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Failed fusion and impending surgery.

So I had neck surgery back in 2009 and long story short I just found out that it never actually healed at all. Now I have a broken screw with on and off symptoms, example is swollen neck numbness on and off in both armes now, and Headaches. Now that my doctor finaly took me seriously and ordered a ct scan and found out that it infact it never actually fused. I will now have to go for surgery again to correct this.

The disk that failed was c7 tl and the disk on top is infringing into my spinal cord. So I wonder if anyone can tell me if after a failed fusion could the dr remove the hardware and install a artificial disk into that spot and possibly the one on top as well. I see the dr for a surgery date at the end of the month and I find out what's going to happen in that surgery. I just would like some info so I can make a case on what I would like done to the dr.


  • My ACDF failed also. I too am waiting on a surgery date, hopefully will be in a month.

    I didn't fuse at C3-4-5. This time the doctor is going in posterior and inserting pins in all 3 vertebrae and pulling them together to make the bones fuse.
    I would like th hear how you doctor plans are fixing yours when you find out.

    I hope it all goes well for you.
  • I’m hoping that he will consider the artificial disk. I have been researching this and found that the artificial disk tends to have a good outcome for more of the people that had it. This is just from what I have seen by reading up on the alternatives. After my surgery in 2009 I have had nothing but issues and now because of the fusion my other disks are getting effected and I want to prevent this as much as I can because I am only 36. I found that I could feel the plate in front of my neck, which would make a swelling feeling in my neck ever since my surgery.

    Hope your surgery works out for you and maybe you can update me as well on your outcome.
  • I got my date, April 1st. I hope it helps, but I beginning to have my doubts. There are so many stories on here where surgery didn't relieve the pain. Worries me because I have a labor intensive job. I'm only 51 so I have a few more years that I need to work.

    Have you gotten a surgery date yet? My pain is worst in my right shoulder and lower neck, where is yours? Keep me updated when you have a chance.

    Have a nice weekend.
  • Hi I have just found out from my Surgeon in the UK that the artifical discs they are using have been falling out after about 5 years. I have just found out from my M.R.I scan that i have 5 disc gone in my neck discs 1 and 2 are going but are still OK at the moment Gary. I'm and have had all this for 18 years now I have also had 3 operations on my L4-5 S1 discs.
  • Jay-ZJJay-Z Posts: 34
    edited 03/08/2015 - 8:20 AM
    Jimbo8. My appointment is on March 30th that is just to make a date for my surgery and to discuss what will be done.

    Hope all goes well for you and hopefully it fuses properly.

    Gary. I will have to look into the failed artificial disks you are talking about because there are a lot of different kinds out there and different ways they attach to the bone.

    Thank you for the info and I will consider this in my decision.
  • jimbo8. Yes my pain is in my neck but it kind of radiates up the back of my head and gives me headache. I have numbness in both hands on and off. My right arm gets pain and spasms.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    From what I've read, artificial disc are only a good solution to single level disc problems. Any issues with spine stability or multiple levels are better addressed through fusion. I think artificial discs are supposed to be a miracle, but do have some limits and not everyone is a candidate.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Yes I believe you are right from what I found is that the FDA approved for one-level applications, after clinical trials ... in the United States and still classifying it as experimental. ... Artificial disc surgery is still relatively new in the United States.

    I am in Canada and thay do multiple levels here. Actualy I was talking with woman in my aria that had 2 levels done in her neck c4c5 and c5c6 and she has the same Dr. as mine. She said to me that she is very happy with the outcome. She had it done in 2010.

    Yes you are correct, you have to be a candidate to get the artificial disk though.
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