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    Old 03-14-2009, 02:57 PM   #1
    LBias
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    having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    I am scheduled to have C7 fusion surgery in May and was looking for some advice on what to expect after surgery. Im curious of how much range of motion I will lose? And how long the recovery will be? In a neck brace?
    I am no stranger to back problems and surgery, I had the "old school" scoliosis surgery(1991) with the Harrington Rods with hardware & several fusions in lumbar and mid thorasic regions. Started with a 93 degree curve that was corrected to a 42 degree. Needless to say I was down for a long time and am a little apprehensive about doing another surgery!! I ask about the limit of motion after 1 fusion is because I notice a huge limit of motion in my lumbar and thorasic area. Just wondering how profound it will be? Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated!!

     
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    Old 03-15-2009, 11:25 AM   #2
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    Re: having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    I had C7-T1 fusion with titanium plate in June 2008. I wore a collar for two weeks, and I could turn my neck to either side fairly well. I feel some restriction in my neck but not much. I really didn't have much pain either. That level is low enough that it doesn't seem to affect range of motion too much. Best to you.

     
    Old 03-15-2009, 12:50 PM   #3
    LBias
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    Re: having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    Thats encourging! Thanks for your help If you dont mind me asking where did you have your surgery? I see your in OH Im in WV

     
    Old 03-15-2009, 02:37 PM   #4
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    Re: having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    I had my surgery at Mt. Carmel in Columbus, OH. Great hospital and great surgeon. (Dr.Cole)

     
    Old 03-15-2009, 02:50 PM   #5
    LBias
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    Re: having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    Glad to hear you had a good experience and that you had good results! How are your symptoms now? How long after surgery? Im still preety anxious about having surgery again! Having mine in Huntington WV

     
    Old 03-16-2009, 09:23 AM   #6
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    Re: having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    I had had considerable spinal cord compression, so I had lots of neuropathy in feet, lower legs, and both arms as well as loss of strength in hands, and much impaired balance. I have regained strength in arms and hands, better leg strength, and balance is improving. I had 8 weeks of PT after surgery. I still have some neuropathy in feet and arms, but it is better than it was. It takes up to two years for nerves to restore. I may have some permanent damage, but I am hopeful that I will continue to improve. I was fully fused at 6 months.

     
    Old 03-16-2009, 10:44 AM   #7
    LBias
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    Re: having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    Well it sounds like you were a little worse off than I am. I have problems with my right arm, just about useless now, but not in my legs. (thank god). Were you on alot of restrictions until you fully fused at 6mo? I have a 2 yr old son and Im very concerned about the length of time Im going to have to go without picking him up! Im VERY scared but hearing about your story sure does give me hope. Thanks alot
    Another little question howd you deal with your hair those two weeks in the neck brace?

     
    Old 03-16-2009, 12:54 PM   #8
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    Re: having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    Hi,
    I can't lift more than 10 pounds, not due to cervical spine, but I have lumbar problems also. I don't know what I'd do if I had small children. I am a grandma, but my grandkids are too big to lift anyway. My dr. told me to expect the collar for 6 weeks, so when he told me I could take it off at 2 weeks I was thrilled. I took the collar off to shower and I used a shower chair to sit in the shower and my husband helped me wash my hair. He also blow dried it. I got it cut right before surgery, so it wasn't to unmanageable.
    Also, before surgery, I was expecting to have both anterior and posterior procedures, but the surgeon was able to get everything stabilized from the front, which was a major blessing. My husband was expecting a 5 hour surgery, and mine only took 2 and a half hours. Overall, I have had a great outcome,from what could have been possibly life in a wheelchair. My gait continues to improve and I can do most anything I need to do, except lifting and certain things around the house. I will pray for a good outcome for you too. There is a sticky post on here about how to prepare which is helpful. The biggest nuisance for me was trying to sleep in the collar. It helps to have a wedge to prop you up in the bed. I just used lots of pillows, but that can be unwieldy. Also I had no major restrictions concerning the fusing. Just had to be sensible.

    Last edited by minstrel2; 03-16-2009 at 12:57 PM. Reason: forgot to answer one question

     
    Old 03-17-2009, 05:41 AM   #9
    LBias
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    Re: having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    Thank you so much for all your advice Its helpfull to speak to someone who has experience with this kinda stuff. Im so glad that your surgery was a good outcome and hope mine is as well. I hope you continue to improve so you can do all those grandma things!!LOL
    Im still very scared but I know this has to be done. Im not much of a mom like this, a few more weeks he shouldnt notice. Thanks again and will be praying for you too!!

     
    Old 03-18-2009, 04:37 AM   #10
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    Re: having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    One other thing I forgot is that you aren't supposed to put your hands and arms over your head for awhile, so you need tops that open in the front. I usually wear T shirts, so I had to get a few button shirts. Keep us posted on your surgery.

     
    Old 03-18-2009, 05:48 AM   #11
    LBias
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    Re: having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    didnt know about that!! Thanks at least I have an excuse to shop before!! LOL Thanks again Will keep posting
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    scoliosis surgery 1991 curvature 93 degrees
    2 Harringtion Rods
    Multiple screws & hooks
    Multiple fusions in lumbar and thorasic
    curvature postop 42 degrees
    Due for surgery on C7 May 19

     
    Old 03-18-2009, 06:20 AM   #12
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    Re: having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    I was told I could raise my hands/arms over my head briefly.... to put a shirt on. Each Dr. is different in their restrictions. I did need help with washing my hair though. I had my in-laws with me for 3 weeks after the first week in which my sis stayed with me. I'm married and hubby works. I have a 4 year old and she was pretty good about everything. I primed her for 2 months before the surgery. She has done a couple of overnites with family prior too. She is in daycare while I work, so we kept her going as not to disrupt her schudule too much. She loved having Grandma and aunt kimmy here. It would be harder for a younger child that wasn't in daycare. Hopefully she likes to "help". I had c4-c7 fused and wore ahard collar for a month. Now i'm in a soft collar for 2 weeks then start physical therapy. My daughter is okay with my not picking her up. She sits next to me and can climb onto my lap carefully and I will lay next to her in the bed. That is a treat for her. I'm in alot less pain now and am more patient than before with the constant pain. Good luck, I'm sure you will make it work out for you.
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    Old 03-18-2009, 06:43 AM   #13
    LBias
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    Re: having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    I think the part Im most nervous about is my son! Hes 2 1/2. I have been preety rough the last few months and through the ESI I was in bed constantly and hes done preety well, havent been picking him up (hes big!) but I feel terrible not giving him the attention he deserves! He doesnt understand much of whats going on and hes a typical boy Rough! I plan on having family come and stay (husband works as well) but no daycare. And Im only having the one level fusion so I dont think I will be down that long (hope) but its gonna be hard! Im more concerned for him than me
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    scoliosis surgery 1991 curvature 93 degrees
    2 Harringtion Rods
    Multiple screws & hooks
    Multiple fusions in lumbar and thorasic
    curvature postop 42 degrees
    Due for surgery on C7 May 19

     
    Old 03-18-2009, 03:08 PM   #14
    sammyo1
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    Re: having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    LB, your son will do fine, it will bother you more then him. Just do things while your sitting with him like reading or watching a show, a game etc... I know that age it hard. Most are like the energizer bunny they keep going & going.
    I could see where you would need the help at that age. You wont be lifting him at all for along time so he will get use to it.

    As far as raising your arms for me it causes my pain to go way up. That is probably triggers the most pain for me.
    alot of people use a wedge pillow to help prop them up & I know I really found mine handy. I wish I would have bought before surgery but ended up getting after & boy could I have used that those first few days. I also made sure I had a good haircut before surgery & I am really glad I did that to.
    TAke advantage of the help you will have & rest, rest, rest. I could not believe how tired I would get. My surgeon also said stay on calcium & reminded me today at my follow up. Good luck & god bless, Sammy

     
    Old 03-18-2009, 04:36 PM   #15
    LBias
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    Re: having C7 fusion surgery need advice

    Thanks Sammy. I plan on getting the wedge and button up shirts. Hope to get the hair cut and maybe a manicure/pedicure (if I could get that lucky HAHA!)
    Is there any other supplements that help aid the fusion during recovery? I remember taking iron as a kid through my scoliosis surgery. Not sure why? Thanks for your advice
    __________________
    scoliosis surgery 1991 curvature 93 degrees
    2 Harringtion Rods
    Multiple screws & hooks
    Multiple fusions in lumbar and thorasic
    curvature postop 42 degrees
    Due for surgery on C7 May 19

     
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