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Questions about Cervical and Lumbar Fusion Surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone,

My fiance made a great suggestion to come here. I had not heard of it prior.

I had an MRI last week and was told it was urgent that I see a specialist. While I have been in pain for sometime, ever since I was hit by a car (sadly she had no insurance and my insurance dropped me, now I am flat broke - beyond broke actually).

At any rate. I was told by a top notch surgeon that I will need fusion immediately of the C-4 through C-7 with disc removal and bone grafts then a plate. He will do this from the front.

He said it's already compression and deforming my spinal chord and he told my fiance he was surprised I was walking.

I told him I wanted to be able to waterski, snow ski, ride a bike, run and race again.

Then after I recover I will need the same in my lumbar. I am 25 going on 86 and so depressed.

But I want to be out of pain, off drugs and back to life.

What is anyone's take on spinal fusion. Why can't I have disc replacement or regeneration?

What is the recovery time. I have surgery in two weeks. I start school again in six weeks.

Any idea's / information will be greatly appreciated. Thank you


  • sorry you are facing this surgery. i went through fusion of c6/c7/T1/T2
    I was driving a car one month after surgery. i am a retired person. i had to wear a neck brace for one month.
    i used to do all the sports you do but i have not walked well since 2000 which was when i stopped skiing.
    my guess is that because of your injury the neck is so unstable that another accident would cause you permanent and severe damage. so they want your neck stable enough to endure a fall on skis or bicycle.
    Artificial disk replacement is only being performed at one level. i dont believe the government has approved it for multi levels. in europe the drs seem to be preforming multi level disk replacements.
    i am an older person with multiple health issues so my lack of ability to walk should not be compared to what you can expect.
    i will say that i have had some horrific falls and have had no damage so my neck is stable.
    other than traveling out of the country i dont know of any other options.
    hope youre zipping down the hill and in no fear of falling....pete
  • I just had C4 to C7 fused from the back with 2 rods and 8 screws to hold it all firm while it fusses together.That was 5 weeks ago.
    I feel a lot better no pain down my arms and shoulderand hardly any in my head.The specialist said you can go back to the gym and swim laps again..has sent me to a physio for some gentle massage and exersises and said you should be right to go back to work in a few months..
  • First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around there is a lot of information to take in here as well. I think the surgery you are talking about is ACDF-anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. Since you are having multi-levels done do you know what type of bone they will be using in the fusion process? I only ask this as failure ratio goes up with multi-level fusions. Further, have you sought a second opinion? If not a suggest that you do just that. In spine surgery more is not always better. As far as getting back to the person you were only time will tell. Remember surgery is not magic fix and a lot is placed on the patient as well. You play a huge part in your success and recovery. As far as using artificial disc some patients are not canidates for the procedure. You have to also understand the data that is being used is from short term study only time is going to tell how those are going to hold up say 10-15 years from now. I am not for or against it. The choice has to fit your unique set of circumstances and what is best for your condition. While the procedures to fix cervical issues are alike the conditions for which they are doing surgery can be very different.

    Another thing worth mentioning is in some states there is money set aside for people who have been injured in accidents where the other party didn't have insurance. I also know in some states car insurance doesn't cover medical as in my state. However if you were insured at the time of the accident, even though you are no longer insured whatever policy was in effect at the time is what you are working on. You also have the right to place leins against the other parties assets should they own any. Sorry you could get me on a tangent about people who drive cars without insurance. It is not difference than the gas or oil used to run the vehicle.

    Anyway wanted to stop by and welcome you to spine-health and look forward to reading more of your post. If there is anything i can do for you don't hesitate to pm me. Good luck and keep us posted on how you are doing. Take care.
  • Thank you everyone for replying and giving me information. I am kinda scared and I don't know really what to do. This is very helpful. I will keep looking here and get more opinions (I am getting one today) from a doctor as I believe in second opinions.

    Blessings. Tonya
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