I'm 33, and am 5 months post-op. I had an anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion at C4-5 with a bone graft (my own bone.) I practically lived at my doctor's office for 2 years getting PT, TPIs, facet blocks, etc. My doc really discouraged the surgery because of my age but I couldn't take the pain any longer.
As soon as I awoke after surgery, I was amazed that for the fist time in 2 years, I had no headache. It was amazing. I had about 3 months of pain free normal living. In June, all of my pre-surg pain in my head, neck, shoulders, and arm came rushing back full force and all at once. I was home alone with my 2 little ones and was crying in severe pain and hyperventillating on the couch. I ended up in the ER, was given some moriphine, had some x-rays taken, and sent home.
Now, 2 months later, I'm still having these same pains. In 2 months' time, my pain level has returned to what it took 2 years to reach last time. I begged my doc for another surgery, he really doesn't want me having another due to the possible complications a second surgery could cause. I have another severe rupture at the adjacent level below my fusion, I was told this was a possibility and would most likely require surgery in the future. I was thinking several years, not several months.
My doc says a fusion wouldn't work because of the one I already have-there is not a place to insert another screw and plate into the vertebra. I asked about using a replacment disc; I wouldn't have to worry about all the pain from the hip where the bone graft was harvested and there would be no need to bother the fusion above. He agreed that this sounded acceptable as a last ditch option.
I'm currently doing my homework and trying to find out everything I can about that procedure and the discs. Everything I'm finding online is in Europe. The patients all appear very happy with their outcomes. Have any of you had these discs and if so which ones? Also, what kind of results did you get and how was the recovery? Did you find this surgery beneficial or did you end up worse than before or at the same pain level you were pre-surg?
Thank you so much for all and any feedback