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Hello, I am looking forward to learning from everyone’s experience. 3 years ago I had an anterior Cervical discectomy and fission between 5 &6. Surgery was a success. They told me the other side of the same area also had stenosis and may degrade. For the last week all pain that was relieved is back as bad as it was before. Has anyone else had this experience?



  • mra

    welcome to spine-health

    learn how to use spine-health - take the system tutorial 

    new member information guideline / checklist 

    you will find a lot of members here that have or are going through the same thing, fusion surgery can be hard on the levels above and below the fusion that you already have.

    please look at and respond to the checklist i posted above as we could use some more information.


    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • MrA, Welcome to the site! In my case I had a ACDF of C-5 through C-7 Sept 2,2014 which was unsuccessful. For the first year and a half, I had so many new and old pain symptoms it was ridiculous. The past 6 months though pain has been pretty constant. Last MRI showed advanced wear on the disk above and disk below the initial fusion. Surgeon advised once hardware starts failing he will go posterior and do C-4 through T-1. I’m actually looking forward to it just to get out of this pain I’m in now!.....David 


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

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  • David,

    I think I've asked before but why do you have to wait for the hardware to fail if your surgery was a failure?  It seems like it would make sense to go ahead with the procedure ASAP?


  • DavidGDDavidG Posts: 1,069
    edited 04/14/2019 - 5:58 PM

    Broncofan, great question! To begin with my injury was a W/C injury. Which ended my career and I was forced into a medical retirement. The first surgery was a ACDF of C-5 through C-7. The first 14-16 months I had enough MRIs and CTs where I should be glowing in the dark. Same with the usual AP and lateral with flexion and extension xrays. The true definition of a successful spinal surgery is “ stabilization “.no account of nerve damage or pain is put into the stabilization equation! The surgeon even tried a bone growth stimulator at 14 months as a last resort. Right now the only thing truly holding all this in place is the hardware. Last MRI showed advanced acceleration of damage to C-4 and T-1. I saw him a few weeks ago and have another appointment at the end of the month to go over the MRI as well as the treatment plan since I’ve gotten a lot of the old symptoms as well as new symptoms return. He’s already told me, he will do the next one posterior and fuse all of the ones from C-4-T-1. He and I know that the posterior approach is worse then the anterior approach, so he’s putting it off until there’s no other choice. ( I have a feeling it won’t be long ) In some ways, I want it done yesterday, but in other ways as long as this is manageable I can wait. ( missed hunting season due to the first surgery). Secondly, you still have a chance the second one won’t fuse as well!  I had my first one on Sept 2, 2014 so I won’t be surprised if he’s says it’s time. Honestly, what I dread the worst is how much permanent damage will be caused by this surgery! I lost 50% of left arm strength after the first one but I did get the use of my fingers back which I was glad because I enjoy playing guitar. Like everyone here, I have my fair days and bad days especially if I over do it. But I’ll keep everyone posted! .....David But to answer your question, as long as hardware stays in place, it’s considered a stable spine.


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,502

    My spine decided to collapse 5 yrs.ago., 5 yrs after my surgery. The only thing that is holding me together is 8 large screws and a cage. The rods are still in place too. In a few weeks I will have a new MRI and standing X-rays and find out what my options are going to be. But like DavidG said, as long as the hardware is in place, it is considered a staple spine. 

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical Story  
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  •  I always thought hardware was more or less like a cast on a broken arm. As long as the fusion is solid the hardware can be removed. I know with mine being it's going bad above and below it's not covered with hardware so that's why its causing issues. On plain xray it's more visible then MRI as you can see where its bone on bone with c3 sitting right ontop of c4 and the same with t1 grinding itself on c7. I am surprised they aren't doing a anterior/posterior on you david if your having issues with bone graft. Did he say whether hed use your own bone this time ? That what they did with me during the last surgeries.  

  • DavidGDDavidG Posts: 1,069
    edited 04/17/2019 - 7:32 AM

    I have a appointment with him the week after Easter . Him and I will have a discussion on what he’s going to do this time. I’m having a new onset of nerve issues as well with this so I’ll know more then. I just wished these things would occur during the right time of the, after the first Surgery, I lost a lot of motor function in areas that weren’t affected by my initial injury. I agree, harvesting a chunk of my own bone would have the best chance of success but like you know adjacent disk disease never stops. So I need to ask myself, When is it time to stop? I know he’s advised in the past he will go posterior of C-4 through T -1 . . But there’s got to be a stopping point! I lost my true identity after the first surgery. And to be 100% truthful, I don’t know if I could do to many of these.. There were 5 of us who were medically retired from the same “company “. Out of 5 there are now only 2 of us left. 2 died from Liver disease which was caused by the medications, 1 died from a self inflicted gun shot, Now were down to 2.. So I’ll be definitely asking some questions ...David


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • Problem is when is it the right season for a fusion lol..

     David ...  Well I wish you the best of luck. I'm right behind you. Saw my original surgeon in Jan that did my 2 anteriors and my posterior  . My pain management doctor wants me to see a neurosurgeon this time since it will be my 4th surgery original was a orthopedic spine specialist.  I have no issue with my surgeon though I love him matter of fact hes such a compassionate doctor hard to find those and ofcourse dealing with wc has brought nothing but delays. Mine will add 2 more levels to the 3 I already have done making it into a 5 level from c3-t1. I've already had a posterior so I know what to expect with that...

        Again hope all goes well.

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