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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

You can expect an incision going from the base of your skull(yes, they will shave the back of your head part way up)to just about shoulder level...about 6+inches.

I assume you are having roads and screws to hold the fusion and the nice thing about that is that they don't interfere with speaking or swallowing as the front fusions do. Also, the rods allow for some flexibility so the fusion is actually stronger than if done from the front.

It will hurt for a while as they cut muscles but once healed, there seem to be fewer problems with it then with the anterior fusions. This board is filled with people with anterior complications.

But all in all, it is the way to go for a long fusion. Get lots of rest....sleep is the best thing to help with recovery. Don't push yourself.....muscles heal at their own rate and you can't make them heal faster. Expect nerve pain as things heal. Nerves like to announce their healing with a good shot of pain as if they are screaming...I'm Baaaccckkkk. So don't worry about how long you have to take pain meds.

It will take 1-2 YEARS to get the final result of your surgery. It can take that long for numb nerves to come on-line. Make sure you get some PT for the balance issues....they do have special exercises just to improve balance.

Since my surgery I have fallen on my face...literally. Tripped over a hose in a garden on the side of a hill and staggered down the hill only to finally fall and hit the ground so hard my face bounced off the ground....and my neck was perfectly fine. Face not so much. Those are strong rods! Actually, I fell backwards 3 weeks after surgery and hit my head on the fridge and that was fine too. It is very rugged so you can go out and enjoy life.(and do get some PT for balance...I needed to do it twice...obviously).

good luck and speedy recovery..............Jenny

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