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4th fusion??

tla12181960ttla12181960 Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:03 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
2000, C5-6
2004, C6-7
2011, C4-5

Results of current MRI:
There is a central-right disc protrusion at the C3-4 level. This contacts and flattens the central and right ventral aspect of the spinal cord parenchyma. The dorsal subarachnoid space is maintained.

The C4-5 level is a postoperative level. There is a disc bulge-osteophytic ridge at the C4-5 level. There is prominence of the ligamentum flavum. These flatten the ventral and dorsal aspects of the thecal sac with narrowing of the CSF surrounding the spinal cord at this level.

There is a mild disc bulge at the C7-T1 level.

What questions should I ask my Neurosurgeon? Would they even consider surgery again? Symptoms are shoulder pain, bicep pain and at times fingertip tingling.


  • run like hell !!
    4 is too many
    one was enough for me
    good luck
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • So sorry Tony. I thought the neck was painful I can't even imagine back pain! My range of motion stinks. Injections do nothing for me and I don't want to rely on pain pills, may try accupunture but insurance doesn't pay for it. Willing to try anything at this point. Take care of yourself, Terri-Arizona
  • I had 3 Level ACDF C4-7 4/16 I asked my doc about the condition of C3 and T1 and if he does 4 levels, he said mine looked good but he does 4levels not often but has had several success stories. Now I do not know about doing them one level at a time, that I imagine would be much more difficult but I am pretty sure were not destined to live in pain. I would try anything if I thought the benefits out weighed the risks. I will keep you in my prayers and hope things work out. Keep us posted- Kim
    Kimberly Martin
  • Thank you Kim, I will know something tomorrow. I'll update. Before he fused C4-5 one year ago he said C3-4 was not good, he would NOT fuse C3-C5. Are you pain free? I feel no different than one year ago.
  • Hi Terri, No I am not pain free but I went in with the spinal cord compressed at C6-7,I had shooting pain down my right arm and numbness on my fingertips, my weakness on my right arm was becoming severe and was afraid I would lose the use of it. When I woke up from surgery my right arm pain was GONE and has not returned, the weakness is still there but through PT i am gaining some of it back. Now I am by no means pain free I have neck and shoulder pain but that is Post op pain and the doc is confident that in time it will get better or go away all together. I am just so much better than I was before, I spent years in pain before I bit the bullet and had the surgery, I know my life was ruled by how much pain I was in and I promised myself that if I ever got like that again I would do whatever I could to change it. Find out all your options and if needed get another opinion because you deserve to have range of motion and to not be ruled by pain. I wish you good luck ay your appt and let me know how it goes- Kim
    Kimberly Martin
  • HI Terri,

    One thing to consider with the multiple entries is the amount of scar tissue that is building. With that said I am fused at four levels but have been in 6 times and still have issues. It sounds as though you are suffering from adjacent disc disease if your blowing them that fast. Which means once they fuse it is placing the blunt of the work on the other levels. Now of course I can't say that for sure. But most certainly I would ask your surgeon what can be done to stop that from progressing, of course you can only go so far. Some things to consider is what will the do with the old hardware as far as remove or place some other type of hardware on? Which I myself don't recommend as I had it done and until I fused I couldn't eat solid foods as there just wasn't enough room, as in the case of most cervical spines.

    Hopefully you can try some conservative type treatments and surgery is not warrant at this time. But if you do need surgery I would ask about scar tissue. Keep in mind with scar tissue that can't really do surgery to remove it, as it will just come back. Also about incisions will the use the same incision or a new incision. I say that as I had thought on my one surgery they would use my existing incision and a new one was created. So unfortunately they now run the length of my neck, with my additional posterior incisions it is not to nice to look at, to say the least.

    Now if you ask me if I am pain free the answer is no, as I have permanent nerve damage. So unfortunately I am chronic pain patient and now we just try different types of treatments to help. Like tomorrow I am looking forward to trigger point therapy again. Hopefully you have a ten's unit as some days that is my life saver, along with the meds. Also don't forget to do daily stretches they help so much along with regular walking. If you don't have a walking program you can google it and find one that works best for you.

    Good luck on your appointment and let us know how it works out. If there is anything I can do, don't hesitate to pm me. Take care.
  • Thank you ALL so much for your notes.
    Met with Neurosurgeon today, he gave me 2 options: LIVE WITH IT or PERM DISABILITY!! He said it's up to me if I wanted to try Facet Injections, I've had epidural injections with NO relief. Anyone try the Facet injections? I'll have to look into those further before I make a decision. I look back now and so angry with myself I ever had the 1st fusion. Thanks again! Terri
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