What can I expect with a neck fusion and metal rod placement

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Anonymous (not verified)
Title: Member
What can I expect with a neck fusion and metal rod placement

I am waiting to hear from my Dr when my surgery is but we are shooting for next Thursday. I fractured the vertebrae in my neck in a car wreck in November of '07 and the NS said that my spinal cord is compromised and has a place where the spinal fluid is blocked off and hopes my spinal cord has not died yet. What can I expect post-op?

PebblesFlorida (not verified)
Title: Member

I am so sorry you are going through so much pain for so long. I can't even begin to understand how you feel.

Unfortunately I'm a lumbar patient, so I have no knowledge of anything cervical.

You are in the right place though for answers. There are plenty of cervical patients on Spine Health and they will be posting sooon.

Let me know if I can help you in any other way.

God bless you! Pebbles

TerriJV (not verified)
Title: Member
my surgery

sorry you have to have surgery !!
hopefully after you will feel great. i will say my neck surgery is the best thing i ever did. i have C6-C5 fused with hardware.
i was to the point of not turning my head. the pain was very severe.
i was in the hospy for 36 hrs. i had a soft collar. my throat was very sore when i awoke and lived on liquds for about a week. then i went to soft foods. my hip was sore from the bone graft. i think that hurt more then the fusion. the surgery itself took like a hour & half.
i made sure to have plenty of ice packs, take my meds every 4 hrs. and WALK!!!!! thats the good thing with the neck your legs work Smile plus its nice to get out there especially in this weather. i had mine done in may 04 and it was great!!
i was uncomfy sleeping. i slept in the recliner the first week then went to the couch. i made sure it had lots of blankets for height and lots of pillows. i made sure something was next to me to help get me up. i spent alot of time on the computer Smile :) Smile :)
i have full use of my neck!! it took me 4 months to go back to work, but i was in a heavy lifting scene.
at the month mark i started feeling really good.
i saw this and figured i would answer . hopefully you will get more feedback soon.
good luck with surgery!!!
terri Smile :) Smile :)

Chrissy1311 (not verified)
Title: Member
Hello Car Crash!

Hello there,

Welcome to Spine Health.

I too was n a car accident in July of 2007. I have already had on neck surgery. Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy.

I can't imagine what pain you must be in with the spinal cord being compromised. I do have severe pain, but I have no cord compromise.
After your surgery I hope that you will begin to recover and feel better.

I am guessing they will do some sort of Fusion on your neck, but because I have not had this surgery yet I can not comment on that part. I did want to post to let you know there is lots of people here who have recnetly had cervical fusions. Mtoxey just had one about a month ago or less. You may want to PM her and ask some questions.

Again, I wanted you to know I am here for support if you need.


car_crash_okc (not verified)
Title: Member
Thank you all for your advice and concern

Thanks for all of the advice and concern. My insurance is an HMO and so the wheels turn ever so slowly with getting things covered and getting to the point of surgery which the doctor told me I needed back in March. I am very thankful to be this far down the road. Grin Hopefully this will be behind me soon and I can look forward to the next surgery for my lower back. I don't know why they don't just do it all at once and just get it over with instead of spreading it out. Any thoughts there? Thinking

Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/16/2008 - 9:42pm
All at once?!

Heck no! Once you have the cervical surgery you'll understand LOL!

I was in an MVA too and just had my 2nd surgery. You didn't say exactly what they were doing to you and there are numerous types of cevical procedures. Posterior entries are more painful than anterior (I hear) and some people have to wear collars or braces post op and some don't. Your experience will depend largely on these factors.

This last surgery and healing, even though the surgery was far more complicated, has been an easier recovery for me, both physically and mentally. I'm still in pain and still have limitations but just knowing that you won't have further damage will make you feel better.

Let us know more about what your surgeon will be doing in your surgery. I'll keep my fingers crossed that your HMO comes through for you!


kelbell88 (not verified)
Title: Member


I am sorry to hear about what you are going through. The only advice I have is this: don't expect a quick and easy recovery. I had a PSF C2-C5 about 4 months ago and a tumor removal and I am still in pain and miserable. The literature said that recovery is 2-4 months - my doctor and my mother says that recovery is going to take a year or longer. And I am young - I turn 20 next week so in theory my body/bones should be in prime shape. I guess my point is, just not that recovery is a process and not a destination and there will be times when you take one step forward and two steps back. Don't expect to be all better overnight! Good luck with everything through and I wish you all the best.


Neck of Steel Cindy
Neck of Steel Cindy's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 6 days ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/23/2008 - 10:28pm
Rod placement

I am assuming that when you say metal rod placement, it will be done posteriorly. Typically the fusion is done from the front (anterior), but if they need to use rods, it is often done from the back (posterior).

There are so many different variables that it is difficult to say what you should expect. Do you have more details on what they will be doing? I'd be glad to answer questions if you can provide more details.

Good luck

Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!

car_crash_okc (not verified)
Title: Member
My surgery is going to be July 21st

I heard from the NS and He finally got it approved. He is planning on going in through the area just right of my throat just above the thoraxic bone and placing a rod and screws to fix where I have two broken vertebrea which is cutting off the spinal fluid to that area. The MRI of the spinal cord looks like an hourglass shape and you can see the white space where the fractures are. The vertebrae looks like it has a wedge on one side and a small crooked line on the other. Now that I have a date set for surgery I am getting more nervous. I am supposed to check in at the hospital at 10:30 am and he is doing the surgery at 12:30. He said he won't know how long it will take until he gets in there and sees the damage and how much pressure is actually on my spinal cord. He also does not promise that feeling will ever return to my right leg and up to my waist. Sad Is this normal to not know?

kelbell88 (not verified)
Title: Member

I would think so... I mean, my surgery was with my cervical spine and the doc told my parents (not me) that he didn't know if I would come out of the surgery without paralysis. He didn't know what I could be left with. I know its scary, but don't worry too much. I was told the same thing in terms of them not being totally sure. Big hug and good luck with everything!