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290592 tn?1205771676

problems after a neck fusion

is anyone out there that has had a fusion and isn't better? im going through hell trying to defend myself to attorney's and dr's.they tell me its all in my head and im faking it! I was struck by a fork lift while grocery shoppin and fractured 2 bones in my back and have numerous disk problems.I had fusion c-4 c-5 and now im worse!! please if anyone couls tell me their stories and prepare me for whats to come please,please contact me.***@**** my name is sheryl.I know im not crazy.I take muscle relaxers and pain pills now for 2 years and my pain is worse since the horrible surgery,i feel a hard extremely painful lump right above the site i had operated on and twitching,numbeness,headaches,swallowing issues and i can go on and on.I will listen to all that is offered.thank you.
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Avatar universal
2007???
Are you still out there?
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Avatar universal
I had same surgery, constant pain, nothing helps, doctors say have to live with it.
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20845332 tn?1533019928
I had spinal fusion c2-c6 in 2014. I am searching like crazy for someone to acknowledge the level of pain I have now on my left side of neck. My PCP says 'I think it might be arthritis'...wtheck? I've been lying flat on my back all day in pain. I almost got to the point of wanting to go to the ER. I took gabapentin & put antiflamatory cream on my neck. I went from an 8 to a 4 level of pain. I'm caring my neurosurgeon tomorrow to schedule an appointment to see what is going on. This pain is intense and takes me down! I can't do anything, I'm stuck in bed. I'm so frustrated and scared. I wish I could offer helpful advice but it looks like I'm in the same boat as everyone else.
All my best, Lucie Arteaga
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Avatar universal
back in 2015 i had my c4 to c7 fused, i have had nothing but problems ever since. been back to the surgeon to find out the problem, there response was nothing wrong with the surgery. I say bull ****, i've been having alot of chilling sensation going up my cervical spine to the crown of my head in which is causing alot of massive headaches and the sensation goes down my arms sometimes. I get dizzy and really light headed and this has been going on every since my surgery. My regular doctor and the emergency room doctor thought it might be anxiety at first but now he's sending me to a neurologist this month beings my issues are still happening after i take the meds. my last appointment with my surgeon i ask why they didn't fuse my c3 down to my t1 there response was we do c7 to the t1 in a second surgery in which was never scheduled. well thank God for that one because i told them i will never do another surgery because i do not think my mind or my body could take it. I still work and thankful for a boss who works with my issue in which i still have today. I pray for all of you out there with your all issue.
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Avatar universal
glad to see that you are able to control your pain without pain meds.I had a cervical fusion back in 1998 c6-to c-8 with titanium plate and 6 screws because of herniation,bone spurs and some stenosis,and degenerative disc disease,which everyone gets more or less .I still to this day have taken pain meds to manage chronic pain.i was a tree climber, in northern ca doing very hard physical labor,working for a govt. agency and after surgery,i transferred to operating equipment,plowing snow in the mountains etc.I am now retired.At this time i do take methadone for pain which helps without any pycho active side effects.I have to agree with you on  the use of some pain meds,like hydrocodone(vicodin).i use to use it and i felt it actually would help at first,but when the pain would return in a couple hours,it would come back even worse then before.These type of drugs are not meant for chronic pain,they do not have a long half life and are meant for acute pain,or pain that is temp.Where i live marijuana is legal to use medicinally,and my doctor gave me the ok to try,and i was amazed at how i was able to cut my use of methadone from 120 mg.,down to 30 mg.,but i did not like pycho active part,so i quit using it.There is some pot that is very low in thc,which is what creates the high and very high in cannabinoids which are the chemicals in pot that helps medicinally without any intoxicating effect.Maybe some day i will try again. When i quit using the M.J. my methadone use went back up.I am all for trying to use natural methods and diet to manage the pain,but some people need to control their pain with nsaids,or opiates.I am happy for you that you have been able to manage your pain and lifestyle in a natural way.
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Avatar universal
I know the original post is 2007 , but I have to agree it is not in your head, I was DX about 17 years ago with degenerative disk disease, according to a few MD's this is a natural part of aging process, I say horse manure.  I was only 33 then. Anyway long story short, the only thing that I have found to help is, regular visits to my chiropractor, acupressure massage therapy, herbal teas and an anti inflammatory foods , as well as avoiding all foods with gluten.  I stopped doing pain meds 15 years ago. pain meds do not help, in fact they make the pain worse. Ever since I began the holistic approach, I feel so much better, and have been enjoying life once again.
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1 Comments
It's depressing, but also inspiring to read all these comments. 4 years ago I had 3 cervical discs replaced with cadaver and fusion. 2 months after the cervical , I had 5 lumbar discs replaced with cadaver discs, plus fusion, and a 10" Titanium rod inserted for stabilizing. I was miserable then, but now I am getting worse than ever. My neck doesn't want to turn. It feels like worn out ball bearings grinding and popping. There is a lot of pressure above the cervical fusion and the pain feels like little explosions going off in my head when I try to rotate it. I get the numbness primarily on the left side. My feet, my hands, my left arm, and behind left shoulder. I get spasms daily in my left leg so intense I literally scream. It gets so intense I have to lay down on a heating pad all night and sometimes during the day. I have thought I was having heart attacks, but its probably all spinal. The lumbar region was better for a while, but now I feel like I am losing the battle. I bend over and can't straighten back up. Pain levels are off the charts, but I try to get by on an aspirin and Aleve each day. The heavier prescription meds don't do much for me. Doctors don't want to touch me anymore. I suspect they are without solution and have a concern for practice liability. It seems kinda hopeless at this point. Just taking it a day at a time. I used to think I was pretty tough and resilient. Now I feel fragile!
Avatar universal
my husband had a neck fusion from c-4 to t-1.  not too much pain in that area, but his muscles around the fusion site is painful and has lost most of the use of his left hand.  (he says he can at least use the clutch on the bike).  his range of motion is crappy but he's hanging in there.  he's an electrician by trade and those days are most likely over due to ROM.  this wasn't stated to us prior to the surgery, but we expected it.  we are going to be talking to our attorney about disability, etc. to see what we can do about taking care of the house, etc.  I guess this wasn't as great as we thought it would be.  Hang in there all, we are!!!!  God's peace to all
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Avatar universal
The neck pain I had before the surgery is all gone, I woke up in no pain , but couldn't lift my arm.  Gone through 22 sessions of therapy and home therapy. Shattered that same shoulder in 2005.  
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Avatar universal
Wow, sounds rough, sorry to hear you are in so much pain, I have had my entire neck fused with titanium plates, cadaver bone and 14 screws, 2 months after the first surgery, (all in back) they had to go in and reinforce the front with another plate because the back wasn't holding my head up, talk about some pain...it's been 2 years since my first surgery but am still in constant pain, am taking pain killers, but they don't kill all of the pain, every day is a constant struggle, but I'm dealing with it best as I can, I have 2 beautiful grandkids and 1 on the way, (April) I just wish I could carry them and play with them, but hurts too much later. I sure miss being able to turn my head, I look so stiff when I walk. At least I CAN walk, but not for very long periods, all of this due to a horrible chiropractor manipulating my neck,broke it my very last visit there,, I almost missed that appointment, sure wish I did...miss my life before this hell. I hope things get better for you, I hope the same for myself and am waiting to feel better, not sure if thats will happen anytime soon.
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7721494 tn?1431627964
7 weeks is not long enough for bones to fuse, and you risk failed back if you do not allow time for fusion. Your surgeon knows this. Seek his/her support for medical opinion against WC.
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11334801 tn?1417331407
And on top of this I  recently went through steriods injections in my feet for Plantarsfashitis now from sitting around when I do get up my foot hurts so bad again its like a cycle from one end to the other,I guess it will be neck brace and foot brace , hope you feel better I will post on the 4th what I get out of my dr visit,
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11334801 tn?1417331407
Hello.I'm a&p mechanic on Blackhawk aircraft for 6yrs and had c5-7 acdf with cadavers bone titanium plates and all , its been 7 weeks now I have had pain but not unbearable pain,all this from digenerative disk and production line work also for24 years. I feel better but have random hard pops in neck , back and rt jaw followed by hours of dizzyness and numbness,(I alsi wear a bone stimulator 23 hrs a day with aspen brace) I have been given no type of stretches or exercise regimine except calf raises for leg circulation,I am so afraid theyre gonna release me bsck to work to early because of workmsns comp.each dr visit is a new cutoff date til he sends in new results,im slready gaining weight(fat) cause I know im loosing muscle tone,getting depressed and now every 2weeks I panic  over money being cutoff and going to work to fast,and I know im in a mans field of work and im good at my job and also hate to ask for help,im afraid those combined are gonna put me in awheelchair.so what do you do. Theres no LIGHT DUTY on an airfield, just wanted to rant hope it wasnt way to much Oh yeah and1968 would be the year for me,im 46,
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Avatar universal
I can relate to you very much. I too had a fusion done in April of 2014 and am worse off now than before. Had disk disease and it would ache in winter but injured my arm at work Ortho said had to fix nerves in neck before could fix arm. The doctor explained nothing, sent me home with no caregiver ( I live alone and know no one) Now I get headaches that make it where I am always wearing my sunglasses. Never had any low back aches but now cannot even stand to wash dishes without having to sit down due to the pain. I too feel as if I went through this for nothing due to the fact my numbness in my fingers is back and  I hurt constantly and if I had it to do over again I NEVER would of let him touch me.
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7721494 tn?1431627964
This study followed fused patients for 11 years post fusion, and compared to a similar group that was treated with medication only.

The result -- no difference in outcome.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24200413

Avoid surgery unless absolutely necessary to protect the cord and long ligaments.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I had a two level cervical fusion done in 2008 -6 and a half years ago. I am a 20 year veteran nurse and no longer practice. I am determined to enjoy my life.
I have daily pain but I only take naproxyn when I need it -as soon as I need it, and I hit the pain hard and fast. I dont take it regularly-maybe for three or four days religiously then I taper off (about three or four times a year-sometimes more if I'm particularly active. I have not taken pain meds since 2008. Its not that I dont have pain-but I tolerate it better now than I did back then, and I know to rest when I need it. Usually I lay down once a day for about 15 minutes to get me through until night. At night I hurt awfully but If my dear husband will rub my skin anywhere for 5 minutes, I will focus on that sensation instead of the pain-and I will fall asleep. It is a skill I have perfected. Sometimes I use music to distract myself so I can sleep.
Most of my limbs are numb and I have difficulty grasping things and sometimes drop pots, but essentially, I am functional. I have three adopted kids and 2 foster toddlers. I am 49 years old. I ruptured L1 in my early thirtys, and L4-5-S1 -along with the cervical, when a 300 lb. patient fell and I tried to lower him with my body to the ground. Stupid-but I guess I would still do it again because he would have hit hard. Thats what we nurses do.
I still drive, turning my whole body to see, but not daily if I can help it. By the end of the day, I am pretty hunched over but the bed feels so good...
All this to say that it gets better. My family is supportive, and my husband hates that I will push myself sometimes, but he knows that my stubborness is why I am still functioning because he can see the pain and the problems that are occuring because of the disability. Things such as, my memory has been drastically affected by the constant pain. Memory problems that cause me to book and pay for two hotels for the same night and overspend-something I would never do before. I will be talking and the pain will shoot across my body in a wave and I will forget what I am saying. this is getting better now though. I think my nervous system has been in so much pain that it doesnt work as well as it used to and consequently, I dont get all the sensation of pain that I used to get.
The last time I went to the doctor, he diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis with thrombocytosis. I'm staying away from doctors.now. I dont complain if I can help it. I believe that God has a purpose for my life and I refuse to lay down and give up. I know, by my pain, that there is more of the same in the future, but I'm not wasting my time sitting in a doctors office anymore. I realize there really isnt much that anyone can do, so I make the best of the situation and plunge forward. I pray that many of you get strength to do the same by reading this post.
Life is good....
BTW, my daughter gave birth to twins last week and I was there to cut the cords: a boy and a girl!
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Avatar universal
Has anyone had their hardware removed with no issues? I had a spinal fusion in 1995 on C4-6 with a plate and again in 2010 on C3-T1. I have 2 rods a plate and 14 screws. I have very little pain but some of the screws are loose and causing problems in my facet joints at C6-T1 and C2-3 has narrowing in the foramen. Also my hands and arms are going numb and I get this weird sensation when I turn my head.The Dr. Said he can take the two rods out because they are causing problems but he's going to leave the plate since it's not a problem.
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Avatar universal
Hey Fred,

When you settled your comp did you give up medical?  I am curious who is paying for your current treatment.  I was fused a year ago 2 level - arm pain decreased immediately but I am still dealing with chronic bone pain near the fusion area as well as spasms - I also developed throat issues that cause a gag reflex if I bend forward for more than a few seconds or lightly press on throat area.  I also get violent sharp pains that come and go and in new spots along the ulnar distributuin
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Avatar universal
just above c67 you had done is it burn and shock filling if yes your c56 is bad and you do not wont to touch dis you will never get batter try laser spine if any thing
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Avatar universal
why if this doctor masted up you neck he the last one get a new xray or mri get to a new doctor but two surgery might make things just as bad
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Avatar universal
My neck is completely fused. I was on a drug 8 times stronger than morphine for 2 1/2 years.  I was also put on Vitamin K injectable once a week for nerve damage for about 1 1/2 years and that helped.  Then I wanted off the medicine which took a while, because it was a very strong narcotic . It has been 11 years now and I am so much better praise the Lord. My opinion to you is to continue looking for a doctor that understands  the pain that you are in because you are not faking it. I had a doctor in Bismark , ND tell me the same thing.  I know that people all over the USA have this problem, unfortunately the Neo-Surgeon has past away. I had to travel 500 miles most of the time by myself to see him. I was there at least once a month to have radiofrequency done. I had it done 7 times.  Ask your Doctor about this procedure. Only a Neo-Surgeon can do this if he know how. I had this done before we decided to remove the discs from my neck. I had 3 surgeries in 10 month. Karen R
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Avatar universal
Madlyn ,
  I am a structural ironworker from Chicago. I have lived with the constant pain of herniated disks, degenerative disc disease and arthritis of my spine for 30 yrs..I was raised on a farm and have been destroying my body doing hard manual labor since I was at least 12 yrs. old. I still work as an ironworker ( very physical and dangerous) and had c5-c6 fused in june 2003. My disc was completely exploded from a work accident. I had a cadaver bone wedge placed in my neck and DID NOT let them screw a titanium plate to my spine. I was told its only purpose was to give stability for one year  until 100% fusion was achieved. I told the doctor that I didn't want to weaken my spine by drilling into it just in case I fell. Before surgery my right arm was numb from elbow to fingers and my bicep felt like it had an icepick stuck in it. I don't smoke so I fused quickly and the arm rehabbed nicely. I was off work 6 months and went back to my dangerous and physically demanding trade .All I was worried about was going broke and losing everything since workmans comp. was always threatening to shut me off. My lawyer settled for 50,000 dollars of which he got 10,000 and said that was the best amount .My doctor ,my lawyer ,my union ,and workmans comp. all let me return to my trade with no warning of future problems. I wish I had seen a site like this before returning to my line of work.  I constantly get terrible neck aches and almost always have a knot in my left shoulder blade and upper back. Now my left arm started going numb last week and I finally got it relaxed. The past 2 days I fasted for a bowel cleanse to get a lower and upper GI done and my neck went beserk!! Had to bail on the test because my neck pain was so intense I almost went to the E.R. at 3 a.m .I had to eat some food to take 800 miligrams of ibuprofen to knock the pain down.I kept telling myself I wasn't being tough enough. I have found that the craziest things can set my neck off !!! I found this sight looking for answers when my pain subsided. Show this to your husband and maybe he will start to understand. No pain I have ever had is as relentless and unpredictable as what I go through with my neck!!! My upper body is covered with welding burns ,my lower back is a mess, I have broken fingers ,collar bones, arthritis in my hands, wrists ,neck and back and  damaged almost every joint in my body yet my neck pain is the most unforgiving when it strikes !!! He needs to understand just how terrible this can be !!! I am fortunate because my pain comes and goes!!! I know that so many don't get relief at all and how devastating that must be !!! May God bless you all in your search for relief and healing !!!!   P.S. I am blessed to have a wife that supports  and understands. Hopefully your husband will start to understand more about your condition.
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Avatar universal
Im in the same boat as yall, i had 3cervical discs in neck done, i am in worse pain now,  also im not taking any pain killers , just motrin and tylenol, because the doctors wont write them anymore ,because  there cracking down on narcotic use, . My quality of life *****, i cant function, and now my marriage is suffering too. I am not a sew happy person, but im contacting lawyers right now, ive literally had enough,   ,this is not fair and i didnt ask for this, i think its inhuman for any person to be in this much pain, thank you and im glad to see others standing up to this horrible thing,,,,,,keri
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Avatar universal
injury at no fault of my own just plain hard work all my life we all are victims because they know this neck fusion don't work  . they keep doing it and lie to people that it works and it don't .you try to do the best you can cant work feel like you are useless and don't even try medical malpractice because all the lawyers work for the doctors they will keep it drowned in paper till you cant afford to go on then they have your house to so i guess all we can do is pop the pills and move on and pray that we wake up and that it will get better .i pray GOD BLESS EVERYONE THAT IS GOING THRU THIS I LIVE IT TO.
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Avatar universal
I to had c5 c6 fusion i have been in more pain and all they are doing is giving me pills that they cant tell me what for . i told them to take those pills and put it where the sun don't shine if you cant tell me y im taking them then im not taking them there no better then drug pushers . they just want to mask the symptoms and not do anything and act like im crazy im not they are .i to have bulge disk  above and below my c5 c6 surgery and pulling pain down the middle of my head with sinking in the middle of my head swelling of my brain on right side of my head down the back of my neck going down my right arm thru right shoulder blade down to tail bone and then runs down to right foot . no end is sight i see the dr that did the surgery today with new mri . im at the end of my rope and now im getting sores on my body like infection in side my body . can no one hear our cries are they going to let this happen to others this must stop . just got back from the doctor unreal i took in the old and new ex-rays to compare i thought . and he just looked at new ex-rays i haven't seen him in a wile you tell me he remembers the old ex-rays by heart ? every thing looks fine with my neck but there is something happening not sure what he said but neck looks fine un real .i hear blood pumping in my right ear my head swells right side. down to my neck and now im going to see a ear nose and troat dr for the 5 time to check for the same things they been looking for ? don't know . this is crazy and u would think with all our testimonials some law office would try to help us get the help we need i have no life im happy just to wake up in the morning . who cares about us no one they are making all the money with lies of making us better .and then history and no one has the balls to stand up for the people the victim you see they mess us up and we pay them thru medical they make money and pill company s make money  thats y they push drugs at the office they got something going all you see on tv is pills . dont know what to do we only have one doctor where i live that does neurology so im u know what cant fight my case or i have no other dr to go to . so life goes on the pain gets worse and everyone makes money as we are lied to and suffer . and pay for it  
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