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Any Luck with C5 to T2 Fusion?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi, I am Darrell. I have had neck pain for many years. I had one previous fusion at c5 and c6 in 2003. I am now going in for another fusion 3/8/10. The surgeon is tying into my current fusion and then will fuse C7 and T1. According to my surgeon I will have instrumentation running from C5 to T2. He also says that he is leaving the remaining disks (C4 and C3) un-fused because he does not want to completely limit my mobility. Has any one else had that surgery and what was the outcome. Also I am interested in knowing if any veterans out there has filed for disability on this type of surgery. I am a total of 60% with 20% related to my previous fusion. I am not sure if it is worth going for an increase in my current rating.

Also, I am concerned about returning to work. I am an investigator and 90% of my time is staring at a computer screen and typing. Has any one with a similar surgery and similar work experience any problems returning to work. I am concerned about that after the surgery is completed.

Any suggestions or input would be appreciated. Thanks



  • Hi! So you'll have 2/3, 3/4, 4/5 left but 5/6, 6/7 and 7/T1 will be fused?

    I have 2/3 and 3/4 left and 7/T1...They did 4/5, 5/6 and 6/7. I'm 6 months out and feeling much better. If they fuse 7/T1 looking down may be challenging. I'm sure you'll find a way though.

    I can work on the computer but have everything ergonomically set up. I have a timer next to my computer and get up every 20 to 30 minutes to stretch. I also lay down on my back every 3 to 4 hours with a good cervical pillow for about 15 minutes to let my neck rest.

    It took a while before I was able to do this. I had a great PT help strengthen my neck so I was able to get back to life.

    I don't want to go back in for surgery so I'm following all the rules and finding ways to get done what I need to within those rules.

    After your other fusion were you cautious with your neck?
  • I'm fused from C5 to T1, so I can speak a little on the mobility issues. Most of the side to side rotation comes from the upper levels, so thankfully you'll still have most of that movement. You will probably eventually get used to any decrease in mobility and learn to compensate by twisting your body to see over your shoulder, etc. I try to sit where I look straight forward rather than needing to turn, as in watching television. I did lose quite a bit of the up and down movement--can't put chin to chest or shoulder to ear. However, like I said, we learn what works and what doesn't quickly. At times I have less mobility than others, but the bad days are due to muscle spasms and stiffness. I have a difficult time looking down while reading or even typing, so I have found that a laptop is great because I can sit with it propped on my knees at eye level. After my initial surgery this wasn't as much of an issue. It got worse when I had the posterior revision and additional instrumentation, so maybe your range of motion will be better than mine. I do think that once your doctor okays it, working with a physical therapist is important in getting back as much range of motion as possible. However, don't rush that because you don't want to jeopardize the fusion process. Just follow whatever your doctor orders.

    Good luck with the surgery. :)

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Thanks for the input, it is really helpful. I was concerned about returning to work because most of my time is spent at a computer. From what is sounds, I will still be able to ride my motorcycle. I have a trike and a regular bike. I am preparing myself mentally for the surgery. I am ready to have the pain leave my right arm. Thanks so much for sharing the information. Good luck on your recoveries. Darrell
  • Wow I was told I couldn't ride a bike or motor cycle for 2 years if at all. I love to ride my bike. The pounding from the pavement and such plus the risk of falling was highly unwise. Did your doctor approve motor cycle riding?
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