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Artificial disc after 2 level cervical fusion?

I saw my surgeon this week for neck and arm pain that has come back since my C5-C7 fusion in May last year. I did great after surgery and felt like I had gotten a new neck. In a sence I had. Then 9 months post surgery neck and arm pain came back, arm pain with a vengeance. Upping my meds, epidurals + facet injections has not helped at all. Had an MRI to make sure its not hardware failure or any bone spurs they missed during surgery.
So I sat down with the doc this week to get the reults and he tells me that the fusion is still solid and nice, but that my C4 is blown :(. I have a lot of bone spurs and scar tissue around it.

He don't want to fuse a third level and said they want to put in an artificial disc instead.
Im not loving the idea of another surgery within less than a year, not loving it at all, and Im scared how fast my spondy and stenosis has been deteriorating both before and after my fusion.

Does anyone have an artificial disc as well as being fused and can witness to how that is?

Has anyone done a cervical disc replacement?

For you guys with art. discs put in, how was recovery? Surgeon says recovery is quicker and better on that then fusion. True? I didnt think the surgery and post op pain was too bad with the fusion, it was harder to be home waiting to get well enough to go back to work, and then I didnt really make a full recovery until this happened so.

Im a little worried that the art. disc wont last so long if its put in adjacent to the fusions?

Im going for a second and possibly third opinion and trying to learn as much as possible about cervical artificial discs and putting them in an already fused neck. I really dont want to face this surgery, but as of now I suffer pretty bad and struggle with being able to work.

I really appreciate everyones opinion on this, I don't know how to face this new situation...

Cause: car accident & genetics
Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
Moving Forward: SCS


  • Since I am relatively new on this forum, I can only provide some superficial information and my thought process. I am in a somewhat different situation where I am looking at my first back surgery in the lumbar (L4/5 area). My first doc wanted a 360 fusion. I did not like the evidence of adjacent joint disease, or the lengthy recovery or the whole bone grafting (auto or otherwise).

    I looked into ADR/TDR. While it is just as invasive (Hopefully I can post videos here, but this is not for the faint at heart image ). That is a video of an ADT. Of course it is by the manufacturers of the ProDisc-L (Synthes).

    While it has been around over a decade or so in Europe, it only gained US FDA approval in like 2004. As with any new product, there was controversy of some of the FDA trial doctors having a financial stake in Synthes. They question the results of the study with respect to Fusion.

    I know I just mentioned a few topics above, but I just wanted to give you an idea. I think there are more options for cervical ADR than for Lumbar with respect to FDA approval.

    I am also seeking 2nd and 3rd opinions on this. Being 41 and very active, I want to be able to continue to live active without so much pain. I recognize pain will always be there, I just want to minimize it. You've been here before with your first surgery so just make sure to do your due diligence. Good Luck
    2004 - diagnosed Herniated discs
    2004 - 2013 - 12+ Epidural injections
    2008 - present Chiro with Decompression
  • for your input which I do apreciate very much. I am puzzled as to how fast my C4 level has deteriorated (11 months). Its either from stress after the fusion which I was warned about, or that C4 was starting to go bad at the time, but didnt show too much sign of it. It has gotten really bad in a short time and I havent exactly climbed mountains and jumped bungy after my surgery.
    I am not too keen on having a disc replacement, or another fusion. I have 2nd and 3rd opinion lined up and trying to research as much as possible. I was a candidate for the art disc the first time around as well, but when they needed to do 2 levels, not anymore.
    I wish someone would tell me what the right thing to do is...
    Cause: car accident & genetics
    Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
    Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
    Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
    Moving Forward: SCS
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