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  • How long does it take to fuse? NS said I was complete?

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    Old 06-24-2003, 04:10 PM   #1
    firefighter_101
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    Question How long does it take to fuse? NS said I was complete?

    Hello all,
    I just got off the phone with my NS's nurse.She called me back after I called her 3 times starting last week. OK, this is what she said. Your fused,your as good as your going to get ( as far as the fusion).My NS has only seen me four times, 1st visit,surgery,3 weeks post-op for X-rays and 3 weeks later to check my throat....(that still is really messed up.)So, that means you can fuse in three weeks? That's how long after my surgery he took X-rays. I can't believe that. I ask her for my records. She ask if they were for me or someone else... I told her I would be going for a second opinion.That my throat was still no where near normal and I want to talk to someone else about it.She said she'd ask the girl that does that but it might take "alittle while". Not sure how long alittle while is but I have a feeling I'm going to find out! lol

    I ask her if I was fused, then why was I wearing a Bone Growth Stimulator, and the doctor said it would take 4 months? Her reply was your fused as good as your going to get.That if the doctor opened me up and looked at the area, he couldn't tell the difference between my bone and the fusion. It might be true... but I just don't believe it.

    Doesn't the NS give you a mobility test to see what movement you've lost? Mine didn't, I was told that he should have. I hope someone can answer my questions because I'm sure confused right now.

    Thanks,
    Harvey

    ------------------
    Three Level C 4-5,5-6,6-7...Fusion, Grafts and plating.

     
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    Old 06-24-2003, 04:17 PM   #2
    need2fuse
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    that means you can fuse in three weeks?

    nope.

    sue
    __________________
    L5 fused early 80's for spondylolisthesis
    2 level acdf 6/2000
    repair torn labrum 7/2000
    shoulder impingement 5/2003
    results are in, the fusion never fully healed. =/
    revision and an overhaul surgery set for June 27th

     
    Old 06-24-2003, 04:56 PM   #3
    HERMIT
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    Hi firefighter. I don't pretend to know anthing about your fusing, but DO know a bit about neurosurgeons.
    He has made his big dollars from your surgery. Followup can be practically non--existant. They are interested in getting you in and out as fast as possible without fuss.
    As for your records--in Canada, they are your property. They will make copies for you and keep the originals for their records. As for scans and xrays--it is a big runaround and a hard time--but I buy copies of all my xrays and MRIs---I have my mRIs on CD and can look at them at home on my computer. They will say they can't do this for you--but they can--just makes em move a little bit more.
    You now know what your NS thinks of you---take care and don't push your recovery--and--get a second opinion.
    PS if you are in the States where you have to pay for your treatment--I would be a LOT more vocal than I am here.
    Good luck.

     
    Old 06-24-2003, 05:12 PM   #4
    need2fuse
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    In general the literature supports that people fuse faster with autograft then with allograft but overtime the allograft bone is still in the 90+ percent range for one-level fusion. With autograft the fusion is well underway by four to six weeks, and probably solid by eight weeks while with allograft it tends to take around twelve weeks.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~

    6 months plus is what I have read for a complete fusion. I got an ALL Clear at my follow ups...

    ------------------
    L5 fused early 80's for spondylolisthesis
    2 level acdf 6/2000
    repair torn labrum 7/2000
    shoulder impingement 5/2003
    results are in, the fusion never fully healed. =/
    revision and an overhaul surgery set for June 27th
    __________________
    L5 fused early 80's for spondylolisthesis
    2 level acdf 6/2000
    repair torn labrum 7/2000
    shoulder impingement 5/2003
    results are in, the fusion never fully healed. =/
    revision and an overhaul surgery set for June 27th

     
    Old 06-24-2003, 08:39 PM   #5
    GinaB
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    Hi,
    My NS said it would take up to ONE YEAR for a complete fusion. (Since I was a smoker, he wanted to make sure I quit for a solid year as that hinders fusing.) I went for a 6 week x-ray, and will go back for 3 month, and then 1 year). Also, I still have some restriction. I wore a collar for 8 weeks, had a 2 level fusion, w/plate & screws. I think you need a 2nd opinion for sure, not JUST for the throat but also for the fusion follow-up.
    Good luck,
    Gina

     
    Old 06-25-2003, 09:27 AM   #6
    cardinal
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    Hello! I saw my n/s yesterday. He sd fusion takes atleast 4 months. He didn't have my 2nd set of xrays, I will know more today. I am going on 4 mos July 18. C 5-6-7 like you. I still have numbness and pain, more so when I sit at this computer! n/s sd at the 6 wk all he could tell was the plate in tac. Hopefully I will know more today! Best wishes, and yes get another n/s!Oh yeh, I will have a mobility x ray on the July 28, so your dr should have ordered that too. cj
    __________________
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    Old 06-25-2003, 04:17 PM   #7
    ajfinsand
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    Well, I had a MUCH more extensive fusion than yours (mine is from C7-T9!) but my doc (a spinal deformities specialist) told me it takes a good year for fusion to be COMPLETE. I started having major problems with my hardware (12" rods) 5 months post-op; at which time the surgeon said I would need to have another surgery to remove the hardware, but that he would not remove it until one year after the first surgery to insure that the fusion was complete. My own bone was used for my fusion; I used a bone growth stimulator fro 5 months and I am not a smoker so there were no specific obstacles in regards to my fusion. He also told me that it is really hard to tell from the x-rays just how SOLID the fusion is. You can tell whether or not it is fusing....but not how completely it is fused. When he did my second surgery to remove the hardware, he found on spot that had not fused as well as the others and he added some artificial graft to that site.

    aj in Oregon



    ------------------
    ~ 48 year old female; currently self-employed as an artist/designer/woodcrafter.
    ~ Previously worked in the restaurant biz for 27 years (not so good for someone with a bad back!)
    ~ Hereditary and congenital scoliosis, but it never caused any problems until I was 40+ years old.
    ~ 76 degree curvature had increased 2 degrees in two years 1999-2001; indicating surgery was necessary.
    ~ Surgery in March of 2001.
    ~ Fusion and insturmentation of C7 - T9.
    ~ Fourth rib removed; 5th and 6th rib cut back halfway; removed ribs were morselized and used for the grafting, plus additional bone harvested from hip.
    ~ After tthe hardware was attached, spine was straigntened 20+ degrees.
    ~ 2 weeks in the hospital.
    ~ Brace worn for five months. Bone growth stimulator device also worn several hours per day.
    ~ PT 5 mos. after surgery caused increased pain.
    ~ Follow-up surgery to remove hardware scheduled for Feb. 2002.
    ~ Round 2 of PT 2 mos. after hardware removal.
    ~ Medically released to return to full activity in July 2002.
    ~ Increased pain upon returning to regular work schedule.
    ~ Round 3 of PT in April/May 2003; continually increasing pain.

     
    Old 06-25-2003, 08:32 PM   #8
    firefighter_101
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    Thanks Boys and Girls,
    That's what I thought. It makes no sense to me why his nurse would lie to me.... what could she gain by doing that? I think I need to hire a lawyer as bad as I hate that. I wanted this to be worked out between us but a friend of mine ( that works for 6 NS's ) told me my NS is doiing what WC told him to do. Apparently he handles alot of cases for them.

    Thanks for the response, as always it helps me alot.

    Harvey

    ------------------
    Three Level C 4-5,5-6,6-7...bone spurs...Fusion, Grafts and plating.Bone Growth Stimulator worn all the time.

     
    Old 06-26-2003, 04:32 AM   #9
    Memer
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    Hi Harv,

    I just wanted to mention that I don't get workers' comp and there is no lawsuit involved, but your NS sounds a lot like mine.

    My NS has never told me what, if any, restrictions I have. That's why I have asked a lot of questions on this board. My NS's office is no help at all. I had one x-ray at 8 weeks. NS didn't say if it looked like I was fusing or not. He didn't mention if or when there would be another x-ray.

    He has never done ROM of my neck since surgery and only looked at the incision once, to take out the drain stitch. He didn't even visit me in the hospital after the surgery. I'm not sure who discharged me, but it wasn't my NS.

    I think someone mentioned that once a NS makes his money with the surgery he wants to be done with you. I think that's true.

    My NS told me that I should get a new line of work (I have a sit-down job) because sitting is too hard on the neck. I can only imagine how hard firefighting and everything that goes with that will be on your neck.

    These guys leave a lot of questions to the imagination. Good luck with the lawyer.

    Memer

     
    Old 06-26-2003, 10:24 AM   #10
    PsychLea
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    Harvey,

    I bet your NS doesn't even know his nurse told you that. I would suggest you write him a letter and certify mail it.

    You should be able to go to the office TODAY and get a copy of your records.

    Who is your NS?



    ------------------
    God bless,

    Lea

    C4-5 noncompressive disc displacement
    C5-6 compressive disc displacement
    C6-7 broad based disc protrusion encroaching on the anterioposterior aspect of the spinal canal.
    DDD
    ACDF C6-7 5/13/03 with titanium plate,4 screws, and no collar postop.
    __________________
    God bless,

    Lea

     
    Old 06-26-2003, 10:34 AM   #11
    firefighter_101
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    Psychlea,
    My NS is Zachery Mason, Neurological Surgery Associates in the Baptist Medical Towers. A letter to Dr.Mason may be the best course of action.

    My family doctor, whom I went to yesterday, has me on 20 mg Prednisone, 3 times a day for the swollen throat. Is that to much? I started them yesterday and I'm dizzy for some reason. I thought it might be from the meds?
    Thanks for the advise.
    Harvey

    ------------------
    Three Level C 4-5,5-6,6-7...Fusion, Grafts and plating.Bone Growth Stimulator worn all the time.

     
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