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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Hi there,

Welcome to the boards, I am fairly new myself.

Are they fusing the bones as well???

I had C/5-C6 and C6/-C7 ruptures back in 2001. Had neck pain off/on for a few years and then went tubing behind a boat in the summer of 2001 and had pain the next day but thought it would go away like it always did but got worse and worse and started losing feeling in my arms. So, they finally did an MRI and showed ruptured discs and did surgery within the next 3 weeks.

They took out both discs, used the bone from my own hip to fuse both levels but DID NOT use any metal plating or screws to hold together. I was in a hard collar for 3 months!!!!!!!

Started having trouble again with pain in 2003 and then kept going to Dr.s but they thought it was my fibromyalgia. Didn't have nerve pain but severe neck pain. It wasn't until June of 2005 when I demanded an MRI that it showed that C/6-C/7 did not fuse at all and the bone was completely gone.... HMMMM, makes me wonder if it's somewhere else or disenegrated. My hubby jokes that one day I will burp and out it will pop. LOL.

Anyway, another neurosurgeon just did a fusion surgery on Dec. 12th with donor bone and added a titanium plate with 4 screws. However, I still have great pain in my middle back, Right shoulder/scapula and fear that it went too long unstable without the fusion and caused more problems in my spine and muscles and now seeing a Spine Specialist on the 24th.

That being said,,,,, sorry to give my story but want you to know the realistic world of spine surgery as you will see many posts on multiple surgeries.

If I could offer ONE major piece of advice is please listen to your body and realise that you could "possibly" need future surgery in the future. I say this because I was not told the possibility of non-fusion, other disc problems, or chronic pain and had a surgeon who told me this would take care of "everything" permanently. So, I would have never gone on so long with more neck pain and insisted for another MRI back in 2003 and also wouldn't have been so devastated that this COULD be a life long problem. The neck is so tricky since there is so much movement and especially with a double/triple fusion it puts so much pressure on the other discs.

I truly hope and pray that this takes care of all your pain and I will certainly be a "cheerleader" for your surgery and recovery but I think that knowledge is power and having realistic expectations is better than being shocked at possible having pain down the road. There is an article on WebMd about surgeons being too optimistic about surgery and pain-relief. It will take care or neurological deficits you have but pain is a difficult animal to take care of.

The key is to be as positive as possible and take your recovery slow, do everything the Dr. says and more to protect your neck and let it heal after surgery... It's so wonderful that you have family support. My hubby is also the most wonderful man and helps and takes over everything for me when I can't and I am blessed with an amazing church and many friends who helped out... Let others do for you and rest, rest, rest.... That is crucial.

Again, sorry that I am giving my "real" testimony but I also believe that God can provide miracles and that when your faith is strong, you can endure anything and have a joyful life despite difficulties in your path.

I will pray for a "uneventful" surgery and smooth recovery for you and that God gives you the peace you need before and afterwards.


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