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Anxious about surgery results

Hello everyone and thank you for taking the time to read my post. I am 26 years old and was just told I need a c4-5 fusion. To make a long story short I dislocated my shoulder almost 10 years ago. Had a surgery on my shoulder about 3 years ago and I still have pain. After a neck MRI  I have about 4 or 5 bulging disks and a weird curve to my neck which is causing referred pain to my shoulder. The Dr what to go in from the front and put a plastic v shaped implant between c4-5 to correct the curve.  I am told my bones will grow into the  implant to fuse together. And this should stop the referred pain to my shoulder blade.  I am Very relieved to finally have an answer after 10 years of pain. But I am very worried about my ROM after the surgery.  Can someone typically still move their head around after a c4-5 fusion? Has anyone had a c4-5 fusion that can tell me what their ROM is like post surgery?



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    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
  • Hi Britgreen, I am fused c4/5 and c5/6. My ROM post surgery is about the same as pre surgery. Approx. 45% side to side.up and down motion is more limited.I'm just curious as to what other treatments you have tried. Have you sought second opinion? You may get more responses with more info provided. I wish you well .... I have a daughter your age and I would , personally,advise her to avoid surgery , so young ,if there other options available. - Lore

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  • About a year after my initial injury I saw a spine specialist who told me about the bulging disks but I was 17 at the time and he said to do physical therapy. For years I did physical therapy on my arm and it lead to nothing. Then about 3 years ago I had surgery on my right arm to move a ligament that was trapped in my joint. That surgery solved the problem of always feeling like my arm was going to pop out of place. But I just developed different pain. The pain gets so bad I can't get out of bed. I did a year of cortasol shots into my shoulder blade but the whole time my Dr kept saying he thought the issue was in my neck and referring to my shoulder blade. This summer the shots stopped helping so I went to see another spine Dr with fresh MRIs. He said he also saw the bulging disks the last spine Dr saw but since it had been years their was now a curve which he called a deformity and he said this is a problem which is only going to get worse the longer I wait to fix it. I always said I didn't want to do surgery if it's a fusion but the pain is starting to become to much.  And he he says because of the location and the i am only fusing at one level I should have full range of motion.  Currently I have full range of motion when I am having good days.  But the bad days are becoming more frequent.

  • Britgreen, If it helps you my ROM is quite good and I had 2levels. It is exactly what my surgeon told me. I am sorry you are going through this at such a young age. Is the deformity called reversal of regular lordosis? Otherwise known as kyphosis ?I had that , as well and it was addressed in my surgery .Do you have a surgery date yet? -Lore

  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510
    edited 09/18/2017 - 11:31 AM


    I have three levels fused, C4-5, 5-6, 6-7 and still have pretty good ROM.  I only notice a problem when I need to really look over my shoulder - so I would think that with only one, most people probably won't even notice the change.


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

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  • I am still waiting on insurance approval but we are trying to plan on a 10/17 date. My other worry is recovering. I am currently in grad school. Luckily my classes are all online so I would not need to go to a class but I would need to be able to focus and type on my computer. What was your guys experience with recovery?

  • Hi Britgreen, My surgery was Aug10 , so I am six weeks post op. If you are able to set up your computer in a position that is comfortable, I imagine you will be able to work on your studies.Every case is unique, though. Just make sure you follow the instructions from your surgeon. You might like to join the October Surgery Buddies group,if you haven't yet. I found it helpful to talk with others going through surgery. Take care- Lore

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