C1 C2 Fusion

Had C1 C2 Fusion surgery about 2 weeks ago for an accident I had about a month ago. It's uncomfortable but not unbearable. It seems like everything I read is DOOM AND GLOOM. Im 42 and have lived a pretty active life. I was involved in a car accident which left me with a type 3 fracture to my odontoid which did not heal on its own. I've lost some mobility side to side but my "up/down" mobility seems fine. Its not as if I were able to turn my head 360 degrees prior to the accident anyway. 

Just know that there are some positive stories out there too. I've never had surgery before, hell of an introduction. The was I see it, I couldve easily died and this surgery offered me a new lease on life....see another birthday....etc. 

I wake up each morning and take a 2 mile walk to "warm up" before I get the day started. I'll never be an X-Games contestant but I'm thankful. I havent had any excrutiating pain, just general discomfort which, at times is going to require a pain med dosage...not a huge deal. 

I just wish some of these posts involved "how to deal with the life change" than how "miserable" the change is. Who knows, things may change for me later, but what doesnt. I have friends whove never had surgery and complain about having to deal with horrible migraines all their lives. All I'm saying is that perspective is important here, there will be good days and bad days for us all. Lets hear some good. 

The stress of my Odointoid fracture lingering was unbearable......It caused more anxiety than I knew I could live with. The C1 C2 fusion procedure offered me a chance to "know that it was fixed" so I could deal with the bad days and the good days as they come. Thus far, I've had considerably more good days than bad. 


  • What a great attitude you have, louhhunter! I know there are many more success stories than failures after spinal surgery. Even with the lingering issues I have, I thank God every day I was able to have the surgery as there was no other choice. I'm not paralyzed and I'm alive, which is so much better than what could have been. I worry about having to have a C1-C2 fusion some day and it's refreshing to hear about your positive outcome. I try not to ponder what may come in the future and just be happy with where I am today, thanks to God and modern medicine.
  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 3,416
    edited 07/20/2019 - 12:46 PM

    what a great story and so positive!! sometimes you hear people complain and say why me. but i always look at it as everything happens for a reason. and perspective and attitude are everything. 

    i'm really sorry this happened to you. but, your attitude will help others on this forum. and i thank you for that.

    i would like to welcome you spine health and hope we hear from you again.

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  • glad to hear you have the good attitude, seems that is a large portion of the recovery process. i had a occiput? to c7 fusion so have no ROM but now can watch my grand kids grow up.  yep sometimes get the gosh i cant do something blues then find the humor in the creative way i had to deal with the problem. I cant look down so if i spill on my shirt i take a selfi to check out the damage.  Surgery was very successful and would do it all again, the residual things, ie muscle spasms etc are minor and easy to deal with. My journey has been good and if your interested check out piperbill posts here,  i find patience, attitude and a good bit of humor to be my keys to the good life that god has granted me.  Im 70 years old, play the bagpipe, work full time as a powerplant mechanic and help with a search and rescue team. had to change the way i do business but still lots to do. best to you and smile whenever you can, take care, stay safe  piperbill
  • Piperbill, you are my friggin HERO! I work at a refinery as an operator and also a part of the Fire/Rescue team. I seriously thought I had lost all that. Thanks for your post. A sense of humor are the keys to a happy life!
  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 688
    Lou, after my many spinal surgeries, I learn to appreciate the moments when I don't hurt. I've been dealing with spine issues for almost 50 years. While I know the good moments are temporary, sometimes they feel like they are permanent and I feel like I am back to normal again. I think, to myself, that I'll say goodbye to all my meds and spinal procedures and be normal like everyone else. Sorry to ramble. Just saying that I appreciate the good moments. I hope you can too. 
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  • I thank both of you for your wisdom. I'm still recovering and not in any notable pain as of yet. Stitches are out and I feel pretty comfortable..READY TO START PHYSICAL THERAPY. My doctor has said that I can take my brace off when I goto bed....which I really dont understand considering I'm more likely to move my neck when I'm asleep in an attempt to get comfortable than I would be sitting on my couch. I've heard that some Doctors dont require a brace for patients post surgery. I'll admit that I stretch my neck muscles periodically because they started to get hard as glass.

    Still have a positive outlook but I'm realistic......frustrated at times....but realistic about my diminished mobility. Hopefully, It'll get better.

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 3,416

    Please don' get frustrated. This will take time, PT and you taking care of yourself. Stay positive.
    Also, remember when you have surgery, they also have to move muscles and nerves and they need to heal too. 
    With your attitude I think you will have a good outcome.
    Take care and keep us posted.
  • I think all of us have days of mixed emotions. Happiness at the surgery being successful, sadness at things weve either lost or not as dextrous as we once were. The  pain, frustration, added with lots of humor gets us through those times. Just try not to be hard on yourself, look at how far youve come, dont look back(although after anterior/postior cspine reconstruction wc6 corpectomy, strut and other carparts..its hard to look back anyway..haha!) Im facing an Occipital Cervical Fusion in a few weeks and many can attest, im terrifed,yet also ready for it to be over, because I have a joh and school to graduate from.. i wish you much luck, love and light as you move towards recovery
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