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Follow up on Neurosurgeon's appointment for Non-fusion.

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Old 07-17-2012, 08:47 AM   #1
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Location: MICHIGAN
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Follow up on Neurosurgeon's appointment for Non-fusion.

AngelinMichigan....Hi my name is Lyn. I have posted here several times about my "pseudorarthrosis" (non-union)on C6/7. I had my original fusion surgery on Nov. 29/2003 on C5/6 6/7 and found out 15 months later after still having so much pain (by a CT Myelogram) that C6/7 did not fuse.
The surgeon used a donor bone and a titanium plate and screws. I have tried everything humanly possible to get out of pain, epidurals, steroid injections, Physical Therapy, DRX9000 decompression Machine, Chiropractors, Nerve Ablations and still having the same issues.
Friday I went to see the surgeon who did my original surgery about a possible re-vision surgery. I had gone to an Orthopedic Surgeon in 2010 who wanted to do a re-vision surgery going in via a posterior approach but wanted to have the surgeon who did my original surgery give me his opinion!!!!

He had my MRI, Cat Scans, Flexion Extensions and Myelogram in front of him and "doesn't think that my "pain" is coming from the pseudoarthrosis which the Orthosurgeon calls it "symptomatic"!!!! He is very puzzled!!! He said he would perform the surgery but gives me a 50% chance of getting out of pain We talked about my symptoms and about my arm pain and my numbness and tingling of my fingers that have been going on since my surgery and he told me to leave my records with him still and that he would still look into it further and talk to his other colleagues and get back to me!!!
He listened to me for 45 minutes (after waiting for him for 3hrs) and was very interested in helping me to get out of pain as he knows that I had no relief from my previous surgery in 2003
I do have a bone spur on the vertabrae above and degeneration going on and arthritis and a few other things but he said nothing that could be causing me the kind of pain I am in!!! He said to give him a week or so and he would call me back!!! I guess I can't ask for more than that!!!
I will wait and see what he comes up with. I have a big decision to make and a 50% chance is better than no chance and a lot more research I guess.
Unless he comes back with something more concrete, I don't think I will go through with the surgery but I do have to think some more as a "posterior surgery is worse than anterior and he would cut through the muscle this time". He said he wouldn't use a piece of bone from my hip, he would use a donor bone again and he said there would be no problem this time fusing?

Well this is the results of my appointment with my neurosurgeon.

Take care all....Lyn in Michigan

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Old 07-18-2012, 01:48 PM   #2
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Re: Follow up on Neurosurgeon's appointment for Non-fusion.

Hi there...

I can completely empathize as I have had 3 cervical fusions at the same two levels of C5-C6 and C6-C7.

The first one was in 2001 and was Anterior and used bone from my hip (Autograft) and didn't use any metal.

That lasted for a few years and then started developing pain and numbness again. In 2005, another Neurosurgeon performed a fusion. Anterior, donor bone (Allograft), and titanium plate, rods, screws. The bone from my hip just resorbed into my body...pretty much disinegrated to cause collapse again.

I knew within a few hours of this surgery that it was done terribly and I was in excruciating pain. Even more so since before the surgery. But that surgeon was just awful and mean and said, "I fixed should have no more pain" and that he only uses Tylenol for pain so should I...(This was IN the hospital!)..

Anyway...thankfully I found the Neurosurgeon I have now. He said that it certainly wouldn't take away all the pain as obviously I have DDD, stenosis and other spine issues...but he could at least do a much better job at shoring things up..

So he went in through the Anterior approach...took out all the titanium and replaced it...and then flipped me over like a burger..LOL...and went in throught the Posterior approach and also used plates/screws/rods so I was put together from both sides...He also used more donor bone and used BMP as well....Bone Morphegenic Protein to help stimulate growth.

And yes...the Posterior approach was much more painful the first days/week as it cuts through the muscle....

Here I am 5 1/2 years later and I am blessed to not have much nerve pain...but have chronic muscle, bone, and adhesion (scar tissue) pain. Thankfully my PM is in the same spine center as my Neuro and they take really good care of me....

As mentioned...once it gets past the first/second's really about doing surgery just to fix mechanical issues and make sure that you don't have permanent nerve damage. But it's not realistic to do the surgery to take away all the pain.

If you have anymore questions...feel free to ask!

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