19 answers

They Want to Fuse My Neck

I have had two neurosurgeons tell me I need to have an anterior discectomy. Has any one had this procedure done? Did it work for you? How long did it take to get back to day to day activities and would you do it again?
It is not an easy decsion so I want all the input I can get
Thanks

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I'd love to help anyone I can w/ any type of spinal problems, just email me!! Please do not have your spines fused, there's a better way and w/o metal plates and ect. Even if youv'e had one and still have problems or pain,or it just didn't work. I've had 6 levels done in Aug,07. I went fishing the day after my first and 3 days after my second!! I walked out the same day for both on my own two feet, this is not false hope. I truely understand what it means to live w/ this type of pain and all that it intails. I lived w/ this for almost 15 years, neuro surgens did not want to touch me untill I lost some bodily functions or became paralized and ect... I was told livw w/ pain,physcial therapy,take pain pills and so on. My spinal problems were from an automobile accident. I was affected from ware my spinal colum and brain stem attached down to c-5/c-6. I could go on all day and anwser yor questions or more but so email me and I'll do my best. IT IS NOT A BOTHER!!!

2 moms found this helpful

I would really look into this more. There is an institute in FL and I don't remember the name off the top of my head but you reallly need to do some research. To give you some background, my nephews mother was in a car accident back in the early to mid 1990's. She has had a few other since then and had so many issues w/ her neck. Doctors she saw said they couldn't do anyting for her. She lived on pain meds and dealt with it as best possible. it got so bad to the point she would have to hold her chin up w/ her fingertips because she couldn't do it w/out being in pain. She would walk around and not be able to turn her neck because of the pain she was in. She finally found this institute that took her in as a candidate for this special surgery, I don't think they had to fuse it but whatever they did do she said she feels 75-80% better than she ever has. I am sure she wouldn't mind giving you some details and the name of the place if you email her at ____@____.com tell her H. referred you to her. I had a bad disk in my lower back and after 4 years of being poked and dealing with the pain I opted for the surgery. Luckily for me I had an awesome surgeon, no problems since. butthe lower back is a lot different than the neck. Shoot Missy an email, i am sure she would love to fill you in about everything she has gone through and the success of the procedure. If you don't hear back from her, just in case her email isn't working, you can email ne at ____@____.com and I will give her a call for you.

PS I also sent this article to her as well. So hopefully she will respond.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D.! I had this same exact surgery done in Sep 07. They fused together c5- c7 and took out the two disks. It was not so much a choice for me because the disks were herniated and pushing against my spinal cord. I was starting to lose the use of my arms and was in very bad pain. While thing are better with the use of my arm I still get some sharp pains right along my spine by my collar bone that sometimes shoots down into my shoulder blades. If it is starting to have a paralizing effect on and you've gone through physical therapy then I would recommend it but you should try tp first. There are some lasting effect for me and could be for you.

Hi, D., sorry to hear about your neck...you must be in chronic pain.

I just had a disectomy and fusion at the C6-7 level the end of January this year. I've had a bad neck for about ten years and rolled over in bed the first of December and went into an awful spasm that sent me to the ER.

Anyway, I had radiating nerve pain down my left arm and was in misery. I just wanted the pain to stop.

The surgery lasted about 1 1/2 hours and when I woke up in recovery, I immediately knew that pain was gone. What a relief.

My surgery was at 3:30 p.m. and I left the hospital the next morning around 8 a.m., they said as long as I could sit up and swallow.

Because it was done anteriorly, my voice was not right for about two weeks and swallowing was a little uncomfortable, but completely tolerable.

I was prescribed pain pills and muscle relaxants, so I slept a lot. My husband was supposed to stay at home with me for about a week, but he went back to work the day after I came home. I'm 53 and do not have any little kids.

I had to keep a neck brace on all the time in the house for the first two weeks, couldn't drive for at least a month. I have grandkids, but couldn't pick them up, in fact, couldn't lift anything over five pounds (about the weight of a gallon of milk.)

I would describe the neck and throat as a bit uncomfortable, but I was so happy to be out of severe pain that it didn't bother me at all. I was very surprised with the results, and yes, I would do it again if I had that pain and loss of function again.

I returned to work in six weeks. I'm a broadcast captioner which involves the use of my arms and shoulders quite a bit, but everything seems to be fine.

I think you're going to need some help that first week at least with the kids, plus someone to do the housework, and just rest as much as you can so you can heal.

Good luck with everything and please let me know how you make out.

Yes, I had the surgical procedure done on my C5, C5,C6 and C7 on 5/07. I was in the hosiptal for one day. I had to wear a neck brace for a little over a month. The recovery time wasn't bad I function pretty well besides sitting straight up for a long period of time and driving. Driving took the longest because the least jerking movement hurts. I stayed off of work for 3mons because my job requires sitting all day. I had 3mons of therapy prior to and 3mons after the surgery. Even though its been almost a year and I'm starting to feel pain again. I have been putting it off whether to go get another MRI. But yes, I guess I would do it again because the pain before the surgery was unberable and I was losing censation in my right hand and arm.

Hi D.,

Why do they want to remove two discs in your neck?

Just wanted to know.

D.

HI I have had my neck fused in September 2004. I was in a car accident in 2003 and was having great pain and numbness in my hand, I had a heirniated disk in my neck. I will tell you recovery does take some time, and there is things you can not do for a while. I will also tell you I still to this day have some severe pain in my neck which I was told does sometimes happen. There is times I turn my head and pain shoots down my back and I am in tears, I have been told they can not do much for me any longer my primary care manager is going to send me to an ortho surgeon now. My pain is occassional now but it is still very much there.. just learn all you can about the surgery..and I agree I would only use a neurosurgeon for this. I hope this helps some as I have had the disk fusion done. If you have any questions you can email me any time.
L.

I have no clue what an anterior discectomy is. I will assume by the title of your post they want to fuse 2 vertebrae together? Could you please share w/ us what this is and why you need it?
Have you asked them what can happen if you do not have the surgery? I will assume its for the best if 2 surgeons reccomended it. I would be nervous but if its going to help you somehow you might want to get it done. My dad had his ankle joint fused. He was back on his feet pretty quick.
Will it be a dangerous surgery, close to your spine and all?

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