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Looking for someone who has had surgery on C2-3

jackies1654jjackies1654 Posts: 2
edited 02/10/2015 - 3:48 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My husband has been a bit of a medical mystery to the neurosurgeon and neurologist who have looked at him. Unfortunately, his neck isn't waiting around for them to find an answer and his muscles are turning into connective tissue and not responding to stimulation. Constant, uncontrollable spasms (his neck muscles are firing as a whole, not just one sided) stabbing pain (8 out of 10 when lying down, 9 out of 10 when sitting/standing for short periods, off the charts when riding in a car), some swallowing difficulties possibly due to severe torticollis, no limbs affected. He had a herniated, ruptured disc at C6-7 which he received an ACDF for in October 2014. He actually improved greatly, muscle spasms and pain ceased, and he recovered over the 4 weeks to where he was able to go back to work. Once he began working and thus, driving again, he almost immediately went down hill. He was able to work for 1 month before becoming incapacitated again. Now he feels worse than before he had surgery.
His neurosurgeon does not see that further surgery is needed. All tests short of DNA have been conducted, and it does not appear to be a disease in the neurologist's opinion. My husband is only 40 years old and he has now been dealing with the spasms and pain since the first of June 2014. The spasms were triggered by deadlifts when he felt a pull in his trapezius muscle, and the spasms grew progressively worse over the month before he could no longer work. Xrays show severe foraminal stenosis at C2-3, C4-5, C6-7 (even after C6-7 surgery), amongst other things. He can tell the pain is in his upper, not lower, neck. That is also where his muscles are turning into connective tissue. Although no one has said this, it seems that is where surgery is needed, at C2-3. They mentioned before his original surgery that he has two levels they would consider surgery, and that was C2-3, C6-7, and they opted for the latter due to the herniation and rupture.
It has been said that C2-3 is a high risk surgical area, and I am afraid that is why there is hesitation. Has anyone else had any experience with this level, had surgery, and if so, which hospital performed the surgery? We have excellent insurance, and would travel anywhere. I also failed to mention we live on the island of Kauai and there was no neurosurgeon in the state who would even look at my husband. So he is staying with family in Oklahoma City, which is where he had his original surgery. Any advice or knowledge would be much appreciated. I miss my husband terribly and I live in constant fear for him and his health. Thank you.


  • I have actually had multiple fusions- the first one being C1- C2, second one was occiput- C2, and my latest one which was 4 months ago was a partial hardware removal and my fusion was extended to C3. So currently I have had a C1-C3. I will PM you which hospital I went to for my surgery. My surgeon has actually said it isn't a difficult or high risk place to do surgery. So far it seems quite successful but I'm only a few months in. What would you like to know?
  • I had a fusion of C3-6, and had pain from base of the neck to the base of my skull. I'd be really careful interpreting where he needs surgery because of where he has pain. Seeing my rads, I actually have a bone spur on my skull from the chronic muscle spasm.
    I would definitely recommend getting a second opinion and maybe a third. I would think Oklahoma City is big enough to have a choice is surgeons, especially if you look at orthopedics that specialize in spine, or neurosurgeons. This could be something as simple as he overdid it too soon post op (I'm 9 weeks out and can barely work 12 hrs/week), to that he really does need another surgery.
    Good luck, hope you get your husband back soon.

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

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