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after cervical fusion how do u care for upper and lower levels to prevent further surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
hi guys
seems that i have read lots of posts re fusion. most people say that ten years later they need the upper or lower cervcival levels operated on due to excess wear and tear.

what can i do to care for my cervical spine to prevent this?? i am 30 and athletic. i do take care of myself but any extra info would be appreciated.



  • I actually came on here this morning to post that very question. I meant to ask my doctor yesterday about that but we got all wrapped up in my muscle spasms and never got back to it. That is the million dollar question for me too. My surgery was done due to trauma to my spine rather than a denerative condition but we've never discussed what the other levels look like so I have no idea what his opinion is. I read an article yesterday that was somewhat contradictory. It said in one part 1 in 4 people need either a second level fusion but fewer required a revision surgery. Then about 2 paragraphs later it referenced another study which cited that more than 90% need a second level surgery. So what am I left to think. Am I in the 1 in 4 or the certainly will group? :? I hope we can find some answers from the been there done that group around here. I'm a little older than you but I was very active walked more than 3 miles every day. And I was a cheerleading director for a little league cheerleading group. (If you've ever particpated in youth sports you know how stressful and yet energizing it can be.) So not being able to stomp my feet and yell for the last 2 months has been a real bummer.
  • I read your posts last night. I saw my PT today, so asked him the question about this issue, as I had fusion in June a year ago, and already have level above it bulging. According to my physical therapist, there really is no way to prevent this. He explained to me that by fusing one or more levels, puts more strain on the muscles on the adjacent levels, thus contributing to lingering pain and inflammation. The pain makes us "baby" that area, which can lead to weakness in the muscles. When the muscles are weak, we are more prone to re-injuring the neck. This happens whether the original problems were from an accident, degenerative disk disease, degenerative osteo-arthritis. At least that is the way he explained it to me. Kind of like a domino effect. Younger more active persons who stay in shape have a better outlook to preventing this, than older pts with spinal degenerations.. Hope this makes sense, and helps you somewhat.

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  • hey maggie
    thanks chickie!! my fusion is c1 c2. level above is c0. my skull might fall off. i can't see it really bulging much . . .lol. i will ask my surgeon when i see him in december again.
  • MaggieP that's interesting. So if I get right back into all of my physical activities and don't baby that area I may have a fighting chance. That sounds very hopeful. Roxy be sure to post what your doctor says about this. I see mine again in late Dec and had every intention of having a very frank discussion with him about this. He has a tendency in diverting my attention to the actual surgical site and since I'm in pain still it's a tactic that works. Roxy I'm pretty sure you're head is not going to fall off but in case it does do you have a loved one who could post for you that your head fell off. We will need that information too. But since you brought up that level. I don't mean to get off topic here but do you have or have had headaches? I have had headaches that make me wish I hand't made it through the surgery sometimes and I can't seem to get any answers about it. You can PM me if you prefer. My doctor assured me if it was cervical he would have found it. But he didn't look at nerves so I wonder. I have an appt with my PCP today to discuss my headache situation since he said that and CT scans showed up nothing immediately after the accident. Oh and just to let you know. I literally got ran over by a semi. Literally. He sent me sailing into a rock wall and then my car rolled over and over and landed on the passenger side so I was left hanging there in my seat belt. I thank God every day I get to post here. Oh and one more thing Rheumatoid Arthritis seems to run through my family which is also a terrifying thought for me. That's why I stay so active. Ok this ends my novel. Sorry so wordy.
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