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MAZACK's Photo MAZACK SparkPoints: (85,288)
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10/4/17 8:50 P

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14 years ago I had a fusion of c-5-6-7. Cadaver bone was used to replace the disc. I did not lose much range of motion. I have problem bending my neck to look overhead. I know if I had another surgery I would lose range of motion. Occasionally I have numbness and tingling in my hands. I know I would not have another surgery. The neurosurgeon I have now seemed a bit surprised I am doing as well as I am. My surgery was from the front. A friend of mine talks in only a whisper from having the same surgery.

My lower spine is my problem now and my neurosurgeon does not recommend fusion because I have problems at all five levels with the worse in the center. The disc and joints above and below are bad. The neuro doctors says only a few doctors will do the surgery and in most cases it is not successful and patients are in as much pain as before and even worse. I do have stenosis at two levels that I might could have small incision surgery to open the spaces and take pressure off nerve . For now I am having epidural steroid injections.

Mary Ann -
West Central Arkansas.

Live each day to the fullest, believe in yourself.

Each day is the first day of the rest of your life

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JEANNERR's Photo JEANNERR Posts: 407
1/31/15 11:58 A

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I had my surgery 11 years ago and was told that the areas above and below can weaken, needing additional surgery. Mine was done through the front and a nerve to my vocal cord was pinched. I was unable to speak for 5 months as the vocal cord was paralyzed. For the first 3 months, doctors could not tell if I would ever speak again. I was terrified and yet that voice inside me said I would be OK.

I am not trying to scare you away from the surgery, just pointing out that every case is different. You should definitely do your homework and get as many professional opinions as possible before making a decision. And then listen to that voice inside.

Good luck!


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JADE521 Posts: 9
1/25/15 1:03 P

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Jan-I agree with everyone else about getting a second and third opinion. I've had two cervical fusions; one from the front of my neck and the second one going through the back. My second cervical fusion was in 2012; that terrible myelogram, shaving my head and took a piece of my hip for the fusion. You spoke about they have "a new and much easier way for that part of the surgery". What are you referring to?

Edited by: JADE521 at: 1/25/2015 (13:04)
MIH4LIFE's Photo MIH4LIFE Posts: 1,290
5/8/14 10:45 A

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I agree...get a 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinion if possible. Try all other alternatives first. My Mom is seeing a lady who does bowenwork. I am thinking of trying it, but to me it seems like it's just myofascial release massage hiding under a natural alternative name.

I have had 3 fusions. The first one I had to get because I was in constant, severe pain. I felt great until the disc below fusion gave out. They tell you the chance is slim, but if you have DDD, it is likely to happen.

I hope you can find some help and relief. I feel for you. emoticon (And I am hugging gently, as I know even that can cause you pain!)


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5/5/14 5:19 P

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Daisy is right, get a second opinion, not recommended by your surgeon. Find another well experienced surgeon, possibly your internist can help. If you just get the second opinion from a doctor your doctor knows, he will back up your doctor.

My personal opinion is there is any major difference in opinion, go for a third. Med schools are often a good place to get a second opinion, or third.

Don't delay with the risk of paralysis but don't go by one doctor. You could also cross specialities. If you see an ortho try a neurosurgeon or vice versus. And Daisy is right again, ultimately only you can decide. Also ask if there are any interventions, such as discs that could be inserted that would keep you with mobility that you still have. But, my guess is you may really need surgery. Good luck.

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!

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DAISY443's Photo DAISY443 SparkPoints: (2)
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5/4/14 12:02 P

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Ultimately, this is a question you will have to answer for yourself. I know that before my cervical fusion, I tried all the physical therapies suggested and ultimately was told I would need surgery. I decided to get a second opinion and that doctor felt surgery would not improve my neck pain and I asked him if he had any better therapies. When he said that I was already doing every thing I could, I returned to the first surgeon and scheduled the surgery and have never regretted that decision. Although I have a 25% loss of mobility that just pretty much means, I can't get the last drink out of a coke can, see an airplane directly overhead or turn to see out the rear window of my pickup, so I use the rearview mirrors more.

I did have the more modern surgery with cadaver bone, entry through the front of the neck, etc. and had a quick recovery.

I hope you will get a second opinion and think about what will work for you. Fortunately, you do have the option of taking some time to make the decision!

Good luck and let us know how you are doing!

Team leader "All screwed up!!(For those with Spinal fusions)

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MOMMOMJAN6 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/4/14 11:33 A

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Hi, I have never discussed my neck pain, because I am always talking about my back pain and the rod implant. I had my very first surgery in 1970. After losing all feeling in my right side of my body, from face to leg and foot, I knew I had something serious. From being healthy and never having an x-ray, I was rushed to the best doctor's and top hospital for Orthopaedic Surgery
and was operated on for Cervical Fusion. Back then they shaved your hair off and gave you so many drugs and the worst of it was the "tests" before the surgery. I call the "Myelogram" Hitler's test. The pain is not human and they have to do something more modern for people to endure. They took a piece of my hip and made it fit into my neck to replace the ruined disc. Today, thank G-d they have changed that and have a new and much easier way for that part of the surgery. I DON'T HAVE ALOT OF NECK MOBILITY NOW AND IF I GET SURGERY AGAIN, I WON'T BE ABLE TO MOVE MY NECK AT ALL. WHAT DO I DO?????????????? Q: LIVE WITH THE PAIN AND POSSIBILITY OF PARALYSIS OR JUST ENDURE AND SEE WHAT DEVELOPES......................JAN

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