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compliations after surgery

Kathy992670KKathy992670 Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:00 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am new to this form. I had surgery 2 months ago for basilar impression(my c-2 pushes up into the space for the brain stem and my spinal cord drapes over the c-2). They fused my skull base to my c-3. My c-1 dorsal portion was fractured and had been removed in an earlier surgery. The c-2 is in the incorrect position, so the fusion was from the skull to the c-3. I really have done well. I was out of the hospital in 5 days. Off pain meds in 4 weeks and back to work in 4 weeks. I have had some complication though, my head pulls to one side and I have trouble with swallowing, singing(I'm a music teacher) and talking. I have been also having trouble opening my mouth very wide and an occasional episode of vertigo. It doesn't keep me from working, but has anyone else had these problems? My surgery was posterior and with instrumentation.

Thanks Kathy


  • Maybe your recovery time should have been a little longer at the very least. One month is normal for a gallbladder removal, but perhaps not a difficult cervical spine case. I don't have cervical spine issues, but it took almost one year after my lumbar fusion to get to the point that I am today.

    Have you voiced your concerns with your surgeon? If not, it might be a good time to do that as well.

  • that sounds like a very fast recovery time for what you had done.I agree that you should be letting your surgeon know whats happening,he could tell you best why your having those problems.Good luck i hope that your symptoms subside soon.
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  • patrain17ppatrain17 Ottawa area, CanadaPosts: 106
    Hi Kathy,

    It sounds as if I had a similar surgery a year ago. I am now fused from Occiput to C3. My head also pulls to one side and I can't open my mouth as wide as I could before the surgery (no more hamburgers I guess). As for the swallowing problem, it was one of my many symptoms before the surgery and I haven't seen any improvements since (sometimes, I feel that it's even worse). On the positive side, I can say that most of my other symptoms are now gone.

    I can't believe you were back to work in 4 weeks. I wore a hard cervical collar for 14 weeks from my first surgery (I had a 2 stage decompression and fusion surgery) and went back to work nearly 4 months after. Even then, I could hardly move my neck and couldn't safely drive to work. It took me almost 6 months of PT to gain about 50% back of my neck movement.
    My neck is always stiff and I get muscle aches in the shoulders and some occasional headaches.

    I have an MRI scheduled for April 2013. Last time I had an X-Ray, everything look fine but I guess you always worry when you're in some kind of pain.

    I hope everything is OK at your end. Give me an update. It's always nice to be able to share with someone who's been trough a similar experience.

    Take care!
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