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  • Neck looks strange after surgery

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    Old 07-06-2003, 09:04 AM   #1
    Cathric
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    Question Neck looks strange after surgery

    I’m very surprised that my neck is so indented at the surgical site (C5-6, 6-7). I suppose that’s natural since the vertebrae are titanium-encased so they don’t ‘feel’ like vertebrae – no more pointy parts! What surprises me more though, is that the vertebra below this site are out so much further – the back of my neck looks rather like an upside down question mark. It reminds me of one of my great aunts that had ‘dowager hump’.

    Every surgery I’ve had there are changes that become less noticeable as the healing continues.

    Should I expect the neck to look more ‘aligned' in time? I certainly will ask the NS in August but thought I'd ask here first.

    Taking a survey –

    How do your necks look?
    Is it very noticeable that you had neck surgery?
    Should I expect the neck to look more ‘aligned' in time?
    Thanks for any info.


    [This message has been edited by Cathric (edited 07-06-2003).]

    [This message has been edited by Cathric (edited 07-06-2003).]
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    Old 07-07-2003, 09:26 AM   #2
    Cathric
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    Please let me know how your neck looked after surgery.

    I think some of you are concerned that if you say your neck looks normal I will be a tad freaked! I won't be -I'm not an alarmist - just am curious. Maybe this is a temporary thing others had at 7-8 weeks post-op.

    Please let me know. Thanks.
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    Old 07-07-2003, 09:55 AM   #3
    Necklace
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    Was your surgery in the back? Mine was in the front. Surgery was several months ago. The scar is effed up (looks bad). I think my surgeon had a few too many before he cut me. There are a bunch of hickey looking marks around it, so it looks like I was knifed while making out. Hope I've been some help.

     
    Old 07-07-2003, 10:35 AM   #4
    Cathric
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    Necklace,
    Thanks for responding. My surgery was the usual ACDF with a front entrance. My scar looks good but the neck in back is strange. Sorry to hear about your scar. Was the rest of the surgery good for you? Does your neck look weird in the back? Thanks - continue healing!

    Cathric


    [This message has been edited by Cathric (edited 07-07-2003).]
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    Old 07-08-2003, 07:32 AM   #5
    Necklace
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    Cathric, I'm not sure about the back of my neck. I never really noticed. I didn't even touch the back of my neck for a long time after surgery because it hurt so bad. I still can't stand to have anyone touch me there, but I can touch it myself now. My surgery hasn't worked yet. I guess it takes time with some people. I was better off with the pain before surgery, but the docs say that I had to have it. I'm not so sure any more.

     
    Old 07-08-2003, 02:21 PM   #6
    Cathric
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    Hello my friends ~

    Will others please respond to my questions - honestly I won't freak if you say your neck looks OK. Please, I just need to check in to find out if this is normal.

    So take the neck survey below.... don’t be worried!

    --How does your neck look in the back? Like what I described or regular?

    --Is it very noticeable at the back of your neck that you had neck surgery?

    --Should I expect the neck to look more ‘aligned' in time? Did your neck appearance change over time?

    Thanks for any info.

    Thanks Necklace for responding - keep healing!
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    Old 07-08-2003, 03:47 PM   #7
    AmyVirginia
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    I am 2 mths post op C5-6 fusion. My neck from behind looks completely normal - also my incision is almost non-existant. You won't even be able to see it in a year or so. To tell you the truth, there really shouldn't be any reason your neck looks weird. Talk to your NS!
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    Old 07-08-2003, 04:42 PM   #8
    BamaPeach
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    Hi hon,
    My neck feels longer, but I am not sure if it is. I had a protusion at the base of my neck in back and where it is is straighter. My incision is healing very well, been putting Vitamin E on it BID. Hope this helps.
    Ginny

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    "The only thing neccessary for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing"

    ACF June 18, 2003 C4-5, C5-6, and C6-7 with bone donor and hardware

     
    Old 07-09-2003, 06:22 AM   #9
    Necklace
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    Cathric, I took a good look at the back of my neck with mirrors, and it looks normal, I guess. I do have a long neck. Like Peach, my neck bones are more straight in the back. No real hump there any more. It sounds like you had a somewhat different surgery than me because you said that your vertebrae are titanium encased. I only have a plate in the front. There is nothing in the back. They cut off some bone in the back (going through the front), but they didn't put anything back there.

    One thing I've learned is that not all ACDFs are exactly alike. It depends on what exactly is wrong in there, like what is squushed and how bad and how long it has been like that. Let's say a person herniates a disc and has surgery within a few months or even a year or two. That person may not have all the problems afterwards that a person who has had squushing going on for a long time. When things are squushed for a very long time, all kinds of changes happen and the surgeon will have to do more remodeling in there. I think the one thing we can safely say ACDF patients have in common (speaking only for ACDF surgery, not other neck surgeries) is that the disc is removed and something is placed for fusion. Other than that, there can be a lot of variations.

    I think at two months after surgery it still hurt so much that I wouldn't touch the back of my neck, so I can't really say if it felt different to the touch or looked different then. My surgery site never hurt at all. My spine just felt like it had been severely beaten. It's not that bad any more. It still really hurts, but I can touch it.

    Do you still have a lot of pain and take a lot of medication, or have you recovered pretty well?

     
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