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PEEK BMP and dystonia

amaaama Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello, first-timer and hoping I can get some patient perspective: my 74 yo dad is about to have a posterior mass lateral fusion from C4 to T1 (tomorrow, Friday) followed by an anterior cervical corpectomy of C6 and C7 with a PEEK interbody graft (Monday). Because of the concerns I had about BMP, the resident neurosurgeon assured me BMP would only be applied in the back and not the front, and they would have steroid injections ready for any potential swelling.

While I am not afraid of the procedure as all of dad's docs agree that surgery is necessary to save any remaining mobility, I am extremely concerned about the recovery because dad has had dystonia in his neck for the past 18 years. It has been controlled most of the time by meds, but there have been moments when it was pretty bad, and I worry what this might do to all the constructs once surgery is completed. This remains an unknown at this point.

Dad's neurosurgeon is comes highly recommended and I have read several success stories from past patients. If you have had any experience with this procedure AND have had dystonia, I would greatly appreciate your personal perspective about how well you recovered and how you are these days.

In the mean time, I will be staring at the ceiling and worrying for my dad...

Thanks! ama


  • I did not have dystonia pre-surgery, so I can't help you in regards to that. But I did have bmp used posteriorly and did okay with that. My surgeon and I discussed it and he felt very comfortable using it in very small amounts posteriorly, but never in the front, at least in the cervical spine.

    C4 to T1 is one level more than I had. I think it will be important that he gets into some physical therapy when the doctor feels that he has healed enough. What I had the most problems with posteriorly was muscle spasming and weakness. Eventually this led to other complications which could have been avoided if I had been getting those muscles worked with some deep tissue massage, etc.

    But for the initial phase, he will be very uncomfortable and will need your support. YOu sound like an awesome daughter to be concerned for him. If his throat is sore from the anterior portion, throat lozenges do help, and cool drinks were very refreshing to me. Some people don't get a sore throat at all though; maybe he will be one of the lucky ones.

    Keep us posted on how the surgery goes. Because of my own experiences, I'm always more interested in the outcome of these multi-level posterior fusions, so I will be watching.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • HI Ama,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. What a great daughter you are investigating for your dad's well being. As far as the dystonia goes, is it possible that the cause of this is due to his cervical spine issues? Once it is fixed that it will no longer be of a issue. Hopefully they will be putting your dad in a rehab center following the surgery to adjust to the new structure of his spine. If not please tell them that it would be better. Also I am hoping they will be using a rigid brace following the surgery till he is accustomed to how his neck is going to function?

    I ditto everything Cindy has said above being someone whom has had posterior surgery and a multi-level just a little higher. Good luck to you and your dad and please update us or ask any questions you might have.
  • with your dad's operation, and please let us know how everything went (we're a friendly, caring bunch who have all been there done that when it comes to spine problems). Sorry I also can't answer your question, since I don't have dystonia. I hope someone on this Forum can answer it, but if no one can, you can Google it.
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