Long story short..Had a fusion in 1996 after waiting three years playing with worker's comp doctors. Pain after surgery was unbearable, if I didn't have kids I would have killed myself. Found a great pain doc, got all that under control. After about 2 yrs was able to get off all his meds and control the pain on an as-needed basis. Fast forward 2003 they found arthritis throughout my spine. 2004 they figured I hadn't had enough and threw osteoporosis in there. The pain was unbearable, again. I found a NUCCA chiropractor who saved my life. Got me up, moving and back into life. Was almost out of pain and off my daily Percocet and Valium and then I broke the top fusion plate..I've been in pain ever since that was 2005ish? My neurosurgeon doesn't want to remove the plate unless he has to because the risk of damaging the esophagus outweighs the benefit of surgery. He says he can never get rid of the pain regardless of what he operates on. He has watched me with MRIs, I trust him, he is the best in the area. Then last winter I was cleaning and went to look under a couch leaned on my left arm and had instant pain. Popped a pill chilled out and left it alone. About two months prior to that I had an MRI that I have subsequently found out read as a bulging disk above the broken fusion...I haven't gone back to my surgeon because I can't stand to hear I'm sorry I wish I could do something for you but I can't and I won't take the chance of surgery until you lose more movement in your arm..Which I have. That and the and the MRI costs are killing me even with insurance..I don't want to be a complainer, I haven't even gone back since whatever popped in my neck this winter.. This doc has stuck by me through thick and thin prescribing meds when no one else would, etc. My chiropractor says I need to get another opinion because he can't stabilize my neck anymore. Which leads to unbearable migraines whenever they decide they want to pop up..And don't go away until I can get to the chiropractor and have him realign me. I'm getting tired of this I have been in pain every day of my life since the car accident in 1993..
Has anyone had any dealings with broken plates and removal and fixation. My fusion is stable, the plate doesn't interfere with my swallowing, it just causes pain..I would rather chance a surgery in my late 40s and have a chance at a semi normal life then wait for something else to happen, be older and maybe not recover from surgery as easily..Any advice is greatly appreciated. I average 3-5 10 mg Percocet a day and 5-15 mg of Valium..And it doesn't get rid of the pain just makes it bearable.