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    Old 06-23-2012, 07:34 AM   #1
    lisaco
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    Question Another Fusion

    My surgeon has already fused C5-6 and C6-7. Now because of severe numb fingers and pain in lower arm, he wants to fuse C7-TI. There is no evidence of impingement at this level on MRI. I am highly symptomatic and had a nerve root injection at C8 that numbed the pain. Have tried everything in the book, chiro, acupuncture, PT, ESI,. This is going on for one year and am at the disablity stage. Don't know if I want another fusion.

     
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    Old 06-23-2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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    Re: Another Fusion

    You have no MRI evidence of impingement but he still wants to take the disk out? I don't get it...

     
    Old 06-23-2012, 08:14 AM   #3
    ANGELINMICHIGAN
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    Re: Another Fusion

    lisaco...Hi there, I am so glad that I found you as I am having similar problems and would really like to talk to you. My story is not so great but I will try and be brief but you can find my complete story if you type in my name in Healthboards...Any way in the year 2003 I had an Anterior Cervical Fusion on C5/6 6/7 and never did get out of pain and finally 15 months later my doctor finally sent me for a CT Myelogram!!! Apparently only a slice scan can determine if you actually "fused" and I wasn't!!! I tried the same route as you everything possible to get out of pain,chiropractors, DRX9000 decompression machine, pain management ESI injections, cortizone shots, nerve ablations, etc. My neurosurgeon did not want to deal with my "pseudoarthrosis" which is obviously a non fusion which means "pain", he didn't like the questions I asked him when he told me to come back for a "consultation" for a "new revision surgery" in 2005 so he told me to take my x-rays and paperwork and leave his office and that I was his "patient any more". He is a well known neurosurgeon where I live and I find when another surgeon finds out who has done my original surgery, they don't want to touch me. Anyway I just sent my original neuro. another letter with a new MRI, Cat Scans and Flexion Extension views from another ortho surgeon who said he would operate but had a terrible bed side manner and who was very hesitant and treated me very poorly.(He wanted to do a posterior fusion just like my original surgeon wanted to do in 2005 and because I asked too many questions told me to leave...) Anyway my original surgeon has agreed to see me again next month!!! I am at his mercy which is really a shame since I have been in chronic pain and not fused since 2003. Now I am sorry I took over your post but....I am having very bad arm pain mostly in my left arm and some in my right but....my arm is aching very badly and my hand goes numb constantly and it happens in my right arm too. I had my fusion surgery in the same areas as you and on my MRI is says that I have problems C7/T1 too and I am wondering if my arms aching and hands going numb are problems from my neck, I also have been having pains in my chest on the left side!!! Can you tell me what your MRI says for C7/T1. Also how long ago was your fusion surgery? I guess your surgeon is sure that your pain is coming from your C7/T1 since you had a nerve root injection that numbed the pain. I am also assuming that your first fusion surgery was a success? Did you have it with titanium plate and screws. I am just trying to figure out if we can help each other as my left arms is aching so bad and this numbness really scares me and if I am looking at another fusion surgery (which I am almost positive I am, I want to know everything to ask the surgeon before my next appt. and this numbness is of course high up on my list).
    Take care and I hope you feel better soon and I hope to talk to you soon.
    AngelinMichigan Lyn

     
    Old 06-23-2012, 10:08 AM   #4
    lisaco
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    Re: Another Fusion

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ANGELINMICHIGAN View Post
    lisaco...Hi there, I am so glad that I found you as I am having similar problems and would really like to talk to you. My story is not so great but I will try and be brief but you can find my complete story if you type in my name in Healthboards...Any way in the year 2003 I had an Anterior Cervical Fusion on C5/6 6/7 and never did get out of pain and finally 15 months later my doctor finally sent me for a CT Myelogram!!! Apparently only a slice scan can determine if you actually "fused" and I wasn't!!! I tried the same route as you everything possible to get out of pain,chiropractors, DRX9000 decompression machine, pain management ESI injections, cortizone shots, nerve ablations, etc. My neurosurgeon did not want to deal with my "pseudoarthrosis" which is obviously a non fusion which means "pain", he didn't like the questions I asked him when he told me to come back for a "consultation" for a "new revision surgery" in 2005 so he told me to take my x-rays and paperwork and leave his office and that I was his "patient any more". He is a well known neurosurgeon where I live and I find when another surgeon finds out who has done my original surgery, they don't want to touch me. Anyway I just sent my original neuro. another letter with a new MRI, Cat Scans and Flexion Extension views from another ortho surgeon who said he would operate but had a terrible bed side manner and who was very hesitant and treated me very poorly.(He wanted to do a posterior fusion just like my original surgeon wanted to do in 2005 and because I asked too many questions told me to leave...) Anyway my original surgeon has agreed to see me again next month!!! I am at his mercy which is really a shame since I have been in chronic pain and not fused since 2003. Now I am sorry I took over your post but....I am having very bad arm pain mostly in my left arm and some in my right but....my arm is aching very badly and my hand goes numb constantly and it happens in my right arm too. I had my fusion surgery in the same areas as you and on my MRI is says that I have problems C7/T1 too and I am wondering if my arms aching and hands going numb are problems from my neck, I also have been having pains in my chest on the left side!!! Can you tell me what your MRI says for C7/T1. Also how long ago was your fusion surgery? I guess your surgeon is sure that your pain is coming from your C7/T1 since you had a nerve root injection that numbed the pain. I am also assuming that your first fusion surgery was a success? Did you have it with titanium plate and screws. I am just trying to figure out if we can help each other as my left arms is aching so bad and this numbness really scares me and if I am looking at another fusion surgery (which I am almost positive I am, I want to know everything to ask the surgeon before my next appt. and this numbness is of course high up on my list).
    Take care and I hope you feel better soon and I hope to talk to you soon.
    AngelinMichigan Lyn

     
    Old 06-23-2012, 10:17 AM   #5
    lisaco
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    Re: Another Fusion

    Funny, I had my C5-6 fusion in 2007 and was pain free until a year ago. Due to retrolisthesis, I had C6-7 done in February. I too have been dismissed by neurosurgeons.
    According to my current surgeon, my problem will not show up on an MRI because I am laying flat on my back. But during flex/extension X-rays, all of my vertebrae from C3-T1 slip and slide on each other. Any movement will cause this "domino" effect. Even walking.
    I forgot to mention, my neurologist issued me a DDS cervical collar for home traction. No good results from that.
    So my surgeon wants to fuse C7-T1 because I cannot use my hands, and in pain that hydrocodone can't touch, and I have run out of non-surgical options.

    But yes, I have been told by some neurosurgeons that I am nuts and that the current fusions I have were a mistake.

     
    Old 06-23-2012, 10:34 AM   #6
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    Re: Another Fusion

    << I have been told by some neurosurgeons that I am nuts and that the current fusions I have were a mistake >>

    Wow... sounds like that ought to be explored further and cleared up.

     
    Old 06-23-2012, 11:33 AM   #7
    lisaco
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    Re: Another Fusion

    I am getting a second and a third opinion on Monday. But there's nothing I can do about the fusions. They cannot be undone.

     
    Old 06-23-2012, 12:28 PM   #8
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    Re: Another Fusion

    Glad to hear about the additional opinions. Please let us know what they say. Your case is unusual to say the least.

    BTW, Jennybyc (here) has said there's such a thing as a standing MRI....

     
    Old 06-23-2012, 01:52 PM   #9
    lisaco
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    Re: Another Fusion

    Had one last Wednesday. Again it was normal. And the resolution of the images was not very sharp. My fear is I am headed for a mylogram CT

     
    Old 06-24-2012, 07:36 AM   #10
    lisaco
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    Re: Another Fusion

    Sunday morning and in incredible pain. Fingers barely work to type this message. Wrists are stabbing me. Both arms feel numb, and pain across the back of my neck.
    So it's hard to turn down surgery when it is offered to you and you wake up in total pain and unable to function.
    Going to a major university spine center tomorrow at 10am and taking all of my CD's (xrays and mri's).
    Please God find me a way out of this.

     
    The following 2 users give hugs of support to: lisaco
    ANGELINMICHIGAN (06-24-2012),kenzibenzi (06-25-2012)
    Old 06-24-2012, 10:12 AM   #11
    NeckIssueGuy
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    Re: Another Fusion

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WebDozer View Post
    << I have been told by some neurosurgeons that I am nuts and that the current fusions I have were a mistake >>

    Wow... sounds like that ought to be explored further and cleared up.
    WOW sounds like MONEY HUNGRY MALPRACTICE or ignorance, probably just did it for the $$$$$$ what a shame. like were guinea pigs for the under educated or half poor Docs that cant pay their bills borrowing their A$$%es off at or expense.

    I wish u luck and am praying for u something has to give one way or the other Good luck& take care

     
    Old 06-24-2012, 01:25 PM   #12
    ANGELINMICHIGAN
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    Re: Another Fusion

    lisaco...I am so upset that I am literally in tears when reading this and I think if I read this correctly that NeckIssueGuy feels just as bad for you!!! My heart goes out to you and I feel your pain more than you know being in Chronic Pain since the year 2000!!!!

    I wish that Jennybyc would give her opinion also, she must have missed this or must not be feeling good because she would be upset and would be giving her take on this. She will I am sure give you her opinion honestly!!!

    Anyway I would like to say that I didn't want to put my whole story on here "again" but with my surgery on C5/6 6/7 "I did not fuse" at C6/7''...are you sure that you have fully fused at either of your surgeries!!!! If you haven't fused that can cause a lot of pain and because I am not fused I have the arm pain and heaviness and the numbness and tingling and have had that since even before my surgery. I am hoping that next one down C7/T1 doesn't have to be done but in hearing what your surgeon says....on my flexion extension views it showed "mild anterolisthesis of C3 on C4 by 3mm" and "there is minimal anterolisthesis of C7 on T1" There is an anterior osteophyte projecting from the vertebral body of C4. Is this what you mean is going on with you?

    In Anterolisthesis: The Upper Vertebral body is positioned abnormally compared to the vertebral body below it. More specifically the upper vertebral body slips forward onto the one below.
    Now I have talked to Jenny about Anterolisthesis and she said that it can be "congenital" that you can be born with it and normally they are not too worried about it!!! After my surgery they had already marked down that they had noticed that I had "anteriolisthesis of C3 on C4" and didn't even bother to tell me, they noticed it while doing x-rays afterwards and put it on my paperwork. Jenny said if it looked like it had been there since birth then they are not worried about it. This may not be anything like what you have at all I am just telling you about that in my case of C3 falling forward on to my C4.(however it does sound like what you are describing but you are spelling it differently) I am not sure about my case of C7 on to T1 however. In reading your case of your symptoms I am thinking that I am having the exact same symptoms and same pain that maybe that is where my pain is also coming from and also the fact that I am not fused!!! I am so confused about all of this myself and when I read your post I am sooo upset and I cried for you!!! I didn't even go back on your post today and I don't know why!!!
    When you had a stand up MRI what did your results say? I do not understand what they are saying about all of your discs falling forward!!! Is this the "anterolisthesis" that they are talking about that you say is the "domino effect" that I am showing in my flexion/extension views!!!
    After I had my fusion surgery I never did get any relief, the pain has always still been there and I have always worried about why I didn't get any relief at all, is it because I never fused!!! Also when my surgeon took the Myelogram and noticed that the bone had disintegrated he could see at that time that the disc above was starting to go, "should he have done that one too". Maybe if he had done that one too, I would have got some pain relief"??
    I have those questions too. You have been told by other surgeons that you shouldn't have had those surgeries? Something does not seem right. I don't understand and am soooo confused for you. I hope you get the answers you need. What city do you live in if you don't mind me asking? I want to make sure you get a good neurosurgeon!!! I am worried about you!!!
    Get some rest!!! Take care of yourself.
    Gentle Hugs....Lyn AngelinMichigan

     
    Old 06-24-2012, 01:35 PM   #13
    lisaco
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    Re: Another Fusion

    Angel in Michigan,
    You are so sweet. I am sure my fusions have fused and seen have seen this on an X-ray. Also I sent the film to a contact at the Mayo Clinic who confirmed the fusions were solid.

    And yes, they believe my pain and numbness is at the C7/T1 level.

    Last edited by moderator2; 06-24-2012 at 03:09 PM.

     
    Old 06-24-2012, 01:56 PM   #14
    ANGELINMICHIGAN
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    Re: Another Fusion

    lisaco....I will keep on typing for now....I am glad that you have sent x-rays to the Mayo Clinic to confirm that you have fused. I am very interested in what neurosurgeons or neurologists have said to you to tell you that you shouldn't have had the surgery(ies) that you have had!!! What were the symptoms of the pain or feeling you had to have the other surgeries if you don't mind me asking? You don't have to answer any of these questions...just curious because everything seems so much alike. I was going to this homeopathic/chiropractic doctor for over a year and he told me to quote him "I didnt even need to get out of bed to fix you" he said "your whole spine is dislocated" and he proceeded to reef on my neck and spine so hard he left me laying there screaming in pain and then put me on this traction machine and pulled my neck out frontwards" well that didn't help anything. I kept on going to him for a year and more adjustments on my neck and spine and thousands of dollars worth of "whole food supplements" and he also found out by liver panel tests that I had "Epstein Barr Virus/CMV" which was just another bonus and I was still in a pain level of 8 at least and I then decided to go and see a Neurosurgeon who then told me "He could help me". This homeopathic doctor told me that I didn't need surgery....so I also think...Did I do the right thing, my Neurosurgeon in his reports says...I had arthritis, bone spurs, bulging discs...so confusing!!!
    I am tired, I am going to end for today and you don't have to answer me, we will talk again tomorrow. Please come back on here tomorrow after seeing the other Neuro's , I am really interested to find out what they say.
    Take care of yourself.
    Lyn (AngelinMichigan)

     
    Old 06-25-2012, 02:34 PM   #15
    lisaco
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    Re: Another Fusion

    Update. Went to see a new Neuro. He has ordered at CT Myelogram to get to the bottom of this. Hate to go through that process but understand it's the right thing to do to find out once and for all if surgery is the answer.

     
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