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C6-T1 fusion

jim863jjim863 Posts: 29
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi. I am glad to be back after a year, but not too happy having to face more surgery. I am still less than 12 months post op for two cervical surgeries last year: C5-6 fusion with plating; C4-6 foraminotomy with wiring. I was doing well and then had a chair slip out from under me while at a Fourth of July party. When I hit the ground my back and neck hit a post on the deck where we were. Worst or all, I was drinking Pepsi!

The orthopedic surgeon I had last year told me that it's pretty much certain that we have to fuse either C6-C7 and maybe T1. The thought of more surgery and another multi-month recuperation is enough to make me scream, but that doesn't stop the pain. So, I have an MRI this week and then the follow up with the surgeon to decide exactly how much work we have to do since the pressure is on the spinal cord and also pressing on my esophagus (you gotta see the angle of C7--weird).

My question is for anyone who has had this surgery before. How do they enter, anterior or posterior? Is the cut closer to the collar bone or like they did earlier, at the middle of the throat? I am far from a vain person, but I really don't want scars all over my throat and neck (someone suggested I get them tattooed like a zipper :-) ). What kind of recuperation did you have?

Thanks. I'd appreciate any comments.

Jim in CT


  • Hi Jim,
    I had the C7-T1 ACDF in Dec 2008. It was an anterior procedure and the scar is in a crease in my neck so it is not noticeable. I would think the NS would go through the same incision from before, but I am no expert! My recovery went well, I was feeling good in about 4 weeks. Everyone is different when it comes to healing as you probably already know. I didn't find the surgery to be too bad, but that's me.

    Good luck!
  • Thank you for responding and helping calm my nerves a bit. Thank goodness for the percocet, at least it helps me sleep through most of the night. I get back to you when I know what he's thinking of doing.
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