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Stressed about C6-C7 discectomy and fusion.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello everyone,
My name is Ray. I am a 34 year old father of 4. I have 6 month old twins, a 21 month old son and a soon to be 13 year old son. I herniated the disc in my neck 13 days after my twins were born while working. The world being the way it is...my employer decided not to pay me and I've been in legal battle for a months now. My gas was turned off a couple of weeks ago..car repo'd etc. I feel like the biggest loser the world has seen. My right arm is very weak and i gave very limited motion in it. My surgery is on the 28th of this month and I am freaking out.
I am a medical professional and know too well the dangers involved in playing near the spinal cord....but I can't wait any longer. It will cost me 1300.00 dollars to turn my gas back on and i can't make that unless i can work.
I am sorry to spill all of this out here...but I've kept it all bottled inside for soooo long. I hate this. I call my doctors for pain meds and they treat me like a junkie. I don't smoke, drink...I don't do drugs...but when you are in this much pain it takes control of everything.....anyhow, i am annoying myself with this rant. thank you for listening and if anyone else has had this surgery i'd love to here how it went for you.
i am also a singer and i'm afraid of the longer term vocal damage.


  • Good luck with your surgury.Can you get help from the state?
  • First of all welcome to spine health you are definetely among a great group of people here. Most all of us have had our surgeries already. Mine was 3 weeks ago tomorrow. The surgery itself wasnt that bad. Yes I had pain when I woke up but the recovery room nurses immediately gave me pain meds. My throat didnt get to awful sore and my voice wasnt strained at all. I do still feel like I have a golf ball stuck in my throat.(I have problems swallowing pills and foods) Just remember to do what your doctor tells you too and dont try to over do things. I know easier said than done especially with kids, but you are going to have to take it easy for awhile after your surgery. Please keep us all posted on your progress and if you need to vent or just talk we are here if you need us!! >:D<
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  • I have had 2 fusions, 1st one was C5-C7 two yrs ago, it was great. I was in some pain afterward, but mainly in my hip where they took the bone graft from, the pain in my neck and arm was just about completely gone right away. I did have some problems with swallowing, but I just took it easy and let my throat rest as much as possible and I can sing now without any problem, other than I was never real good at singing to begin with.lol I was in a hard collar for 3 months and a soft collar for 3 months, but I don't hear of many others being in it for that long. My 2nd surgery was on C7-T1, and I am now still in the recovery stage of that, wearing a soft collar now, I have disk degenerative disease. This one the pain is taking a little longer to go away in the arm and neck, not sure why. It sounds like you should have no problems with healing, no drinking or smoking, that is good.
  • I am so sorry to hear about your neck surgery. especially when you have financial issues. you are not alone , trust me . boy do i know, we are dealing with creditors calling us, due to not being able to make pyts. behind on car pyts. , mortgage, and trying to get help with utility bills. we are in a big financial mess now. all because i cannot work, i know how you feel. i feel responsible, and guilty. worrying about it and your spinal issues, and your children make you so tired. i am wore out all the time, with it seems no energy these days. i feel sorry for you with your new twins, and other children. we have 3 children ourselves. i hope you get some relief from surgery, and on your road to recovery. i just wanted to let you know you are not alone. It is rough. , but i am so thankful to have people on here to talk to that understand. TAKE CARE LEO
  • Don't worry about everything, just your recovery right now. I know that is easier said than done, but trust me, I'm working on being out of work for 10-weeks now... I just went to my neurosurgeon today, I'm going back to work on September 3rd. My wife almost had a fit, we are really tight on money, being home all summer, our electric bill is crazy because of the AC - That collar got hot!

    My STD is way less then what I made, but like I told my wife, better to take the time now and recover so I can actually work again, and without further issues that might risk my not being able to work later down the road!

    I had c6-c7 ACDF done on June 9th, everything has gone real well... My wife was hoping that I wouldn't be able to talk for a few days (LOL), but I was chatting it up within hours.

    Speaking for myself, no real throat issues... Today I get that "feeling" that something is in my throat, but it isn't a big deal.

    I'm a little stiff, and somewhat soar now that I move my neck more and more, but nothing big. Today my neuro said that within 3-months of the surgery (9/9 and counting - LOL) I shouldn't be so stiff anymore.

    Like Terri72 said, just follow your doctors orders... I just drove for the first time this past weekend. Do one thing, just remember to always be careful. I almost went down my stairs because it was late and I didn't pay as much attention like I have been and almost went down them.

    After a while we subconsciously start to forget as we get back into a normal routine... We just need to do what we are told, and always remember to be careful, as we will continue to heal for a while.

    I hope everything works out for you... I'll think about you, and please stay positive no matter what. I won't preach, but I truly believe God takes care us. The strangest things have happened for me and wife, so I always try to remain positive about everything.

    Hey, I quit my last job, real ugly too, but a month ago, then came looking for me and offered me my old job back with more money (like I said when I quit, that no one could do what I did for them and they'd regret it later - LOL), and it's less physical work then my current job.

    I also got hurt at work... My boss didn't fill out any report, I filled it out myself after I saw my ortho a month later, and then figured out it was work related, so my employer denied my claim. Not that I ever saw a doctor before working for my employer, and lifted and carried objects for up to 12 hours a day while working could never have gave me neck problems, or that I slipped - LOL

    I have a lawyer, but this stuff takes a long time... For anything that you may get from collection agencies, just tell your lawyer to send them a letter, they'll leave you alone, and so far my credit has not suffered yet.

    Make sure all your doctors know that you have been denied workers comp, and make sure each know your injuries are from work - My lawyer said we need that in all our doctors files!

    I had one neuro group tell me they would not see me because they won't get involved with patients that are in legal issues.

    Sorry to ramble, but being stuck in the house for so long, you only talk to so many people... Besides, I just want to share as much info if it can help some else out ;)

    Hope you start feeling better!!!
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  • unfortunately we make too much money "on paper". My wife is an RN and I am a Dialysis Technician, so our taxes from last year say we made way too much for ANY assistance. They don't take into account that my wife had just delivered twins and was out of work for 3 months herself (with out maternity leave, we just moved to Ohio form Florida) . We had 2 1/2 months with no income at all.....but by state guidelines we are not a family in distress. It will work out.....it has to.
  • unfortunately we make too much money "on paper". My wife is an RN and I am a Dialysis Technician, so our taxes from last year say we made way too much for ANY assistance. They don't take into account that my wife had just delivered twins and was out of work for 3 months herself (with out maternity leave, we just moved to Ohio form Florida) . We had 2 1/2 months with no income at all.....but by state guidelines we are not a family in distress. It will work out.....it has to.
  • I was a wreck after months and months of pain killers and no good diagnose of what was wrong. An mri finally saw that C6-C7 disk was exploded and the nerves were highly compressed. I had the surgery a year and half ago and I feel great compared to those days. I still get cramping in my arm but the strength came back 99%. I got a new better job and I am much more careful with my spine knowadays. anyways good luck.
  • I would like to expose my case about two surgical proposals:

    one is the traditional approach of anterior vertebral corpectomy and fusion of c5 and c7 (c6 vertebral body would be taken out), then using a titanium plate and 4 screws and a piece of bone c5 and c7 will be fused together.

    the other proposal is from the **edited**, they claim that a conventional surgery like the one described above is not needed and minimally invasive laminotomy and foraminotomy is appropriate for my case.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!


    Doctors name and contact details removed by forum Moderator (paulgla). We do not permit publishing specific doctor's or institution names and contact details
  • I had that same surgery on C5-C6 in Oct 07 and it went well. I had some throat swelling for a while but gone now. I still have a small amount of weakness to my arm but it is still in the process of returning to normal. I was terrified of the surgery (also in medical field)but it was not so bad as I feared. My friend had C5-C7 a week later and has no residual pain/weakness. I also waited until I couldn't stand the pain anymore. Wear your collar and follow all instructions and you will heal quickly.
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