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Possible C6-C7 Fusion -- a question or two.

LumpyLLumpy Posts: 103
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Okay, so I got to see a NS much more quickly than I thought I would. He pointed out the herniated disk, pinched nerve, etc at C6-7. We went over my symptoms and my past treatment and he recommended fusion. He gave me all kinds of information/options, contingencies, etc. Since I have an occupation that is hard on the neck and since I probably will not be released to work again without some kind of correction, I am seriously pondering the surgery option.

So, one question I have is if anyone else is in a laborious job that requires a lot of heavy work, dexterity, working in odd positions (picture a plumber stuffed under your sink)? If so, what is your before and after experiences with doing your job? BTW, I'm not a plumber :-)

Another thought that occured to me: How long before you can drive after a fusion?

I'll have 200 more questions later...

Wayne (AKA Lumpy)


  • Hi Wayne,
    Surgery is such a personal choice. It is very hard to say what type of out come you will have. One thing you have to remember is depending on the amount of damage going in and your attitude will have a lot to do with the success. The surgeon can only take you so far and then it is kind of up to you and your body. Honestly, I tend to think it takes almost a year to fully recover from a surgery. Did the surgeon give you any percentages as to your recovery? Did he reply to you, in reference to your continuing in your current position? I have seen members here, who have had physically demanding jobs, and returned to those positions. You never really get to hear those stories, as they are going about their normal busy lives. One of the most important things you can do, is trust your surgeon. Although, there are risk to any surgery, hopefully he is knowledgeable and will take every precaution and you will be just fine. Anyway good luck and let us know your decision. Take care.
  • I wish you the best with your surgery. My surgery was ACDF @ C5-C6. My surgery was prolonged for about 2 years because of my employers. I do have permanent nerve damage. Tamtam is right, some people make a complete recovery and return to their jobs. Each case is different and each person heals differently. I have a permanent restriction of 15 lbs. lifting and nothing at or above my shoulders. As I stated though my surgery was put off for 2 years or so. My job was lifting and I now have to find something else to do after 25 years. It's been 3 months since my surgery and my doc says give myself another 9 months to completely heal. Trust your doc and good luck. I'm not a doctor this is just my experience. /:)
  • Thanks for all your well wishes and comments. I am usually one to gather as much info as I can and then waver a little before making a final call. The nerve damage is one thing I want to avoid and my doc offered no promises without surgery. But, the other side of the coin is the seriousness of any surgery. Its like playing brain pingpong :-)

    BTW, the doc says 3 weeks with know driving. Limited driving after that and he will want me to wear the coller anytime I think there is a chance of reinjury. Including most of the time in the car.
  • So has anyone had a Synthetic disc spacer with bone growth stimulator used during fusion instead of bone bank or your own bone? My doc says he is getting better and quicker fusion using this.
  • OOPS. Duplicate post removed
  • Not driving for three weeks sounds like a long time and unfortunately something we take for granite until faced with the problem. Just make sure you have everything you need a head of time and stock up a little extra. Monitor what you do in a day and what you need, then calculate that out for the three week time frame. Since, I am a avid diet coke drinker I just called coca-cola and had them deliver a truck load...jk. But you get the idea. Another place to cover is your personal care items and laundry needs. Hopefully, you have some support and if you run short of things can send someone out for them. When you are able to drive again. just make sure you are extra cautious.

    One thing that is so vital following surgery is walking. Since I lived close to restaurants walking was great for some meals. I also learned many things about the neighborhood, I hadn't noticed, before. You may want to like at the surgery forum and the thread about post-op must haves. Anyway good luck with surgery.
  • I had C5 thru 7 done in June ( with the synthetic spacer) and I work in law enforcement in a very physical position and my doctor says I can go back soon. I don't know if I want to, as I deal with some real jerks and can easily get in a tussle. I think he does not fully appreciate what I actually do and also does not want to get involved in a retirement disabilty issue because of litigation. So I'll wait and see.
  • IF I have the surgery, my doc said 12 weeks until I can do my job. Possibly 3 weeks and I can do paper pushing. I work with some pretty heavy stuff. Pretty physical. So that is why the 12 week min. But at least the stuff I work on doesn't fight back most of the time :-))(
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