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    Old 10-10-2008, 09:12 AM   #1
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    NSAIDs & fusion

    Hi, I have another question. I'll be 6 months post-op tomorrow from my acdf. I find out if I'm fused yet next Thursday. Regardless of whether or not I'm fused yet, at 6 months it's suppose to be fine to return to taking anti-inflammatories, isn't it? My NS never told me to avoid them, I learned that here [removed] and stopped at 3 months when I did. I've been using OTC tylenol most days and Rx meds on the harder days, instead. I prefer the anti-inflam to tylenol and am eager to go back to using them instead (or even to switching off between tylenol and motrin). Am I correct in remembering that 3-6 months post-op was the time frame to avoid NSAID's? ---(and yes, I know I messed up by not being off of them the first 3 months --I tried to 'catch up' by stopping these last 3).
    Thank you again everyone.

    Last edited by HBMod07; 10-11-2008 at 05:38 AM. Reason: Disallowed comment

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    Old 02-22-2009, 03:29 PM   #2
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    Re: NSAIDs & fusion

    Sounds like a good plan. You may be a canidate for a bone stimulator if you are not yet fused. I'd mention the nsaids to my dr though.

    Old 02-22-2009, 05:09 PM   #3
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    Re: NSAIDs & fusion

    The reason you're supposed to avoid NSAIDS is that they make platelets less sticky and could affect post-op bleeding like aspirin. That shouldn't be a problem now.

    Some docs are adamant you stop them, some really don't see the need. I guess your doc wasn't worried. An anterior fusion doesn't bleed as much as a posterior and I know my doc stopped everything for 3 months minimum. And even then I needed a transfusion.

    gentle hugs.............Jenny

    Old 02-22-2009, 06:06 PM   #4
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    Re: NSAIDs & fusion

    My doc never mentioned them and I took Alleve for pain, but only when I absolutely needed them. I was fused at six months from ACDF C7-T1.

    Old 02-23-2009, 03:19 AM   #5
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    Re: NSAIDs & fusion

    My surgeon said not to take any. I am going to ask him when I go back in march which will be 21/2 months post op for me. I am hoping he will let me take them after the 3mth point. I believe 3mths is what the nurse told me in the hospital. Also my husband said the surgeon said it can interfer with the fusion. I cant remember but thats what my husband claims the surgeon said. My surgeon is super cautious though & dislikes meds I am learning. There are days I want so badly to try motrin but have held back. Good luck, Sammy

    Old 02-23-2009, 08:12 AM   #6
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    Re: NSAIDs & fusion

    have you actually had whats called a flexion and extension type x ray done on your c spine to really see whether or not you have fused at all? this really IS the one true way of actually seeing it, trust me. i had an MRI that came up inconclusive for fusion that recommended a CT,well my CT stated that i was definitely fused when i knew,and my primary knew too that based upon my ongoing symptoms,i was not. it took me nine months of repeated calls to me NSs nurse from hell before anyone finally bothered to simply send me for that one easy quick x ray, well of course it showed i was not fused at all. only one endplate actually fused onthe top,not the bottom.

    for espescially c spine fusion,that simple type of x ray speaks volumes as far as being fused. its all in the way those boney prominences 'fan out" when your neck is bent over and then backwards that simply "show' without a doubt as to fusion taking place or not. it is sooo freaking obvious and simple to do. you don't need MRI or CT,just that flex and ext type x ray. this is what your surgeon should be sending you for just to really know for certain. it is so much clearer and better than any higher priced test for checking fusion.

    and yes,any NSAIDS will affect possible fusion taking place as well as nicotine too they both just inhibit bone fusion for some reason. i was not told this either and was very proud of myself for manageging to quit smoking pre op and post op using the nicotine patch(i was just told that i needed to quit,not the 'whys'). well since i did not get told it was the actual nicotine that was the main reason i needed to quit,well i did not fuse. my NSs nurse actually TOLD me to take aleeve or motrin too. what an idiot. it really would have been nice of them to like actually print up a sheet of the big no nos and the whys?? helloo?

    whether or not your fusion was truly affected by the NSAIDS you used really remains to be seen at the x ray level. are you currently having any symptoms of non fusion like bone grinding when you move your neck,or intermittant numbness or tingling in your fingers or hands? these are the very real almost constant symptoms i was having for those nine months. i just knew based upon what i was feeling that i was not fused at all. i could just 'feel' it ya know? but that one simple x ray told the whole story very very blatently. just ask your surgeon to send you for that flex and ext x ray,it will show it. all they have to do is look at how the bones back there fan out and its pretty much a done deal.

    hopefully those NSAIDS did not affect your fusion meghan(it will be kind of iffy there). but that one x ray will tell you for sure. just tell your surgeon,if he does not direct you for that type of x ray,that this IS what you want to show whether or not you fused. its just the best way to tell,espescially without having any hardware placed. good luck and please keep us posted. i would wait really til you find out what your status is before returning to any level of NSAIDS right now,just to be fully safe. Marcia
    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
    11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

    Old 02-23-2009, 04:12 PM   #7
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    Re: NSAIDs & fusion

    Some research has shown that the NSAID Celebrex is the only one that does not interfere with fusion. My surgeon gave me this after my fusion, and he was pretty conservative. I agree that the flexion and extension x-rays will be helpful.

    Anyway, talk to your doc about celebrex if you think you need to take a NSAID.

    Old 02-28-2009, 07:15 PM   #8
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    Re: NSAIDs & fusion

    weird! It was a post by me months ago that prompted the one I just responded to about NSAID's, lol. Well, I did fuse, thankfully, despite the 3 months of taking ibuprofren before I knew any better -and I'm still taking tylenol now, but sometimes ibuprofren instead to just mix it up a bit (hubby recently had a bleeding ulcer that left him hospitalized, so I've been leaning more toward the tylenol of late just out of superstition).
    Thanks to everyone who responded -it's weird to get answers later on, but the information learned is always welcome with spinal issues being ongoing. And, yes it was a flexion/extension series of x-rays, Marcia (I'll never forget them b/c I wasn't quite ready for some of it at the time, esp the wide open mouth one, that was hard for me). I'm having another cervical MRI next week, too, for other problems (pulsations that won't go away) and that may even show it also (even though it's not as good as the flex/ext), but it's suppose to definitely be fused by the x-rays in October (which is a nice feeling to have -or thing to know, I must say). I had permanent nerve damage to my hands and arms, so the fusion didn't help me there, but it prevented more loss and more damage and I'm so grateful for that. I do have a weird sound and sensation when I do my PT neck exercises (and cannot do the full set of them b/c of it), but it's not like that when I do other things and I don't know if I'd describe it as 'grinding'. My neck was fixed, but will also always be imperfect, I guess, and I may have dinged something else with that pulsating thing going on --will know soon. I wish I didn't have the permanent nerve damage, really wish it, but am so glad the bigger risks are gone now b/c of the surgery. I'm in occupational therapy now as well as physical, to help with doing things differently since my arms and hands aren't going to get any better. I really like it and am learning some great 'tricks'.
    Thanks everyone.

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