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Adding c7/t1 to c4-7, anterior fusion again- this can’t possibly go as well as the first surgery?

i am freaking out again. After an excellent c4-7 8 years ago, in spite of all my panic about life being over and planning my euthanasia, with great results and a happy patient and NS, the foramen and facet joint on one side below my fusion is tight, tight, tight.

I have been riding the mild symptoms for 5 years, and now it’s getting in the way of just taking s walk. I am pretty active, hiking, mountains, xc skiing, kayaking, regular long walks. So this is really interfering. It’s bone, so it’s not going to improve, but is slowly progressive, some weakness in the hand. The stenosis is too long for a minimal surgery. So I am faced with this new one. 

Go back in the front, pull the old plate, remove the disc below c7, open up the c8 nerve path on one side, add the new longer plate.

I know that my adjacent level disease is my stupid body’s arthritic tendencies. I can’t change that. I super trust my “neuro-god” to do an awesome job. I have read all the literature, I know what the options aren’t.

I am worried about: voice, swallowing, long recovery (I own my business, this is not good), driving, and limitations on my beloved hiking and xc skiing.

So what kinds of experiences have folks had with those issues? 

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