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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

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That is a great place for a 3rd opinion! I am wondering if you might consider discussing this next item with the surgeon on adding that T1.

I feel my thoracic problems came on after my cervical fusions. I knew I was destined for the lumbar to go bad soon, but previously my thoracic wasn't showing the signs of DDD. I had immediately felt the static position of my spine after the cervical surgeries, even though it didn't impair my ability to turn head etc, I did feel the new alignment. I feel the static position in the cervical put more pressure on my thoracic and helped speed up the problems I am having there. I would recommend you really push on why this level (T1) needs to be included and discuss the pros/cons of excluding it from the surgery! You will have a lot of levels, maybe by keeping T1 free it will help the pressure off the thoracic???

I saw your post to tl1446 and I wanted to add that I never had neck pain other than from too much computer here and there. I woke up one day in extreme arm/shoulder blade chest pain and that is when I found out about my problems. Originally they screened me for heart a week before they figured it out. I too ignored some warning signs I had for the year prior - because I never thought I had anything wrong with me! From symptom onset for first surgery and second surgery I waited about 6 months. I actually wish I had done it immediately because I have perm nerve damage from letting the impingements continue to rub while I waited - now they send pain signals 24/7 because the cells are all mixed up - I have some arm muscle function loss but nothing that impairs my ability. There are so many muscles/nerves the others pick up the slack.

You will blow this up way more than it will be, I don't want to minimize it, but we all make these things way bigger than they end up being. With yours though I think you should be prepared for a longer recovery time, maybe a little more pain early on. If lucky it will go fast, but at least you will be prepared if you take more weeks than normal! Plus all the friends you make will be here cheering you on and ready to share hints.

Generally I have not met too many people who are made worse by their surgeries. Usually it is at least the same or better than it was. Sometimes symptoms don't all go away, the key is to stop the immediate damage that is being done!

Good luck and I will be praying and wishing for a speedy recovery for you.
I had a four level last fall (C3-7). It was overwhelming at first, especially when my surgeon advised that a four level ACDF is uncommon. He actually had performed 20 in two-years which seemed a lot to me and boosted my confidence in moving ahead. I understood the gravity of the issue and pressed forward. I didn't wish to have anything to do with paralysis.

I had surgery on a Wednesday and was home in less than 24 hours. The first 2-3 weeks were difficult, mainly sleeping and getting comfortable. There wasn't a great deal of surgery-site pain nor really that much general pain. I felt instant resolve with many of this issues I had been experiencing.

***There is a list on the Spinal Cord Disorders Healthboard that is extemely helpful. Don't under estimate the power of the bendy straw! :)***

I choose to have surgery quickly, as my symptoms were steadily progressing. This past Thursday was my four month check up and overall the surgery achieved objective. The only area of concern my NS has is my great range of motion considering I have so many levels fused. He's taking a closer look to ensure fusion.

Once I came out of the rigid cervical collar after eight weeks, my shoulders hurt quit a a lot, mainly because the collar had been supporting my neck, It generally takes the same amount of time for this to resolve as you wore the collar. I participated in PT to assist in regaining that strength, as well as in my arms and lower back.

Today, I feel great. Tons and tons better than I felt pre-surgery. I still have a bit of "wonky" nerve feelings, but understand it may take up to two years to resolve. Other than that, I'm doing very well and I'm pleased.

Tap in to the Healthboard post-surgery. I found valuable support and information. It helped me to not feel alone and empowered my with information and support.

Godspeed and please keep us posted.


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