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C1-C2 surgery

JaneyJJaney Posts: 2
edited 11/03/2014 - 6:08 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I had C1-C2 fusion and fixation surgery 2 weeks ago and just curious about recovery time.

I was diagnosed with spinal instability about 12 months ago, complete with occipital headaches, pins and needles and weakness in right hand so wasn't given much choice about having surgery. My Consultant advised that my spinal cord was 'being pinched' everytime I moved my neck and this resulted in the pain I experienced.

I had posterior C1-C2 fixation and fusion surgery with false bone grafts and continue to have occiptial headaches, an 'ear ache' type pain in right ear, motion sickness and numbness from ear to ear and about half way down my back. This is getting better as post surgery I had no feeling in my face. I'm still very tired at times, it's like someone flicks my off switch and I just need to go to sleep

I was initially prescribed Pregabalin but had to stop this due to side effects so now prescribed Gabapentin. As I have asthma I can't take NSAIDs (brufen, Voltarol etc) and I have bad reactions to Morphine and Codeine based analgesics so only taking Paracetamol as an analgesic.

I'm curious as to how long others took to recover from this surgery. My Consultant told me that I can't drive for 6-8 weeks and that I wouldn't be able to return to work for a further 6-8 weeks which just seems a rather long time to me.


  • Welcome.........http://www.spine-health.com/forum/announcements/spine-health-announcements/welcome-spine-health-how-get-started

    The issue with recovery times and restrictions are based on each individuals medical situation, while some guidelines are rather general, the specifics are based on your particular surgery and the need for your body to recover. It is best that you follow what restrictions you are given by YOUR surgeon to give you the best chances at a successful outcome.
  • Hi Janey. I had posterior c2-c8 fusion on the 20th. I think I'm just slightly ahead of you. I'm also not allowed to drive for six weeks or return to work. The headache that I had for the past four months is different now. I hope that is do once and for all go away. That numbness is also different. The biggest advise I can give you is to be patient. I thought I was dying the first two weeks from the pain. Each week has gotten a little better but it still hurts a bunch. Listen to your doctor. You don't want to take a chance and mess something up.
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  • Just jumping in on the post - I'm really interested to see how you go long term! I have been advised by my specialist to have the same surgery as you. How are you feeling now? How much movement will you have in your neck? Will you be able to drive? I am assuming so, as you've been told you can't for the the first bit of recovery.... but I'm very interested to know how much neck movement I would be loosing in having the operation,
  • I am 5 days post op from C1-C2. The best thing about it, my symptoms seem to be gone. Symptoms being Major headaches, vertigo, just plain feeling like I had been hit by a truck. The post-op pain was bad, but not as bad as I worked myself into thinking. I stayed on top of my meds in the hospital. Don't be a hero, take as many meds as they can safely give you. My worst night so far was the night I came home. So day 3. With family stress, and the pain, it was all around a difficult night. I wish I had a hospital bed or a nice recliner. Today is day 5, and I have been up all day, with just 1 nap.
  • Still not right awful neck & shoulder spasms & pain, I was told by another spinal dr as mine who did the surgery is no longer practicing, that eventually I will not be able to move my neck at all due to it trying to fuse it's self further down. I have asked other drs about this, and no answers. I ended up at a pain clinic years ago, but I fear Ohio is gonna do their best to shut them all down, then I do not know what I will do. I am no 57, had it done at 50, dr said he had to fuse it crooked as that's how it laid, and he chose not to paralyze me taking any chances, said he saw other things wrong, but he did not fix them, only did what he went in to do......................
    sue in Ohio
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  • So I have felt ok. Last week got SEVERE FATIGUE.. The M.D. said it was because I had been out of my collar, and probably over doing it in general. I started wearing my collar at home, and I do feel better. I still need 2 smallish naps each day. Pain is not bad at all at this point. Just still a little nervous about to much movement.
  • Ginateach7GGinateach7 Posts: 1
    edited 02/02/2015 - 6:38 PM
    I just had surgery on Jan. 19 . 2015. Feel great, the hard collar is putting me over the edge.
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