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Recovery after Peek cage with artificial bone on c5/c6

Hello, i'm looking for patients who had similar surgery like mine and their advice on the recovery process.

1st of all i'm sorry to hear that you had to go through this operation and wish you good recovery.

I'm 30 years old male very active and well fit. I had a cervical spinal surgery on the 9th of March-16 and the doctor used Peek cage with artificial bone graft method on c5/c6.

- Immediately after operation all pain in the neck disappeared and hands numbness also disappeared.
- X-Ray immediately after operation and 4 weeks after operation were described as excellent by my doctor.
- Doctor suggested to wear hard plastic collar for 6 weeks day and night. then soft collar for extra 4 weeks
- Doctor prohibited me from carrying anything or driving until 2 months after operation and promised that i can resume normal life with gym and weightlifting after 4 months after operation
- Now one month after operation i generally feel good with no pain and i'm well adapted to the hard plastic collar (was impossible to sleep for the 1st 2 weeks after operation due to the collar). Nevertheless, my neck and shoulder muscles feel extremely sore because of the hard plastic collar.

Please share your experience if you had the same surgery and try to answer questions below:
- When did you do your operation and how was your overall experience?
- Did you try to ask your doctor to use another more advanced technology than Peek cage with artificial bone graft example Artificial Disc Inser? What was his response?
- Did you suffer from any loss of movement after 6 weeks from operation? 
- Did you have to go through physiotherapy after the operation?
- Did you suffer from any recurrent pain after the operation?
- Did your doctor warn you from any sports or activities after your operation? Or he told you that you can resume normal life after successful fusion 4 months after operation.
- Any advice you would like to give...

Thanks for your honest reply.



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Comments

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello Msater!
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287
    Sounds similar to me--I had surgery the day after you, on 3/10 and I've had a very tough time. I had a PEEK cage with my own bone as the graft and plating. Since then I've had really severe, difficult to deal with muscle spasms. I have to wear a rigid collar 24/7, and it is nearly impossible to sleep in. I have to wear it until I have a follow-up at 7 weeks, and then if I'm fusing okay I get to wean off it for another two weeks. I really wanted an artificial disc replacement, but I lost my insurance battle for it, and there were a few contraindications for it in my case as well (I was still really sad about it). My surgeon was great, but I had an absolutely awful experience in the hospital. I had complications and stayed inpatient for three days, and what happened in the hospital was awful. 

    Some of my pre-op symptoms are still coming and going (like right arm pain), but many have gotten significantly better, which is good. I fell down the stairs two weeks after surgery and severely sprained my ankle, so that has added another complication to this whole thing. 

    I'm still really struggling and having a lot of pain. How are you doing?


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  • Thanks SongJin for your feedback and I'm really sorry for what you had to pass through.

    In my case the the doctor used artificial bone and not autograft... Ive read in many places that autograft might cause lots of pain in recovery.

    My main question is regarding the procedure...

    1- Did your doctor inform you that artificial insert is much better than Peek cage with bone graft??
    2- Did your doctor tell you what are the disadvantages of peek cage with bone graft compared to artificial insert?

    I know that Peek cage with bone graft (regardless of the type of the bone graft) is considered to be fussion... but what i also understood is that it is an advanced technology Fusion allowing  for more flexibility and mobility due to the physical characteristics of the Peek material.
    Moreover, in this case Peek cage with a bone graft will not shift the pressure to the upper and lower level causing them to wear out much faster!!! Did your doctor share with you the same understanding?

    My issue is that my doctor mentioned that he will use an artificial insert before my operation and i was surprised that he used a Peek cage with bone graft instead!!!! Till now i dont know why he did so... Thus i'm in search of the advantages and disadvantages... Appreciate if you can help me on that in case your doctor was clear with you!!!

    Thanks again for your help.
  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287

    Msater said:

    Thanks SongJin for your feedback and I'm really sorry for what you had to pass through.

    In my case the the doctor used artificial bone and not autograft... Ive read in many places that autograft might cause lots of pain in recovery.

    My main question is regarding the procedure...

    1- Did your doctor inform you that artificial insert is much better than Peek cage with bone graft??
    2- Did your doctor tell you what are the disadvantages of peek cage with bone graft compared to artificial insert?

    I know that Peek cage with bone graft (regardless of the type of the bone graft) is considered to be fussion... but what i also understood is that it is an advanced technology Fusion allowing  for more flexibility and mobility due to the physical characteristics of the Peek material.
    Moreover, in this case Peek cage with a bone graft will not shift the pressure to the upper and lower level causing them to wear out much faster!!! Did your doctor share with you the same understanding?

    My issue is that my doctor mentioned that he will use an artificial insert before my operation and i was surprised that he used a Peek cage with bone graft instead!!!! Till now i dont know why he did so... Thus i'm in search of the advantages and disadvantages... Appreciate if you can help me on that in case your doctor was clear with you!!!

    Thanks again for your help.

    We didn't really discuss the PEEK cage, but when I did my own research, it looked like using a PEEK with your own bone as the graft and with instrumentation had some of the highest rates of fusion, so I was pretty confident that it if I had to do an ACDF, that was the way to do it. He didn't tell me about an artificial material vs. cadaver vs. my own bone, but I did my own research and that's what I've found: your own bone + a cage + hardware does in fact seem to have some of the highest rates of fusion success. I work in academia so I just went through journal articles to see what they said. 

    In terms of the PEEK cage reducing the whole problem of adjacent segment disorder, my surgeon did NOT discuss that as a potential benefit. As far as I know...having a PEEK cage has the exact same risks as fusions done with other methods, but I would LIKE if you are correct---I'm very scared of adjacent segment disorder because I'm young. 

    I wanted to do an artificial disc implant surgery, but I lost my insurance case, and I had some spinal instability that one surgeon thought made me a less than ideal candidate, so I ended up with the ACDF instead. *sigh* The artificial disc implant (ADR) surgery DOES have a lower risk of adjacent segment disease, which is why I wanted it so badly, but there are disadvantages to that surgery as well, and not every person is a candidate for it. 
  • Hi SongJin,

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    In fact i'm also considered to be so young for this operation "30 years" and i'm also very afraid because of the adjacent segment disorder!!! i Just don't want all the pressure to be shifted from the operated levels to the upper and lower level!!!

    just like you i did many research about both artificial insert and Peek cage, but i had different conclusion. 

    My understanding is that artificial insert is one of the best techniques at this point and PEEK cage with artificial bone graft but without any plates and screws has comparable results. PEEK cage without plates and screws will lower the chances of adjacent segment disorder since the PEEK cage will absorb part of the forces and will act as a protection and since there are no plates and screws, then not all the pressure will be shifted to the upper and lower level. Did you doctor share with you a similar understanding?


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  • So i finally got my answer from the Dr.

    He says that since i have cervical decompression due to myelopathy on top of the disc herniation, he could not use Artificial Disc Replacement method and had to do an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) with PEEK cage combined with Anterior Cervical Decompression operation!!!

     For me this could mean that maybe when i'm 40 years old (I'm 30 now) i will have to undergo another operation at C4/C5 and C6/C7 due to Adjacent Segment Disorder (ASD)  which normally results from PEEK cage ACDF...

    Now all i can do is cross my fingers and pray for ASD not to occur.


  • Cliffy67CCliffy67 New YorkPosts: 4
    I had 2 level ACDF in Nov. 2008. Went to surgeon 3 years ago and top and bottom discs are degenerative. I am still pretty active, with minor pains that are tolerable. No major meds, Aleve when needed. Most of my problems are during sleep. Shoulders lock up and numb hands. 
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello Cliffy67!
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287

    Cliffy67 said:

    I had 2 level ACDF in Nov. 2008. Went to surgeon 3 years ago and top and bottom discs are degenerative. I am still pretty active, with minor pains that are tolerable. No major meds, Aleve when needed. Most of my problems are during sleep. Shoulders lock up and numb hands. 

    This is definitely one of my fears---my top and bottom discs around the fusion are already herniated, so now I'm concerned that they'll need surgery extra soon with that disc fused.
  • SongJinSSongJin Arizona Posts: 287

    Msater said:

    So i finally got my answer from the Dr.

    He says that since i have cervical decompression due to myelopathy on top of the disc herniation, he could not use Artificial Disc Replacement method and had to do an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) with PEEK cage combined with Anterior Cervical Decompression operation!!!

     For me this could mean that maybe when i'm 40 years old (I'm 30 now) i will have to undergo another operation at C4/C5 and C6/C7 due to Adjacent Segment Disorder (ASD)  which normally results from PEEK cage ACDF...

    Now all i can do is cross my fingers and pray for ASD not to occur.



    I'm 32, so I have the same fears about ASD, but like you were saying, and a few others have mentioned recently, there does seem to some benefit to having the PEEK cage, even if it maybe doesn't prevent ASD as much as an artificial disc implant does. I wanted the implant, but for a variety of reasons, I ended up with the ACDF, and I also just have to cross my fingers and hope ASD doesn't occur. The levels above and below my fusion are already herniated, though, so I'm not really optimistic. C5/6 is fused on me, and I have other smaller herniations at C3/4, C4/5, and C6/7 already. I just hope I can make it another ten years at least before another level becomes surgical, because this is not an experience I want to repeat any time soon! 
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