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Bulging Disc above fusion

shar51sshar51 Posts: 241
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
So what is the usual plan of action for a bulging disc above a fusion? The disc is C3 and I am fused C4-C7.



  • I unfortunately have the same problem. Back in March of 2007 I had my C5-7 fused with instrumentation but continued to experience pain as bad or worse than before surgery. My neurosurgeon sent me for yet another MRI which showed a moderate bulging disc above my surgery and the disc above that with a mild bulging disc. I just had a discogram on Monday which confirmed my pain coming from my C4-5 disc. I go back to the surgeon on Dec. 5th which most likely result in another surgery.
    Good luck to you and Be well
  • Hey I have one too. I had ACDF 5-6-7 in July of 05. Now I have a honker at the 4-5.

    Haven't heard from my surgeon yet.

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  • i heard it is not uncommon for something to go wrong with the disc above and below the fusion. most docs tell you that i gues, cause mine did after the surgery!! well no more surgeries for me if that happens. honestly, this surgery was the most painful thing ever!! i had many other surgeries, this was the worst!! I know most people don't have it that bad for an acdf, but i did!! If I could get relief from what i felt before surgery than I would say well maybe it was worth it. I don't care how goood the xray looks I am in pain!! I will not mess with the spine again!! gl to you
  • hi sharon,
    there usually is not a plan of action. if its causing you symptoms as in tingling/numbness/stiffness/headaches/pain then yes call your dr as they may want to try treatments physical therapy or tests to see the extent of the herniation.

    i have a herniation from C1 all the way down. of course i am fused in a few spots so i cannot say all the way down anymore :D

    its normal for the disk to give out above or below a fusion.
    as there is stress put on the disk. most drs will tell you this. does not happen to everyone but some of us it does.

    how are you feeling???
    terri >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • I was just told by my PT that he thinks the disk above which is also c4-5c is causing some of my pain in the shoulder area. I had surgery done March 08 on c5-c7. The x-rays after my surgery were already showing narrowing of c4-c5 a month after surgery. I am not ready for another surgery ~X( I haven't seen my NS since Aug. before my shoulder surgery. My OS just doesn't seem to think my shoulder pain has anything to do with the shoulder....Who knows.... 8}
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  • Shoulder pain is very much involved with cervical injuries. I just got a clean bill of health from my shoulder orth. but have a lot of shoulder pain coming from the spine
  • I think I am a living nightmare for my NS and OS. Being I have both shoulder problems and now 10 weeks OP from my shoulder surgery and 8 months OP from my c5-c7 fusion. They just don't know which one is causing me all the pain yet. The shoulder is painful, and I can only lift it a little past 90 degrees, and can't reach behind my back at all. I get a lot of spasms in the arm if I reach above my head to do things with the arm. My neck aches from time to time too. But then the PT tried neck traction and that seemed to help take some of the pain away.
    I just want to feel like I did before the injury 8>
  • Since July I have been going to an ortho doctor for my shoulder who thinks a lot of my symptoms are coming from the neck, elbow pain and pain in thumb, index and middle finger with numbness and tingling. I had my second set of injections in my shoulder 2 weeks ago and the shoulder finally settled down some. After an MRI of the shoulder it did show some "blunting", the shoulder doctor said fluid build up and probably caused from weak muscles that come from my neck. I have had no fall or done anything to cause shoulder problems. I am starting to think everything is connected to the neck. So the surgeon's office called me today and said it was no big deal with disc and I also have some bone spurs in the area....no big deal or not the MRI I had a few weeks before surgery said the C3 level was normal. Surgeon said fusion has nothing to do with disc bulging below or above.It happens as we get older. What do you guy's think?

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