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C3 thru T1 Posterior cervical fusion/anterior C3-T1 fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
does anyone know much about posterior Cervical fusions and what the recovery is like? I've heard it's very painful and I also would like to know anyones experiences with the preop portion of this surgery? Post op too. I guess I'm trying to prepare myself for a long haul!


  • That is HUGE surgery. Ask your doctor how much success he has had with this type of surgery, and what he views as success. How are HIS patients after this much work is done? I personally have never heard of anyone having this much work done who is then able to go adn live a normal life. I know I'm not and mine is 2 levels less than that.

    Good luck. Don't mean to scare you but I'd be very hesitant to do that much.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Thanks for the feedback. I really wasn't given much choice in the matter. I had hurt my neck many years ago from falling headfirst off the uneven bars in gymnastics. from this point on in my life, I have dealt with neck issues. 1998 was when i actually was sideswiped by another vehicle and this put me in a tailspin. 2003 I had my first anterior double fuslion. 2004 i had problems and was sent to my NS for a review. I had an epidural which worked for awhile then I slipped and fell on some ice and hit my head in 2006 which I ended up herniating 2 more discs above my other surgery. I went to see the NS again and he didn't want to do surgery yet, to try another epidural and som PT and go from there. It turned out alright. Then,, this past November I had food poisoning and passed out. well, when I passed out I had once again hit my head on my counter and woke up on the floor. ouch again, i ended up in the ER with a nose broken open and a very sore neck. it did get better over time but then I started exercising getting ready for the golf season. No can do!!!! that really put in a tailspin. I went to a new Spine specialist to see what he could give me for options. I really didn't have any. My first surgery was not a good one. I have a screw in my disc below the surgery level which is causing much pain and weakness in my left arm and hand. The disc below that is herniated from all the pressure put on it. 2 above are herniated from taking on the extra from the other surgery. one area C6-7 didn't fuse the first time. he told me I either live like this or get it fixed. he also introduced me to another one of his patients who happened to be in for a year post op. His surgery was very similiar to the surgery I'm going to have. this man is in his 70's and his ROM is good and he has no pain down his arms. His legs aren't jumpy. he feels good. 80% of the surguries that my OS handles are modarate to severe and or fixing other surgeries that weren't done correctly the first time. He told me this is a major surgery and that i would be in intensive care for a day or two letting them breath for me while the swelling goes down. I'm a bit nevous, well really nervous but I'm going to a very good hospital with very good staff. Well known in the nation. I will be in good hands.
  • My mom just had C3-T1 bad back spasms following. Don't know what to do.
  • Hello all, been done for about a month. my arms ache a little but I can't do my own hair yet. been 3 1/2 weeks post surgery. Has anyone else had this problem? also, I had steroid injections for swelling while in the hospital. i'm experiencing some hair loss. ?????? I'm hoping this gets better too.
  • best of luck in your continued recovery....I don't thing many of us here can relate or even remotely compare our experiences, given the extent of the cervical issues and surgery you just had.

    Kudos for what seems to be the courage and level headed approach you've taken....most of here have been or are freaked out to some degree by our one or two level procedures!!
  • Gailiegirl, Glad to hear that you are doing well. You are an inspiration to me as I'll soon be joining you on the anterior and posterior boat...not as many levels, mind you, but still front and back.

    A week from today (6/30) I'm scheduled to have an ACDF on C5-6 with allograft and plating, along with a posterior fusion/laminectomy with instrumentation on C5-6 and C6-7..... I don't even know how to abbreviate that!!

    Like you, I don't think I have much of a choice. I had an ACDF w/o plating 15 years ago at C4-5. It put additional pressure on the two levels below. Plus I have DDD, osteophytes, and now the AP diameter of the spinal canal is 5mm at C5-6 and 7 mm at C6-7. I get mini-shocks down both arms when I cough and at other times just doing things around the house.

    Just saw my NS yesterday and he moved some of his other patients around so I can get this done soon. Since I had the ACDF before I know what to expect with that.....hard time swallowing for a while, numbness in neck, no driving for several weeks.

    But I'm really concerned about the posterior surgery....

    How do you sleep if you have an incision in the back of your neck? Did a recliner help?

    What didn't you do pre-op that you wish you had?

    How much help did you need at home? My doc's nurse said I would be in hospital for 3 nights and would be up and doing things for myself before I came home. Was that your experience??

    I'm thinking I should get my hair cut shorter before the surgery so its easier to handle.....

    I'd appreciate any and all help and info!!

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