Just had my revision surgery 5 weeks ago - posterior C1-C2 fusion using rods and pedicle screws. My last surgery was in April 2011 and failed....the bone resorbed and the cervical wiring ended up rubbing on my C2 nerve root due to instability. Unfortunately, I didn't keep a log of my progress last time, and am hoping things are looking up this time. I have my 6 week post-op appt next week and am hoping for good news. However, I received good news the first go-round at 6 weeks, so I know it will take longer to know whether this surgery will be a success.
The surgeons (both initial and team that did my revision) don't know why I didn't fuse....I'm in my 30s, non-smoker, active and healthy. To promote fusion this time, the surgeons used BMP (bone morphogenic protein), which has not been approved for use in cervical fusions, however, this is my "last chance". The only other method for this type of fusion is using transarticular screws, and the anatomy of my C1 is to narrow to try without significant risk of hitting the cranial artery (fun!).
Prior to surgery, I had constant occipital neuralgia and was barely able to function. I was taking 60mg Kadian/day and 10mg Norco every 3 hours during the day while I was up and around (working and being a mom), so probably 5-6/day. I was a mess.....
After surgery my headaches were gone
Last time, I only wore a soft collar for 2 weeks and started intense PT (2.5 hours/day, 3 days a week and walking other days). It seems like once the surgical pain subsided my headaches started creeping back up. At about 3 months post-op I was prescribed a bone growth stimulator 4hours/day. Anyway, to no avail because 9 months later I went under the knife again.
So I guess I'm just wondering how other folks feel at 5 weeks post-op....I have decreased my Kadian from 60mg to 15mg and am now taking Norco 3x/day. I typically walk a total of 3 miles/day (broken up into 2 walks) and try and take a 2 hour nap between walks. I haven't had very many muscle spasms, and haven't taken any muscle relaxers during this recovery (last time I relied on them a LOT). I am still in my Miami J hard collar, so mobility is limited. I still feel pretty tired and my neck burns and feels painful if I am up and around for more than a couple hours. A trip to the store wears me out.....
Any comments or feedback is appreciated. I just hope I am recovering well, but am a little disappointed that I still have neck pain and weakness........
Thanks in advance!
April 2011 C1-C2 Fusion (Brooks wiring)
January 2012 C1-C2 Revision Fusion (Harms Technique)
2010 - current: Trigger Point Injections, Epidural Injections, Bilateral C2-C3 Radiofrequency Ablations