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Just had posterior C-2 through T-2 fusion with hardware, 3 previous old surgeries

tmac48ttmac48 Posts: 9
edited 10/26/2014 - 11:32 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
OMG, what an ordeal...surgery was on Oct 15, 2014. After 6 hr surgery they rolled me over and my lungs filled with fluid and I had severe pulmonary edema and went code blue for 25 mins. everything just went downhill...meanwhile I HAD 7 levels fused with all the hardware due to instability of my cervical spine from 3 prior surgeries hardware. I am 66 and live alone. Been home since Oct 20th. 5 days in hospital. Had ICU delerium, etc.
Now pain, hard to sleep..seems like at C 6-7 area is really supe painful. See n/surgeon tomorrow. The cure might have been worse than the disease...anybody out there with this surgery. Any comments feedback appreciated. Tom


  • 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
  • I'm sorry that you had such a difficult time post op.......it is a large surgery, and the recovery is going to be long and up and down. Are you able to have anyone come and assist you at home? Is there a visiting nurse or a neighbor who comes to give you a hand with your activities of daily living? Helps with laundry, grocery shopping, etc?
    A neighborhood youth who is willing to come in and give you a hand with things you can't do? Sometimes, calling the local highschool and getting a referral from a teacher in any child care program is a good option, since those kids tend to be a bit more helpful and willing to come in and help out a neighbor for a small amount of money.....
    I used it as a resource after both of my back surgeries for a "mother's helper" kind of thing, when I needed extra hands and someone who could help with overseeing the kids when they were young....but in your case, it might be helpful to have a young, strong, youth do your cleaning and laundry, drive you to the stores etc.....
    Are you using gel ice packs on the area that is hurting you the most? You can get soft gel ice packs, and refreeze them for when you need them...
  • I read your post and you did have a Huge surgery and it is going to take a long time to heal. I agree with Sandi about trying to get some help. I also live alone and I am 1 year post op from a 3 level posterior surgery and to be honest I really struggle with the groceries, the cleaning, the laundry ect. It has finally come to that my Brother who is 2 years older than I is purchasing a ranch townhouse and I've asked if I can move in and he said yes and so I'm relieved to finally have help! I'm only in my early 50's but I'm looking at trying a spine stimulator to help with my on going pain. I'm so tired of the Meds as they make me so tired and other side effects.

    Please feel free to post anytime or leave me a message, I do understand how hard it is to be alone and at the same time trying to heal up. As you know it seems the Posterior surgery takes a lot longer to heal and before I had mine I read many articles that it is a much more painful surgery. My Brother's name is Tom, so I will be able to remember you.
    Welcome to Spine Health and I hope you can find some resources in your community.

    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.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hey Tom, join the club.
    In April of this year I had an almost identical cervical fusion of C2 thru T3. No doubt it probably was one of the most difficult surgeries I had been thru and I have had several prior. I did have a few setbacks but had nowhere near the problems you had experienced during the surgery. At 7 months post-op I'm not at 100% but I am really doing well. It does get better, just follow doctors orders, try not to over-do it even on the days you feel great. There will be setbacks but over time you will see your gains. It is very tough to go at it alone, I am very fortunate to have great help and support along with one of the best medical teams in the country.
    Take care, stay positive, it will get better.
  • I reached over my head to pull off a shirt and was bending at the same time and felt a tear and sharp pain. I think it is calming down, but it hurts when I move to that side in any way. I wear a neck brace/collar, out of surgery now 16 days (C-2 yo T-2) posterior with hardware. Has anyone tweaked their back, could be a torn stitch (I have disovable type) or a pinch nerve, pulled muscle. Just wondering if others have had tweaks, pulls, or painful events while recovering, I am much ore careful now.??? Don't want to over react, think it is just a good old fashion small tear???
  • We can't guess what you may have done. Have you contacted your surgeon to ask him if you should come in sooner than your scheduled follow up to check to make sure things are okay?
  • susabellssusabell Posts: 238
    edited 12/08/2014 - 4:54 PM
    I was just following up to see if you had seen your surgeon ? Has your pain from the shirt episode eased up? I hope you were able to see your Surgeon. Like Sandi said we have no clue as to what happened. I was doing some laundry after my posterior surgery it had been a few weeks, and I took a pair of jeans out of the wash machine and I snapped the jeans and oh My I had the worst pain after that Wow. I thought I had jammed my neck, so I did not do that again for a long time. We learn as we go. Any how please keep us Updated, and I Hope your healing up.

    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.
  • Fracture help -just got my CT Scan post op T1 and T2 Fractures Acute
    New acute fractures of right T1 nd T2 transverse preocesses is written up on the CT Scan. I had surgery (C-2 - T-2) Oct 15th, 2014, seemed to be doing fine, this was my second CT Scan, been having some back pain that was getting worse. I had all the hardware/pedicle screws. These fractures weren't there 6 weeks ago on previous CT Scan. Do fractures heal on their own? It also said I had a persistent C7 posterior fracture also? Should I be worried? Could this be from the pedicle screws. I am in a ASPEN collar. Thanks for any info and help...worried,
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 12/09/2014 - 5:12 AM
    Unfortunately no one is qualified to give you any information regarding your CT results. You will need to discuss that with your doctor. How soon do you return to the surgeon for follow up? He may get the results in a day or so, so you may want to call and arrange a follow up appointment for sooner if your follow up is some time out.
  • PatoboPPatobo Posts: 1
    edited 01/01/2015 - 6:30 PM
    This is the first time I have encountered other people with six or more levels fused. I am fused from C3 to T2. I have assisted with well over 400 cervical fusions, both anterior and posterior, so I am able to offer advice as a fellow patient as well as describe anatomy and test interpretations. As far as my opinions, ethically I can only draw from my experience as a patient. Any medical opinions will be offered in generic terms. I do not want to undermine your doctors advice or opinions.
    One explanation of Toms sudden onset of symptoms after moving his neck in manner not attempted since surgery. the most common reason for experiencing a popping or snapping sensation, accompanied by a sharp burning sensation, This is most often explained as tearing of scar tissue. Within the first two weeks post-op most of the soft tissue layers have become quite strong. (like the incision site). Breaking a suture is unlikely since the tissue is no longer relying on suture to hold it together. But as these tissue layers heal, scar tissue fibers are also forming. Each tissue layer has some degree of mobility allowing the layers to glide past one another. If these layers are kept immobile such as when using a brace or collar, adhesions may form between layers. When the brace is no longer restricting motion these adheasions are stretched and sometimes can snap like a rubber band. If stretched enough they can snap like a rubber band that is stretched too far causing a sharp or burning pain. The initial degree of pain tends to subside within a few hours and steadily improves over the following days. If the pain becomes worse over this period you should inform your doctor. This same scenario can occur anytime healing tissues are stretched as patients become more active.
    As I stated above this is the most common explanation for the symptoms you described but certainly not the only reason. This type of episode can happen whenever a patient pushes their range of motion to a degree not yet attempted post operative.
    I am three years out from my posterior C7-T2 fusion and I still experience these types of symptoms when I reach my range of motion limits. In addition I usually have some degree of muscle spasms lasting from a few minuets to a few days. Even though I can explain the cause I often have difficulty believing that I may have done nothing more severe.

    I hope this give you some reassurance.

  • NitroburnNNitroburn Posts: 1
    edited 01/08/2015 - 2:32 AM
    Are you able to have anyone come and assist you at home? Is there a visiting nurse or a neighbor who comes to give you a hand with your activities of daily living?
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