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ACDF C5-7 fusion using bone marrow and use of cages

I'm 4 weeks into recovery and just saw my surgeon. He says everything's ok, but I forgot to ask him specific questions, like how do I compare (fuse wise) with others my age, 65, using this newish technology where my bone marrow is used as a fusing material with something that is applied to the cages? (I don't even know what it is or what this procedure is called) He tells me it can take a year to fuse, but meanwhile, told me to continue to carefully return to normal living, i.e. driving, walking, swim aerobic exercises (not actual stroke swimming) not use the collar except when out walking or in a car. I don't think I understand the fusing process. What's keeping my neck stable? The plates and muscles that are spasming out occasionally? Why does this process take longer than, say, broken bones to knit together? Also, how do I know how much to start turning my head one way or another, or looking up or down? Should I call back the doc and ask? He said "see you in 2 months, you're doing fine," and that was about it. I still need a couple of tylenol a day, and I take .5 clonazepam at night, which I want to wean off of, but I'm worried about spasms returning in spades, either from withdrawal, or by using my neck too much. I tire easily, so I'm still taking it easy, and I'm not ready to drive. btw, I did way too much the first 2 weeks, like lifting too much, causing shoulder pain across my back, and neck spasms, (and learned my lesson) but I guess if I had collapsed another vertebra, he would have told me, yes? Well, I guess I'm probably doing better than most, but with so many questions, I feel a little lost for the next stage of this recovery. Weigh in anyone?


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • WhitemikeWWhitemike Posts: 3
    edited 12/16/2013 - 10:25 PM
    ACDF. C5-6-7 w alo graph and my bone marrow from hip on 10-31-13. Best doc in the USA. Confident it takes a dozen weeks or more to feel more comfortable. Restrain from the "BLT'S" bending lifting and twisting. The worst is on the bad roads in Los Angeles. You can loose the fillings in your teeth from potholes and bumps. Patients and medication until fusing occurs. Don't smoke. Regained most feeling back in lt index finger and pain in neck, clavical, and lt shoulder is residual from letting it go so long (nearly 3 yrs ). Have confidence pain will subside IN TIME. Glad to have awakened after put under. I'm reading these posts in the forum and my instincts say we all need patients to heal. Thanks for the forum. Mike L.

    Post edited to remove specific doctor's name. Please read the Forum rules
    Post Edited by Liz The Spine-Health Moderator Team
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