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How long for recovery of spinal fusion?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:31 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hey everyone. 5 days ago I dislocated my C4 vertebrae in my spine during an accident. The C4 got pushed in front of the C5. Luckily I there was no nerve damage on impact and I could feel and move everything. I had surgery the next day. The doctor realigned my spine with screws and bar on both sides. Then he took a donor bone and put it in there to promote the fusion. I am glad they did not have to take it from my hip.

I was able to walk the next day. Pain is getting better everyday. I am in a hard neck brace for 3 months. They say that it could take 3-6 months before resuming my normal activities. That seems long for me.

I was wondering how long it took some of you to recover? How long until the vertebrae fuses? I am still relatively young (21). Hopefully that me to heal faster.

I tried searching through older threads but couldn't exactly find what I was looking for.

BTW, I feel real bad for some of you. Spine problems are really just awful experiences. Good luck all of you.


  • you should do great. Im 54, 5'8' 120 lbs. non smoker mild drinker and my surgeon says i will so great because of my health and age. I have to have rods and they will stay in because of my age, if i were younger, they would probably go in and take them out. good luck.
  • My surgery was last april,i'm still recovering. i saw my surgeon the end of april and he said that i wasn't totally fused yet so i'm still waiting for that to happen.
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  • I had a 3 level fusion in January, 2009 and I feel great. I pretty much returned to normal (work, travel etc) in April. I have been away on business the past 6 out of 8 weeks and I have been fine. I was worried that all this traveling (planes, different beds etc) would bother me but I feel great. If I over do it (like pick up something too heavy) I will feel some pain other than that I feel pretty good.

    I still have some bad days but they are mainly when I over do it!! There is hope recovery does take time but you can recover. I will see the Dr in July and find out how my fusion is doing!

    Oh and I am almost 44 years old so you should do great!
  • Welcome to spine health! I'm curious what you were doing when you broke your neck? That had to be very scary!

    Something that sets you apart from the rest of us is that you had a healthy neck before you broke it. Most of us spineys have necks that are a mess: stenosis, DDD, bulging or herniated discs, cord compression, nerve root compression, etc. The fact that your neck was broken and then immediately surgically repaired means you had no long term nerve issues, so you should probably heal up nicely.

    I am told that true fusion can take up to 2 years to complete. At 6 weeks to 3 months you should have some bone "bridging" where the donor bone starts fusing with your own bone along the edges. But in order to have complete through and through fusion, you'll have to wait a long time. Not to worry though, it sounds as if you have plenty of hardware in your neck to keep it all together.


    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I had my fusion in 2006. To recover from the operation it took me 9months to 1 year to feel normal again. My neck fused in 3 months. Do what the doctor says and you will heal fine. I was bored out of my mind not working for 3 months. I found things I could do at home to keep me entertained and used the time to spend with friends and family. Have you ever seen any CSI crime scene tv shows? They keep your mind busy. You can see them on Net Flix from the beginning. Take it easy. :)
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
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