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Cervical vertebrae self-fusing - good or bad?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I was injured over 4 years ago, and as I deteriorated was left to "self-fuse" by workers comp, despite my ortho surgeon recommending surgery. C5-7 did fuse, and I'm in severe chronic pain with Lhermitte's and radiculopathy in my arm/hand. I've now been told the vertebrae above and below the fused area are out of alignment and also now bone on bone. The ortho is still saying surgery is better than letting self-fusing to occur - the neuro disagrees. Question for the group: Wouldn't a surgical fusion probably have corrected my misaligned vertebrae, and the bone plugs restored the lost disc space to take pressure off the facet joints?


  • Hi Firefox,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. I don't know many that would allow a self fusion to go on. I have some of the same issues going on at one level at my surgeon is very concerned about it. Have you asked them with a self fusion going on and no hardware what is the likely hood of something happening like a crack on the auto fusion? Also what happens if the fusion stops and how often are they checking the fusion? Did you ask the neuro how many of his/her patients they let self-fuse. What is the reasoning for the self fusion. Normally by doing the surgery they can restore some of the normal curve to the spine. If you have lhermitte's it should be obvious to the nerve compressions. What does your emg studies look like? What happens if you sustain permanent nerve damage? Can you go get another opinion? I know in some states you are not allowed to choose your own doctor? Maybe you need to look at the laws in your state regarding this? Was the ortho surgeon you seen trained in spine surgery? Is work comp going to pay for you this whole time to sit out of work while your spine auto fuses?

    Keep in mind with surgery there is no guarantees,but I would question the methodology behind this, and what the risk associated to you are? Anyway just wanted to stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Take care and look forward to reading more post.
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