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I am Fused!

WolfpackSVBWWolfpackSVB Posts: 216
edited 02/02/2015 - 6:34 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
This isn't really a pain topic but hot damn, got the X-ray report today, I am fused. Now I can get back to the things that I enjoy. Though I think Ill stay away from 300 pound overheads and leave that to the 20yr old guys.

Cheers to all, have a good day.



  • Way to go! Good Luck
    Tracie C
  • What did you have done? How long did it take you to fuse back?
  • Hey Linda,

    I had an ACDF at the C5/C6 level. A titanium plate was used for a brace and the filler was laboratory made from the stem cell line. The surgery took about 3 hrs. and was done near Chicago.

    Later that morning following the surgery all pain and numbness disappeared. Odd. Then later that evening the shoulder pain returned as did the ulnar nerve pain with numbness into the fingers. The neck pain was the worst but I was expecting that. It was the arm and the swallowing that had me the most concerned. But the doctor turned out to be right.

    The swallowing problem went away after about three weeks and the shoulder issue disappeared in less than a week. The ulnar nerve concerned me for a while, it took about 7 weeks to heal. The neck pain took about 10 weeks to go away which is also about the same time that I had the X-ray showing the fusion.

    The flexibility in my neck is getting better each day and I finally returned to the gym this past weekend. We didn’t do physical therapy, neither the neurosurgeon nor myself though it necessary.

    I still have the occasional flare-up but I know that too will go away in time. And I am finally whittling down the short term narcotics, at the time of this writing none. I’ll then have to hit the long term narcotics, probably do them over a two month period.

    All in all things are progressing well. I intend to start cycling again, weather permitting, in mid-March and hope to call myself fully healed by my birthday, May 5th.
  • I had 2 level ACDF 12 weeks ago. Just came from post-op appointment with my NS. I am having right arm/shoulder pain with ice cold right hand that started about 5 weeks ago even though I never had this issue before surgery. Still some neck pain. He did not recommend PT. My neurosurgeon said that the entire fusion process can take up to one year. Never heard about stem cell process. How did your vertebrae fuse that fast?
  • svbagley said:
    This isn't really a pain topic but hot damn, got the X-ray report today, I am fused. Now I can get back to the things that I enjoy. Though I think Ill stay away from 300 pound overheads and leave that to the 20yr old guys.

    Cheers to all, have a good day.
    you overhead pressed 300? impressive. btw im in my 20s and cant dream of that with my injuries ahhah
  • Former weightlifter. I don't know man, I wish I didn't always have to learn the hard way. I had no business doing that or even going heavy at all in my forties. My new rule is if I can't do it ten times I am not going to do it. I dropped the full court basketball too, knees always hurting and the risk of injury just too great.

    Hang in there man, if you can get past the injuries you are too young to not go heavy, just keep at it over the years and you will get there. If you cant get past them but are still looking for an adrenaline rush then find it in another sport that doesn't risk harm to that area. I like to do fifty mile bike rides also and get those endorphins going.


  • Hey Sungleska,

    Yes, I am fused and have been given the green light to resume all activities. I have returned to the gym and will probably hit the ski slopes the weekend after next. My muscle stamina still has a long way to go however. Keep your chin up, you had a bigger procedure, its apt to take more time.

    My understanding is that the fastest and surest procedure is to use a plate to steady the bones and a cage with a stem-cell filler to replace the disc. I don't know why it isn't used more but my guess is that its not a good anatomical choice for some people and in other cases the surgeon simply prefers to use other material.


  • hi everyone, i had C4 C5 ACDF and it's been a week and I am doing pretty well. I have finished my antibiotics and have now just switched to tylenol extra strength for muscle spasm. I take a 5mg Valium at night only for a restful sleep and I can now sleep on my side but I wear my neck brace, i feel more comfortable that way. Only the tingling remains on my right thumb, index, middle and ring finger but no more arm pain! I will begin my rehab next week and since I'm an avid golf player, my PT will incorporate movements specifically for me to get back to playing golf. I am just so glad I had the procedure.
  • Way to go inthedark, its good to hear from people that are doing well. Keep it up.
  • So...I overdid it at the gym, One day I hope to slow down and learn before I injure myself. Damn.

    On the good side its not the nerve, no numbness or tingling, just good ole bursitis/tendonitis, hurts like hell though. At first I was discouraged, thought it might be the nerve again but I am know encouraged. The sports doc said the shoulder anatomy is good just have to drop the weight down a lot and build up the muscles very slowly.

    On that same note and even though the neurosurgeon cleared me for everything including snow-skiing, I think I will hold off that until 2016. I am not 25 years old anymore. Cheers, SVB
  • It's a little tough, so easy to toss down those pills, especially since I inflamed the bursa in my shoulder when starting back at the gym . But it's the plan I made with PM doctors and am sticking with it. This month we did a small increase in the long-acting opiate and cut out the Norcos, should the pain level keep decreasing we drop down the level next month then go to a minimal level the third and final month. We are making an assumption that I will continue to heal during this period , so far so good minus the damn shoulder flare up. That is so aggravating since my nerves seem to have all healed.

    I hope to report next month that I am still Norco free.

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