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neck fusion post-op concerns

kalbuddykkalbuddy Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
So, two months post surgery for fusion on my C4,5,6 I have pain where there was none prior to surgery.

HUGE concern, the plate in my neck is cock-eyed from the front view. The bottom of the plate is about 1cm tilted to the left from the top of the plate,

My surgeon yelled at me told me I was simply a complainer and I needed to get used to the pain. I cannot help but think the fact this thing is screwed into my spine unevenly that the pain I am experiencing is from that. I do have a second opinion on Wednesday, hopefully with someone who does not try to bully their patients into not expressing their discomfort.

PLEASE PLEASE, does anyone else have a tilted plate in their neck and how do you feel?


  • please feel free to comment if you do not have a tilted surgeon the first 3 times said it was the view of the x-ray, the forth time he acknowledged to tilting and said it was completely normal
  • My first fusion was done with a plate and screws. When you look at the x-ray it is tilted to the right about 15-20 degrees. Normal believe it or not. When they place the plate, your neck and head are 'jet straight' and held in position. After that when released, it will look tilted many times as none of us are perfect on head position - it is secure though.

    As to your surgeon saying to you that you're a complainer and get use to the pain - I would have issue with that, and would so voice it! (G) I hope you're feeling better soon.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • Kalbuddy,

    Oops, forgot to address this part of your post. When we get fused, our whole spine and body has to adjust. The loading and dynamics are forever changed in your spine. Your muscles have to adjust, your ligaments etc. Our posture changes. All this can translate into new muscle spasms, or tight muscles, and too the nerves that have been trapped and irritated will many times express pain as they heal.

    Kind of like when your leg falls asleep - as it wakes up, what happens? Pain! These odd pains can last 6 months to a year as nerves heal at a rate of about 1mm a day. Hope that helps.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I need some rational explainations in my life right now. We had to tape recored my surgeon on our last meeting because he is so verbally abusive. What you said makes perfect sense to me.
  • You're Welcome Kalbuddy. Wow, you had to record him?? Good move on your part. NO patient should have to put up with that. I've run into one doctor like that, and I got right back in his face - enough that he retreated to his office! Lol!! He is no longer in practice with my primary Neurologist - others had verbal fights with him too I later learned!

    Leopards don't change their spots. Chances are, he has been like this to other patients. I hope you all get this resolved. :)

    Shaking head - I hate doctors like that....

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    Yes, I had a 3-lvl ACDF and my plate is also crooked. I asked about it and was also told it is normal.

    Brenda's right, there's always pain after surgery and you can think about the fact that you just had major spine surgery that included putting you in a halo to stretch your head from your shoulder with 20lbs. of pressure to insert the materials into your cervical spine. My surgeon warned me that when I woke up, I might find some dried blood above both ears and the top of my head - that's where they put the halo to stretch my neck.

    There's so much they do and so much going on that your body revolts sometimes and causes pain that you're not used to.

    Try to measure your recovery in weeks, not days, as it does take a while to heal.

    As for your doctor's bedside manner, well I simply don't know what to say other than what a friggin' jerk. I'm glad you have an opinion with a new doctor, hopefully someone much, much nicer.

    Take care,
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