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question about fusion

shar51sshar51 Posts: 241
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have a question.....my revision surgery was done 5 months after my acdf because of failed fusion. Granted back then I knew very little about any of this and found the board later.....from what I have read it takes a year or more to fuse.....how did I have a failed fusion after 5 months??? This has been on my mind and I have a visit with the surgeon in October and would like this time to be prepared with some knowledge I have lacked before.



  • Everyone is different and the time it takes them to fuse is different. So many variables too. Cadavar bone, BMP, own bone ... smoker, non-smoker ...

    Only one who can really answer your question is the surgeon.

  • Hey Sharon, did you wear a collar the first time around? I haven't had surgery, but I'm interested in everyone's experience.---Mazy
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  • Yes I wore the hard and soft collar, can't remember how long but I wore it until the surgeon told me not to. I also did PT for the first 4 weeks and then a new pain set in and it took me several more weeks to see my surgeon, he was booked up....told the nurse about my new pain and she told me it had nothing to do with my surgery....by the time I seen him I was in so much pain...he took an xray and told me I had a failed fusion....it had been 5 months since my surgery....they also used my hip bone and cadaver bone...had a huge hole to fill....I am fused C4-C7, corpectomy. The revision surgery was done posterior and was much much more painful....I also wore a collar after this surgery, 6 weeks but he never ordered any PT....told me did not want any twisting of my neck.

  • I am really confused about that. Maybe that is what caused your surgery to fail. Dave had xrays taken yesterday, 3 weeks post surgery. From those, the surgeon thought what he saw so far was perfect. He doesn't go back for 3 months, although he will be weaned off the collar around Oct. 17.

    Linda MI
  • My first surgery which was acdf I did have PT, it was mostly stretching....rolling the shoulders, moving my head around in the clock motion very slow and I had one ultrasound massage....at the 4 week mark I was having new pain between my shoulder blades and did not go back. I knew something was wrong....also I would wake up with brain freeze like headaches....all of which the nurse at the surgeons office told me was not related to my spine surgery and told me to see my pcp....my pcp's hands were tied but he did the best he could until I could get in to see the surgeon...it was a total nightmare and has never stopped. I was told last week by PT, I am going for what they think is rotator cuff, that I need to see my surgeon sooner than Oct....this tells me they think my pain now is coming from my neck. I called the surgeons office and yet again he is booked up and I have to stick with the Oct 22 appointment.

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  • What a rough thing to have to go thru! I am concerned that you have to wait till October. Can you call everyday, and keep bugging that surgeon's office to get you in? I would think they would be a bit more concerned. I hope you can find some answers and relief.--Mazy
  • Wow Sharon,that is really tough to wait so long. I was told that it would take me four months to see the NS.I really don't get these specialist and the waiting time. I called a major university in Chicago and was able to get an appt in under a week. I guess it's where you live and the number of surgeons they have available. I was told if I wanted to see the Dr faster,I should go to the emergency room. I feel your frustration.Take care
  • I had a failed fusion and just had a reoperation so I am waiting to see if it fuses this time. I did not wear a collar after my first surgery but wore one for the second and I highly recommend it. If you have not had your surgery yet I also recommend just sitting for up to two weeks after surgery. Every surgeon is different some say you will be back to normal and back to work within a week. I don't understand that! Good luck!
  • If I were you Sharon I think I'd be strongly inclined to try the ER. I too experience that wait, wait, wait when trying to schedule to see the surgeon. I'm still pre-op so don't have the problems post-op patients have yet.

    I sure hope your issues are resolved in a timely manner and you feel better real soon!

    Ken GreyEagle
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