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no bone growth - 6 week post op ACDF C5-6 C6-7

frenchfriffrenchfri Posts: 325
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Thank you so much for your concerns. The xrays did not show any bone growth, but they said they did not really expect to. They did not clear me to go back to work. I sadly agree with the decision. I drove 20 minutes to work, then worked in my room for 45 minutes, chatted for 30 minutes and then drove 5 minutes to dr.appt. the 20 minutes to supermarket and another 15 minutes home. My shoulder and neck were sore by the time I got home. OUCH. They said I may not be ready for work until the end of Feb. That bothers me, but maybe if I can strengthen my neck, arm and shoulder muscles then I can do more. I think I can handle the drive, but teaching all day and then I would be a waste when I got home. That would not be fair to my son and husband. At least that made me feel better. I do not have much ROM. Only 5% going up, 45% down, and about 30% right and left. I also feel very weak. We practiced some simple neck excerises since he still does not want me to start PT. He said if it is still an issue at 3 months then he would give me a script. He said if I wanted to go for a massage that would be okay but I needed to bring xrays and make sure they are careful. I am going to borrow 2 pound weights from my son and start with them. I still can not get comfortable in the bed and have been sleeping in the recliner. Sad I forgot to ask the surgeon the name of the plate and cages that they put in. I did request a copy of the medical records so I am sure it is in there. My son (17) wanted a copy of the xray to show his class (Anatomy and Physiology) so they were nice enough to give a copy with hardware and one from a few years ago so they can see the difference. I have a plate and 6 screws. Very interesting to see. They also use BMP (bone protein).

We are going to get another 3-6 inches Thursday into Friday. YUCK !!

Still taking a flexril (muscle relaxer) once in a while, which i did today.
I'll try and keep my chin up (LOL) Have a good night.


  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    6 weeks is so early in the recovery so do not get discouraged about no bone growth. I dont think mine started showing growth until the 3 month mark and fully fused at 6 months. I along with you had BMP used in my cervical surgery which played a big part in my neck finally fusing. I had 4 previous cervical fusions that all had failed so using BMP was the last resort. I think you will find (at least I did) as more time goes by you get better ROM. Like I said you are still in the early phases of recovery. Have you tried the pillows that prop you up? I couldnt sleep in a bed without it. I believe they are called reading pillows. My niece brought it over for me because she thought it would help. Now I wont let her have it back.lol.
  • I appreciate your words of encouragement. I guess I was just hoping for some progress. Psychology I needed to hear that there was some bone growth and that my ROM was better than it is. I have some simple exercises that I can do, but no PT. I really want to get back to work, but can't at this point in time. I miss my job as a teacher and did not realize that the recovery would take so long. I spent so much time researching surgeons spine vs neuro and the actual procedure that I did not research the recovery. That is my own fault. My heart goes out to you having to have so many surgeries. I am hoping that when and if I need another one it won't be for at least 10 years. Hopefully I'm not fooling myself. I have tried propping up pillows to sleep - I do not have a pillow called a husband which is what I think you are referring to. I had one of those when I was in college in the early 80's. Glad that the BMP worked for you. I had some major excessive swelling due to the BMP. I ended up staying in the hospital for 5 1/2 days and was put on steroids to decrease swelling. I have a copy of my x rays showing the plate, the swelling that is still there. Oh joy. Thanks again for your words of encouragement. I am going to try and stay positive and keep my chin up (LOL)
  • I have not had the same surgery as you, 1st was a PLIF 2 levels Dec 2008, 2nd was Dec 2010 for ALIF 2 levels,(different levels) done min invasively, and my first fusion took 3 months before they saw any with the BMP. I am only 5 weeks out now, so I go next week to see Dr and have Xrays.
    Dont get discouraged, you are very early out from a major surgery, and it takes time. Good Luck!
  • Thanks for your words of encouragement. I have to remember that it was major surgery and I can't not force the recovery. I am a doer and a shaker and I am not a very patient person. It is very difficult for me to walk and let nature take its course.
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