19 Apr 2010
Not for the muscle spasms. A cervical fusion is a very last resort. Most people have problems from the fusion, more than they had before the surgery.
Please read everything on fusions before having one.
Do not forget to go to Google Scholar and look there. Let me know if you can not find google scholar.
19 Apr 2010
We just returned from Temple U. where my husband had his "fusion" done. He is already in less pain, sleeps better, and it's always best to have a confident surgeon. He had prior fusions but was rear ended and broke his neck where the fusion was. This time, he had a procedure done that was different from the first 2. They used a hollowed out bone from the tibia (lower leg bone) removed the old hardware except for the top C-3 plate. They extended the fusion to C-7 with only 2 larger titanium screws at the bottom. They filled the bone with a "powered like bone" and he's feeling great! Besides the sore throat from the intubation, he can tell there is a big difference! All cases are different. I shattered my L-1 L-2 and have permanent nerve damage. Due to major muscle loss, the hardware will need to be removed and/or "adjusted" after my vertebrates completely heal. I find out more in 2 weeks. Good luck to you and I hope you aren't having too much pain.
4 Jun 2010
I had anterior cervical discectomy where the drs took my bones out of C4-7 and put in Titanium. Was in Duke University overnight, was driven four hours home the next day, no lifting or bending eight weeks, follow-up x-rays every 6 weeks is all, no heavy pain pills, no bad restrictions, I'm so glad I did it! Only a 4 inch scar along the crease line on the front of my neck you can hardly see, blends right in with the natural bend of my skin. Go to Web MD and look up cervical stenosis or on of the sites to the major hospitals, they will give you a "picture look" at the surgery. Best of luck to you!
25 Apr 2012
I just had from C5-C7 fused I think it's called an ACDF. I ruptured discs so bad that the dr had me on bed rest for 3 weeks until he could get my surgery done. He had cevical stenosis written in his diagnosis and the Neuro Dr I saw before him said cervical stenosis but from what I understand is there are different degrees along with different approach. First dr wanted to do a total disc replacement with a "pro disc C" then an ACDF, fusion. Second opinion was instead of an artificial disc they used part of my hip bone then fusion and two metal plates. From what I understand this is how they treated my cervical stenosis.
26 Apr 2012
My husband has had two neck fusions, & really it was relief for him. His were done from the front or anterior fusions, & the worst part of healing was swallowing for awhile. Food seems to be a bit harder to get past the plate & screws, but improves with time or later once the fusion has taken, you can opt to have the screws & plate removed again. The worst problem you can have is it puts more pressure on the next level, & it may go next if you are not careful. Having stenosis, fusion is usually the only answer to relieve the pressure from the spinal canal. I think once the procedure is done, & you heal you will be a much happier camper then you are now with all the pain you have. They usually have to release the pressure from the canal, & the nerve roots, & that is where the pain is coming from. I can't believe your neurosurgeon hasn't explained all of this to you yet.
I wish you the best, but remember don't be too active too soon afterwards. You will more than likely have to wear a soft neck brace for about 4 to 6 weeks also. I wish you the best, & if you hve anymore questions feel free to ask away... Mary
26 Apr 2012
Hi: my husband had a cloward fusion of C5-6 back in 1971; then, after being rear-ended by a tow truck TOWING a car, he had a laminectomy (sp?) of C6-7 in 1983. After many falls in the ensuing years, his cervicl spine was in terrible shape. Last May he had another fusion, from C2-7, with a rod put in.
It HAS taken away most of the pain, but has limited the turning motion of his neck, and he might never be able to drive again, due to this restriction.
HOWEVER, the worst part was what happened to him AFTER the surgery.
He was 78 at the time, and warned that there could be many possible 'problems'. He was in ICU for 12 days, and seemed to get ALL of them: A-fib, incontinency, massive short term memory loss--which continues to this day, and aphasia, which is problems with speech, both finding the right words and actually getting them out! These were only some of the things that happened to him. They say that there is a greater risk, the older you are at the time. His surgery was supposed to be 6 hours, but ran 8. He is highly sensitive to anesthesia and pain meds. We think the added anesthesia for an additional two hours of surgery, plus the massive doses of pain meds given AFTER surgery complicated everything!
I am NOT trying to scare you, but just recount what happened to us.
***WHATEVER YOU DO, PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT SOMEONE FROM YOUR FAMILY OR A CLOSE FRIEND STAYS WITH YOU 24/7 WHILE YOU ARE IN THE HOSPITAL! You would not believe how many times the nurses tried to over-medicate him or give him something that he was allergic to! I had always assumed that a Neuro-Spinal ICU would have the 'best of the best' as to staffing--- NOT! We never once were assigned the same nurse twice--- even though I would see 2-6 of his prior nurses on the floor, day after day! If you have any serious allergic reactions to any meds, you need a family member/friend there to 'remind' everyone of these things at each change of shift. If they give you any 'attitude', go to the Charge Nurse at the desk--- or ask for a Patient Advocate!
Good Luck to you!
Mary, the madhatter.
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