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  • posterior fusion from C2-T1 five weeks ago

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    Old 12-26-2011, 04:26 PM   #1
    women51
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    posterior fusion from C2-T1 five weeks ago

    I had a posterior fusion from C2-T1 five weeks ago. I am to be in a hard collar for 3 months. I also wear this bone stimulator over my hard collar 4 hours a day to help with the fusion. I will be going for a 6 week follow-up appointment with my surgeon to see how my fusion is taking. After three months my surgeon will start me to be weaned off hard collar into a soft collar. I don't start physical therapy until 6 months post surgery. I really think I could use physical therapy much earlier, especially with the hard collar, because I get spasms between my shoulders. I am told by other people of this message board that is my fusion starts at C2 I will not have enough neck movement to drive. At the young age of 51 I cannot have my driving taking away from me. At my follow-up visit with my surgeon I am going to pose that question. Prior to surgery my surgeon indicated that I wouldn't have any less neck movement that what I had being in pain. Prior to surgery, I was driving my car. I would be anxious to hear your story and recovery. Plus, any recommendations during the recovery.
    women51

    Last edited by Mod-S4; 05-25-2012 at 07:22 AM. Reason: Please start a new thread for your question. Reference to other thread removed.

     
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    Old 12-26-2011, 05:38 PM   #2
    SpineAZ
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    Re: posterior fusion c2-c5

    Physical Therapy wouldn't help the neck spasms right now as you can't do enough movement to work on the muscles. Hopefully you have been prescribed a strong muscle relaxant and are taking pain meds on schedule. Personally the more pain I'm in the more I tense up my neck, shoulder, and upper back muscles. Soma 350 has been the best help in relaxing muscles.

    In regards to driving I purchased an extended length panoramic rear view mirror that clips on to the mirror of whatever car I'm driving. I purchased a 2004 Honda CRV to see better and it's easier on my spine and knees. Whoever had the car before me put small round blindspot mirrors on the outside side mirrors and that's helped a lot. My fusion is C5-C7 so not as long as yours (I need C4 added but am putting that off for a while due to recent knee replacement at 45)
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    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

     
    Old 12-28-2011, 12:47 PM   #3
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    Re: posterior fusion c2-c5

    Hi Women51,

    Yes, I am a C2-T3 fusion. Mine started congenitally at age 19, Im 52 now. I was fused from C4-C7 and had a laminectomy in 94, at which time my head fell forward, I still had probelms with my arms, headaches, weakness in legs ect. I drove for awhile before my last surgery in 10/10 which they put a plate in the front, and rods in the back to pull up my head. Im finding out they didnt "fix" my neck but really did what they could to keep me out of a wheelchair, for this I am grateful. I rarely drive now, more because of the meds than anything else. My back is trashed due to the neck fusion. I'm taking MS Contin, Diladud and Baclofen.
    I wish you luck, and hope I answered some of your questions.

    Saucer

     
    Old 12-28-2011, 01:43 PM   #4
    women51
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    Re: posterior fusion c2-c5

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saucer View Post
    Hi Women51,

    Yes, I am a C2-T3 fusion. Mine started congenitally at age 19, Im 52 now. I was fused from C4-C7 and had a laminectomy in 94, at which time my head fell forward, I still had probelms with my arms, headaches, weakness in legs ect. I drove for awhile before my last surgery in 10/10 which they put a plate in the front, and rods in the back to pull up my head. Im finding out they didnt "fix" my neck but really did what they could to keep me out of a wheelchair, for this I am grateful. I rarely drive now, more because of the meds than anything else. My back is trashed due to the neck fusion. I'm taking MS Contin, Diladud and Baclofen.
    I wish you luck, and hope I answered some of your questions.

    Saucer
    Hi Saucer,

    I also am similar age of 51 with a big history for my age. Unfortunately, my last surgery was due to an auto accident where I was rear ended while I was stopped at a red light. I am going to get it confirmed next week with my six week follow-up with my surgeon, but I got a feeling that I will be doing very little driving. I live further out and currently renting a house that my lease ends in April 2012. Because of this accident and recent surgery I am headed to live closer in the city where transportation is easily accessible. I do see that you are still taking pain medication which I am concerned about since I have taken muscle relaxants and pain medication since August 2011. I don't what your thoughts are regarding alternative medicine for pain control, but, I tried acupuncture along with cupping and massage with herbal remedies. I have done two sessions of acupuncture within a two week period and notice a significant difference in my pain level and muscle spasms.

    I have the following questions for you since we have had similar surgeries:

    1. How long were you in a hard collar before graduating to the soft collar?

    2. When were you started in physical therapy?

    3. What pain medications have been the most useful for you?

    4. Are you able to work? If so, part time or full time? I have been told that at the most that I will be able to work would be part time, and preferably from home.

    5. Did you apply for SSDI and get approved? I am going through the long process with my LTD carrier providing an attorney for me free of charge.

    I appreciate your time.

    Women51

     
    Old 12-28-2011, 07:06 PM   #5
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    Re: posterior fusion c2-c5

    Women51,
    I forgot to mention you need to move your arms as high as possible. I was in a hard collar for 4 months and didnt which caused my shoulders to become frozen. This is very painful. Try crawling your fingers up the wall a bit. I didnt go into a soft collar at all.
    Again, good luck.
    Saucer

     
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    Old 12-29-2011, 07:58 AM   #6
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    Re: posterior fusion c2-c5

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by women51 View Post
    Hi Saucer,

    I also am similar age of 51 with a big history for my age. Unfortunately, my last surgery was due to an auto accident where I was rear ended while I was stopped at a red light. I am going to get it confirmed next week with my six week follow-up with my surgeon, but I got a feeling that I will be doing very little driving. I live further out and currently renting a house that my lease ends in April 2012. Because of this accident and recent surgery I am headed to live closer in the city where transportation is easily accessible. I do see that you are still taking pain medication which I am concerned about since I have taken muscle relaxants and pain medication since August 2011. I don't what your thoughts are regarding alternative medicine for pain control, but, I tried acupuncture along with cupping and massage with herbal remedies. I have done two sessions of acupuncture within a two week period and notice a significant difference in my pain level and muscle spasms.

    I have the following questions for you since we have had similar surgeries:

    1. How long were you in a hard collar before graduating to the soft collar?
    After the laminectomy surgery in 94 I wore a soft collar only for 6 weeks. After the 2nd surgery in 10/10, I wore only the hard collar for 4 months. I never wore the soft collar after the 2010 surgery.
    2. When were you started in physical therapy?
    In 1994, I started PT within a month of surgery, but in 2010 no PT at all. He has me doing the arm exercises to prvent the shoulders becoming frozen again.
    3. What pain medications have been the most useful for you?
    I've been on so many different pain meds. Either they hurt my stomach or I couldnt stand the way I feel. I'm on MS Contin and diladud now. My doctor tried to take me off as they started to make me feel insecure about leaving my home, but it didnt work. The pain was too intense, so he lowered my dose.
    4. Are you able to work? If so, part time or full time? I have been told that at the most that I will be able to work would be part time, and preferably from home.
    After the 1994 surgery I was unable to go back to work, as my head was down, arms still hurt, headaches and weakness. My job was a desk job where I had to sit for 8 hours a day.
    5. Did you apply for SSDI and get approved? I am going through the long process with my LTD carrier providing an attorney for me free of charge.
    I applied for SSD in 1995 and was denied. I appealed and was denied again. I recently applied again, this time with an attorney. My hearing is in Feb 2012.
    I appreciate your time.

    Women51
    I Hope this helps

     
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    Old 04-30-2012, 08:44 AM   #7
    Saucer
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    Re: posterior fusion c2-c5

    Hi Women51,

    I just received notice of deniel from SSA after my hearing in 2/12. The judge completely ignored my fusion and decided their doctor who never saw me was more believable than mine. I have a lawyer, not sure what he will do now. This is a shocking blow.
    Good luck with yours.

     
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