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Multi-level fusion

redbullrredbull Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have recently had emergency multi-level surgery (C4/5 & C5/6), i have read that multi-level surgery carries a greater risk to the dics in the surrounding levels.

Is this a commonly accepted belief? Are there studies that support this?

I am still relatively young and wonder what the future might hold for me.

Thanks in advance.



  • Welcome to spine-health. I don't know if there is research and I would warn you about basing beliefs on what you see in the forums since happy healthy people are not here.

    There does seem to be a good number of people who have further spine problems. But is that because of the surgery or because their spine had multiple issues? Also keep in mind that doctors try the most conservative treatment. So they might try a microD first. If that reherniates they might do another microD or do a fusion. Same problem with 2-3 surgeries.

    What you need to do is follow your doctors instructions for recovery. Be smart. Be careful. After that it is up to fate or God or whatever you believe controls our destiny.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    hi redbull and welcome here to spine-health.
    What you have read is probably what is termed adjacent joint degeneration and is real for many of us. Many factors would contribute to AJD, your career and the effect it has on your spine, the condition of your spine, excercise and the building of muscle around the spine.
    I have been fused from C3 thru C6 three years ago and I have failures above and below this fusion that will need to be addressed in the near future. But my problems stem from a genetic disease osteoarthritis that attacks all the joints in my body.
    My advice would be to stay active with minimal impact to your body and build strength and muscle through the education of a professional therapist.
    Wish you the best,
  • HI Redbull,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and be sure to check out the doctor written peer review articles.

    As Ranger stated I believe you are discussing adjacent disc disease. Ranger pretty much explained how it works. When you are fused you no longer have movement at those levels and so the load factor moves onto the adjacent disc. With that said I have meet plenty people who have had fusion as far back as the 70's and have had no other issues.

    When you start therapy these are things to discuss with the therapist on how to protect your spine. One thing I can tell you from my personal experience exercise for my cervical spine and the home program I was given is a on going daily event and will be for life. Before we had these injuries we didn't know we needed to do those but now we do.

    Keep in mind there are plenty of successful cervical fusion patients who have long left the forums and out living happy healthy normal lives. So while you have a upward climb right now, you will get there. So just follow all your surgeons instructions and soon this will be a thing of the past.

    If I can be of any assistance don't hesitate to pm me. Once again welcome to spine-health. Take care.
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