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Posterior Neck Surgery Recovery

Hello, all. I will be undergoing my 3rd neck surgery on Thursday 8/14/14. Neuro Surgeon will be going in through the back of the neck this time to repair the prior fusion that did not take.
My 1st surgery was 12/2012 where C4-C5 was fused.
2nd surgery 6/2013 C6-C7 fused.
I have been in constant pain since June 2013 with terrible headaches that will last for days. went through pain management, PT you name it I've done it.
Doctor has planned C4-C7 fusion with vertebrae removal and decompression. I would like to hear from some of you that have had this type of surgery and any recommendations for the recovery period. I am scared to death about the recovery part. My neuro has told me going through the back of the neck is worse than the front due to the cutting of the muscles.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • Jonny ZeroJonny Zero Posts: 69
    edited 08/24/2014 - 5:26 AM

    I had a posterior instrumented fusion C5-T2. No doubt about it, the cutting of those muscles makes it a difficult recovery. 7 months in and I'm still dealing with tightness, pain and headaches as well as an array of sensations....Everyone is different though. I was in great health before this happened to me.

    When the time comes and u r fully fused, I would recommend chin tucks (lots of them) as well as hanging your head off your bed and essentially doing sit ups with your head + a ton of walking! ultimately, u can't rush it, but you can help it along.

    Best of luck
    4 Level (C5-T2) Posterior Instrumented Fusion w/ Decompression (Car Accident in January 2014)
    And I can't forget that I'm not ashamed, to be the person that I am today.
  • mskathymmskathy Posts: 26
    edited 08/18/2014 - 6:02 PM
    I agree with Jonny. My surgery recovery was much more than I expected-as well as the pain. My surgery was c-6,c-7. I'm about 14 months out, I'm better but not great. I don't think my surgery was a success. I just had an epidural two weeks ago. For now, my headaches are gone. But I had headaches prior to surgery and still get them. Friends who have had anterior surgery, all recovered quickly. However, two of my friends also needed another surgery because of failed surgeries. I'm sure you have a lazy boy, if not- please go and buy one with a neck pillow, it will help you sleep. Listen to your Dr. and your body, do you PTherp, and work on getting better. And remember everyone heals at their own pace.

    Good luck to you, it sounds as if you have been through a lot.
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