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Failed spinal fusion now requiring further fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have had cervical spine issues for the past almost 4 yrs. now, after a work related injury. I am female 45 y/o worked as a trauma RN in an emergency room for many years. I was injured & ended up with disc herniations at C5-6 C6-7 had L sided laminectomy to relive L arm radiculopathy back at end of 2005. Tried going back to work, had continued increased symptoms leading to an ACDF at C5-6 c6-7. Immediately post op had swallowing problems which have never resolved. After many doctors & testing over a yr due to chronic choking & not being able to eat well was diagnosed with partial paralysis on the R side of my esophogeal nerve. I had a feeding tube inserted to keep my weight up, this lasted 8-9 months & I had it removed due to chronic infections & pain at the site. I now eat small amounts of soft or liquid food have a suction machine at home in case of choking. I have had chronic pain since the surgery & my neurosurgeon has deemed it failed back surgery. The last MRI due to increas in bilateral hand pain, weakness, numbness, pain showed herniations at C4-5 & C7-T1 with C5 nerve root involvment & C8 nerve root involvment. I have been to pain managment, they won't do an epidural due to narrowed space & significant scar tissue. I have been on pain meds which don't help anymore, I barely sleep at night even with a sleeping pill, the pain is constant. I have 4 teenagers & this has been nothing but a nightmare. I went to the neurosurgeon today who is relatively conservative, he suggests and EMG to see exactly which nerves in my arms are involved & then due to the significant trouble I had with the anterior surgery a posterior C4-5 fusion with nerve decompression & C7-T1 fusion with C8 nerve root decompression. This will leave me with a 4 level fusion yet with the increase nerve pressure I am losing the ability to pick up even a gallon of milk. I am not sure what to think, has anyone ever had a similar situation who can share their input? I would greatly appreciate it. The complication is worker's compensation has been denying much needed medical care & I am sure approval will take more time.
Thank You


  • Be sure to get opinions from the top doctors in the field before proceeding with anything else. Dr bertagnoli in Germany comes to mind as does dr bitan in new York and especially dr john regan in Beverly hills and dr hueshuler or dr ziglar at the Texas back institute in Plano, tx. Be warned, not all doctors are equally talented! You need advice from the heavy hitters, not just the average joe schmoe doc. That's my 2 cents worth.
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