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C5-C7 Fusion: Update 11 days post-op

bay2000bbay2000 Posts: 23
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:52 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had my c5 thru c7 fused 11 days ago. I didn't want to question my doc because he's one of he best out there and was the designer of the plate put in my neck so I suppose he knows a little about what's going on and when it's safe to do what. I'm collarless as of today and allowed to begin driving. I went back to work 2 days post-op but I write software and was able to work from home. Still having some small pains here and there but I guess this plate with six screws has everything secured in place. I haven't read all the posts but I thought to share one thing with everyone that I'm doing as per doctor recommendation. I'm wearing this electronic device that shoots electronic impulses in my neck (you can't feel them) that supposedly promots healing. He believes if I wear this as much as I have been doing (24x7) that the fusion would be complete as soon as 8 weeks post-op, my next appointment. They tell me insurance covers this thing but unfortunately as per web site rules don't believe we can list names of companies or products.

I'll admit I'm excited that I'm more mobile and from other posters on the forum I was expecting to be in a collar for at least six weeks. I realize that everyone is different and therefore heal different. I guess different doctors have different levels of caution(???). Of course I'm still taking it easy. I'm allowed to lift up to 25 lbs but won't be lifting soon. I was given the green light for the elliptical machine and plan to give it whirl today.



  • Good to hear that you're doing well after your cervical surgery. What you're wearing is a Bone Growth Stimulator (BGS) and many of us have worn them after surgery. I wore one after my 3-lvl ACDF for a few months and I also fused well, though it took a year for my C6/7.

    My surgeon kind of believes that BGS's are a little like voodoo, but when I requested one, he said "Why not? It certainly can't hurt."

    Again, glad you're doing well. Try not to have one of those times quite yet where you feel like you're 100% only to do too much and set yourself back a few days. We've all done it and you're still very early out from major spine surgery. So continue to take it somewhat easy, ok? No need to push - the healing will come as long as you don't do anything to hurt it.

    Take care,
  • Howdy Bay,

    So good to hear you are doing so well! Wow, I am impressed. Just try not to overdue it. When we do, we pay dearly for it.

    Like Cathie said, he has you using a bone growth stimulator. I was put on one 4 months post op - didn't help me, but I think that is because it was so far past surgery.

    Just be careful, and let your body heal. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • Doc has my hopes up this thing will be healed (fully fused) by May 27th. This thing only comes off for showers. I heard of a few people who've now had this device for long periods of time. I'm a tad-bit nervous this could be come a long-term ordeal. I'm too feisty and active which is why I went ahead with this. Last couple of days some levels of aches but I guess that goes with the territory. You bring up a good point, Brenda, Doc said I could workout but lift no more than 25 lbs. That I'm staying away from. Tried elliptical the other day for 23 mins and got heart up to 175 and let it stay there a few beats and haven't been back. I'll definitely keep posting progress given others have been through the same thing, especially given I have this "Herman Munster thingy" on my neck.
  • "Herman Munster thingy"... Have to chuckle at that analogy! I called my bone growth simulator as a Darth Vader necklace! (G)

    I had to stop using my elliptical. Partly due to neck, and then too for my back. I got the Tread Climber, and that was more "endurable" for me. Nodding...your body WILL tell you when you have pushed it. I will keep my fingers crossed that you continue to heal fast and well. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Brenda, I just clicked on your screen name and my eyes blew WIDE OPEN! Three words...OMG! It hurt just reading your history! I sincerely wish you nothing but the best and hope things have finally stabalized. I'm a veteran of surgeries myself albeit for different athletic-type issues with my officiating and all the crazy training I do. 3 knee scopes (completely resolved), one achilles tear, one neck foraminotomy, and now my c5-c7 ACDF (since foram surgery didn't do the trick) but it still doesn't compare. I wish you the best my friend!
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  • I'll be adding more to it soon Bay! Sorry to hear you too love sending your surgeon's kids through college! (G) I guess I am getting payback for a very active, and sometimes rough life. Wanna hear something weird though? If I was to go back, I wouldn't change a thing! A lot of it formed me and made me internally what I am. :)

    Humans are odd critters don't cha think? (G)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hey ACDF peeps- Good to hear chatter among people who have had the same surgery. I had C 5-7 fused on 3.24 via ACDF. No bone stimulator for me - my surgeon said there wasn't a need. Hmmmm. He is such a fast talker and has been in this field for so long, I don't think he's open to much, unless he just goes with what he has seen in his many years of experience. I'd be totally into it - why not?

    At my 2 week visit, he said everything was 'textbook' - looked great, etc. No sign of fusion, but he told me I was too stiff - needed to move around more. So, I'm now doing about 8 different neck exercises while under a hot shower. He said to hold off lifting my son...30#.... Bay, sounds like you already have the green light, that's terrific!

    Anyway, I'm trying to find the balance of not overdoing it but not getting too comfy in the recliner. Did any of you notice a little hump on your back from where the surgery took place? I had an extremely straight back before, so this is new for me. Doc said it's normal, my husband can notice, but doesn't think it's a big deal.

    Happy healing...

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    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Administrator 07/07/11
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