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I may have asked this before on the wrong board

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Old 12-08-2009, 04:43 AM   #1
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motmcd HB User
I may have asked this before on the wrong board

As a result of a serious mountain bike accident, I had 3-level ACDF (C5-T1) 12 years ago. Because of the extent of neurological deficit, I've been advised by three different doctors to have another surgery for 2-level ACDF (C4-5,6). I have an appointment today with a fourth doctor for a final opinion. This second surgery will result in total fusion of my cervical spine, bar one, C2-3. Can anyone tell me what range of motion I could expect post surgery? I'm told 50% of motion comes from the first cervical level, and that I should expect to see the greatest reduction in motion regarding looking up, and looking down. Can anyone comment on this from personal experience. Advanced thanks for the input.

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Old 12-08-2009, 07:18 AM   #2
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Re: I may have asked this before on the wrong board

I had a fusion and plating of C5-C7 some 9 years ago. I can rest chin to chest with no problems but looking up is somewhat restricted as is my turning head to right side. I have adapted to this limitation and it really doesn't restrict my mobility that much. I do know that I seem to have more fatigue like pain if I look up for any length of time (such as a movie screen) Also, I do have to sleep either on a very small pillow that is flat or on my right side. Reclining with the neck forward as in watching TV also causes some discomfort if for an extended period. I also tend to use my rear view mirror more in driving especially when having to turn to the right side as checking over your shoulder for what is behind you, but I usually just turn my whole upper body and that works well. I guess if I did a lot of driving daily as in a job, it might be a nuisance, but really hasn't affected my comfort level at the wheel. Hope that helps.

Last edited by goldyfm; 12-08-2009 at 07:21 AM. Reason: spelling

Old 12-17-2009, 11:17 PM   #3
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Re: I may have asked this before on the wrong board

I am fused c4-7 and don't notice much loss at all. Looking down I can touch chest, looking up a little more difficult but I can see what I need to. Mostly I notice it when going to a movie or needing to look a long time upwards. Right and left a little loss -not more than 10-15% of range. I don't really notice much except when trying to turn right/left back of shoulder like if you need to look to back up car. You adjust. Some is also caused by muscle tightness because I have nerve damage and some shoulder muscles in permanent spasm. I was afraid of loss too, but was pleasantly surprised at how little it really the loss is and thankful it really didn't impact me.

Old 12-17-2009, 11:57 PM   #4
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Re: I may have asked this before on the wrong board

4 years ago My husband has had his entire cervical and half lower spine fused with rods and screws up and down... so but for his neck range of motion is limited. To look up he has to alter his stance and bend his whole back backwards but that isn't like looking straight up...he can never look straight up. when he looks side to side it is ok as long as it isn't an extreme side to side...he needs his whole shoulders to turn. All the neck range of motion was a learning curve because when someone calls your name your first instinct is to quickly look...he can't do anything quick...all movements have to be planned or it is going to hurt. He is an electrician so this was a very difficult limitation but just for normal driving and daily living it is ok...sleeping required him to find just the right thing under his head and it isn't a pillow it is more like a folded piece of fleece or something soft to just support his head without bending it. He just had a ultrasound of his thyroid last week and he said that was very difficult because as I recall you have to lay flat and then bend your head back hyper-extending your neck..that was never going to happen. He doesn't get colds so that would be tough but he sneezes a lot and that is hard...vomiting is hard. Some time this year we noticed now 4 years later he is starting to have a hunch/stoop to his walk...apparently at the lower end of the Cervical fusing it is getting weak so it hurts to stand up straight so he stoops to accommodate the pain. His surgeon says that happens to some people depending on many variables. Good luck with your surgery.

Old 01-06-2010, 04:26 AM   #5
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Re: I may have asked this before on the wrong board

Thanks for the reply, AnnD. I appreciate the input. Still haven't made final decision of what I'll be doing. Your husband's story gives me something to think about. Peace.

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