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C3-T2 fusion preoperative fear

lawjaw 1809llawjaw 1809 Posts: 13
edited 01/29/2015 - 7:56 PM in New Member Introductions
Hi. This is my first post. I have had two seperate surgical spinal fusion anterior C4-C6 and then C6-C7. Now I have to have posterior fusion redoing the prior failed surgery with posterior fusion from C3-T2. I am scared to death. Can anyone tell me how bad the pain was with this many levels? Would like to hear how bad it was in the hospital. Do they try to keep you knocked out on medicine. What was it like when you left the hospital? How long did it take step by step, period to period regarding pain? I've had some other surgeries and illnesses that were bad, but this one has me really scared. Thank you for encouragement.


  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
    Welcome to Spine-Health

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    I had a similar fusion(s) to what you have had and will be having. In 2007 I had a 360 degree fusion of C3 thru C7 with corpectomy and discsectomy. I've had some other fusions not including the spine and in April of 2014 I had a posterior fusion of C2 thru T3. Remember everyone tolerates pain and heals differently but I had very minimal pain post--op and while in the hospital it was controlled with just tylenol and ambien to sleep through the night. I did have stronger meds to take at home and I did need to use them for a little more than a week but after that till this very day I had minimal pain or discomfort.
    It can be a very long procedure, mine was 10.5 hours long but I had other work done while he was in there due to my severe OA.
    I was somewhat nervous before this procedure but I found out I worried for nothing. Hopefully you will have the same or better results I experienced.
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  • Thank you for answering my post. I was also wondering how your range of motion is? How is driving? How long did it take before you could work at a sit down in front of a computer job? I just got contacted by a group of physicians that say they could do laser laminectoblasty and my recuperation would be much quicker. I had sent them my MRI and CT. They also said that the C3-T2 posterior fusion would eliminate any ability to correct it later if there were troubles. What are your thoughts? What kind of difficulties do you have? Did you get any relief from the fusion? Thank you so much for your input.

  • The posterior method is more painful than the anterior. Remember that they cut through all those muscles to perform the surgery.... The hardest part for me was (and still is) strengthening these muscles. Your head is extremely heavy. Bare in mind that I had fractures, so I had a hard collar on for 3 months 24/7 (mine was from C5-T2) and this also made my pain levels significantly higher.....I'm a year in and now experiencing chronic pain as a direct result of the injuries sustained in the car accident I was involved in.

    I was on the morphine drip in hospital for 7 days..... Leaving was a nightmare (getting into my friend's truck). Getting out proved to be a chore as well, but I was grateful to be alive and home. I was down and out for a good solid 3 weeks. After that I began to walk bit by bit.... It was not an easy recovery to say the least, but remember, I was involved in a car accident.

    My range of motion isn't bad from side to side. Up and down is an entirely different story. I do believe that c1-c4 are responsible for the majority of left to right, so your mobility will be affected more than mine in terms of looking side to side....

    Sitting down for too long in front of a computer or standing up looking down say to read a book or something is very hard on the neck now. It absolutely causes pain even a year later! It will take some time to get used to a desk job if that is along the lines of the career path you have chosen.

    I would absolutely pursue the laser surgery if it is indeed what they are making it out to be. Knowledge is power, so arm yourself with research and a few Board certified O.S or N.S opinions...... A 6 level posterior surgery is a painful one indeed and I would avoid it if it is indeed avoidable! On the same note, do not delay if it is required.

    Wishing you the best


    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
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