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Has anybody been fused throughout the cervical spine? How do you cope?

happynesshhappyness Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have congenital fusions c1 to my skull, c4-6 and last year I had c3-4 fused. So my only areas of movement are between c1 - C3 and c6/7. I still have cord compression (5mm) at c3/4 with increasing signal change seen on my most recent MRI. My right arm and leg experience numbness and I have had dizziness and burning between my shoulder blades for many years. Docs are concerned that the signal change is increased since last year. It has been suggested that my entire cervical spine be stabilized which will almost certainly mean an end to my ultrasound career which I love and will miss dearly. Is anyone fused in such a way? How do you cope? Are you able to work? I would imagine that the lack of mobility would require a great deal of adaptive equipment. If anyone is fused in this way what equipment do you use?



  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I do have quite a history of cervical surgeries, 5 so far. I am fused c3 thru c7. With c2 showing signs of being bad. I do have great range of motion even though I have been fused at multi levels. I have no difference in range of motion to the right but some to the left. I lost about 50% to the left. I really do not notice it anymore as my body found ways to compensate for the lose of motion such as turning to the left, ect. The only time I do notice it is when Im sleeping. I can not lay on my stomach with my head turned to the left. My surgeons did tell me I would lose range of motion although I did not lose as much as was expected.
  • I'm only fused from C4-7, but having additional problems above my fusion at both C2/3 and C3/4 which is limiting my ROM due to pain.

    How much ROM do you have now? I would imagine that with the levels left to be fused, you wouldn't be much worse off ROM-wise than you are now. As the C6/7 moves the most when you move your head, I thought my ROM would be pretty bad with it fused, but it isn't too bad at all.

    Let us know a little more about you and your story so we can get to know you better.

    Welcome to Spine-Health. I think you'll find this a healthy, supportive and informative place to visit on a regular basis.

  • Thanks. Cathie and Susan,

    I do have about 30° of motion side to side and extension. Flexion is a problem and I can only see my feet if I bend at the waist. I have a double curve scoliosis with some fusions in my thorasic spine as well. Not really sure of the levels. So I don't have great mobility anywhere in my back. My doc is very cautious and will not write orders for physical therapy so I doubt this situation will improve. Im seeing a new orthopedic surgeon today to get a 3rd opinion. My 6/7 level has subluxation anteriorly and with the cord compression at 3/4 I expect he too will talk surgery. I'm 39 and not ready to be disabled yet. I have a house to pay for, car loans, a little girl to play with and vacations to take. So I'm hoping to put this off as long as possible. But if I knew it wouldn't change my life much I would do it tomorrow. I know that being paralyzed would be worse than surgery so maybe I just need so suck it up and accept my fate. I wish my crystal ball worked! Lol!
  • I am so sorry for your issues. I wish you the best of luck with your 2nd and 3rd opinions. I would definitely get those opinions. YOU are very young to have all of these issues and congenital fusions on top of that. I am 49 and have issues for many years. Finally had ACDF C5-6 C6-7 fused with plate, screws and a cage. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • I'm fairly new to all this. I think it's good that your getting another opinion. May I ask you a question.....I've developed dizzyness/vertigo after surgery. It's constant, nonstop...some days are better than others but It's constant now for 78 days. What did your Doc say about the dizzyness? did you have it before surgery? My Neuro claims he's never heard of surgery causing vertigo/dizzyness but I never had dizzyness before the surgery. You say you've had the dizzyness for years. Bless your heart...it's a crappy feeling. When do you go for another opinion? Keep us posted Happyness. Sending good JUJU your way!
  • I have not had to deal with dizziness / vertigo either before or after surgery on any regular basis. There were a few instances where I got dizzy but nothing serious. I go for my 6 week post op this afternoon. Hoping for some bone growth or beginning of fusion. I also want to get a script for PT so that I can increase my ROM.
  • sending good fusion juju to you as well!
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