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Cervical Fusion

IsthereananswerIIsthereananswer Posts: 17
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Conflicting drs reviews that i would like to see if anyone has insight to
Is there such thing as partial fusion? Nearly a year after my first ACDF, there was non union, it did not fuse, and actually no sign of the alograft, not sure if it completely deteriorated or what. After my second ACDF, i have undulating alograft remaining at C5C6. This might have been helped by the bone growth stimulator this dr asked me to use for 30 mins a day until fusion but now im in pain, not on the bone growth stimulator and told by my nuerosurgeon who did the second ACDF that i'm not a candidate for operation and released me from his care. He referred me to one of his fellow nuerosurgeons who did tests with contrast to see what was going on and shared with me that it was partially fused, but he didnt see need to redo the surgery because theres no movement of screws and another ACDF with alograft would result in same or similar outcome. I have been out of work now almost a month and dont know when I'll return, seeking multiple opinions and the two leading ones are a laser operation to reduce foraminal narrowing and stenosis or PCDF with autograft. Could my pain be the result of the foraminal narrowing/ stenosis or nonunion? Would the PCDF correct both or the minimally invasive procedure still leave me with pain from the non union?


  • I want to update everyone...
    Two ortho drs believe non union is likely cause of pain and three nuerosurgeons believe its fused well enough not to be causing pain and something else is going on. I want to see about a minimally invasive treatment for cervical osteophytes which one nuero noticed are atypical for someone so young. The pain symptoms match what I've read about the cervical osteophytes except it normally is in ppl over 60. Nuero dr said i have the neck of a 65 yr old man. I did use a bone growth stimulator 30 min a day for 13 months wondering if that could have caused growth of spurs??? Does anyone know about this bone protien that drs are using instead of graft if i were to try posterior fusion? Nuero dr said there is NO way he would put his son on operating table but the ortho drs are somewhat willing to perform that surgery one saying it might not alleviate pain and the other saying 99.99999% likely to complete the fuse and help pain? I have to make a decision and not sure if i should try the minimally invasive ops that treat bone spurs, if anyone has done them would you PLEASE REPLY. THANKS
  • What about diagnostic testing? Have you had a nerve block? Any nerve testing? Did they find the source of the pain? When was the last ACDF performed?

    I had an ACDF at C5/6 8 months ago. There's still pain and was told to give it a year for pain to go away. Recovery is slow! :<
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    Okay this is all based on my experience .... the named have not been changed to protect the innocent ..... because there are none.

    5+ years ago I had a "simple" two level ACDF .... cadaver graph .... bone growth stimulator (waste of time and money IMHO). Immeadiate improvedment post surgery .... at 6 week things started going south ..... I spent the next year and a half telling various neurosurgeon that something was wrong pain was increasing ... was given the bumbs rush.

    I finally found an orthopedic surgeon who put my MRI up un the screen and said "we will have to redo the whole thing" (Music to my ears .... I wasn't crazy!!

    The short version .... pseudo arthrosis (Non-union) ... My cadaver plugs were undersized and had not maintained the space and had actually impacted down into the vertebal bodies .... another level blown above the constuct .... and bone growth anterior to the plate that caused the entire construct to bang into my cord each time I swallowed.
    (My ortho years later also illuded that the plate that was use was to small.

    Fast forward to the revision ..... 4 surgeries over a 3 day period of time ... 3 days in ICU .... 9 days total stay .... corpectomies with cage ... new plate .... my own hip bone ... new plate another level added ....Posterior rods .... 12 screws .... I still have chronic pain and now have yet another level that is going south. And lumbar stuff now also


    What was the question??

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