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Posterior Cervical Spine Fusion c4-c7

jchpackerjjchpacker Posts: 2
edited 11/16/2013 - 6:14 PM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello all,

I am hoping to get some feedback on what the recovery is like from anyone who had a posterior cervical fusion. I have had 2 Anterior cervical fusions. First was c5-c6 back in 2002. The results held great for about Six years and then i started having issues with the adjacent point below the fusion which I was advised could be a risk. I then had my Second Anterior cervical fusion at c6-c7. The second surgeon took out the old titanium plate and put a larger one to cover the area. My recovery was very smooth and quick but I did not have very good post op instruction - went back to daily activity quickly due to listening to my surgeon which I should not have listened. I was skeptical. The second fusion was completed almost two years ago this coming January, resulted in a non-union of the fusion which means it did not work. The bone never healed. I am now scheduled for a third however, it is going to be a posterior approach - through the upper back side of the neck.

Can anyone please offer some guidance on what the recovery was like from a posterior cervical fusion procedure? Is muscle function gone in the neck or in the upper shoulder area? How long is PT? I was told by my surgeon that he was going to keep me in the collar for two months due to my non-union from the last one.

Thank you in advance for any input!


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    edited 11/16/2013 - 9:19 PM
    please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

    i am sure that you will find your time on spine-health very rewarding. this site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and growing.
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    - as a bonus, spine-health provides these patient forums. here you can meet thousands of people who understand and can relate to your situation. you will soon become part of the spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. you are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 international members and growing daily.

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    ron dilauro



    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,111
    The posterior is a little more of a painful recovery but don't believe everything you read about being so horrible. I was scared to death to have the surgery after reading some of the stories. Everyone is different so keep that in mind. The hardest thing for me to do was to get up from a lying down position. Not gonna lie, screamed everytime. My advise is to get a script for a hospital bed that will adjust the head position up. The muscles get really angry during this surgery so take as prescribed and take pain meds on schedule. Once you are given the clearance to walk, walk as much as you can. It speeds healing and keeps the muscles from tightening up. Keep us posted.
    Good luck
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  • susabellssusabell Illinois Posts: 241
    To agree with Susan as I also had a 3 level posterior in c4-c7 in August. It was more painful, but the outcome has been good. I needed the stability for my neck very badly. I was an experiment and did not know it for my first anterior surgery. I went to a new Surgeon and he diagnosed me in 5 minutes. Horrible thing is I just received an e- mail from my first surgeon saying he just looked at a CT and did not see anything wrong!!! Very scary stuff don't mess with the neck it can ruin your future.
    I'm so glad I went and got Second and Third opinions.

    You will be up and walking very soon I went in on a Thursday and out on a Sunday. Surgeon was afraid of spinal infection which is very hard to treat as Susan knows about this also.

    Good Luck & Please keep us posted!!!
    ACDF C4-C7 5/13/2010. Synthetic Bone Graft Failed Fusion.
    PCF C4-C7 8/13/13. Rods and Screws Fused in 3 Months with Autograft.
    C6-C7 Spineous process Surgically Shaved Off 3/11/14.
    Sciatica 3/11/16 Left Leg prescribed Medrol Pack 6 days also Physical Therapy.
  • Thank you for all your input. I of course have quite a few questions. This is a great forum
  • Hi I had a c5-6 posterior fusion 21 yrs ago. Now c3 -c4 are deteriorating. Basically my cervical spine can not hold my head up so my axillary muscles are in a constant state of hypertension. The neurosurgeon claims he must do posterior not anterior do to deterioration. He wants to do C3-C6 Laminectomy and Lateral mass fusion and revise old c5-6 wire fusion. I am concerned about risks and most concerned about limited Range of Motion. I was told I would have some limits but not sever. Can anyone give me personal experience?

    Holley EUbank
    Holley Eubank
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  • https://www.spine-health.com/forum/announcements/spine-health-announcements/welcome-spine-health-how-get-started

    i have included a link to help you get started posting on spine health. i am also including some links to some resources to help you understand your neck issues and give you some ideas about what you may want to talk to your surgeon about before your surgery. it is always a good idea to ask your surgeon about the recovery process, limitations and restrictions, as well as any medical equipment you may need .
    we also have our surgery buddy forums and our spine surgery recovery forums for support while you recover, so be sure to check those out as well.






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