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What Happens if Bones Don't Fuse?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I went for 4 week check-up a month ago and Doc said it was too early for bones to fuse. I am going back next week and it'll be nine weeks now in this cervical collar. They intend to have me remove collar and move head left/right and up/down on xrays. If all is good I can remove collar. My general questions are:

1. What happens if bones haven't fused and don't fuse? Do they operate again?

2. What happens if plate is dislodged and would I be feeling pain if it is? ( I've been kinda stretching the rules with housework/yardwork)

3. If collar comes off, then I can drive and return to work, right? (I work on computer)

4. That whole deal with sleeping with pillows between/under legs and rolled up towels under arch, do I have to keep doing that forever...it's so annoying. ~X(



  • Sorry, I don't know all the answers to your questions but really appreciate your concern about the unknown. I had a C5-C6 ACDF on 4/6/09 and saw my NS last Tuesday for 6 week f/u and was told to expect fusion by next appt. on 7/7....3 months post-op.

    I only had to wear a collar for 2 weeks when driving and walking outside of my home and could drive after that.

    The most important thing I have learned thus far, is that everyone recovers at their own rate. These are all great questions for your physician at your next appt.

    The best advice I have received on this site is to slow down and take the time needed to heal. Pushing yourself too soon, like I did, only makes recovery all the more difficult and lengthy.

    Best of luck to you and take good, no great, care of yourself as you only have one spine, for life!

  • Hi,
    At May 13 I had my revision surgery. The Neurosurg told me that 2 of the 6 screws were not fixed and the allograft bone was not grown well, so level L45 was not stable and fused. L5S1 was good fused but this was done in past with autograft bone, so he only had re-fix with thicker srews L4L5 and place some extra autograft bone. Now 1 week post op it feel very well although I have from time to time a lot of pain. But also hours of no pain!! I am very happy that I did this step and that I have had the surgery. For 6 weeks I only may lay on a bed and every 1/2 hour walk a little.

    Take care, renos
  • I'm 31 and had an escalated C4-C6 fusion done after I had some neck pain for 3 days. MRI revealed that I had spinal stenosis of 4MM on the two discs and surgery was the only option other then running a substantial risk of being a para. I basically didn't have any loss in motor function or strength, and my pain wasn't too severe. From the diagnosis to the surgery was 4 days, thanks to some connections with a very talented neuro surgeon and the severity of the blown discs. I'm 3 weeks post op and I went back to work 2 weeks ago since I too am a desk jockey. I did work from home that first week because I wasn't cleared to drive and still took an occasional opiate.

    After reading through this board and some of the pain people detail, I feel extremely fortunate that my recovery has been so smooth.

    My main fear is screwing up the fusion. I have a 19 month old cuddler who loves her daddy and a 4 year old who feels the same way. I mowed the lawn this past weekend (hedged and trimmed too), replaced some solenoids and heads on the sprinkler system, and mulched. I keep thinking that my body will tell me if I'm doing too much. The PA stated that I still should only lift 10 lbs, but that the muscle healing is the main reason for that rule. Am I in fact being the idiot my wife claims me to be?
  • It sounds like you have had a good outcome. Let your body heal so that you may have many years of pain free living.

    I'm the wife of a spiney and I will tell you that it doesn't matter how tall the grass gets, how misshappen the shrubs are, or how much you want to do those manly activities, DON'T OVERDO IT. It is very hard to watch someone you love live in pain. It changes every relationship in the family. Your job right nowis to heal; let everyone else handle all fo the other chores. Don't mess up what appears to be a good outcome.

  • do no put this off get doctor to take it back out and replace if it a cage like i have than big deal you will start to get more and more pain as time go on get ready next ten years of hell if you live to see it doctor instill cages knowing that day can not be fixed go luck with it any way
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