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Failed fusion & Movement screw other levels! Cervical wins again! - 5 Levels!!

Aviatrix36440Aviatrix36440 Posts: 5,744
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi guys!

I just got an email from my new surgeon, and if I can become 6 weeks smoke free, and none after, surgery will be moved up to the end of September, or early October!! How cool is that!!! Whoohooo!!

As many of you know, I've been having more and more problems since my last ACDF (C6/7) two years ago, most notably around 4 or 5 months post op.

My NS said my fusion was fine, and that I didn't have a crack (contrary to the radiologist), my Neurologist that I've had for years said my neck was stable. I wasn't convinced. When my updated EMG's and MRI's came back, I was basically blown off by both.

My body was still saying "nope, something is wrong"... I went to 2 other Neurosurgeons who said a revision plus the addition of C7/8, anchor to T2 was in order. I then on the suggestion of a few of my most trusted friends on here (long time spiney's themselves), got with a top notch Orthopedic Spine surgeon. Had the consult this morning.

*HE* confirmed (very easy to see too!) such movement internal to my fusion, it has now affected C4/5, C7/8! The new game plan which I am going with is fusion/revision C4-T2. He will go posterior (leaving the other hardware in), fuse the facets and then rods and screws to lock it all down. Then hard collar for 3 months!

After looking over the MRI for the cervical, and then the new x-rays today, the look on his face, and the "aaah geeesss" that he uttered - he saw what I knew for over a year and a half! We discussed the neurological benefits of this surgery, and I agree, I will NOT get back what I have lost, this surgery will to be for stabilizing my cervical spine, and to STOP further damage.

The lumbar issues in comparison aren't as critical, so once again it is off the table until this mess is repaired (note I didn't say fixed - this stuff doesn't fix us) and healed, back surgery "ain't happening" which is fine with me given what I learned today.

Well, that pretty well updates it on me. In 3 months I go back to see if I am behaving (ciggies wise), and schedule the surgery. Oddly, I feel very relaxed? Yeah, yeah, I'm weird. Thanks for listening.

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

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,599
    but you were in many ways prepared to hear this.
    Just another notch in our spinal belts. You'll come through this like you've done in the past.

    And then onto our golden years..... I keep hearing about those years, does anyone have a clue to what that is suppose to mean?
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I bet you felt so relieved when he saw the problem!! Good luck with the surgery, and you better behave hehehe!!
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
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  • dilauro said:
    but you were in many ways prepared to hear this.

    Just another notch in our spinal belts. You'll come through this like you've done in the past.

    And then onto our golden years..... I keep hearing about those years, does anyone have a clue to what that is suppose to mean?
    Ron,

    As I told my new surgeon today, "nothing he is telling me is a surprise." I actually felt relieved that not only did he take me serious, but showed me what was going on, and what affected what.

    He told me that normally a CT scan is needed to see a failed fusion, but mine was an "aaahhh geeessss" type of moment! I just compared the x-rays from 5 months post op, and wow lots more movement.

    That might be why I am "okay" with this rather large surgery on the horizon. I am also glad he is adding C4/5, as it isn't too good looking either. My C2/3 (thanks to the spurs) has maintained about the same now for 3 years, so gonna leave it for now - it will give me 2 levels left above.

    Golden years. Yeah, if you figure out what they are, let me know!! hehehe

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Donnabe said:
    I bet you felt so relieved when he saw the problem!! Good luck with the surgery, and you better behave hehehe!!
    Yeah, especially since *I* knew things were wrong over a year and a half ago!

    My only internal question at this point is would I need 5 levels done now if they figured this out back then? As they say, "One will never know...." :)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Yep, the NOT knowing "for sure" can drive a Gal crazzzy! SO glad you got a good Dr., a confirmation, and a plan! Just hate you have to go through another surgery! Sometimes I feel like surgery is my new career...bet you can relate!

    Praying for a great outcome! >:D<
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  • Brenda,

    Glad to hear you finally got some answers. Wishing you the best on the upcoming surgery; and hope it all works out for you.

    But with more surgery scheduled, I would imagine our cane fight has been postponed <:P <br />
    As for "The Golden Years." That is something I have heard about for a long time. I have a theory about why it is called the "golden" years, but it is something I should keep to myself [(

    Curt
    View my history for all the gory details.
  • Howdy Tina,

    I like that! A few months ago (I am retired) a friend asked me if I was going to work part time 'or something.' My reply back was "Nope, my new job is doctor's appointments and spine surgery!" (G) Guess *like* minds or spines think alike! :)

    5 levels surprised me a little as my last two consults were 4. This surgeon saw what I saw and then some at C4/5... Oddly the osteophytes at C2/3 are protecting that level now, and that gives a break to C3/4 - weird. He told me if we did C2/3, C3/4 would for sure go in short order *no thanks, lets go on plan A!

    Once I finish the ciggies I have left, that's it, hopefully done with the cold turkey route. My hubby said he is going to stay in the RV for a while if I do quit that way! Rofla!! I knew I married a smart man! (G)

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

  • Well, at least you now have an answer as to why you have been suffering all this time.

    It makes me wonder why on earth no-one else could see what was going on. At least now you have a plan to deal with this, and hopefully the future will be better once you have recovered. That is when those golden years appear! 8>

    Now you need to get your body into a good state ready for this surgery to give yourself the best chance for success and swift recovery.

    We'll be here to encourage you and cheer you on along this new journey.

    Keep smiling! >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • Howdy Curt,

    What's that phrase "Three times the charm?" This will be number 3, maybe the good one this time? I sure hope so! I know there won't be much else left to fuse after this!

    Gotta get with my GP for scripts refills and general check up and blood work. I will then fill her in on the neck/back status to keep her in the loop. I try to keep her up to date to reduce things being overlooked, she also is the keeper of my pain medications.

    Right now November 16th is my follow up, and surgery will be scheduled after the holidays - works well as we go north to see relatives over Thanksgiving and Christmas. :)

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

    Echoing what Jellyhall just said, I'm glad you have an answer. So in November, you'll schedule surgery? I hope this will give you some relief.....hang in there!

    Gentle hugs!!
    Charlie
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