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neck pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
6 years ago my husband had a herniated disc C6-C7 fused.
Now he has budging discs 3 above the fusion. C3-C4, C4-C5, C5-C6 and degenerative disc disease. Also fornimal canal narrowing. With the c5-C6 the worst and the other two on the slight side
Went to a neurosurgeon, and he wants to do a multi-level fusion from C3-C6.
The GP does not think that the surgeon needs to be so aggressive.
The neurosurgeon put a plastic cervical collar on him, to try to stop the spasms.
Because he is in so much pain, he can not return to work.
The GP wants him to get a second opinion.

Let me give you some background infomation, he is 51 years old and has been a diabetic for 30 years.

He is afraid of having the surgery, because we had trouble with the diabetes 6 years ago, and surgery.

Does anyone have any insight on this subject.


  • Hi Kukana, glad you found this site. You'll find lots of information and friendly help in the form of what other people have experienced and what works for them.

    I can't be much help to you but a second opinion from another neuro/ortho surgeon would certainly make the most sense because this is BIG surgery that is being proposed.

    We love to see the supportive spouses who come here for advice. :)

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • hi i'm pete and have experienced a 4 level fusion. it's a tough surgery and i don't think i'd do it again unless it's an emergency. how bad is his pain .
    how effective was the first surgery. his own gut feelings are very important.
    keep us informed. i'd recommend 2nd opinion from an orthopedic surgeon who specializes on the spine. he may not be as aggressive as the ns.
  • First surgery was okay, took 8 weeks before he could go back to work. But that was only 1 level. This is 3 level. The main problem we had was with the diabetes. Took us 3 weeks to back to normal. Because he is diabetic, it takes longer to heal.

    As for the pain level, he is in pain alot, unless he takes muscle relaxers. They gave him Valium, for the reason anxiety is a big issue too. For that is why they gave Valium.

    He is worried about the mobility issue after the surgery.

    He is a armed security officer, and at this time he can not return to work at least until the collar comes off, and out of pain.
  • what 2nd opinion is. diabetes is certainly a concern. i hope he can get away without the surgery.
  • I just read a post about swallowing difficulties, and have to be on a soft food diet for a month. Does this happen?

  • The swallowing difficulties are from having the procedure anteriorly..ie:the front of the neck. When the surgeon goes in the front, he has to move all the muscles, windpipe, etc. around, in order to get to the spine. So there is a lot of swelling, pain, and spasms at first after the surgery. I had ACDF on my C5-6. After surgery, I ate things like mashed potatos and gravy, applesauce, pudding, ice cream :D etc. for the first few days, when I did eat. Wasn't really very hungry anyway. Then I started slowly introducing more solid foods. That was 2years ago. I still have trouble sometimes with bread or something sticky, but have other esophageal issues, so not sure if the cause is from the ACDF.

    A second opinion is in order, but I would do it with another NS, so that the opinions are comparing apples to apples. IMHO neuros are better if the nerves are involved by pressure from bone spurs, herniated discs, etc. You should also inquire about mobility after the surgery, since his job probably depends on his physical status. Good luck to your husband, I hope he is feeling better soon.
  • This does not sound good. If he doesn't have the surgery, he is going to have pain for the rest of his life. If he does have the surgery for a multi-level fusion. He will lose mobility. No matter what he can not return to his job. If he has the surgery the diet will be a problem. He can not have applesauce, ice cream, pudding, even the sugar free causes a problem with his blood sugar. Yogurt makes him sick. He had his tonsils and uvula remove a year ago and we had a terrible time. Anesthesia play problems with his blood sugars. The last surgery caused his blood to stay in the 400's until the anesthesia was out of his system about a week to 10 days.

    At this point he does not want to have the surgery. Because of the risks and complications.

    We have a appointment with his diabetic doctor, the 13 of the month. And a second opinion with a another neurosurgeon on the 29. Boy it is going to be a long month.
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