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How long in the hospital these days for neck fusion?

ann61aann61 Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a succesful neck fusion, in 1991, of C5 and 6, and it is in their solid, and no problems. I had cadaver graft. And was in for 5 days, but times have changed, in 20 years.

Had a sitting MRI of neck, few weeks ago..they are great!. Getting neck pain, moving head up, and headaches.

The rheumatologist, said quite common in disks above the fused ones, to get arthritis. And i should see a nuerosurgeon. Got an appt in a month. But meanwhile, i saw the pain mgmt dr, who gave me an epidural in the neck, and will do another one soon, but he is saying the same thing..i need another fusion.

I will also get a 2nd opinion with a ortho spine dr.

C3-4 there is narrowing of the nueral foramen due to degerative facet hypertrophy.

C4-5 has degenration, annular bulging.
C4-5 mild canal stenosis,mild bilateral soraminal stenosis, due to dis bulging, small osteophytes
C6-7 disc bulging which causes marked nueroforiminal stenosis


  • Hi there - I was just in the hospital overnight for C5-6-7 fusion in March 2009. I also had a cadaver graft. It took me 8 weeks to feel up to returning to work, though.
  • I have had ankle fusions, sub-talor, and triple arthodesis...and i have non-union with my own graft!

    Some of it is fused...but foot surgery non-weight bearing is hard, and they got to do too much work to rebuild the foot

    I don't remember much pain from the 1991 surgery....100% succesfull, now 20 yrs almost later. But then, that was long ago!

    It started with pain in right arm...i would have lost use of it, pinched nerve...you know that story!

    And that pain in arm, went away the next day, i think!

    I've been reading some info, and found that overnight..WOW!!..like a modern gallbladder surgery.
    Had enough surgeries, but rheumatologist, and epidural guy says it got to be done...the nuero guy is highly recommended...but got to wait till 1/28 for appt...and will see what he says
    Thanks!..thats what i needed to know!
  • I had C5-C6 ACDF this past spring and was in the hospital for 3 days. My fusion was for a major herniation and mild DJD. I also had an allergic reaction to the muscle relaxer so that didnt help get me home. I was back to work as an Activity Director in an Assisted Living facility in about 2 1/2 weeks. Not a very physical job, and I could get up and walk around whenever I needed to. I think I couldnt push wheelchairs or tranfer residents as well for about 8 weeks. I worked 4 hours per day to start and did not wear a collar. My NS didnt prescribe collars for 1 level fusions but I insisted on one for car rides and shopping trips. I went back full time after 3 weeks. My NS was very surprised at how fast I was feeling good. Fortunetely my neurological symptoms in my arms, neck and head resolved very quickly. I am under a year out from surgery and feel good, not super, but I am very happy with the results (my lumbar spine is a different story all together). No radiating pain and dropping everything I touch. I was left with some mild weakness which is not getting better.

    Everyone is going to be different, and your doctor may change his mind each week what he tells you in regards to restrictions and return to work. You just never know.

    Good luck at your appointment the end of the month!
  • Duplicate post. I swear I only hit the button once,lol.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I had c4-5-6 fused with anterior approach and was home the next day. I needed a posterior fusion on c4-5-6-7 8 months later due to collapse of the earlier surgery. With the posterior I was in the hospital 3 days
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    For my ACDF C5-C6-C7 I was in for 2 nights. I saw the form my surgeon had from insurance which pre-authorized 1-2 nights. Thus anything after that would have to be explained by the surgeon. That's easily done if there is a need for more time in the hospital. My surgeon did say if all "went as planned" he'd have to have some unique reason to keep me longer. BUT he also agreed to 2 nights no matter what and I wanted that for pain control (though ACDF was much less painful than I had anticipated). I had a posterior foraminotomy on my neck and ins authorized 1 night.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Thanks everyone..will find out, when i see him on 1/28

    I remember asking if i could get the mylegram, the afternoon before, back in 1991..because they said i could get spinal headache, have to lay flat on back..so that was part of the 5 days

    THings have changed....they chase you out sooner these days, because of insurance.

    I've had enough of my own iliac crest grafts to the feet, from pelvic area, iliac.....but i guess they find more bone from back or somewhere....but cadaver graft totally worked, for 20 yrs...this is above it, the neck problems, they say it's common

    Just kind of tired of hospital stays, with the knee replacements, etc.....but i guess this has to be done, rheumatologist says neck is important, i shouldn't wait

    Happy New Year!
  • I had two cervical fusions just over a year apart, and for both 24 hours in the hospital. Had major abdominal surgery in '02', and even that big surgery, only 3 days!

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