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  • ACDF checkup report...fused but slight collapse...should I be worried?

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    Old 05-02-2005, 03:25 PM   #1
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    dawgs41 HB User
    Question ACDF checkup report...fused but slight collapse...should I be worried?

    Hi all...thanks in advance for any advice you can give me. Here's the scoop on me. Had one level C5-6 ACDF on Feb. 17...have had an amazing recovery...only thing bothering me is some slight residual pain in my left arm (hardly enough to mention but it is there sometimes)...interesting fact is that all my pre-op pain was on right side...go figure. Anyhow, saw my doc today and he put my xrays up and said "Well, you have fused but there is a slight collapse of the graft...that happens sometimes" I was kind of like...OK...what does that mean? Please know that my doc is excellent but is a man of very few words. I asked him if he was happy with this outcome and he said that he was...I asked him that 3 times and he said everything was fine and asked me about my pain. I told him for the most part it was nonexistent and the pain that I do have he said was perfectly normal, particularly in light of the fact that I have pretty much gone back to my usual routine...housework, working, all that stuff. I asked him what my restrictions are...only jumping into pools or riding rollercoasters! My eyes must have gotten as big as saucers...YIPPEE! He said I can pretty much do anything I want (lift weights...nothing crazy of course...and golf) Hooray! Doc, you have given me my life back. Once I left his office and came back down to earth, I started thinking about the SLIGHTLY collapsed bone question to you all is, is this fairly common or should I have pursued the issue further. Doc acted like it was no big deal and as long as I was not having any significant pain, that everything should be fine. Anyone have experience with this? Is the bone just compressed and as long as I am fusing, is that OK? Wonder if it is because I had the dissolving plate and screws that aren't quite as strong? Thanks for your help! Terry

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    Old 05-08-2005, 06:36 PM   #2
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    Re: ACDF checkup report...fused but slight collapse...should I be worried?


    Old 05-08-2005, 07:45 PM   #3
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    rob_zzz HB User
    Re: ACDF checkup report...fused but slight collapse...should I be worried?

    I know nothing about the question/topic but that won't stop me offering an opinion ...

    I've read that collapsed graft can be associated with pseudarthrosis and also kyphosis at the fused level. Both of these aren't necessarily a problem if they do occur (and collapsed graft doesn't necessarily mean either of these will occur - especially if its only a slight collapse).

    Since the surgeon is saying you have fused then it doesn't sound like pseudarthrosis is going to be a problem because you've alread fused.
    You'd probably be able to see if you had kyphosis at the fused level on your x-rays anyway - if there isn't any or its only mild then why worry - and even if there is, this might have ocurred anyway even without a collapsed graft.

    Kyphosis (reverse lordosis) at the site of the fusion, if it occurs, is often not a problem as well depending on how narrow your canal was pre-fusion and how the kyphosis impacts things. I've read that with some artificial disc replacements, kyphosis at the implant level was not uncommon but overall lordosis was maintained and the localised kyphosis didn't cause any problems.

    So sounds like nothing to worry about really. Was your surgery mainly to deal with radicular symptoms? how wide is your cervical canal? If you have a wide canal and didn't have any compression type symptoms before the surgery then even if the graft collapse did cause some mild kyphosis at the fused level it still probably wouldn't cause a problem.

    Also if you've fused already and the alignment is ok then I can't see why it would change significantly because it should be fairly stable now its fused.

    So I guess I'm saying I wouldn't be worrying about it too much - trust what the surgeon say's.

    Note - this is very much the opinion of a layman - could be a lot of baloney in there - but thought I'd offer some thoughts.

    Old 05-09-2005, 03:52 PM   #4
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    dawgs41 HB User
    Re: ACDF checkup report...fused but slight collapse...should I be worried?

    Thanks Rob always offer such insightful responses...Yeah, I think I should just stop the worrying and go on enjoying having my life back! If the doctor had not pointed out the collapse, I would have never have known about it...and since I am pretty much pain free, I think I will be fine! Terry

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