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X-rays show that fusion has started!!

What a wonderful Christmas present. I have started to fuse! I had my x-rays yesterday (6 weeks) and then saw the surgeon. He is very pleased with how I am doing and showed me that the fusion has started.

I am still having symptoms and pains in my arms, hands, legs and feet, but he is still hopefull that I will have some improvement with time. I know that I have problems at other levels in my neck, that weren't dealt with, so it could be from those levels. The other good news is that I am not getting the very frequent, horrid headaches. They were very debilitating, so I am glad to have got shot of them.

I will go and see him again in 3 months to see how much things have settled down by then.


  • Congratulations, thats great to hear.
  • I was wondering about your Dec 20th follow-up- what a great Christmas present!! I hope I have the same news in 2 weeks......congratulations!
  • Good to know that you are starting to feel a bit better and the fusion has started. Knowing you are on the right track is very important. God bless you and your family.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 12/21/2012 - 5:49 AM
    I am feeling very positive about this today! :-)
    I have managed to bake some Christmas cookies and have got my son cleaning the house for some much needed cash!! My cleaning lady couldn't come this week as her children were ill. We will have a clean house after all!!

  • I did post a previous message, but for some reason it hasn't appeared. Very strange.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I'm so glad your recovery is going well - please let your family help you over Christmas and the New Year - don't try and do it all yourself. You don't want to jeopardise your surgeon's handywork (I'm sure you won't).

    To you, your family and everyone on Spine Health - have a wonderful Christmas and let's hope the new year brings us all reduced pain!!!

    G-d bless, and take good care of yourself xx
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!

  • Once all the festivities are over and things settle back down again, we must catch up.
    I have lost track of how things are with you now, and if you are working again or not.

    Enjoy being with your family for Christmas and God bless you all, and especially hoping that you will have a 'comfortable' Christmas.
    Take care, xxx
  • Jellyhall that's great news and fast fusing. Glad your headaches are gone. Isn't it great to get to do some Chistmas baking and have a clean house :) I have my kids on mine and our cleaning lady came yesterday to do the deep cleaning ( mopping, bathrooms). Almost ready for Christmas :)

  • I wish I had had a cleaning lady after my lumbar fusion. It used to really get me down that I couldn't do it and my husband and sons didn't seem to see the dirt!!
  • So glad to hear that your 6 week visit proved to be positive and that your fusion has started. It seems that 6 weeks is the benchmark for whether fusion is going to happen or not, so I am thrilled to hear your report! I know that is how I felt when I saw my surgeon at 6 weeks (just two weeks ago). When he said that I was doing "Fantastic" while looking at my new x-rays, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief!

    My next visit is at 12 weeks - with another set of x-rays, to determine if more fusion is happening - which will determine if I get to remove this Miami J collar.

    I am glad that your headaches are gone.

    How is your swallowing and "croaking"? Has that diminished or does that persist?

    That's great that your house is clean. That was one thing for which I prepared my cleaning people - I called and told them about my surgery and what to expect when they came to clean the house after my surgery. I didn't want to shock and scare them with this collar - and no voice! Even they comment on my progress, which is sweet.

    Keep on keepin' on!
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
  • Thanks for the encouragement :-)

    I was delighted to hear that my fusion is underway. At my 6 week appointment after my lumbar fusion I didn't have any sign of fusion, so I was ready for that to be the case again. I think that made me even more pleased to hear the good news. :-)

    My swallowing is very much improved on how it was after surgery, but it seems to have reached a plateau and stuck there (excuse the pun). Mostly I am managing to eat well, although dry food is still very difficult. If I am not concentrating though, I can still start to choke.

    The 'croaking' seems to be happening much less, although when I do croak, if I laugh, then I croak as I am laughing! This makes me laugh even more and the croaking continues for a short while. It seems then I run out of air (or whatever is making me croak) and the croaking stops. I notice that as I am croaking, I can feel a sort of bubbling. Very strange!

    I am still 'squeaking' at every swallow of thin liquids though. I can be heard from across the room. I do feel rather self-concious about it, but generally if there is a group of people here, or I am out somewhere, there is enough noise to hide it, or at least not be obvious that it is coming from me!!! *rollingeyes*

    My surgeon is not concerned, and feels that it will resolve with time. I still have the numb area on my throat, above my incision. When I swallow you can see that all the work is being done on the muscles on the left side of my throat, where as the right side, where the incision is, is not working much at all. I think once the nerves heal, things will be ok.

    I'll have to try to post a picture of my x-ray. All I have is the two cages. It does show that my other discs are almost collapsed. I guess this is why those nerve roots are being compressed and causing problems. Also, I am still getting lots of noise from my neck; the rice crispy noise and also an occasional very loud crack that sounds like I have just broken my neck!! The surgeon explained that this noise is coming from the other levels of my neck where there is lots of spondylosis, and the facets are getting stuck and then unsticking.

    I go back to see my surgeon again in 3 months to see how I am progressing.

    Have a wonderful Christmas xxx

  • Your description of your croaking and squeaking made me laugh, although I am amazed that the squeaking can be heard across the room! Holy moly! I am glad that you are able to laugh about it all.

    I am curious, is there a reason that your surgeon did not address the other discs knowing that they are collapsing at the same time as this one?

    When you said that you still have to pay attention to certain foods as you swallow them, I know the feeling. Fortunately, things like crackers going down more easily resolved itself. Chicken, not so much. Not yet.

    If you need any help getting a copy of the x-rays posted, let me know via a private email. If you have Windows7, especially, it is pretty easy.

    Merry Christmas to you.

    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 12/23/2012 - 8:53 AM
    Before my surgery, my surgeon did say that he may need to do another surgery from the back afterwards. We didn't really talk about it or what exactly he would do, but a different surgeon who viewed my MRI scan asked what surgery was being proposed. He agreed with the 2 level ACDF, and also seemed to agree that there could be need for a surgery from the back afterwards. My surgeon said that if he did more than 2 levels, there is a much higher chance of me not fusing, so he would do 2 and see how much help I got from that. I am still having the symptoms in my hands and arms, and also in my feet and legs. From the position of them, I believe that they are coming from the nerve root compression at all the levels below my fusion. A neurologist confirmed that I have bilateral nerve root compression at all these levels causing chronic neurogenic changes in the affected muscles in my arms.

    As for the leg symptoms, that could be from the cord compression that is not recovered yet, or it could be from my lumbar spine. When I woke up from the surgery I was in a lot of pain in my lumbar spine. I think I had been lying on my back too long, which is never a comfortable position for me. I am seeing my surgeon in 3 months and we will see how much better I am then. He is hopeful that I will get some relief by then. I hope he is right.

    I am not getting all the headaches that I used to suffer with, so am trying to focus on that positive outcome.

    Merry Christmas to you too, and let's hope that we both have a Healthier New Year!
  • ...and yes, Merry Christmas and to a HEALTHY NEW YEAR!
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
  • Merry Christmas to everyone here.....
    Hopefully we all have a healthier new year, freer from pain.
    Thanks jellyhall for being such a positive energy in this public forum. God bless you and your family......
  • Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
    edited 12/24/2012 - 11:26 AM
    I'm SOOOOO happy to hear that you're fusing and that you have a fun Christmas on the way. To echo the others, don't take on too much and set yourself back, even with the new energy the excitement brings, you'll just be hurting a lot more later. But do celebrate this little victory in your life. You deserve it!

  • Thanks my friends for sharing my delight at starting to fuse with me. :-)

    Happy Christmas to you all xxx
  • This is just the best news for you, especially as your lumbar didn't fuse for yonks.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
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