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Non-Union Cervical Fusion

In May 2011, I had a revision neck surgery in which the Neurosurgeon removed failed Pro Discs from C5/6 and C6/7 (implanted in March 2009) and then did a three level fusion from C4 - C7. He also used both allograft and autograft bone. I felt okay in the beginning (I got horrible headaches after my ADR surgery) but in April of this year I began getting terrible headaches and a lot of neck pain. Since my surgeon is on a mysterious leave I was told to go to my primary care doctor, who ordered a CT scan last month. I went to see a new Neurosurgeon yesterday and was told that C5/6 and C6/7 is not fused and C4/5 is showing a little activity, but they want me to have a bone scan so they can see if it is fused. They suggested another surgery in which they will fuse from the back instead of front of my vertebrae and would insert rods from C5 - T1. (possibly C4 if it is showing no fusion)

I was wondering what the risks are if I choose not to have another surgery. Is my neck unstable if it is not fused? I'm concerned because when the surgeon removed the Pro Discs last year, he also removed some of my vertebrae to get the implants out so it wasn't an typical fusion. I am so scared to have anymore surgeries and worried that if I did, it won't work.


  • After 4 failed surgeries the posterior approach finally worked for me. I had no choice due to the instability of my neck. The posterior approach is a harder recovery but please dont listen to all the horror stories about the posterior surgery. Im not gonna lie it was a rough recovery but not as bad as I was let on that it would be. The muscles in the back of the neck do not take kindly to being cut on and that is the biggest issue with the posterior approach along with swelling. I was back to work at a desk job around the 4 week mark. I started out part time and worked myself back up to full time within weeks. Only your surgeon will be able to tell you if your neck is stable. Good luck and keep us posted
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