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  • C5-C6 Cervical Discectomy & Fusion

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    Old 12-31-2003, 12:43 AM   #1
    jeffdoh
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    C5-C6 Cervical Discectomy & Fusion

    Advice needed!!
    I've seen many doctors all of whome reccomend having the procedure despite that my symptoms are rather mild. My only symptons are some numbness in my 4th and 5th (pinky and ring) fingers of my left hand, however, the docs say that since my spinal chord is being impinged (and already shows brusing to the chord itself) by the disc herniation at c5-c6, that i need to do the surgery, mainly as a preventitive measure, because i am at a greater risk of serious damage/paralysis should i have some type of injury. my question is, what would you guys do in my situation? the trurth is, when i play sports and move my neck, i do feel greater tingling in my fingers, so i see the conection and it does worry me, but then again surgery is scary and has risks too. and my symptoms are rather mild. what should i do?????????

    also, for those who have done the anterior cervical discectomy, what should i expect? how bad is the pain from the surgery (i'm having a donor bone used for the fusion, not my own). how long do you have to use a brace? how long will i be bed-ridden? how long before you can walk normally on your own and how long before you can basically return to normal activities?
    Thanks so much for the advice!
    jeff
    [email][email protected][/email]

     
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    Old 12-31-2003, 01:12 AM   #2
    hugo eve
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    Re: C5-C6 Cervical Discectomy & Fusion

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jeffdoh
    Advice needed!!
    I've seen many doctors all of whome reccomend having the procedure despite that my symptoms are rather mild. My only symptons are some numbness in my 4th and 5th (pinky and ring) fingers of my left hand, however, the docs say that since my spinal chord is being impinged (and already shows brusing to the chord itself) by the disc herniation at c5-c6, that i need to do the surgery, mainly as a preventitive measure, because i am at a greater risk of serious damage/paralysis should i have some type of injury. my question is, what would you guys do in my situation? the trurth is, when i play sports and move my neck, i do feel greater tingling in my fingers, so i see the conection and it does worry me, but then again surgery is scary and has risks too. and my symptoms are rather mild. what should i do?????????

    also, for those who have done the anterior cervical discectomy, what should i expect? how bad is the pain from the surgery (i'm having a donor bone used for the fusion, not my own). how long do you have to use a brace? how long will i be bed-ridden? how long before you can walk normally on your own and how long before you can basically return to normal activities?
    Thanks so much for the advice!
    jeff
    [email][email protected][/email]

    Yo Jeff

    Excuse me if I'm a little inebriated. Its New Years Eve and Australia is way ahead of you guys and Debbie is already topless and pouring champage over her head. Q1. Yes do it, it sounds serious. Q2 Pain ain't bad at all, but hey bro use your own bone. Q3 I was walking in 36 hrs. Two weeks later I'm dancing, better than Debbie I may add! Q4. ****** the brace off week one..... but hey only the the bad die young, hang on, you are only having one fusion so you may not have Tit cage. Tit cage OK, looks great in an Exray! Q5 My normal activitis ain't normal so can't answer..... O sheeet now Susan is trying to give herself an enema with a bottle of beer. Its Ok its only light beer.... phew!!

    Disclaimer: Australians drink more per capita than anyone else on earth. And we are the happiest poeples on earth.

    ps. Don't tell Rolex I was here, I'm trying to pretend to be sauve and sophisticated.

    Yo Bro , Hugo (fusion C456, dec 17, 2003)
    l

     
    Old 12-31-2003, 06:29 AM   #3
    sadieho
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    Re: C5-C6 Cervical Discectomy & Fusion

    HI Jeff
    I had the fusion in 1994, used a segment of bone from my hip, was not prepared for pain afterwards. I thought I would be pain free in a week or so but it took about three weeks to feel better. I will probably be going thru the surgery again if physical therapy doesn't help & yes I would do it all the same way again. I was up & walking the day of the surgery & came home the day after that, but I should have stayed in the hospital a couple more days I think the pain may have been increased by my moving around too much & the 1 hour drive home didn't help much either.
    Good luck & post your success soon.
    Sadie Holland

    Last edited by sadieho; 12-31-2003 at 06:31 AM.

     
    Old 12-31-2003, 07:17 AM   #4
    Ramsfan
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    Re: C5-C6 Cervical Discectomy & Fusion

    HI Jeff,
    Although the symptoms are very mild, over time they will probably become more pronounced and probably spread to other areas. Sometimes depending on the cause of the symptoms doctors prefer to try therapy first. If you already had several doctors recommend having the procedure than I would have it. Expect a recovery period of several weeks sleeping in a recliner and having some difficulty swallowing. (Chew your food well before swallowing.) If you use bone from your own hip for the fusion, that actually takes longer to recover than your neck. (Pain meds will help that)
    Research a good reputable surgeon. This procedure is a lot more common than I first realized.

    Think of this situation as "pay me now or pay me later." The longer you wait, the more chance of spinal injury.

    Hope this helps.
    Frank

     
    Old 12-31-2003, 05:50 PM   #5
    Icaaa
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    Re: C5-C6 Cervical Discectomy & Fusion

    HI
    I had a ruptured disk at c5/6. It was only bulging when I had the MRI. Anyways, surgery was much easier than I had ever thought. AND I lost it big time about a week before scared beyond understanding. I was so scared I didn't realize that that is what was the problem. I was not in pain at the time of the surgery and was sure I did not need it but I saw the MRI and was told the same as you.

    I was in the hospital for surgery for about 23 1/2 hours . I had plating with donor bone and no problem. I had never had surgery of any kind so I was surprised at how long it took for the anethesia to wear off. Took pain killers for 3 days because I was afraid I would hurt. Didn't know if I was going to but didn't after 3 days. I am a whimp.

    I regained my strenghth with what I was thinking was slow, but really was quite a fast recovery. I am a 50 year old teacher of kindergarten and school started 4 weeks after surgery. I started and never lost a day. Oh yes I did for my follow up appointment I treated my self to the day off and the NS canceled that morning. Never did go back. He did not do any MRI or x-ray follow ups. Said with plating it was not needed.

    Laundry was hard to do right away. Muscles across the neck area got tired easily. Anybody in half was god physical condition I think would even get a long better than me.

    ADVISE Use the little plastic gizmo and breath in it faithfully. My lungs gave me a bit of a fit afterwards.

    Goodluck,
    Carla
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    Ruptured retrieved 14 pieces ACDF with plating and donor bone C6-7. (7/18/03)

     
    Old 01-01-2004, 12:00 PM   #6
    Mace
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    Re: C5-C6 Cervical Discectomy & Fusion

    Jeff,

    I was injured and have an SCI at C 5/6. You need to address the potential damage to your spinal cord. The pain isn't anything I would wish on anyone but having a SCI I can say it is worse. An SCI brings it's own kinda pain and with me it's gradually increasing. I am one of those that wishes they had use a donor bone and not my own. The site they took the bone from still hurts after 3-1/2 years. Regardless, I wish you well.

    Good Luck, Mace

     
    Old 01-02-2004, 08:11 AM   #7
    rayjj
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    Re: C5-C6 Cervical Discectomy & Fusion

    Hi Jeff,

    I too have cord compression with degenerative arthritis, bone spurs, and spinal stenosis. I've had numbness and tingling in my hands and feet for about 3 months and can tell it's gradually getting worse. I saw a good neurosurgeon and am having a decompression cervical laminectomy C3-C7 via the posterior approach which my doctor said will be extremely painful, more so than the anterior approach. None-the-less, I'm going to have it done because the time to do it is now before the symptoms get worse, which they will. Worsening symptoms include but are not limited to muscle weakness and loss of function, loss of bladder and bowel control, and possibly permanent paralysis and death. Not trying to scare you, but it's not going to get better by itself. I am a actively practicing nurse anesthetist so I know that in this day and age there is no excure for having pain after surgery. I asked for and am having a morphine PCA afterward since it works faster and more effectively than IM shots. Since you all ready have an IV there is no reason not to have it and it's patient controlled. Muscle relaxants are also helpful since there will be a considerable amount of muscle spasm and weakness in the neck area. I plan on being in the hospital 2-3 days post-op. as I prefer to recover at home. I will have oral pain meds at home along with muscle relaxants and I've also been using hypnosis and guided imagery tapes and CDs for post-op. pain control, healing, and relaxation. Relaxation is the key to pain control. If you are afraid and uptight you will definitely have more pain. Get yourself a good neurosurgeon, a good team, and tell them what you want. A little knowledge goes a long way. Good Luck.

    R.J.
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