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C6/C7 Fusion question

Aviatrix36440Aviatrix36440 Posts: 5,904
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:38 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Greetings fellow "neck spineys"...

Is it me, or is the C6/7 the more fussy to fuse? I've seen many on here who like myself had the C5/6 fused, and it went fantastic, but lordy....C6/7 hummm... I am just curious if others are finding the C6/7 fusion is harder, or maybe I am just noticing is more cuz mine is being fussy? Thanks guys!

My C6/7 by the way was "adjacent level" degeneration per my surgeons "find" on mine.

Brenda
PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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Comments

  • I can say that the only time I had any surgery, it was ACDF on c6-c7 back on June 9, 2008. Everything went well, and this past summer x-rays showed I was pretty much all fused up using donor bone instead of my own.

    Hope everything ends up well for you!
  • Jersey said:
    I can say that the only time I had any surgery, it was ACDF on c6-c7 back on June 9, 2008. Everything went well, and this past summer x-rays showed I was pretty much all fused up using donor bone instead of my own.

    Hope everything ends up well for you!
    Thanks very much Jersey. I too hope this "fusion" gets back on track too! :-) You had the one fusion.... I am beginning to wonder if that might be the key? Extra "stress" levels with additional levels? Dunno, just my curiosity here. :-) My C5/6 went super!!! I woke out of the surgery sooooo happy it wasn't funny! I felt "pretty good" out of the C6/7, but week 5 ish..shrug. Glad to see your C6/7 went well Jersey, that is awsome!!! Thanks!!!!

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • You aren't imagining it. I have problems at c7/t1/t2 and I can't find much about it. From what I have found apparently this area is hard to injure and very hard to repair. One medical ref I found said the recovery for a T level fusion is one week in the hospital compared to the outpatient for cervical. My guess is that this is because this portion of the spine is buried in your upper back and actually is pretty deep at that point.

    I am also guessing that since injury in this area is less common the surgeons get less practice which may lead to poorer results. But everyone is different. I know after the little bit I found I want a surgeon (if needed) who has worked in this area alot.
  • Yes, you're right - the C6/7 is the most difficult to fuse because it moves every time you move your head. I'm fused at C4/5 and C5/6, but there's still movement at my C6/7 and it's causing pain.

    My doctor had told me about the C6/7 even before surgery.

    Cath
  • I was fused at C5/6 and C6/7 in July of this year and everything worked out very well. I'm feeling fine. Maybe it's easier when you get them both done at the same time. I hope you start to feel better soon.
  • Howdy Kris,

    Thanks Kris. :-) I saw my NS today due to the pain that is continuing, and too what if anything to do about it! He re-advised me that since the C5/6 was "one" and the weight bearing is now different, it would "weigh" differently on the progress of my C6/7! He also didn't fully agree with some of the radiology report on my MRI of 3 weeks ago. He is seeing "some" reduction in disk height now, and osteophytes are also forming for my C7/T1, but not a surgical issue yet. He also added that my C2/3 is in addition to the Stenosis, solidly in the DDD mode! -figures heh? He told me with all this going on, that is most likely why I am having all (or most) of these pain issues - lucky me !!!

    He is keeping me with the bone growth stimulator @ 4 hours a day, and added Lyrica (300mg a day) for the nerve related pain. I've heard good and bad about Lyrica, and since I am not going back to work until next Monday, I guess I can see which category I fit into! He has also ordered me into PT for 3x a week for 4 weeks with the stipulation it is for strength and flexation - but NO twisting or pulling or traction etc. of my neck! :-) I hope it works. Thanks Kris!! :-)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Cath111 said:
    Yes, you're right - the C6/7 is the most difficult to fuse because it moves every time you move your head. I'm fused at C4/5 and C5/6, but there's still movement at my C6/7 and it's causing pain.

    My doctor had told me about the C6/7 even before surgery.

    Cath
    I don't recall specifically if I was told that there could be more difficulty with the C5/6 fusion above it, but more likely than not - he probably did! You know how it goes, as soon as the "surgery" word comes out, our brains start running the gauntlet of "gotta get this done, have this test done, let work know, etc..." so we don't always hear everything at that point! Personally I would have still said "yes" for the surgery regardless. :-) I guess the phrase of "Patient's is a virtue" is good here. :-)

    Are they going to do anything for your C6/7? I don't know when your surgery was, and how long you have had issues. I hope you are feeling better soon. *HUG*

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • undermountain said:
    I was fused at C5/6 and C6/7 in July of this year and everything worked out very well. I'm feeling fine. Maybe it's easier when you get them both done at the same time. I hope you start to feel better soon.
    See my prior post. Nodding, from what I was told today at my NS appointment, you're probably right! :-) Short of putting us "next level fusions" into a halo or something, not sure what the fix would be?

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Brenda, my surgeon told me that if my C6/7 didn't fuse, then at some point he'd have to go in posteriorly and put in a cage at that level to stabilize it. So, some day, I'll have to have that done, but right now we're more concerned about getting my lumbar issues taken care of.

    Sheesh. Sometimes it just never ends for us spineys...
    Cath
  • Cath111 said:
    Brenda, my surgeon told me that if my C6/7 didn't fuse, then at some point he'd have to go in posteriorly and put in a cage at that level to stabilize it. So, some day, I'll have to have that done, but right now we're more concerned about getting my lumbar issues taken care of.

    Sheesh. Sometimes it just never ends for us spineys...
    Cath
    Silly me, I looked on your signature line! You just past a year out this October. My surgeon told me to fix a failed fusion, he goes in the front first to remove the hardware, and then flips you and goes in posteriorly to stabilize it. He put me on Lyrica 2x a day, keeping me in bone growth stimulator and is having me go through PT for 4 weeks.

    He advised me that once my neck "settles down", and or we get it resolved, he wants to MRI my lower back! He said he could see "something" in my walk and asked me if I had any back pains. Wow! I never told him of my back issues as I was dealing with my neck. I am nervous of what they will find on the lower back!

    The "good" part of all this back stuff for the future for me? :-) I will be retired, so I won't job stress (when are you coming back, get me the doctor's note(s) etc.). I go back Monday on light duty after being out for 12 weeks. I am not looking forward to it - and that bites because before this new Director came in, "life was good." :-)

    I hope you don't get damage to your C6/7 area. It has to hurt, I know mine has been and then some. *HUG* I'll be keeping you in my thoughts Cath!!! :H

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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