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fused at 8 weeks? is doc for real?

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I went for my 8 week post-op. I had a acdf c4-6 who still has pain sometimes worse than before surgery, however surgery did take away all the numbness and tingling, he told me I was completely fused at 8 weeks. I don't understand. I thought it takes weeks and sometimes months. Has anyone had this happen so soon? Is my doc nuts. what is complete fusion. is it where they put the donar bone to replace the discs, and then your bone starts to fuse with that? or is it where you bone starts to grow over the titanium plate? I am no expert on this stuff, so I will have to ask him exactly what he means by complete fusion. I want to get my answer here if possible. although he has ordered another mri for dec 26th, because of bad neck pain, I am opting out of that. he said xray is perfect, i am fused, and he thinks his end of this is done. I will not sit in an mrie for 45 min. 20min was way to hard as it was. after having 7 of these things i do not get used to them. the knee you don't go in all the way, so that is okay. PLEASE RESPOND IF YOU HAD ACDF ONLY!!! I NEED TO GET YOUR OPINIONS ON FUSION AND WHAT IT MEANS REALLY!


  • Hello Paula,

    I question your doctor's response to you regarding being completely fused at 8 weeks. I have not had ACDF or any other back surgery, however, everything I have read says it takes a number of months and up to a year for the fusion to be REALLY complete.

    I look forward to reading the response from others.

    I wish you the best in your recovery.

  • I just had my 8 week follow-up appointment.
    Although my surgeon said I was doing tremendously, he said nothing about being 100% fused. He said I was fusing nicely, and showed me where the cadaver bone was.
    I remember at the consult appointment he said it would take about 1 year.
    Could there have been a misunderstanding?
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  • I feel like we had this conversation already but just in case. I had ACDF on Sept 17, 3 level C3 > C6 with cadaver bone and titanium plates and screws. I had a 10 day wound check and then a appointment at about 6 weeks. I had an xray taken at that point and I both saw the xray and made sure they gave me a copy (I like everything for my own records). at 6 weeks fusion was just barely beginning. The expectation is that it takes 6 months to a year for total fusion (which means that your own bone growth fills in all the space between the vertabra and the donor bone and the fused sections of your neck become one solid bone. Until that time the plates and screws are what holds everything together. My next appointment will be Jan 5th and I will be at about 3 1/2 months post op. I am using a bone stimulator daily for 4 hours to improve fusion rate.

    The opinions expressed in this message are just that, my opinions and should not be taken as medical advice.

    Good luck with your fusion and happy holidays........
  • Hi! That would be awesome to fuse so quick but I would press your doc for more details. I had a similiar appt. about 4 weeks after w/an xray and he also said, your all set and fused and blah blah...I immediatley asked what do you mean, I thought it tooks months for the bones to fuse. He explained that yes it would probably take a year to fully fuse but he had meant that the first post surgery xray showed the rods and screws were stable and in place and that the cadaveor bones had "set". They were firmly in place and my body and tissue were not rejecting them but rather accepting them. He had just meant that his main job was done, the fusion was in place. Of course thats just my doc but that could be what yours meant too? Good luck!
  • There was actually another person on this site with a Cervical fusion that was fused by 8 weeks. I had a lumbar fusion (which takes longer, because the disc space is MUCH bigger) and I was already fusing at 8 weeks... So it IS possible. I have heard of a few people, actually, who were fused by 8 weeks with a Cervical surgery. It's not unheard of at all. The disc spaces in the Cervical area are tiny... It doesn't have all that much growing to do, which is why BMP is not FDA approved for Cervical fusions, and why ANY BMP in the Cervical area is TOO much. I had a chat with my Dr. about this, that's the only reason why I have any answers. Lol. I also have a handful of Cervical issues & a herniated T disc, along with my lumbar issues. My spine loves me :)
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