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living with an occipitocervical fusion

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124

Comments

  • Hi G,
    I am 50 and had posterior fusion of C1C2 in November 2013. My course has been tough. Screws didnt fuse and my cervical spine is severely degenerated. Seeing a surgeon fo consult soon to discuss Occipital plating and fusion through C7. My biggest fear is further loss of neck movement. Im about 10 degrees left and 20 to 30 degrees right at this time. How much movement do you have? Lateral and up and down. Im terrified of feeling completely locked in place. I would appreciate your feedback and I wish you well in your recovery.
    Deborah Hawkins
  • Hi Deborah,

    I'm sorry to hear you seem to have been having a tough time of things. Did the surgeon say why it needed to be fused all the way to C7 and not just the next vertebra? I am no expert at all - I'm fused from occiput to C3 which wouldn't really be much different to the side to side movement you have now - I have maybe 30° to the left and 40° to the right? Maybe less - I'm not quite sure. I was told that over time the fusion would need to be extended to the next vertebra and so on until the whole neck is also fused.

    I can understand you being terrified - something I have been wondering though, is if there is any possibility of disc replacements at the lower levels, that would still allow some movement. I kind of don't want to ask in case the answer isn't what I want.

    I brought it up with another spinal surgeon I saw and he said that would hopefully not have to happen - maybe it's worth getting a second opinion to see what they say?

    I know it doesn't really help to hear that 'things could be worse' - however, I was in rehab for a while when I had my accident, at a place that was split into brain injury and spinal cord injuries. Seeing some of the spinal cord injury patients - some of them could only control their wheelchairs with their chin and it is unimaginable that you wouldn't be able to move the rest of your body - you wouldn't be able to do anything for yourself.  I'm not very good at remembering this, but I do try to remember that things could be worse than having limited neck movement, given that that's what this kind of fusion is to prevent.

    I have quite a lot of limited movement in other joints as a result of my accident/injuries - both knees, wrist, fused ankle which do cause difficulties - although none of them really compare to the reduced neck movement.

    Anyway, let us us know how you go with the surgeon and what he says.

    Gareth
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  • Hi G,
    I am 50 and had posterior fusion of C1C2 in November 2013. My course has been tough. Screws didnt fuse and my cervical spine is severely degenerated. Seeing a surgeon fo consult soon to discuss Occipital plating and fusion through C7. My biggest fear is further loss of neck movement. Im about 10 degrees left and 20 to 30 degrees right at this time. How much movement do you have? Lateral and up and down. Im terrified of feeling completely locked in place. I would appreciate your feedback and I wish you well in your recovery.

    Hello Debra
    Welcome to Spine-Health!
    I have a limited range also.other than straight ahead i can look left to a,point before pain..but right is limited to around 30 37 deg.
    Driving is a scary issue and will probably give it up in the next few years.

    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod
    erator

    Welcome to Spine-Health

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