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  • This thread is those for a year or more after surgery and how are you doing Now ?

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    Old 10-18-2005, 05:08 AM   #1
    Senior Veteran
    Join Date: Jun 2004
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    zoey1 HB User
    This thread is those for a year or more after surgery and how are you doing Now ?

    I had a double level fusion in June of 2004
    To me it was one of the most difficult things in recovery i had to go through.
    Recovery for me was slow and during the year several other things in auto immune catagory popped up for first time and also had to be treated for that.

    I do think the nerves at least in my case were totaly tramatised so that anything that was a remote possiblity reared it's ugly head.
    My life style is completely different now, still bad pain moments and still on pain meds.
    I was asked recently if i knew what i knew then would i make the same decision.. I truely cannot answer that, i still remember being told if i did not have the surgery i would end up in wheel chair soon. I also had 3 different consults before i made the surgey decision.
    For those still making the decision for surgery every outcome is different. Some folks have massive sucess others do not. I fall in the do not catagory.
    I will say this however, i am getting pain managment and that is a good outcome because most of my pain is still managed by the use of medication.

    For me other complications that arrose, is agressive ankolosing spondilitus, rhumatoid arthitus, thrioditus and diabetes 2 , i do think that massive nerve pain helped bring to surface any other complications.
    Good moments for me are times when i can get around a bit take care of things i need to do and when pain levels are not 9 - 10.
    So how is it for yall now and any ole posters from 2003 4 still around?

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    Old 10-18-2005, 07:37 AM   #2
    Join Date: May 2004
    Posts: 555
    dennisgb HB User
    Re: This thread is those for a year or more after surgery and how are you doing Now ?

    I'm really sorry your surgery hasn't worked for you.

    I had two level ACDF in June of 2004.

    I had a long recovery, but was back to about 80% in 6 months.

    I am now totally pain free and do not take any medication. I am doing pretty much anything that I want to.

    I followed all doctor instructions, and am still doing strength excercises every other day. This is really important to keep neck strong. It also loosens nerves and muscles.


    Old 10-18-2005, 03:39 PM   #3
    hugo eve
    Join Date: Dec 2003
    Location: sydney Oz
    Posts: 84
    hugo eve HB User
    Re: This thread is those for a year or more after surgery and how are you doing Now ?

    Yo zoey1

    Had double fusion 12/03. Pain wasn't a factor after the first few weeks. Swallowing was affected for probably about 6 months. Hip from graft site took a few months to settle down. Had no other complications, except shortly after op had third protusion which caused all old symptoms to surface including chronic vertigo. I knew that the third disc was crook but at initial consultation it was hanging in there. Trouble being that I incorrectly assumed that symptoms was caused by damaged cord and not from new protusion so took me a lot longer to identify and get fixed. I was overjoyed to find that it was something fixable.

    Second op was 6 weeks ago to the day. Single fusion 6/7. No pain. No vertigo. Can look up with no drama. Weekness in hands and legs improving. Walking 4 miles a day. Hip slightly sore but improving rapidly. No limp. No probs swallowing at all!

    Incidently I had high blood pressure come on after first neck trauma and was put on medication. After second surgery my BP went to dangerously low levels whilst I was in ICU and has now settled back to normal 130/80 with no medication so that is a great bonus! Cord compression must have affected it tho norminally it causes low BP not high so that's a bit strange.

    I'm still taking it easy but I didn't think I would be feeling this good so quickly in my wildest dreams! (touch wood)


    Old 10-18-2005, 04:21 PM   #4
    Join Date: May 2005
    Posts: 80
    dootag HB User
    Re: This thread is those for a year or more after surgery and how are you doing Now ?

    Hi Zoey,

    Interesting thread. I had a single ACDF in 1989 at C6-7. In 1991 I had a second ADCF at C6-5 w/ plate. The disc at 6/5 had been damaged in the same accident but they thought it would heal. It didn't. Not uncommon.

    An osteophyte in the righ nerve vent at C6/7 had pithed my Ulnar nerve. There was a lost of damage and I ended up with two nerver release surgeries including a full transposition of the Ulnar nerve. After that everything went well. I have Psoriasis Spondylitis in the spine and that is always there but all in all I have felt it was a good move. My hip where they removed the bone for the second graft has caused me some problems over the years.

    In 2003 the donor bone fusion at C6-7 broke. It allows the spine above the break to rotate a number of millimeters either direction and causes much mischief. It cannot be repaired at this writing because of the scar tissue on my vocal cords. Mulitiple Neurosurgeons predict 95 to 97 percent chance of rendering me mute if they go in again. That's no real option. The University of San Francisco is working on a solution to solve the somewhat common problem of not being able to go in posteriorly to repair a broken fusion.

    All in all I would do it again. I don't think you are ever 100 percent after any surgery but I feel that even with the broken fusion I'm better off than if I hadn't had it. I had virtually no pain prior to the break, excluding the arthritis. My Range of Motion horizontally was 80% backward it was rather restricted tilting rearward. However I learned to adapt. I feel the plate encroaching on my esophageous once in a while but I know what it is and ignore it. I've lived with it for a long time and it is just part of me now.


    Old 10-19-2005, 05:31 AM   #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date: Jan 2004
    Location: New Britain, CT, USA
    Posts: 247
    CTmom HB User
    Re: This thread is those for a year or more after surgery and how are you doing Now ?

    I'm a year-and-a-half out from ACDF of C5-C6. I had a long recovery and it was about nine months before I was pain-free. I still have a few bad days of "flare-ups" every couple months, but it's nothing compared to the pain before my surgery.

    Would I do it again? Absolutely in a minute. I was basically totally disabled by pain before - had to lie flat with my arm over my head to keep pain under control. Standing for more than 2-3 minutes would cause such pain I was in tears and often vomited. So, for me having the surgery was an obvious decision (although of course I did debate with myself about it at the time!)

    I am amazed at the differences is responses to this surgery. My mom had the same surgery 25 years ago and was back to work as a nurse within two weeks. Never took a pain pill after surgery and was doing housework the day after. My recovery was probably more the norm, but overall I am very pleased with the result. I have only slightly reduced mobility and most of the time no pain and have gotten my life back.

    Old 10-21-2005, 05:26 PM   #6
    Join Date: Jan 2005
    Location: USA
    Posts: 1,197
    PNo HB User
    Re: This thread is those for a year or more after surgery and how are you doing Now ?

    I am almost a year (12/04) 2 level acdf C4-6. immediate relief after surgery after being very sick for 6 months. after recovery of about 12 weeks total, went back working at home almost immediately, and in office about 6 weeks, I was doing great for 6 months. Now having problems with right side radicular pain again, went to doc, mri etc. looks like c6-7 has an ostephyte ridge, from MRI doesn't look bad but I feel very horrible pain. started pt today - ouch - and epidural on 10/31. doc said i am young for my degenrative problems. Now 47 - i did look a little on internet and found this article, I have hashimotos thyroiditis, which is a autoimmune disorder, and maybe it is related?

    Has anyone had levels immediately above/below a previous surgery? how did it go? what should i worry about?

    Old 10-22-2005, 05:57 AM   #7
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    Join Date: Jul 2003
    Location: Australia
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    MarianJ HB User
    Re: This thread is those for a year or more after surgery and how are you doing Now ?

    Hello Zoey
    Our story's are somewhat similar. I had a two level lumbar fusion in June 2003. My recovery was the hardest thing that I ever had to go through. Although my films have showed that my fusion is complete, my neuro surgeon still diagnosed me with FBS (Failed Back Syndrome). I developed a crippling pain in my back and it was a different pain then prior to surgery. I also have a displaces S1 nerve root because I have so much scar tissue. I am in constant pain and now live on pain meds, which I am not happy about and they still don't control my pain.

    After my lumbar surgery I developed Anemia, Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Type 2 Diabetes, Polyneuropathy, Permanent Nerve Damage, Sleep Apnea, Busitis, Tendonitis, IBS & edema in both legs & feet. Of course this all happened within the course of the first year. So was that surgery the right thing for me, NO WAY! I wish I never had it. My health has just deteriorated.

    I also have cervical injury from a diving accident over ten years ago. I've been told that I was lucky that I didn't paralyze myself. Well, believe it or not I agreed to a cervical fusion last month on one level for now, but I have three bad disc's. So far I am very pleased with my recovery and I have NO pain in my neck. I also had another neuro surgeon perform my cervical fusion. I really wish that my lumbar surgery would have went this well.

    My life has also changed drastically. I can't believe that my husband has stayed with me through this. My last neuro surgeon wanted me in a scooter as I was walking very poorly with cane and also my walker. But I declined and continue to fight every day. And my cervical fusion has helped my legs some, so this gives me even more hope. I am 41 years of age and feel as if I am 70. You wouldn't believe the amount of meds that I now have to live on. I may need another surgery for my gallbladder and I really don't want to agree to another surgery at this time. I now scare of anymore complications that can arise for me after surgery. Well, I better stop rambling on here. I wish you the very best.

    Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)
    Posterolateral Fusion & Infuse (BMP) with Laminectomy & Discectomy
    on L4,L5,S1 June 2003
    Instrumentation = 2 Rods, 6 Screws, 2 Disc Spacers
    FBSS-Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
    Re-Herniated Disc's, L4-5, L-5 & S1
    Straightening of the Normal Cervical Lordosis.
    Mild Congenital Narrowing of the Spinal Canal.
    Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)
    Disc Osteophyte Complex
    Compression Deformity & Spinal Lithiasis
    C4-5, C5-6, C6-7 Herniated & Bulging Disc's
    C4-5 & C5-6 , Cord Flattening at these levels.
    Fusion & Discectomy on Level C5-6 - September 2005
    Instrumentation = Titanium Plate & Screws

    Bilateral Chronic L4 versus L5 Radiculopathy
    Bilateral Frozen Shoulder - MUA 2/7/05
    Slap Injury's of Bilateral Shoulders
    Hyperlipidemia, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthrosis, Bursitis, Tendonitis,
    Tendonosis, Type ll Diabetes, Anemia, Asthma, Acid Reflux, IBS,
    Migraine's, Sleep Apnea, Urinary Incontinence
    Polyneuropathy, Edema of Bilateral Legs & Feet.

    Old 10-22-2005, 07:07 PM   #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date: Sep 2004
    Posts: 121
    wdmoor HB User
    Re: This thread is those for a year or more after surgery and how are you doing Now ?


    I had ACDF Sept 2004.

    I can't work out with weights anymore, even a 10 lb dumbell causes a dull throbbing pain the next day that can only be alleviated with ibuprofen. Swimming is out, so is mowing the lawn and throwing my 6 yr old around. I have to be careful.

    It's hard to swallow. Pills can be very difficult to get down. I always travel with a bottle of water.

    On the other hand, post-op, I don't wake up in the middle of the night anymore, both arms asleep, hideous pains tearing across my chest and arms and pain ripping the muscles in my back. I'd flop around like a fish desperately trying to pull myself out of bed. I also don't have the crushing pain that used to daily climb up the side of my face to the top of my felt like a giant hand was trying to rip my jaw off. I'd be nauseous from the pain.

    I miss the gym, but I was losing my ability to seriously work out before I had the operation. Too much pain afterwards.

    Would I do it again? Writing this note made me remember how much pain I'd been in before the operation. ACDF is not a perfect solution, but I do feel better, so yes, I would do it again.

    Old 10-28-2005, 02:03 PM   #9
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    Posts: 167
    wimpette HB User
    Re: This thread is those for a year or more after surgery and how are you doing Now ?

    I failed my first surgery and didn't fuse after an ACDF C5-7. After several opinions I had repeat surgery over a year later, this time with a posterior fusion C4-7 (the upper level was also producing symptoms).

    I had a too quick recovery from the first surgery, felt so good I pushed myself too much and ignored my body reminding me that things weren't healed. The second time I took things slowly, a long period off work and in PT. For the first time in several years I felt really back to normal and able to do everything I wanted to do.

    But....just before posting this I have started to experience some of the same pain I had before my second surgery down one arm and down my shoulder blade. I'm about to celebrate the anniversary of the repeat surgery so this has really come as a blow to me. I know better than to ignore it but I'm going to ride it out for a week or so and see if basic over the counter pain meds help. The irony is that my neck itself feels better than ever, it's just the pain down my arm and shoulder that prevent me from sleeping. I hope this is a transient blip - really haven't done anything out of the ordinary that would cause this.

    Sorry, rather than being a success story I'm now whining, once I know what's going on I'll post it. The only thing I can think of is that I had bmp instead of my own bone for the second surgery and there have been reports of problems with the use of bmp in cervical surgery.

    Anyway, congratulations to those who've made it to or past a year - really wanted to be able to join you.....


    Old 11-02-2005, 07:11 PM   #10
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    eagle18 HB User
    Re: This thread is those for a year or more after surgery and how are you doing Now ?

    I was operated on for cervical stenosis with fusion and laminectomy on march 2004. I am much the mirror image of yourself. I am still taking pain med and have a good deal of trouble getting around due to a walking problem. I never did get back to work. about two months ago I began taking a homeopathic remedy called thallium which may be making a slight difference. Besides my walking problem ( shaky legs, but not due to lack of strength ) which is a balance issue, I had tingling, heat, groin pain (due to the gait problem) spasms in limbs,etc. Almost all of the symptoms improved for the first 6 months including the walking. At aroumg 6 months the walking took a giant leap backwards and there has been no improvement since. That is until as I said possibly about 2 months ago. the remedy that I take may be responsible for that slight improvement, but it is to early to tell. Let me be clear. I still can not walk very far, but since taking thallium some other symptoms have decreased in intensity. I only mention the homepathic route because I am convinced that the doctors can do nothing. In fact they have said as much. I hope my little story helps you in whatever way it might. I do know how frustrating an illness this is. But I think I read in another post that the nervous system can take many years to recover. I think the older we are than the longer it would take. When I read of those who recover in weeks and months, I think they must be young or not as serious cases as ours to begin with. I wish you the very best of good fortune.

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