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Valued Contributor
Posts: 999
Registered: ‎07-10-2011

Re: Scared. C-Spine Surgery (Fusion and Laminectomy)

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Oh my goodness, that´s the brace I used with my first cervical spine fusion (C3-C4). I forgot what it looked like. Guess I blocked it out. Thought it covered my head but that´s it. I heard that my Neurosurgeon in Plantation Florida had something to do with the invention of this. Don´t know if that´s true. I love this man, one of the best Neurosurgeons around.

 

It really did it´s job. No movement whatsoever. Just looked straight ahead. After taking a shower, I sat on the bed and took off the wet brace to put on the dry one. What a relief just sitting there for a few minutes without it, until my husband said ¨time is up, lets put on the dry one¨

 

Six weeks with that thing around my neck, but it was worth it.

 

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Posts: 687
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Scared. C-Spine Surgery (Fusion and Laminectomy)

I herniated C6C7. How, I'm not exactly sure. I went to Ulta, came home and complained of a sore arm. My husband and I later went to Walgreens and while there, I was unable to hold onto 3 coupons. I knew that I was surgical.

I chose a neurosurgeon to do my surgery vs an ortho because I think neurosurgeons are better trained. I was fortunate that one of the guys who did a rotation on my nursing unit had a practice near me. (I used to be an RN.)

 

I had C6C7 fusion and plating done the day before Thanksgiving in 2008. Prior to the surgery, I was ready to cut my arm off due to the pain. My arm hurt much more than my neck did. After surgery, as in when I hit the recovery room, my arm pain was gone. 

 

My doc went in from the front of the neck because it is actually easier for the surgeon vs going from the back of the neck where it has more nerves to deal with. The down side to the frontal approach is that the doc has to move the airway and esophagus over to the side to access the area. Having hoarseness is a side effect. I was hoarse for 6 weeks after the surgery.

 

I had the herniated disc removed and the area was filled in with cadaver bone. I also have 4 sc-rews and a plate in my neck.

 

All went well until my husband asked if I wanted to go out and get a change in scenery. Since he is an impatient man, he opted to drive in the "slow lane" on a road that had multiple storm drains and man holes. The fast lane was also a turning lane and he didn't want to be slowed down. That translated into my neck and arm immediately hurting, although not as bad as prior to surgery. Nothing came out of place, but being post op, it hurt.

 

My doc doesn't recommend the use of a neck brace post op. He did recommend that I perform neck exercises pre-op and to continue them post op. I was a good patient and followed those instructions. I wasn't a good patient in regards to taking it easy. In hindsight, I should have rested more than I did.

 

I do not regret having the surgery.

 

I wish you the best with your surgery and recovery. Please let us know how things go.

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Posts: 999
Registered: ‎07-10-2011

Re: Scared. C-Spine Surgery (Fusion and Laminectomy)

@PepesMom, before the surgery, if I thought that I could chop my arm off with one blow, I might have done it. I couldn´t sit and standing was a problem.

 

The C6-C7 only required a soft neckbrace while walking. When I was told that my Neurosurgeon would be using Cadaver bones, I was a little spooked. He told me years ago they took a bone from the thigh of the patient and that sometimes it took a long time to heal and it was very painful. 

 

The (C3-C4) required the brace that held your head straight and was very uncomfortable, 

 

@miimosa, the pain will be over soon and I wish you all the best.

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Posts: 5,258
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Scared. C-Spine Surgery (Fusion and Laminectomy)

@miimosa 

 

I'm so sorry in being very late in replying, as I'm still stuck on my back with severe sciatic pain.  I sincerely hope that things are working out for you and that answers that you've sought are coming your way.

 

All the best to you.  XXX

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Posts: 7,807
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Scared. C-Spine Surgery (Fusion and Laminectomy)

@sfnative   I don't want to take over this thread for the OP but....Good to see you posting, not so good to hear you are still in such pain....is there any relief in sight?

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Posts: 5,258
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Scared. C-Spine Surgery (Fusion and Laminectomy)

@momtodogs 

 

Thanks so much for your kind words.

 

Had an epidural at L4 two and a half months ago, with 8 hour of relief.   Saw this doc last Thursdays, he looks at my MRI again and says, and I quote, "I injected at L4 for pain antero-medial on the right leg."  What?!  Was my reaction.  I've never had pain there, and told him so.  My chart was full of my spectrum of pain pattern, etc.  So he goes back to the MRI and lo and behold he finds a very suspect area at S1, or so he says.  So, I return on December 23rd for an injection at that site - a full 3 levels below the previous injection site!

 

My neurosurgeon told me this guy is tops.  He's yet to prove that.  Ha!

 

Can you belive it?

 

When I left all of my docs at Scripps in La Jolla to move up here to be with my new granddaughter, daughter and SIL, never would I have known that I was walking into a world of medical/clinical idiocy.

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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Scared. C-Spine Surgery (Fusion and Laminectomy)

Oh my what a shame!  I hope this 2nd procedure gives you relief... and I am guessing you can not go back 'home' to see the doctors you have more confidence in?   @sfnative