buldge @ T-8 08/02
Had MRI on Lumbar because pain was returning, also scaned T spine 8/02, Dx recurrent L5/S1 herniation and new herniation @ level L4/5
Cervical pain began 2/03
Had MRI~Dx herination @ level C 6/7
Had anterior decompresion with hardware and use of my own hip bone graft to C 6/7 8/14/03
Accepted in Clinical trials/getting my 2 level Prodisc ADR in Feb!

 
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Old 10-02-2003, 10:03 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 199
mistyone HB User
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hi the front of the neck is not bad with the pain at all. you will do fine just be glad it is not the back of the neck as that is where the pain is the worst!!!! good luck mistyone

------------------
sept 02 nasty car crash by drunk driver. got C5-6-7 HNP, T-7-8 bulge, 8-9, 10-11 HNP, L 5 L3 S1 lateral recess, ACDF with my hip on right side, posterior CDF w 11 screws and 4 plates, hareware has to come out in feb 04 when the bone has matured. my n/s quit her practice an not i am up the creek trying to find another n/s or orthopod to help me as they are all fearful of malpractice where the other doctor was.....not on pain meds but on xanax 1 mg and effexor 75 mgs. have torn right rotator cuff w/ some DDD thrown in for good meaure. have left hand dominant CTS and not a happy camper right now....

 
Old 10-02-2003, 03:02 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: MD
Posts: 7
CPR coach HB User
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Hi Renee,
I am scheduled for a 3 level ACDF on Nov.29. I wish you athe best and will be following your post carefully. There are others here that seem to be very supportive and helpful. Check out my post as well there are a few responses that may be helpful to you.
I am sick of the pain and my arms hurting how about you? Been putting my surgery off for a couple of years now because I am scared too!! We can help each other and get psyced together....
Hugs....Coach

 
Old 10-02-2003, 08:19 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Shelbyville, IN, USA
Posts: 93
lori1851 HB User
Talking

Hi Renee,
I had a ACDF with Corepectomy on April 22, 2003. Mine was for 2 ruptured discs, bone spurs and spinal cord compression. I wrote CPR Coach under his post if you want to check it out. I woke up one morning with terrible pain in shoulders and down my rt arm, To make a long stry short I chose Physical Therapy for 4 weeks. Well it didnt help me and I then said go ahead on the surgery. I was in for 3 hours. I knew what was wrong with me because 12 yrs earlier I had a single level done. This time it was C3-7. They tied into C7 from my previous surgery with a titanium plate and 6 screws. I had a sore throat for a few days. I also had the donor bone thist ime for the graft. Much easier than the hip I have been there and done that the last time. Thank goodness my specialist uses cadaver bone! I was only in the hospital overnight. I slept in a recliner for almost 2 weeks with lots of pillows behind my neck. I wore a Miami J brace for 8 weeks since I had so many levels done. Its only natural to be scared ! This is an excellent place to write to each other!!! If I can be of any help just email me.
Lori Indiana

 
Old 10-03-2003, 11:34 AM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: san francisco
Posts: 2
renee38 HB User
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Hello all,

Thanks so much for all your comments, suggestions, information and experiences.
This is really a great little find here on the web.

I actually have had a few second and third opinions about my situation and they all lead back to the same place so I am going with the same doctor that has done a friend of mines surgery with very good success 4 years ago. He is a little conservative on the recovery side of things because I know some people don't' even have to wear a collar after surgery but I guess I would rather be safe than sorry. I remember my friend being in a brace very similar for 3 months after her surgery but she turned out having a very solid fusion and is doing great 4 years later. Heck its only 8 to 12 weeks in the collar (well, actually in my case I think they really call that SOMI device a "Neck Brace" since it looks a lot more elaborate than a standard hard collar) so even though I am scared, I am going through with this thing because I am tired of living in pain.

Thanks again to everyone and I will keep in touch.

Renee

 
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