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Total neck fusion

teenymomof3tteenymomof3 Posts: 2
edited 06/30/2014 - 1:55 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone :) I am new to this site, and a bit unfamiliar. So, I will try my best to make this brief. I am having surgery on July 23rd, and becoming more and more nervous every day. I am having my entire neck fused from C3-T2. I have had 2 previous fusions, laminectomies and discectomies, the first in 1993, then again in 2002. My condition has deteriorated severely over the years. I have such severe chronic pain all day, every day, and also now have less than 40% range of motion in all directions in my neck. My concern is that I will not receive much lasting benefit from the procedure. I know that there are many people who have been through this, or at least very similar procedures, and I am curious as to whether or not there may be someone here who would be able to tell me if they were glad to have had this done, or if they actually regretted their decision. I suppose that I should also mention that I am only 38 years old. I actually visited 2 orthopedic surgeons who would not even touch me, before finding my current doctor who is performing the surgery. They said that I was too young to undergo this procedure. This is all due to a very serious car accident that I was in my senior year of high school at the age of 17 :/ Crazy how your life can change in an instant. Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated. I have so much on my mind right now, and am very confused as to whether or not I am making the right decision. Thank you all =)


  • I think you should look into another surgeon just for an extra opinion, maybe a neurosurgeon this time just to see the differences and which person you would prefer. I know some people who are happy they had a fusion and some who regret having their surgery and with that much of our neck being fused you may have no range of motion. I live with pain everyday and one thing my neurosurgeon has told me over and over is that she will never do a fusion because of pain because there is a risk that you will have higher pain then you already do and there are too many risks with doing a fusion due to pain which may be why the orthopedic surgeons didn't want to touch you. I actually have a occiput-C2 fusion and live with chronic pain and they had to be done due to a broken C2 but if I had an option I would never do it. You are young for a fusion so in the time that you have before surgery I would meet with other people. If you want you can PM me whether it is about this subject or the surgery itself.
    Hope you feel better!
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • teenymomof3tteenymomof3 Posts: 2
    edited 07/05/2014 - 7:07 AM
    Thank you for your responses, however, Dr. *EDITED *is my THIRD opinion. My primary care doctor thoroughly agrees that I have suffered through this long enough, and that the procedure is warranted. I am more than anything looking to see if anyone out there has been through this, and what their personal thoughts and views are. And Hunter, I started out with ortho, then did a long stretch in neuro, just to be told that my problems stem from the skeletal issues and cervical deterioration. But, thank you for throwing it out there though. I am hoping to not overlook anything before it is too late.

    Post edited by Sandi- Please see the forum rules at the link below for more information.
    You agree not to post specific physician names or health care facilities , devices or product names on Spine-Health.com.


  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I have had 5 cervical from c3-t1. After several years each one failed. Finally the doc went with the posterior approach and broke out all previous fusions and re-did the whole thing, Yes it was worth it for me. So far so good and I think I am hitting the 5 year mark, dont get me wrong I still need pain meds everyday but i am more functional today then before
    Good luck
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