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If you had successfull neck fusion surgery please respond

Thanks in advance

I have read about many problems but not too many success stories and I am getting afraid to do it.
I have tried literately every thing else and my painful bulging won't get better and I think I will need the surgery.
Suffering 8 months now

Many Thanks
Larry :)


  • Hi Larry,
    I've had five cervical fusions. My first two failed. My third one was a miracle. It corrected two failed fusions. It was an anterior fusion and discectomy at c5/c6/c7, with cadaver bone, a titanium cage, steel plate and screws. I woke up fom surgery and my headache was GONE. Not lessened-just gone. The horrible burning/pins and needles/numbness in my arms were GONE. I had five wonderful years where i was able to live life to the fullest (being careful, of course).
    Unfortunately, this is not a conpletely happy story, as my cervical spine has failed both above and below the cage. However, i am very grateful for the good years I had.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,345
    edited 01/30/2013 - 6:20 AM

    I am 12 weeks post a 2 level ACDF of C3/4/5.
    I have recovered well from the surgery. I did have swallowing problems afterwards, but they are gone now. My singing voice is affected and I can't get those high notes now. If I sing or even speak for very long, my voice gets hoarse and eventually it hurts like I have strained it.

    I have got great relief from the awful headaches that I used to get. :-)
    The resst of my symptoms are pretty much the same. I was warned, before surgery, that it was being done to stop the progression of damage to my cord and that I may be left with the symptoms.
    It is disappointing as after my lumbar fusion, I got instant relief from the awful sciatica in both legs, and much improved lower back pain.
    My surgeon has said that there is still time for me to get relief. I hope he is right. I am back on Gabapentin now which is helping with the nerve pain, but not the spasms. I take 1500mg a day and am about to increase to 1800mg. Needless to say, I am rather sleepy!!

    Do you have a date for your surgery? Which levels will you have fused?
    Ask any other questions that you may think of :-)
  • advertisement
  • I am only one month away from my acdf. Not long enough to know yet how successful it will be. Before my surgery I did speak with several people who had the surgery, at least 5 or 6. Each and everyone was happy they had it done. This includes my surgeons physicians assistant. She had two levels done and is now a competitve weightlifter.

    Most of the pain I was experiencing is gone. I have pain from the fusion and I have been reassured that will go away. I am optimistic.

    4 level ACDF completed on January 3rd.
    I developed an infection which required reopening the wound on January17th
    Looking forward to life without as much pain!
  • Hi there, Larry.

    I can say mine was successful. I had a C3/4 C4/5 ACDF 14 weeks ago and got VERY positive news from my surgeon today.
    After looking at today's x-rays, he told me that I am almost fully fused and that I no longer have to wear the Miami J Collar I have been sporting, except while I sleep. Until today, I've been wearing it mostly 24/7. I have also been wearing a bone growth stimulator to accelerate fusion and if it is working it is working!

    I never had pain. Not even after I asked them to take me off of the morphine on the second day (because it was making me naseous) but it appeared I didn't need it. Even when I got home a few days later, I have two kinds of pain meds and never needed one of them. I never even had a sore throat. Nothing!!

    I did lose my voice and in a rare event, it appears, I lost mine for 35-37 days. I was told my my surgeon that was a record.

    I did have some issues with swallowing for a few weeks, but I stuck with soft foods - eggs, cream of wheat or oatmeal, fruit juice bars and other things I cannot recall right now - and that was fine. Within a few weeks, I was eating steak! Just nothing dry.

    The scar in the front of my throat is really not even noticable at this point, unless I really point it out. I have a crease (not a fold) - and he did a good job. It's about 2" long, that's it!

    I do still having some of the tingling in some of my left fingers - and that may or may not come back, but he prepared me for that. A few weeks ago, I woke up from the evening and there was no tingling - and I tried to remember my position in bed to see if I could recreate it, but I cannot. But, my surgeon was encouraged, as was I, that there seems to be something happening. Time will tell!

    The best thing I can suggest for you is to prepare - mentally, physically, your surroundings and emotionally and spiritually. Find ways to calm yourself and relax before the surgery.

    Let me tell you what I was told by the hospital librarian I had called to ask what pre and post op guided imagery audio "tapes" they recommended - and she told me this - the two best things you can do before surgery:

    1) The day before surgery, HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! When they tell you not to drink after whatever time the night before surgery, make sure you drink as much water as you can before you have to stop. If you go into surgery dehyrated, it will not help the healing process right out of surgery.

    2) Go into surgery well rested. If you go into surgery sleep deprived, while many people think you will be "sleeping" during surgery, the truth is that you will be doubly exhausted after surgery. You will be trying to make up for your lack of sleep and exhausted from the surgery, too. So, be well rested before surgery!

    I listened to those two suggestions and I will say that it helped. I put the guided imagery audio onto my smartphone and brought that with me to the hospital. Immediately after surgery and back in my hospital room, I asked for my phone and my earbuds - and listened to the "Healing Well After Surgery" portion of the selections and it really helped -especially during an anxious moment or so waking up in the wee hours of the morning in the hospital room - it helped to pop in those earbuds.

    Sorry for the length of this.
    I wish you well.
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
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