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Pseudarthrosis and Having Surgery This Monday, Scared :(

Hi All,

I'm new to this site and looking for some advice, support, and feedback from anyone who has suffered with Pseudoarthrosis from an ACDF. I had an ACDF on C5/C6 about 9 months ago, since then the pain in my neck has gotten worse although the pain and numbness in my arm has gone away. I went for a follow-up visit around 5 months because the pain was starting to get really bad, my surgeon did a CT scan and it showed no fusion. He told me to see if I could hold off until August to see if it would develop unless I truly couldn't bare it. He also told me that the original surgeon who did my surgery placed the screws in a very awkward place and that from the op report she didn't use enough bone material so it would be unlikely that I would achieve fusion. Since May, I have tried everything in PM and now that August is here I went in to see my new surgeon again, he ordered the CT scan and sure enough it showed that there was no bone growth and I've developed two more bulging discs. I'm 28 years old and have been in constant pain for 2 years since I was rear-ended in a bad car accident. I'm so tired of being in pain and not able to do half the things I used to. I'm a teacher for children with autism and due to the nature of their sometimes unpredictable behavior, I haven't been able to work. I miss working with my students and their families, its my true passion in life. Anyway, after getting the results we've decided to go ahead with the reconstructive surgery, he has to undue her mistakes anteriorly and to make sure I achieve fusion he is going to go in posteriorly as well. He is also going to use bone from my hip, which will give me the greatest chance for fusion. The surgery will be taking place this Monday, August 12, 2013. Has anyone been through this before? What's the recovery like? I'm scared and nervous but I can't keep living Ike this at such a young age. I'm really scared about the recovery, I remember how bad it was after the first surgery but then again from what my current surgeon is saying the first surgeon did a very poor job.

Thank you all in advance for your support! My support is with you all as well, it's difficult living with chronic pain. I'm sending positive thoughts to everyone on here.



  • I do wish you much luck with the reconstructive surgery! I achieved fusion with my surgery, but continue to have pain in the back of my neck. It's tough being in chronic pain. Hope that your surgery on Monday will be a success and you will have a quick recovery and fusion in no time. Please do keep everyone here posted on your post-op status. :-)
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. How long was the recovery time for you approximately? It definitely is tough being in chronic pain, my heart goes out to all those who suffer. I wish you all the best and hope you feel better soon!
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Like you probably have heard before I'll reiterate, you are way too young to have to deal with this so early in your career and life for that matter. Nonetheless that is to your advantage you will recover quicker and have good results. I had a major reconstruction of 3 levels of my cervical spine back in 2007. Due to adjacent joint degeneration and severe OA I am planning another fusion above and below the previous fusion. This time I am a lot more confident going into this procedure than before.
    Like you I am going with a new team of Dr's that are much respected and highly rated with an excellent track record which I feel very fortunate to have access to their services.
    Wishing the very best in your new adventure, keep us posted here with your recovery.
    Take care & be safe,
  • Recovery should be around the same as your first surgery. Listen to your surgeon and give yourself time to fully heal. My pain is a result of additional complications from having an anatomical short leg and being misdiagnosed for so long. Wishing you much luck and stay positive!
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • How long did the surgical pain last afterwards? Has anyone had bone removed from their hip? I hear it can be really painful :(
    I'm getting more and more nervous as I get closer to tomorrow and I'm trying to stay positive that it's for a better cause and that in the long run, I might actually have my life back... It's just hard to stay positive due to the fear :(
  • Hopefull
    Good luck on your surgery that may be going on right now depending on where you are.
    This surgery is a lot harder to get over then the anterior approach.
    You will need a lot more time to recover. We are all differant on the recovery depending on the length and time of the surgery, it can make a difference too. The surgeons skill can make a big difference also.
    My first cervical was a.anterior fusion that went well one night in the hospital and could have gone home.same.day but I was worried so I stayed.
    Second surgery laminectomys of the same levels posterior way. Five days in the hospital and major pain for another week.
    We have a member now that just had a posterior revision of three cervical levels three days in the hospital and just went home. Not happy major pain.

    Don't want to be a downer but plan on about two weeks of major pain. Then several weeks getting better a little bit at a time. If you get better quicker then that it's a bonus just don't think anything is wrong if your in bad pain for two to three weeks.
    No comparison between the two approaches.

    Good Luck

  • as you have your surgery today.
    I hope that all will go well and that your pain will be well controlled.
    While you are in the early days of recovery, keep telling yourself that this is the road that leads to a successful and fused neck. The start of the road is bumpy and steep, but it will smooth and flatten out along the way. :-)

  • You cannot compare an ACDF to a Posterior. Two
    different surgeries, I also had bone removed from the
    back of my left hip & some cadaver. The surgeon said
    to me thank you for being thin. I woke up to them taking
    X-rays of my neck very painful!!! But soon was moved to
    recovery with a pain pump to control pain. I went in on 8/8
    and was released on 8/11 Surgeon did not want
    me to end up with a spine infection & he said he's seen
    many infections. It has been a week and a day and my
    neck hurts more than my hip. Eat healthy take meds walk
    as tolerated and sleep.

    Please update us when you are able. I go back to see
    Surgeon & Pain Dr. On 8/21. Will give update then. Until
    then I am following Surgeon's instructions to a T.
    ACDF C4-C7 5/13/2010. Synthetic Bone Graft Failed Fusion.
    PCF C4-C7 8/13/13. Rods and Screws Fused in 3 Months with Autograft.
    C6-C7 Spineous process Surgically Shaved Off 3/11/14.
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