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Cerviacl Fusion w/ Rods and Bone Marrow

I am looking to connect to anyone who may have had multiple cervical levels fused, with rods and /or bone marrow and cage.

I am 3 months post op having fixed failed hardware at C6-7 removed anterior and replaced; bone marrow and cage insertion at C6-7 anterior ; and rods inserted posterior to secure C3-C7 to correct collasping vertebrae above and below C3 and C7 I also had corpectomy at several levels and laminectomy C4-C7. . This was done on 11/12/13. Post operatively, I developed a blood clot and infection and the incision started to turn black/purple and was not healing necessitating a 2nd posterior surgery to clean everything out on 11/21/13. Previous to this surgery, I had 3 other spine fusions. I am healthy except for my spine.

I am still having discomfort, tire easily and cannot do my normal routine activities without pain or discomfort. The simple activities like grocery shopping and picking up a bag, or running the vacuuming in my house are now difficult and painful. I cannot sleep the night without medication otherwise I am up due to discomfort.

My neck muscles are on fire and burn. The discomfort is more pronounced with increased activity. This pain is is new and different from the PRE operative period. Any physical activity intensifies the burning sensation. Additionally, activity causes my incision line to itch terribly. Although the incision appears to be healed now- everyone tells me it is still healing, but I am questioning this 4 months post op!

One physical therapist tells me he is not concerned with the burning while another states he is. I have been in therapy for over 6 weeks. I am not sure what the recovery should be, but I am almost 4 months post op (late Nov. 2013) and struggling to go back to work. I do not feel I can since I will not be able to sit down, rest or take a break whenever I feel the pain or need. The more active I become, the more discomfort, burning, and itching I experience. I have even tried "simulated work days at home"and must lie down or walk away from the work task. My job requires me to either be on a computer all day, and/or phone or be at a client site to provide support implementation support. When I am at a client site I must carry my laptop, hot spot, training materials and projector for teaching. When I do on site support for go lives, I do not have headsets, or equipment to accomodate my limitations of bending my neck.

I am totally frustrated since I previously recovered within 6-8 weeks with my spine surgeries and was able to resume my normal activities including work on a graduated basis and finally totally without restrictions. I even went back to skiing!

This surgery has impacted me much differently, and negatively, b I do realize that I am now 20 years older.

Any thoughts about the burning an itching or words of encouragement are appreciated.

Thank You!



  • Hi,
    I don't have any words of wisdom for you, but it sounds like you and I are going through something similar. I had surgery in November 2013 as well and I'm still dealing with complications from it, when the most devastating is losing my job. Our job description sounds similar as I do paperwork and then I also meet with people outside of the sites where there are no accommodations since it is the clients home.
    I do sometimes get a burning and tingling sensation and I take gabapentin for this. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't, but it might be worth a try.
    What has your doctor said about the complications and the how it may it effects healing? I want you to know that I know how you feel and I hope you're back to skiing and doing everything you want to soon.
    2000- spinal fusion, complete spine due to scoliosis
    2012- pain began, started treatment for chronic pain
    2013- install of pain pump, procedures to address complications
    2014-blood patch, spinal fluid leak
  • Hey threre. I am one week out from a 5 level ACDIF. My story is in this forum under 5 level fusion. I am not sure what the complications I had are going to do to the recovery time frame I was given, hopefully only shifted by a week. My throat is the main issue right now. Feels like I am trying to swallow the Empire State Building every time I try to swallow. I have to lie down for 15 minutes every 2 hours, most of the time it is just a quick nap.Perhaps it is just the fact you are older. I am 48, athletic, I dont smoke (for a week now!!!!!) and eat very healthy. The throat is my main complaint. It really feels like I got slammed with every case of strep at once that I ever had. I do have some other complaints.....the muscles across my shoulders really hurt, that started day6 when they sent me home from the hospital. My nervesare waking up from the 18 year rest they have had...lolol...I feel like the electric company, producing power pulses. I see me PM Dr. today, hopefully he can adjust some things so I can have a little more ease. I get SO tired SO quickly!
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  • Hang in there and keep doctoring. I am 2 1/2 years out from posterior fusion from my skull to C3, I have 2 metal plates and 8 screws along with my bone grafts. I am still struggling with the burning pain everyday and my head feels so heavy when I am up moving around I have to sit or lay down for relief. I have prescription meds for nerve pain and they help some, but not for up and about activities. My neck pain rules my life. I am trying some new procedures to help with nerve pain, I have already done nerve blocks and the next step is "burning the nerves" I am told this is going to relieve even more of my pain. Your pain description sounds a lot like my daily life, just remember to stay positive, everyday think of something good, it will help with the daily blues as you wear out from pain.
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