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Does anyone have a success story???



  • got home early this morning after a 23-hr stay for an 2 level anterior fusion of c5-c6, c6-c7. I can talk fine, "golf ball" in my throat changed to a "marble" so swallowing food is no prob. percocet and anti-inflams are for sure doing their job but I have essentially no pain right now, the only thing that I notice is the lingering numbness in left thumb/forefinger that I'm told will be the last to go (if it does), and the floating head feeling from the drugs. Well, I also have a nerve dead-zone in my left tricep too, but I'll have to wait and see on that too.

    I had spinal cord contact for a number of years that was treated previously as a shoulder problem, which where most of my pain was.
  • I had PLIF L2/L3, L3/L4, L4/L5 fusion with cyst removal exactly two months ago. 100% of my pain is gone and has been since my operation. I am a 54 year old male. For years I tried chiropractors, decompression, PT, and all kinds of therapy to no avail. I relied on over the counter or prescription pain killers whenever I participated in any athletic activity.

    For probably the last 10 years, I had to take something before playing golf, running or biking. My pain became unmanagable around October when I had trouble making it up the plane ramp into the terminal. An MRI revealed I was lacking enough space for the nerves coming out of the spine in this location. For years I thought it was a hip issue and later a hamstring issue. My doctor had me try the epidural shots (4x) which would work for about two weeks.

    During the winter months preceding surgery I participated in many indoor time trial races on my bike. Biking has always been my favorite form of exercise, and when I competed in triathlons over the last few years this was the area where I excelled. Biking also caused no pain in my hip or down my leg.

    My question is whether or not I will be able to race again. I have been walking several miles each day since my surgery. I have also been going to the gym for the last month and spending an hour a day on the elliptical machine.
    My doctor says I can start swimming next month and spinning lightly.
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  • Welcome to the Spine health forum, Triathlete!

    I am quite ignorant on this subject (bike racing) but would be interested to see if anybody has any positive comments. When I am picturing somebody riding a racing bike, I see somebody whose spine is quite curved. Am I off track? Maybe, but this is why I would like to find out if it is possible to assume a racing position without putting undue stress on the spine.

    Wishing you well,

  • Hi Triathlete,

    I am envious that you are able to bike. My NS told me it would not be something I will ever be comfortable doing. I have hope now after reading your post. What I would give to go to a spin class again~~ I was a 6-7 day a week work-out nut prior to surgery.

    I also had 4 epidurals (no relief at all), a year of PT, chiro etc., before finally giving in to surgery when I was no longer able to walk more than a few feet without collapsing. The first thing that was taken away from me was the bike-- keep us updated on your progress.
  • I too am an AVID cyclist and have been missing it for two months. I averaged over 200 miles a week at a 20 mph average. Besides my family, Cycling was my passion. My surgery was a single level ACDF C6-7 and my surgeon seem to think I can get back on the bike three months after my surgery. I HOPE THIS IS TRUE! I am only 4 days post surgery so we will se in late July. Oh, by the way, I WILL be a sucess story. If you keep a positive attitude and do everyting right it can be done. Even most of the people on this site who have had multiple surgery's still keep a positive attitude and to me that is a success. I think it ia all about staying active and living a healthy lifestyle.
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  • for your lower lumbar to deal with. Not trying to rain on your parade, but you now know how fragile our spines are as we age. Please take care of your lumbar. If you don't you'll pay for it later.

    GL healing your C6/7 fusion!
  • Here is a quick update on the last 12 weeks or so. I was OK'd to start lifting light again at about week 8. I built up intensity from weeks 8-15 to the point where I was about 85% of pre-surgery levels. I held off anything overhead until about week 13 and then slowly worked that ck in. I feel great. I got a CT last week and my doc says I have total fusion and I don't need any more appointments. I still have some tingling in my left arm and fingers, and weakness in my left arm. Hopefully that will subside over time as the nerves regrow.

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