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  • Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

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    Old 07-07-2005, 12:12 PM   #1
    Ronn9
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    Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    I am scheduled for surgery in december, becuz of workmens comp issues, ,I`m worried that because my surgery is so far away it might be causing more problems, anybody have any idea?
    I basically have a "blown disk" and the tissue thats blown out is pushing on a nerve that runs down my right arm , causing LOTS of pain and discomfort and numbness and rigidness , and blah blah blah..... in my right arm and neck...
    Lately I have been having pain on the left side of my neck aswell, could this be from the same problem? just getting worse becuz my surgery is being postponed?
    Another thing is, how long of a down time will I have with this kind of surgery?
    the plate they are putting in looks pretty nasty ....ok any insight will be muchly appreciated...
    Thanks!
    Ron

     
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    Old 07-07-2005, 12:50 PM   #2
    chitowngl
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    Re: Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    Ron
    Sorry your surgery is so far down the road--that sucks! I had ACDF back in Jan on C5-C6 with my own bone and plates and screws. My work allowed me six weeks off to recover. To be honest I really didn't need that long. I felt much better after about two weeks. I will emphasize however, that everyone is different and recovery time can certainly vary. Good luck to you and hopefully your surgery can be rescheduled!!
    Carrie

     
    Old 07-07-2005, 06:39 PM   #3
    dootag
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    Re: Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    Hi Ron,

    Hi have had C5-6-7 fused a number of years ago. 5/6 are plated with bone from my hip for the fusion. 6/7 is unplated with donor bone. The fusion (6/7)broke across the top surface in 2002. That's another story.

    The pain you are having is likely from the "blown" disc. C6/7 vents out each side your Ulnar nerve for each arm/hand. C5/6 vents the Radial nerve for both arms. You can track it down your self with a little home analysis. The Ulnar nerve runs down the outside of your arms. It is the nerve you called your "Funny Bone when you were a kid. It is involved with your little pinky, the outside of all of your ring finger and most of the inside. By that I mean outside toward pinky - inside toward thumb. Then it is involved with about half the outside of your middle fingerl The Radial nerve runs down the inside and top of your arms. If you put your thumb on the inside wrist joint at the top or the arm the Radial goes thru a vent very close to where your thumb is. The Radia feeds to part of the Thumb, all of the Ring finger and the inside of the Middle finger and half of the outside or so.

    You might not be completely "pinching" or irritating the nerve. Depending on your age you might have a bone spur inside the vent that is now involved with the nerve. Anyway, you can figure out where the pain is coming from by where it is located. That might give you some peace of mind.

    Plating, from my point of view is the only way to go. My fusions were done a year apart. I thought both were plated the second time in. Unfortunately for me only the one was. You will undoubtedly wake up in recovery feeling better than you did before the surgery. The nerve pain will likely go away altogether or will go away in fairly short order. The irritated or mildly damaged nerves heal fast.

    I hope this helps you with some of your concerns.

    dootag

     
    Old 07-08-2005, 05:27 AM   #4
    Ramsfan
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    Re: Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    Ron,
    I had C5,6 &7 done in December of 2003. I also used my own bone and had a plate put in. 6 weeks is about par for the course. As Carrie said it varies from person to person. Who's decision is it to make you wait until December? Once my surgeon saw my MRI results, I had surgery a week later. I had weakness in my left arm and tingling in my back.

    Frank

     
    Old 07-08-2005, 06:21 AM   #5
    Ronn9
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    Re: Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    Hi ramsfan,
    Its basically that my ex-employer is trying to fight it, saying its not there fault.
    I was misdiagnost with a shoulder strain, so they are saying that they are not responsible, which is rediculous, cuz after that i went in for an mri and my nuero said yes definatley there fault....So I have to wait for my hearing to get coverage thru them , cuz im not going thru my insurance ....

     
    Old 07-09-2005, 05:00 PM   #6
    dootag
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    Re: Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    Hi Again Ron,

    I was also mystyfied by the Dec. surgery date. You answered that. Since you are in so much misery; have you considered having your insurance company subrogate and then get reimbursed by workmans comp after the arguments are settled?

    dootag

     
    Old 07-09-2005, 06:40 PM   #7
    Ronn9
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    Re: Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dootag
    Hi Again Ron,

    I was also mystyfied by the Dec. surgery date. You answered that. Since you are in so much misery; have you considered having your insurance company subrogate and then get reimbursed by workmans comp after the arguments are settled?

    dootag

    I didn`t know that was an option.
    I have a hearing on monday. Hopefully I can get some real answers then. The other thing is that when I have the surgery my wife is going to have to take time off of her job to take care of me and the kids. Who`s gonna supplement our income for that? Will workmens comp? Any idea? I am quite clueless on this whole thing.....

     
    Old 07-17-2005, 10:34 AM   #8
    Cindee 2
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    Re: Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    Your wife may not need to take off as long as you think. How old are your children?

    I just had ACDF C5-6-7 on July 12th. (Donor Bone). First day after surgery was uncomfortable. The Second was much better and I came home that evening. My husband stayed home with me Thursday and went back to work on Friday Evening. The first few days you just want to sleep. On day 4 I had not even taken a pain pill.

    I have two daughters 14 and 16 they are a big help. The oldest just got her liciense a few months ago and while dad is at work she is the only one that can drive. We've only been out once. That is the scary part...I can't look to see what she is doing...We made it to the store and back though.

    Cindee

     
    Old 07-17-2005, 12:57 PM   #9
    Ronn9
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    Re: Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    my kids are 5 and 7 yrs old ....kinda young , thats why im thinkin the wife might need to take some time off...ya know?

     
    Old 07-18-2005, 09:05 AM   #10
    Cindee 2
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    Re: Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    Five and Seven are young...you will definately need help.

    Hope all goes well for you. The waiting will probably be the worst.

    Cindee

     
    Old 07-25-2005, 02:43 PM   #11
    SORENECKMAN
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    Re: Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    I believe the sooner the surgery is done the better your recovery will be. This is because the damage done to the nerve may become more severe or permenant the longer it is being compressed. Hope this helps.
    __________________
    ACDF WITH PLATING AND DONOR BONE C5/6
    2/25/03

     
    Old 08-01-2005, 12:31 PM   #12
    notpain
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    Re: Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    They are making you wait 6 months? Then you must not be un bend over excruciating pain. You should consider yourself lucky. I have DDD at 6/7, Herniated posterior and anterior at c5/6, and herniated posterior at c4/5. Fortunately not a lot of pain, but I won't be doing surgery. Read all you can about the Anatomy of the Discs. Read about "resorption" not "reabsorbtion" - I made that mistake. Read about the MedX PT machines (Very few PT's have this equipment). The MedX ISOLATE the specific neck mucles that support the cervical and lumbar spine. A PT trained on this equipment can actually tell you how weak your muscles are. Do some research on Dr. Chow in New York City - He does an outpatient procedure where a needle is inserted into your neck and a small lazer is threaded down the needle. The laser acts to vaporize the water content of the disc, the disc shrinks and the herniation is almost instantly resorbed into the vertebra. Many people have pain relief from this. Obviously the disc goes flat, but it's going to do that anyways as we age. Then take some time to read about Dr. Ross Hauser MD's Prolo Your Pain away. MD's that practice this procedure of ligment restructuring have almost ALL had it themselves. You can view it as quakery or natural medicene or you can view it as an alternative to surgery that just might work. I'd be very weary of 3 level fusion as you are going to lose some range of motion, but much worse you are going to put so much additional pressure on the remaining discs that they will probably just break down the road. So consider your 6 month delay a blessing in desquise. You have so much more to explore BEFORE you go under the knife. And who knows your problem could just get better by then to the point that you no longer need the surgery. It has happened. And read all you can about "disc nutrition" and dietary supplementation for cartelidge, tendons, and joints. Who knows Glucosamine may help you, Cherry Juice could help with the pain, Fish Oils, massage therapy, etc. etc. Surgery is a LAST RESORT you may regret. But if I am totally wrong, you may need it. But if the doctors really thought that it was critical I think they would get you in sooner. They may just be delaying you to see if you do get better, because surgeons know there are no good answers to neck pain. And many - read the forums all over the net like I do - have discovered that surgery DID NOT correct their pain. Also take a day or two and just read everything you can on the forums on Walt Stoll MD's site. I was a believer in Allopathic (cut and drug) medicene until I educated myself. I am not agains surgery, but I'd do everything I could before undergoing the knife. It amazes me how quickly people consent to surgery and drugs. If they were cures you would be reading success stories not complaints. If you're disc has a detached fragment I know of know other treatment to help. You may however also want to consider Dr. Jho's information on minimally invasive endosopic surgery (Different from Dr. Chow's) where they cut off the offending portion and leave the remaining disc to heal. And if you do go the surgery route I would research the Bryan and Prestige Artifical discs. Man I'd like to get better myself, it's been a year on the 16th of this month (August) but I'd also like to see more people taking a more active role in their treatment, standing up and demanding better help, counseling and discussion of treatment options.

     
    Old 08-01-2005, 02:38 PM   #13
    dennisgb
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    Re: Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    Notpain,

    It's nice to see all of the alternatives you layed out. It would be interesting to see some detailed studies on the success of these. I would be particularly interested in the one that takes the moisture out of the disk, as this will most likely cause the disc to collapse and fail quickly. While it may provide some short term relief, the fact that the disk gets smaller should cause concern, as once this occurs the vertabrae are allowed to move further than normal, and thus more likely to pinch the nerves.

    I had ACDF surgery on two levels C5-6 and C6-7 with donor bone, and plate and growth hormone paste on 6-30-04. I have complete fusion and no pain. I am able to do things I haven't done for years because of pain. I went through PT and actually used the MedX PT machines you talk about to strengthen my neck after surgery.

    I do strength excercises every other day to insure that my neck stays strong and does not cause more stress on the other levels.

    There are success stories for surgery too. The problem is, most people on the web are looking for answers to their problems, not the other way around. Many who have posted here have had success, and moved on with their lives, now that the problem has resolved.

    Both sides of the story should be analized and understood.

    I sure would like to see you post some study results for the methods you posted.

    I can post study results for ACDF which will show you that the success ratio is 98.9%

    My surgery was part of a study on growth hormone for fusion that has been ongoing for 3 years with over 3000 surgeries, and no failures. The technique is expected to get full FDA approval this year.

    Now, there are failures...and there are people who post here that have had problems, but understand the key point that people here are looking for answers for their problems, and that makes it look skewed toward the negative.

    This surgery is a difficult one, the decision to go ahead with it is difficult, but in my case, I wished I had done it sooner. I was given my life back by this surgery.

    Be careful how you read and interpret information...particularly on the web, and understand as much as you can about this...that's the best information I can give.

     
    Old 08-01-2005, 04:50 PM   #14
    Ronn9
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    Re: Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    Thanks notpain!
    You gave me enough to keep me busy researching for a few days!
    I appreciate your time, and insight!

     
    Old 08-01-2005, 05:49 PM   #15
    Scorpio24
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    Re: Fusion c5,c6,c7 ....questions....

    In my case the pain is very mild (soreness) with occasionally numbness on my left arm but I believe that my bone spurs are my problem and I donít want to wait for nerve damage. I was worry about my neck ROM and the way of life with a fuse vertebral column. Iím having my surgery on Friday and hopefully I will have great news for all of you on Sunday night (If Iím awake).
    Ron, I think you need to push your case with all the parties involved and get second opinions which you are entitle to have under WK. Donít wait too long. My NS is one of the 20 or so in the country doing the trials for the artificial discs and he said they are still about four to five years before FDA approve them in the US.
    Frank

     
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