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Posterior c4 to c 7

Well found out today doc changed mind and doing from the back. Have been reading posts and this really frightens me on recovery. Said collar for 12 weeks and bone stimulator. So maybe I will need more things on list then originally thought. Won't be able to lift arms above waist so probably need some easy button pj tee shirts. So far scheduled for June 25th since my infusion will be on 21st and should give me a boost of infection protection. Having another opinion tomorrow but this guy has done 3 successful surgeries with people. Also on the NFL board for brain injuries if that makes him any more special. Said to me can't change damage already done due to the bruising but can prevent more problems. Asked about stability of other discs have to wait and see. Have cervical stenosis from arthritis so I have concern since majority of blogs so multiply surgeries at different levels. Says surgery 4 hours. Lungs aren't in the best of shape. Any suggestions would be helpful or I'm sure I'm not the only one.


  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Been there, done that, same levels.
    Had mine done in 2007, also a discectomy, corpectomy, strut, cage, plates, from the front (anterior) then flipped me over to put in rods for stability from posterior. Had the collar and bone growth stimulator. BTW, 6 hour surgery but who is counting.

    Severe osteoarthritis is my underlying problem making my discs disintegrate and dry up. That fusion is rock solid, a total success without a doubt. Problem is 6 years later adjacent joint degeneration has gotten to C7 thru T2 and on the top side C3 to C4. So we are making the plan for round 2 cervical fusion.
    Don't be shy to PM me grammaof9, hope I can be of some help.
  • Thanks so much is helpful tentative surgery date June 25
  • Good luck Vicki,

    I hope all goes well for you........sounds about right for the extra needs. I'm glad you saw the list, as it's very handy.

    By the way, welcome to the group! :-)

  • Thanks Charlie. Please tell me how come so many surgeries? They tell me that I won't regain what I lost due to the bruising but stop further damage. I have read a lot of pain associated with posterior but two neuro will only do that way. Did you have all done at same time c3 to c7?
  • charlie6017charlie6017 Posts: 412
    edited 05/23/2013 - 2:48 PM
    Hi Vicki,

    I was diagnosed with DDD a while back. I worked in machining for quite awhile (8 years) and it was rather rugged work. I initially hurt my back 16 years ago and it progressed. And so it started....

    I had my neck fused 2 different times. In 2007 I had C5 thru C7 done and in 2011 had C3 thru C5 to complete it. I also have had 3 lumbar fusions and am fused from L4 to S1. One surgery was a revision of L5-S1 thru posterior.

    That's my deal!

    Re: Posterior approach. I can't speak specifically for the neck, but with lower back there is more muscle to slice through, and the incision usually longer, thus more healing. I'm not going to lie, the first few days or so are brutal. However, if you stay on top of taking your pain medicine after, it helps. But I will say after that first week, each day tended to get a little better than the last. :-)

    Have a good night,
  • davrunnerddavrunner Posts: 478
    edited 05/28/2013 - 10:55 AM
    While a laminectomy is far from a fusion the incision should be similar. I have a 3 inch scar from the incision done vertical. Since you are having C4-C7 fused it may be different. The initial pain on waking was a little rough but once that was under control it went okay. Went home the next day and started PT 2 weeks later. That was in 2008 and now I need a 3 level same discs as yours C4-7. Doing nightly traction to try and postpone but not sure I can wait much longer. I'm going to add massage and accupuncture in one last effort to postpone. Surgeon said that if I have it now I will need another fusion in 10-15 years but if I can hold out longer it will lesson the chance of the further surgeries.
    Have you thought about a second opinion? most fusions I've heard of for cervical go in the front.
    Will add you to my prayer list. Are some of your 9 grandkids old enough to help you with your recovery?
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • I have had 3 one- ortho two- neuro. Both neuro said posterior. Ortho said it can wait but I already have spinal bruising due to the impingement of the cord the flattening should come back by but what I have lost neurologically won't from the bruising. Went to see chiropractor to look at her X-rays and its like I already fused without surgery so they need to stabilize my spine. I really appreciate this site and everyone's situation.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Recovery from the posterior approach takes longer to heal then when done anterior. Upon waking I was in pretty bad pain but was immediantly controlled by meds. The first 2 weeks I had a horrible time getting up from a laying down position. Hurt pretty bad , so bad my doc ordered a hospital bed for me. Once I was up I was good to go, it was just getting up that was the problem. I was told to walk as much as possible to keep the muscles from binding up. I believe I was back to work after 6 weeks at a desk job. Good luck
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    You are truely blessed. I was told long ago - that children are the investment - and grandkids are the divedends. Still waiting on my first "grandkid" .... So for now I am pleased to have two Great Children (young adults).

    Since some of the other "Senior Neckies" on the site have been kind enough to share their experience and wisdom with you ... I thought I'd share some of my story with you .... complete with pictures and reports etc. Please hold questions till the end of the presentation - but please do ask. We are here to help each other on what for many can become a painfull, life changing journey. http://www.spine-health.com/forum/pain/neck-pain-cervical/my-acdf-pictorial-failed-two-level-massive-revision

    Warmest Regards,

    Spine-health Moderator
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