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  • Help - Need c5c6, c6c7, c7t1, possible c4c5 fusion surgery

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    Old 09-04-2007, 08:19 PM   #1
    mllsj53
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    Help - Need c5c6, c6c7, c7t1, possible c4c5 fusion surgery

    Hello. I'm facing disectomy fusion surgery in October to take care of several problems in my neck.
    I have bone spurs, narrowing, and disc herniation with possible fragmentation. The narrowing is not allowing spinal fluid to flow properly. The bone spurs are pressing on nerves and have been for a while now.
    One of the disc herniations is pressing on my spinal cord. These issues have caused pain down my right arm and numbness at my little finger and ring finger right side. It also is causing pins and needles on the right side from my ear down my neck and covering my shoulder cap.
    I have had MRI, EMG and Nerve Conduction tests done. I have an upcoming myelogram and CT scan next week to see how extensive the narrowing is.

    The doctor told me that having a fusion in one or two discs should be no problem using a cadaver bone and it actually fuse. But because there is more than 2 areas you start risking the fusion not working. I was told that bone graft from my hip would be the better choice.

    It was explained that this harvest could prove to be very painful in healing. I'm not afraid of pain, but I wanted to know just how much pain is it? How is it usually managed and can it be managed with meds? How long is the recovery process?

    I am trying to make a good decision and any input/insight would be of great help.

    Thanking you in advance for your help.

    mll

     
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    Old 09-04-2007, 11:56 PM   #2
    ladyliberty42
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    Re: Help - Need c5c6, c6c7, c7t1, possible c4c5 fusion surgery

    I just had a tri-level fusion performed on C4-5, C5-6, and 6-7 ten days ago. Prior to surgery, my symptoms were so bad I was in danger of losing feeling in my arms and my left leg. I was in constant pain and had no energy or ability to do anything I enjoy doing. I am almost completely pain free now, still in a neck brace, but able to move around, sleep, and enjoy my day without pain. I was in hospital four days, am on no meds, and my latest xray showed the bone beginning to fuse. I had an allograft..not my bone. I really understand what you are going through and I hope you can make an informed decision. This literally saved my life. If you want, check out my surgeons' online site. ****** Nelson Spine Institute. Good luck!

     
    Old 09-05-2007, 04:59 PM   #3
    mllsj53
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    Re: Help - Need c5c6, c6c7, c7t1, possible c4c5 fusion surgery

    Thank you for the website info. That was indeed very helpful! Good luck on your recovery.

    mll

     
    Old 09-05-2007, 05:48 PM   #4
    Jessarr
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    Re: Help - Need c5c6, c6c7, c7t1, possible c4c5 fusion surgery

    Hi I found out three weeks ago I need to have a three level fusion. My surgery date is scheduled for the 24th of this month or the 1st of October. I am scared. I have Spinal Stenosis (narrowing of the spine) bone spurs and a disk osteophyte (hernitaed) causing compressionon my Spinal Cord (the cord may already be damaged) Starange it is that I had excrutiating pain and crazy muscle spasams in my left arm and left shoulder scapula for 6 weeks, I was literally crunched over to one side. The pain started slowly one week got really bad for approx. 4 weeks... I went on vacation thinking some relaxation would help ( Ihave a one year old a two year old and a five year old, i thought t his was the problem) I was wrong. I returned from vacation I saw an Ortho who gave me a shot of cortizone and sent me to get a C-Spine MRI. By this time the pain has subsided tremendously. I had 5 neurosurgeons look at the MRI and all agreed including a spinal surgeon that no therapy would work and that surgery would be necessary to avoid paralyses from the neck down and not wait too long. My symptoms are numbing / tingling on and off of the left upper, mid back, the left arm, the hand, ocassionaly lite pain in the left leg (cramps) tingling. I do not feel much muscle spasams and I only take advil 750 occasionaly at night before I go to bed. My 3 level fusion willbe doen through the front of the neck and they will use donated bone and fuse the vertebrates together. Like you, I am scared, but it is pretty black and white when they say surgery or paralyses. I do know that you cannot smoke (as this may cause the fusion not to take). They also advised me they would do a three level fusion as to not have to go back later and have another surgery to fix what may or may not be a problem. I am aware that this in later years may cause the disk above thefusion and below the fusion to degenerate quicker then ususal. So I know need to look see about excersises and look for a helathy lifestyle to help keep my back strong. I am terrified and still looking for options I called a Lazer Spine Institute but I am not convinced yet (The secratery sounded as if she were reading a manual) I am waiting for the Dr. to call me. I have heard good outcomes of surgery and bad outcomes. I am only 33 yeras old and the Dr. say I am going to feel much better - I will keep post. I can just say educate yourself ask questions and keep with your gut feeling. My husband is a nurse in the operating room....I told him to stop telling me what they do....All my best If you want to read a good outcome look for a guy by the name TTRIDER online he wrote me about his good outcome on a three level fusion.

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 08:12 AM   #5
    Monty44
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    Re: Help - Need c5c6, c6c7, c7t1, possible c4c5 fusion surgery

    HI. In October 2003, I had a three level (c4-c5, c5-c6, c6-c7) ACDF with cage. I was a heavy smoker (I quit a couple of weeks before the surgery). Cadaver bone was used. I was in a Miami collar for twelve weeks. The fusion failed completely. Revision surgery from a posterior approach, with a forth level (c3-c4) added was performed in February 2005, using bone from my hip. I barely noticed anything from the donor surgery in my hip. That surgery was successful in that there was a complete fusion and my cervical spine is now stable. I still have pain and a very limited range of motion, but the neck is stable. My advice would be to quit smoking, insist on using your own bone and to wear that damn brace for as long as the Doc thinks is necessary in your case.

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 05:15 PM   #6
    mllsj53
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    Re: Help - Need c5c6, c6c7, c7t1, possible c4c5 fusion surgery

    Thanks for the information! I don't smoke and never have, so I guess that I have that going for me.
    I am really considering going with my own bone. The chances of a good fusion are so much better and at 53 years young, I don't want to go through surgery again as I age.

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 06:54 PM   #7
    chatterboxsd
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    Re: Help - Need c5c6, c6c7, c7t1, possible c4c5 fusion surgery

    I had thoracic fusion surgery and they took bone from my rib. The pain is barely noticeable anymore (8 months ago). Before that, it ached, but nothing horrible. I was glad to use my own bone for a good fusion. I hear the hip can be tender for a while, but if it were me, I'd go for it. I'd rather some discomfort and more likely fusion. I would make your preferences known to your doctor, though. Do not assume he shares your same concerns or opinions. Most doctors try to honor your requests assuming it's safe for your surgery.

    Best of luck to you. I hope it goes smoothly and your recovery is uneventful!
    - Margaret

     
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