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C4-C7 Anterior & Posterior Fusion & Disectomy FAILED Pseudarthrosis, Stenosis etc

Lotus69cLLotus69c Posts: 1
edited 10/13/2014 - 2:13 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am 41 years old and had C4-C7 Anterior & Posterior fusion and discectomy surgery on Oct. 21, 2013 due to degenerative disc disease that was causing chronic pain and losing ability to hold things with my hands. I was over-joyed at first shortly after my surgery and considered it a success & was back to work in Dec. and had little to no pain after the initial recovery from surgery. I fell on Dec. 12, 2013 and fell right on my head and neck - I hit the base of my skull & was in extreme pain & very concerned because all of a sudden was having sharp stabbing pain like my hardware had become loose & was poking me when I turned my head. I went to my surgeon & he prescribed me a steroid pack, took an x-ray & assured me that everything looked great. On Dec. 22 I had a complete psychotic episode, felt like I was having a heart-attack & drove myself to the ER. I was admitted to the hospital & put on the cardiac floor for a week. I was never told why or what was happening (I had a severe reaction to the steroid pack & was actually having a heart attack but only figured this all out after obtaining all of my medical files) My pain became worse & worse, some days not even being able to get out of bed, and not being able to use my hands, horrible headaches, memory loss and unable to keep a clear mind. My spine center kept assuring me that I was just fine - but did fill out paperwork for me because I couldn't work any longer due to what was happening with the symptoms I was having. Of course they didn't want to admit that my surgery may have failed so I went to another Spine Specialist his exact words were "you're EDITED and told me there was nothing he could do for me. In the meantime I'm not working, but not "officially" disabled but unable to work so I can't get my disability through work, unemployment or Social Security - and no insurance. I did finally get on welfare but that is not enough to pay rent or anything - just enough to feed myself & son & try to keep the lights on. I kept trying to find a Dr. that could help me, I thought I finally found one - but after looking at m medical records again, found out that they all thought I was crazy or had fibro or something. I was at my wits end, because I am also still in horrible, crippling pain. After pouring through my surgery notes I found out that they didn't use any bone graft, cadaver or synthetic bone just a tiny amount of marrow obtained from the C4. Also after doing all of my research and discovering that my symptoms sounded like I had a failed fusion. I finally got my original surgeon to agree with my own diagnosis of Pseudarthrosis because of the things I mentioned, he did order a CT scan. I called to try and make a follow-up appointment but because of the x-ray I had in Dec., I owed $112 & they wouldn't allow me to make an apt. I went to the other specialist to see if he would at least look at my scan and gave him copies of all of my records & pointed out what my diagnosis was (I myself looked at the scan and could see the darkness around the screws) but of course he didn't bother to really listen to me & also refused to fill out my disability paperwork & again treated me like this was all in my head. I did finally get in to see my surgeon after screaming & yelling about it and searching & found his email - I explained that his clinic wouldn't allow me to make my follow-up until I paid the $112. I got in the next day & gee what do you know - I was right!!! After almost a year of me saying something was horribly wrong & being told it was all in head, having no income whatsoever & still dealing with the chronic pain I finally got the diagnosis - not a good diagnosis and of course the only way to fix it is to have surgery & from my research I found they don't go very well either. So I am living with a broken neck, and am so tired of fighting for any kind of care or concern from the medical people I have been dealing with, and I am so angry at these "professionals" and DO NOT want a Doctor to come anywhere near me with a scalpel - I am just trying to figure out what to do next.....anyone have any comments?


  • It is possible that the bone grafting done may have dissolved, as it does in some cases.
    As far as the pseudoarthrosis is concerned, it may be that your only option is to have the area fused again . It is entirely possible that hitting your head and neck is what caused the failure to fuse, or if you smoked or didn't follow the post op restrictions and limitations. Sometimes people fail to fuse and the reason is unknown.
    The hardware will hold the area in place, so a broken neck isn't really what you are dealing with, but I would suggest that you see another surgeon to see what he recommends as far as re-fusing the area.
    Most doctors don't want to deal with someone who self diagnoses, so it might be helpful to allow them to do the diagnosing and discuss treatment options with you, rather than you telling them what you think is wrong.
    I understand you are upset , but it will work against you in getting the proper treatment to fix the problem.

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