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c3-c7 fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Just trying to get some information. My ortho is sending me to neurologist for surgery. Ortho said it will be c3 thru c7 fusion for sure and it is very hard to find information on this fusion. I mean I can find it for couple levels but not this many. I am curious abt recovery time and what I can expect. I am 32 years old and have 4 kids so I am really nervous abt what the outcome is going to be. any information would be very much appreciated. thanks!
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1

Comments

  • Are you going to a neurologist or a neurosurgeon? They are different.

    I'm glad you are seeing another doctor, as that is a really big surgery if they do all of the levels. That would be considered a 4 level ACDF, and the more you have done at one time, the greater your chances of having a non-union. Be sure to discuss this thoroughly with the surgeon. I had 3 levels and did not have a good outcome. Knowing what I know now, I would have only had 1 or 2 done, as the third was not as bad as the other 2. But I stupidly wanted to just get it all done so that I didn't have to go through it again. Doesn't really work that way with spine surgery. So please make sure you really need that much done. There are several of us on these boards who have had multi-level fusions done, so hopefully others will respond soon. But I don't know anyone who feels like they are "normal" after such a big surgery.

    I would suggest familiarizing yourself with the anatomy of the spine and also the common words used. Know the meaning of stenosis, myelopathy, cor compression, nerve root, bulging or herniated discs, foramina, lamina, etc. If you understand what all of these terms mean, you will be able to better discuss your situation with your doctor. Get a copy of your MRI report before you see the surgeon, and read it so that you have questions ready for hte surgeon. however, I would caution that you not worry too much about what it says, as often a surgeon will read the films, not the report, and disagree with what is written in the report.

    As for recovery time, I think it is impossible to predict. My surgeon told me I could be back to work in 2 weeks, and I naively believed him. For a single level, this may be true, but multi-level ACDF patients are seldom back to work that quick, if ever.

    Your range of motion will likely be affected with that many levels done. Side to side rotation comes from the higher levels, but chin to chest and ear to shoulder movement will be difficult. You will want to specifically ask about this.

    Also, ask about using your own bone vs donor bone. Using your own bone is statistically better, especially for multi-levels.

    If you have any specific questions, please feel free to PM me and I will try to answer. Of course, I can't give medical diagnosis or advice as I am just a patient who's dealt with this for 3 years. I hope I have given you some ideas of things to discuss with your doctor. Good luck!

    Cindy

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • SJohnson612454 said:
    Just trying to get some information. My ortho is sending me to neurologist for surgery. Ortho said it will be c3 thru c7 fusion for sure and it is very hard to find information on this fusion. I mean I can find it for couple levels but not this many. I am curious abt recovery time and what I can expect. I am 32 years old and have 4 kids so I am really nervous abt what the outcome is going to be. any information would be very much appreciated. thanks!
    I had multi levels done and was in a neck brace for 3 months. The operation it self will take about 3 to 4 hours. The first week for sure you wont be able to care for your kids. You will be on too much pain meds. Your arms will feel like they do now and that will get better after a few weeks. I was not allowed to be in a car for 3 months. My surgeon's rules. You will want to sleep a lot so your neck can heal. My kids were 15 and up when i had mine done so they could help me. Im not sure how much info you want? I don't want you to be more nervous then you already are.
    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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  • Thanks I do appreciate it. I will definately look into all your suggested. My oldest kid is 13 and youngest is 8. They are pretty independent but they still need minor help. When you say too much pain meds, are they going to change what I already take?
    They have me on Opana ER and Percocet now and I can barely function taking both of those. Thank you again.
  • SJohnson612454 said:
    Thanks I do appreciate it. I will definately look into all your suggested. My oldest kid is 13 and youngest is 8. They are pretty independent but they still need minor help. When you say too much pain meds, are they going to change what I already take?
    They have me on Opana ER and Percocet now and I can barely function taking both of those. Thank you again.
    Well you will be given morphine at the hospital until you leave and go home. My orthopedic surgeon prescribes Norco 10mg and take 2 every 4 to 6 hours. They are pretty strong. Its twice the amount of vicodin with less tylenol. I was also given pain patches for my shoulders because the muscles are very sore. The day I came home I slept for 20 hours out of 24. during surgery and put you in a cervical position to complete the surgery. So your muscles hurt all over after the operation.
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • i had a three level as well.i'm over a year from my operation and find i'm still healing.I try and do normal things but my muscles don't like it most times.I think it all depends on what kind of shape your in before your operation.How quick your recovery is. I was in horrible shape and there fore its taking me a lot longer to get better.you do spend quit a bit of time sleeping,i found that even just taking a shower wore me out and i'd have to nap.they did change my pain medications after my surgery and then a few weeks later my own doctor adjusted and changed them again.it all depends on how your doing.
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  • ok so what i amgetting is i willbe worse than i am now at first.is that right? i have like 10-15% rom, is that gonna be worse.
  • SJohnson612454 could you please post your MRI results..

    I really want to see WHY? your doctor would say you need your whole neck fused at only 32 years of age....

    Honestly please post your MRI asap please....they cant throw one ADR in?
  • Pretty much yes, Surgery is hard on you and a incision on top of it. Skin is a organ and has to heal, The tissue and spine has to heal inside and when your sleeping your healing. And they put you in this deep sleep to makes your body sleep more. when your sleeping you wont feel all the pain as bad. My doctor once told me it takes pain to get rid of pain. He is right. I am still in pain but its a lot better then before all 3 of my spine operations.
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • i am going to get a copy of that report like neck of steel suggested. i can tell you what he told me. He said that my neck has no curve anymore and is starting to curve wrong direction. He also said I have bulding discs at every level, narrowing of some kind(forgive me I dont know the lingo and really have no clue). My doc is not very good at explaining things but as soon as i get that report i will post.
  • Would like to know how long recovery time will I have to take off work approx. Already know what prognosis will be approximately. Talk to some other patient with different c-spine fusions mine seems to be more intense. MRI reads c-3 to c 6-7 severe rt and lft neurial foraminal narrowing and c-7-t1 moderate. I am 60 years old and diabetic.
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