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  • C2-C3 fusion

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    Old 10-11-2009, 06:17 PM   #1
    Toonces1
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    C2-C3 fusion

    Has anyone had a fusion this high up? My best friend just a got a referral to a surgeon because she has a disc pressing on her spinal cord at C2/C3. She went to see the doc that did my posterior fusion at C5/C6 and he said his partner was the only one in our area (large metro area) that specialized in the upper portion of the neck. Apparently this is super risky? My friend is freaking out and in tons of pain. Anyone have any success stories or anecdotes that I can share with her to ease her mind?

     
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    Old 10-12-2009, 06:05 PM   #2
    jennybyc
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    Re: C2-C3 fusion

    This is what I thought I was facing earlier in the year so I did a lot of research.

    It is risky. C1&2 work together to turn the head with no disk in between. C2 actually hooks into C1. By fusing C2 and 3 she will lose about 50% of the movement of her head. Artificial disks cannot be used....too close to brain.

    The major risks are swelling from surgery so close to the brain stem as well as post-op infection and other damage to the brain. I was done up to C3 and ended up stopping breathing after surgery probably due to too much swelling so high up. Make sure it's a hospital that does lots of spine surgeries so they know what possible post-op problems to look for. Raises post-op stroke risk too.

    If it has to be done, get the best doc she can afford or reach. It is truly life threatening and this is when the best is best.

    Give your friend my warmest of gentle hugs and tell I'll be saying a few prayers that she's okay.

    Jenny

     
    Old 10-13-2009, 09:01 AM   #3
    sammyo1
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    Re: C2-C3 fusion

    My sister had fusion in that area. She has RA & had no choice as her doctor was afraid of that area collasping. She had so much pain for the longest time (head) & due to having RA for so many yrs the doctors contributed it to that, as she has RA from her head to her toes.
    Her surgery was a success, yes she lost range of motion but she said the relief she received it was well worth it. I took care of her post op as she has not much use of her arms, hands & so on..& I can tell you she was so happy to have relief, she was not able to lift her head before the surgery as her pain was so bad she attempted to drive herself in her PJs to her doctor one morning before they had even opened the doors. She hate ERs. That lit a fire under her Rhuemy to take another look & they discovered her spine was about to give, which would have killed her. I wish your friend the best of luck. Sammy

     
    Old 10-17-2009, 07:53 AM   #4
    Toonces1
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    Re: C2-C3 fusion

    Does anyone know if the recovery from this surgery is similar to that from surgeries further down the cervical spine? 2 weeks in a collar, etc?

     
    Old 10-18-2009, 05:36 AM   #5
    sammyo1
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    Re: C2-C3 fusion

    I cant remember the exact time frame my sister was in a collar but I belive it was closer to 3mnth. She went into a soft collar at some point. Her collar was different then mine, harder. Like a trauma collar. Not sure if her surgeon did this for a specific reason. I would imagine that area they would be more careful, but Im only guessing. good luck to your friend, I wish her a successful surgery & recovery. Sammy

     
    Old 10-19-2009, 07:38 AM   #6
    CheeWei
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    Re: C2-C3 fusion

    is the surgery aprroach of the back of the mouth?

     
    Old 10-22-2009, 09:41 PM   #7
    gooseberry
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    Re: C2-C3 fusion

    Dear Toonces,

    Hello! I am fused from C2 - T2, the operation was last year in June. I too was scared beyond beleif, it was my second spinal surgery so I had a real idea that it was going to be rough. I spoke to alot of people and surgeons before going ahead and the common theme amongst their advice was "you will be releived when its done". I can say that is absolutely true, I had a great outcome, I am now back at work and pain free, but recovery was hard work with ALOT of exercise and therapy but my life and mobility is much better than before the surgery.

    I had my fusion done from the back of the neck, and I now have 50% rotation which is great. I can look up a bit but looking down I mainly bend from the waist, I dont drive but I dont drive because I have cerebral palsy. I think the MUST is that your friend needs to find a surgeon that she is ABSOLUTLEY confident with in terms of skill and experience in this particular area, who can explain the risks and benefits to her so she can make a decision that she's comfortable with. My surgeon even gave me case studies of similar surgeries he had done.

    Please give me best to your friend and tell her there are positive experiences out there.

    Best wishes,

    GB

     
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