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Update & Questions about Fusion

Irish55IIrish55 Posts: 17
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Another Question about Fusion
I've already posted a few weeks back about the fact that I've broken another vertebra - T-1 and with that fracture it brought down an existing fusion of T2-4. We aren't sure what to do and my doc has asked me to wait a bit (until early October) to see if the pain goes away and perhaps that would allow me to go on with my life without another fusion. Unfortunately the pain is getting worse and because of the pain I'm holding myself in strange positions thus causing new pains in other parts of my back. If the surgeon decides to fuse he has already told me it will be a T4-C-4 fusion.

I would like to hear from anyone who has a fusion that involves their C4-T1 vertebra. I'm mostly interested in how much pain they were left with after the post-surgical period was over and how RESTRICTED their neck movements were after the fusion. By this I mean, can you describe if you could turn your head, if so, how far...could you look over your shoulder when driving and get your head far enough around to see oncoming traffic? Anything else you might want to add that would help me understand what I'm getting myself into if I do get the fusion. Any thoughts? Thanks so much everybody!


  • Hi irish55. I had C4 to C7 almost 4 weeks ago. For now I can move maybe 25% left and right. Looking down is not a problem, looking up is very painful so I don't do it. I have a friend I work with, he had 3 level from C5 to T1 almost a year ago. I never knew he had it done, as he always moved his neck like you would expect. He saw me with my colar on and we had a long talk. I think it may be different for each person, and it may also rely on the surgeon you use. But after seeing his neck movements I'm hoping I'll gain much more. I go back on 10/7 and will likely start phys therapy to gain movement. I hope that helps a bit.

  • I will be able to add to the answer pool here in just under 3 weeks as I will be getting fused C4-T2 thanks to a failed anterior fusion destabilizing me. This fusion will be via the posterior side of the house. Of course, locking cervical into thoracic is gonna suck, as the bottom movement will be gone.

    Sorry to hear you're going through all this. I will of course be posting on my lovely new adventure!!! I'm expecting ROM to be a thing of the past!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks for your comments! Brenda, I hope your surgery goes well. Please let me know after it's over and you are home. And Sandy , I hope you get more movement back. Sounds like there is a very good chance that you will. I appreciate your comments as well.
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