Discussions that mention valium

Spinal Cord Disorders board


Hi all. I'm new at posting although I've been reading these boards - wish I'd found this site two years ago! Several posts have asked about posterior fusion so I thought I'd give my experience to help those facing it.

Anyway, I had an ACDF that failed to fuse and because of increasing pain and weakness decided to have a posterior fusion (C4-7). I got the opinion of 3 docs before proceeding with the operation.
It's a much bigger procedure than an acdf with a longer recovery time. I was in hospital less than 24hrs the first time, this time I stayed for three nights and was approved for four. I had a lot more pain after the operation and especially muscle spasms so I needed percocet and valium for four weeks. However the type of pain I had before the op has almost completely gone as has most of the weakness. My surgeon had me wear a hard collar for nine weeks, and then a soft one as needed. I would have probably felt ok going back to a sedentary job at 12 weeks but because of my level of activity have needed 4 mths.
Although the thought of more surgery really scared me I'm glad I had this done - it has really helped my symptoms. I just hope the results last!

Hope this helps those of you thinking about posterior fusion.
Hi Esmo,
Hang in there, it's a petrifying experience going for repeat surgery. I had a failed c5-7 fusion and the repeat surgery was c4-7. I had pedicle screws and rods but although the initial plan was for hip bone he had enough bone from my neck with my bone marrow and BMP so I woke up with no hip pain :bouncing:

I think three weeks is very optimistic for a return to work based on my personal experience. Is he planning to use a hard collar? I wore one for 8 weeks and found it very limiting in what I could do. I required no pain meds after the first procedure, this time I was on narcotics and valium for a month. However I also needed decompression at a couple of levels which might have increased the amount of pain med I needed. I found I could just about read or look at the computer screen at 4 weeks so don't be depressed if your recovery takes a while. Part of the increased pain is that they have to cut through muscle whereas from the front they just separate it.

My scar is from just above my hairline (he took a bit but it never showed) right down my neck and is virtually invisible.

At the moment I feel much better than I've done in ages. Am still taking things very cautiously and am scared of screwing things up. One big plus is an outstanding physical therapist who is helping me get my arm strength back and stopping me from overdoing things.

I made a lot of enquiries and got lots of opinions before having this operation, all said that the best way of dealing with my failed fusion was going through the back.

Hope this helps you!
Hi Esmo,
My earlier attempt to reply got lost in cyberspace so shall try again. My original surgery was acdf C5-7, my fusion failed at both levels and the posterior fusion was C4-7. I found the second procedure took a lot more out of me than the first time and based on my own experience think that 3-4 weeks is unduly optimistic for a return to work especially if you're in a collar. I had to wear a hard collar for 8 weeks, weaned off it over 4 weeks with a soft collar. During the first 4 weeks found I couldn't do much of anything even watching tv or reading - I had this fantasy of catching up on all the reading I haven't had time to do over the past few years, most of the books are still unread!

Pain wise this also was a lot worse. I required no narcotics after the first procedure, I was on percocet and valium for a good four weeks this time round. It was explained to me that this was because the muscles are cut which increases the pain experienced. It also has meant that rehab is taking longer than first time round. I also had a couple of levels decompressed which might also have added to the pain. Although the plan was to use hip bone he was able to use some of the bone from my neck with my bone marrow so that I woke up without a scar on my hip for which I am extremely thankful.

My scar is from hairline right down my neck and is barely noticeable. He did cut a small amount of hair at the upper end of the scar but in such a way that is was covered by longer hair and couldn't be seen.

Can't emphasise how much a good physical therapist helps in recovery both in regaining arm and hand strength and maximising neck movement. He also excellent at slowing me down and preventing me from trying to rush things.

Hang in there! Make sure you ask your surgeon all questions you might have and feel comfortable with his replies. I personally am very glad to have proceeded with the second operation even though I must say I was very scared pre op.

Hope this helps,
Best wishes,
W
Hi Esmo,
My earlier attempt to reply got lost in cyberspace so shall try again. My original surgery was acdf C5-7, my fusion failed at both levels and the posterior fusion was C4-7. I found the second procedure took a lot more out of me than the first time and based on my own experience think that 3-4 weeks is unduly optimistic for a return to work especially if you're in a collar. I had to wear a hard collar for 8 weeks, weaned off it over 4 weeks with a soft collar. During the first 4 weeks found I couldn't do much of anything even watching tv or reading - I had this fantasy of catching up on all the reading I haven't had time to do over the past few years, most of the books are still unread!

Pain wise this also was a lot worse. I required no narcotics after the first procedure, I was on percocet and valium for a good four weeks this time round. It was explained to me that this was because the muscles are cut which increases the pain experienced. It also has meant that rehab is taking longer than first time round. I also had a couple of levels decompressed which might also have added to the pain. Although the plan was to use hip bone he was able to use some of the bone from my neck with my bone marrow so that I woke up without a scar on my hip for which I am extremely thankful.

My scar is from hairline right down my neck and is barely noticeable. He did cut a small amount of hair at the upper end of the scar but in such a way that is was covered by longer hair and couldn't be seen.

Can't emphasise how much a good physical therapist helps in recovery both in regaining arm and hand strength and maximising neck movement. He also excellent at slowing me down and preventing me from trying to rush things.

Hang in there! Make sure you ask your surgeon all questions you might have and feel comfortable with his replies. I personally am very glad to have proceeded with the second operation even though I must say I was very scared pre op.

Hope this helps,
Best wishes,
W
Hi Esmo,
My earlier attempt to reply got lost in cyberspace so shall try again. My original surgery was acdf C5-7, my fusion failed at both levels and the posterior fusion was C4-7. I found the second procedure took a lot more out of me than the first time and based on my own experience think that 3-4 weeks is unduly optimistic for a return to work especially if you're in a collar. I had to wear a hard collar for 8 weeks, weaned off it over 4 weeks with a soft collar. During the first 4 weeks found I couldn't do much of anything even watching tv or reading - I had this fantasy of catching up on all the reading I haven't had time to do over the past few years, most of the books are still unread!

Pain wise this also was a lot worse. I required no narcotics after the first procedure, I was on percocet and valium for a good four weeks this time round. It was explained to me that this was because the muscles are cut which increases the pain experienced. It also has meant that rehab is taking longer than first time round. I also had a couple of levels decompressed which might also have added to the pain. Although the plan was to use hip bone he was able to use some of the bone from my neck with my bone marrow so that I woke up without a scar on my hip for which I am extremely thankful.

My scar is from hairline right down my neck and is barely noticeable. He did cut a small amount of hair at the upper end of the scar but in such a way that is was covered by longer hair and couldn't be seen.

Can't emphasise how much a good physical therapist helps in recovery both in regaining arm and hand strength and maximising neck movement. He also excellent at slowing me down and preventing me from trying to rush things.

Hang in there! Make sure you ask your surgeon all questions you might have and feel comfortable with his replies. I personally am very glad to have proceeded with the second operation even though I must say I was very scared pre op.

Hope this helps,
Best wishes,
W