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MAJOR Operation from C2 to T3

Had my operation on 4th December 2013 and it took some 6 hours plus. As far as I know Surgeons did a revision posterior cervical fusion C2 to T3 with BMP and Right C4/5 + C6/7 foraminotomy. I was discharged from hospital on 13th December 2013 and had clips removed on 16th but the following days were very painful and I had to call out my GP on 24th as large swelling developed at top of wound. This apparently was infection under the skin and I was given 14 days supply of flucoxacillin but this had no effect so I was given penicillin to take in addition and at long last on 10th January 2014 the infection seems to be leaving my system. I am also taking for pain oral morphine and gabapentin. Sleeping has been almost impossible due to position of infection so most of my sleeping is done during the day on a riser/recliner chair!

Surgeon said he was very pleased with outcome of operation so far but that it would be a lengthy recovery period for me. My neck movement is now severely restricted but I am assured that I shall be okay to drive at end of January 2014. This I am told will be my last spine operation.

Previous ops - revision to TKR right knee 2000 and TKR left knee 2006. PLIF L4/5/S1 and rebuild 2008. ACDF C3/4 and C4/5 2010. Posterior lateral mass fixation C5/6/7 2011 - had to be done twice in 3 days as screws etc became loose.


  • I am in the UK in Hertfordshire. I see Surgeon on 27/1/14 so I shall ask about the use of bmp and let you know.
  • I am so glad you are on here. I also had a similar surgery in December 2013. I had posterior laminectomy on c3-c5 and spinal fusion with rods on c2-t2. I already had an ACDF on c5-c7 with cage fusion 24 months ago. I was automatically placed on antibiotics postop with this surgery so I didnt have surgical infection but I did get pneumonia :(. This surgery has been a killer to recover from. My surgeon acts like I could go back to work next week but I cant even sit straight up right now. Muscle spasms are awful! Did you have alot of muscular arm pain afterwards? Supposedly he attached weights to the shoulder muscles, but I could hardly move my arms because of the pain.
    Lego momma
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  • Are you in the UK? I saw my Surgeon yesterday and had to get more Xrays which were fortunately all in order. My fusion will probably take at least 6 months and even then may not be complete. I agree with you that it has been most difficult to recover from this operation and very painful. So far I have had very little muscular arm pain but unfortunately once my clips were taken out I developed a nasty infection at top of incision which took some 4 weeks to clear after taking 2 different types of antibiotics together. The left side of my neck was badly swollen and is still tender to touch. I started back driving on 25th January 2014 but have to be very careful as head movement is severely restricted. Please keep in touch.
  • On the 21st, I had anterior rexploratiiom with C3-T1 corpectomies and C2-T2 interbody cage with ENT assistance. Posterior C2-T2 fusion. I have to use the Miami J cervical collar while napping and at bedtime. The SOMI has given me nothing but grief since I started using it a week ago. My sutures have become somewhat irrated as have my shoulders where it rubs. Haven't used it for two days now and I've cleared up, cut back on my meds and have much less pain. The home nurse thinks I may be allergic to the material it's made from and is calling my doctor to see what he thinks. Any feedback is appreciated!
  • I do wear the Miami J collar now 24/7 except while showering.
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  • WonderboytwiceWWonderboytwice Posts: 146
    edited 02/28/2014 - 1:12 AM
    Saw my Surgeon on 24th February 2014 as experiencing severe lower back pain. I am also getting a lot of muscular spasms in the neck particularly on the right side but I am told these will gradually ease off. Have been sent for MRI Scan of lower back on 19th March so here's hoping it does not lead to a further operation. Surgeon seems to think it is all nerve related problems I am having. Message to mslipstick - if you keep exercising neck very carefully you will find things get better albeit slowly.
  • Scan showed several bulging discs which were giving me Sciatic pain on both sides. Well Surgeon decided to send me for an epidural injection which I had on 9th April and I feel wonderful now as pain has gone completely. Have been told that pain may return but can have another Epidural injection if this happens.

  • How are you feeling? I am also fused from C2-T3. I also have an anterior replacement of C7. Took 4 surgeries over 5 years. It's been rough! How are you feeling? You are the first person I have met that has had the same surgery. Would love to talk to you more!
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,109
    It is used in the US when no other options are available. There are ways around it being disallowed. I became a experiment patient and signed all the necessary paper work knowing what could happen with the use if BMP in the cervical area. So far no problems for me and it has been almost 5 years now I think since that surgery. I had no choice, my neck would not heal on its own from 4 previous fusions. my surgeons main concern was the swelling after surgery and I was advised that it would be likely I would require a vent for a few days until the swelling went down. Yes i had alot of swelling but not enough to hinder my breathing, for me BMP was a god send for others it is a nightmare
  • LovetrotravelLLovetrotravel Posts: 296
    edited 05/03/2014 - 2:51 PM
    They used BMP in my last two-level fusion that was both anterior and posterior. My Spine Institute is very well known in our part of the country and they had permission to use in those who had previous fusion failures. So far, the actual fusion is holding strong and it's been since Nov. 2006 and zero problems relating to the BMP....(I have more herniated discs below the site and lumbar now, but thankful that this time a fusion took hold since my previous two had failed.
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