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C1/C2 fusion post op

Barbara43BBarbara43 Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Just would like to ask if there is anyone out there that has had a C1/C2 Fusion. I am just 3 weeks post op and still feeling a long ways from being ok. I also had a bone graft which is very painful in itself. I am only concerned though with the neck pain and stiffness. I can feel the hardware that has been placed in my neck and I am often worried that I will never recover. The fusion was done with a rod & 4 screws with a wire for extra caution. Any advice on recover time or expectations would be greatly appreciated.


  • Is it unusual to have a C! C2 fusion? I just had C4 thru C7 done. They used a Peak and a donor bone so I didn't have the hip surgery either. I also had a plate and screws put in not a rod nor a wire.

    I'm 2 weeks post op tomorrow and still getting better. I'm told it takes 6 weeks to even begin to do normal activities. I can't do house work or yard work and I am not able to do my job that's for sure. I mostly walk a lot and rest. I was in top shape before the surgery because I'm a fitness specialist. The surgery kicked my butt. I'm enjoying the walking and the arm exercises I get to do but really miss being active.

    I don't know if any of that helps you but know you are not alone. Lots of us are healing from similar surgeries. It takes time. Hopefully we'll be glad we did this when it's all over.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hi Barbara,
    My cervical fusion was from C3 thru C6. C1 and C2 seem to be more rare of a fusion from what I have read. In any case it takes a lot of time to start feeling like things are getting better. Some days are better than others and other days there will be setbacks but don't be disappointed. Follow your Dr's
    advice and I'm sure you will be doing the activities you enjoy most.
    Take care,
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  • Thanks for your reply and advice. C1/C2 is not an unusual fusion it is just more delicate. It sounds like your surgery was done from the front rather than the back of the neck. I waited a long time to find a Dr. that would do the surgery posteriorly. I will take your advice and start walking, as sitting around moaning will likely not cure me any sooner. I will try to adopt your attitude so thanks again and get well quickly. Barbara from BC, Canada.
  • Thanks Ranger for your words of encouragement. It helps to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. C1/C2 fusion is necessary when there is a Os Odontium problem. I am not really sure how rare this condition is. I only discovered my condition at 35 years old. I fell slightly on my snowboard and felt more pain than was normal for the easy fall. I wish you all the best with your recovery!
  • Welcome to SH! I had C5/6 fusion 1/08 and am doing well. It took me about 2-3 months to feel like myself again.

    What brought you to needing C1/2 fusion? I have rheumatoid arthritis and always worry about that part of my spine.

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  • Hi Marianne. Thanks for your help. I am not yet 1 month post op. one or two more sounds like a long time but I will work hard on staying optimistic. To answer your question the purpose for my C1/2 fusion was I have an Os Odontoideum.I suspect my condition was caused from trauma to my neck at a young age. I was not aware of the neck instability until just a few years ago I fell while snowboarding and I have not been the same since. There is great info regarding Os Odontoideum on google.
  • I will look that up. I love researching information on medical conditions, well have been a nurse for 30 years so its a long-standing interest! Yes do strive for optimism. It is very healing...

    Have a good day,

  • Barbara,
    Well I to had a c1c2 fusion due to fracturing my OS odonteium as a young kid. I aslo did not know that I had alot of instability in my neck until I went to see a chiropractor for my Meniere's Disease. When he took xrays he noticed I had about 1cm of movement between my c1c2 vertabrae. How is your recovery coming? I am about 10 weeks post-op and am still wearing my Aspen Collar, but have actually starting removing it more and more to do things around the house.My muscles are extremely tight. I have actually started using a tans device to help loosen my back muscles that I pulled bending over and when those get better my chiropractor told me I could move the pads up a little to help loosen my neck mucles up a little but just not let the NS find out. Did you use a bone growth stimulator?
    Hope all is well with you,
  • hi barbara i had an acdf c5/c6 surgery 8 weeks ago and i feel loads better which felt impossible at 3 weeks post opp,i have to go for a scan soon but can go back to work on saturday :D i cant wait but never thought id get here so keep your hopes up and keep walkin try not to sit around worrying i felt like pooooo when i sat around,feel free to message me if you need any advise. wayne
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