is anyone out there that has had a fusion and isn't better? im going through hell trying to defend myself to attorney's and dr's.they tell me its all in my head and im faking it! I was struck by a fork lift while grocery shoppin and fractured 2 bones in my back and have numerous disk problems.I had fusion c-4 c-5 and now im worse!! please if anyone couls tell me their stories and prepare me for whats to come please,please contact me.***@**** my name is sheryl.I know im not crazy.I take muscle relaxers and pain pills now for 2 years and my pain is worse since the horrible surgery,i feel a hard extremely painful lump right above the site i had operated on and twitching,numbeness,headaches,swallowing issues and i can go on and on.I will listen to all that is offered.thank you.
There are many, many, many that have not been helped by fusion! You are NOT crazy! I too have had fusion of C6-7 and I'm much worse than before my surgery. I am currently waiting to see my third neurosurgeon to see if anything can be done besides another fusion above and below my original fusion site. I have herniated discs above and below the plate they put in just 3 years ago.
Have you had an MRI? Also if you feel a lump I can't believe that is normal! I too take muscle relaxers, pain meds and Lyrica for the nerve pain. My pain is excruciating between my shoulder blades, shoulders and down both arms to my fingers! I've also experienced twitching and the nerve pain is not even something I can explain. Also if you are having swallowing issues there is definately something going on!
I wish you luck, see a neurosurgeon and see if you can get an MRI or x-rays or something to see what is going on. Keep reading on the degenerative forum and/or neurology forum and you will see many that are in the same spot you are.
I had my spine fused from the neck to just above the hips in 2002. I have NEVER had so much pain in my life. A ct myleogram found some issues, but I suggest you get a referral from your doctor to a pain management specialist. Unfortunately, I HAVE to have pain medications for the rest of my life..........now. Our goal is to see to it I have some relief, and have somewhat of a life. Pain medications are included in my everyday life now. Please consider asking for the CT test and a pain specialist.
You're not alone.
i have had 2 cervical fusions, one anterior, one posterior within a year of each other. Today i am worse, i just had a MRI that shows everything above my fusion has gone bad. The kicker is the DR. who did both fusions will no longer see me and i can't find a NS or OSS that will see me. My problems have gotten worse, where my plate is i now have popping and crunching which to me can't be a good thing. Both my arms and hands tingle and feel very heavy and i have pressure in the back of my neck to my head, but no one will see me. I am scared to death that something is really wrong, but it doesn't seem like anyone gives a ****. Just know that where ever your fusion is either above or below will start going bad.
Why won't the Dr. who did the fusions see you? And I agree that a lot of people are experiencing problems above and below the original fusion site. Sure wish they told you this before you have the fusion! I too am in a lot worse shape than I was prior to the fusion.
I have no clue why he won't see me, I was told by two doctors to call his office and make an appointment, and his nurse called back and said they he no longer wants to see me. I was in so much shock, but to this day it is getting worse, can't hardly turn my neck, where my plate is there is popping and crunching, so much pressure, can't lift either arm up to brush my hair, and really bad headaches. I don't have any clue what to do
It's been seven years since I had cervical surgery... I believe C4-5... I finally got an MRI that found the totally blown disk after over a year of being miss diangosed. I was told that my pain tolerance was so high that a normal person would have been in the ER and if I had I might have received the proper help long ago. I know the pain in my arm and leg was gone when I woke up from the surgery. Now years later I'm experiencing the pain in my neck and left arm all over again. The pain in my neck has been there all along and constant headaches, but it's all getting much worse. I recall they found arthritis in my shoulders and I even recall them mentioning that surgery leads to other problems above and below the surgery site, but I suddenly feel as though I made the worst mistake of my life by having that surgery. I'm so sorry that you are defending your pain. I'm so use to the pain that I feel like I couldn't explain it in a way that people can understand. I have suffered for so many years I always have a headache and often migraines. I just started a new job and frankly I don't have a lot of confidence in Doctors. I don't want my work to know about my health issues, but I don't know that I can avoid it. I'm 39 years old and I dread the thought of 20+ years of sitting at a desk in front of a computer in constant pain. I don't know what to tell you... I believe that I just jumped into your boat and we could sink or swim together at this point. Do you experience jaw pain and inner ear aches? Good luck! ~Tricia
I just had a ACDF at C5-6 three months ago. I am still having neck pain, shoulder pain and an aching type pain down both arms into my hands/fingers. I have been on Topamax for two month because I developed severe migrain type headaches since the surgery. Though I don't get the headaches as severe on the medication I still have a headache daily. I am in worse shape than I was before I had surgery. I just had another MRI my fusion looks great, is almost complete however I now have bulging dics one before and one after the fusion. Which would make 3 total bulging discs in my neck currently. I had a small bulging disc at C2- C3 before surgery that my doctor left alone. It seems like my doctor is blowing me off and doesn't believe I am in this much pain still. I also have problems in my lumbar spine a hernated disc and an annular tear. I have had scatica from it. I had epidural steriod shots earlier this year and got the problem in control. However that has suddenly returned as well. My Neurosurgeon has me following up with my Neurologist for headaches, lower back problems.. However the neck issues were basically ignored. So no you are not the only one out there with this problem.... I don't know what to do either. I have 3 children at home ages 15,10,3. I normally work full time but am currently off work on Medical leave. I am scared to death they will release me back to work in this condition and I don't know how I am going to make it.
I DID HAVE A ONE LEVEL FUSION IN JAN OF THIS YEAR.i DO HAVE CONSTANT JAW PAIN AND I ALSO HAD 2 COMPRESSION BACK FRACTURES WITH MY ACCIDENT WHICH ISN'T GETTING ADDRESSED AT ALL.I DON'T FEEL SO ALONE NOW. I THINK MY DR'S AND ATTORNEY'S ARE TRYING TO MAKE ME THINK ITS ALL IN M,Y HEAD CAUSE THEY ARE AWAR THAT THERE IS OTHERS LIKE ME AND MORE PROBLEMS TO COME.SINCE MY ATTORNEY HAD LUNCH/DINNERS WITH THE DR'S AND KNOWS THE OTHER SIDES ATTORNEY PRETTY WELL! ITS A BIG CIRCLE.I THINK WE SHOULD START A GROUP OR ORG? I FEEL THAT OTHERS SHOULD BE AWARE OF THESE FUTURE PROBLEMS AND MORE RESEARCH SHOULD BE DONE ON FUSIONS AND NECK PROBLEMS AND SYMPTOMS.I HAVE 4 KIDS 13,10,5,3 AND I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO CARRY MY SON SINCE 18 MONTHS OLD.I CAN'T WORK OR FINISH MY NURSING SINCE I CAN'T STAND,SIT OR WALK FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR AT A TIME. GRRR!
I guess I am fortunate. I had 2 cervical fusions within a year of each other, fusing 3 levels. I no longer have pain. I have a somewhat reduced ROM side-to-side and some partial numbness in my fingers, but no pain. The pain was unbearable before I went to surgery, particularly the first time. I had heard that my neurosurgeon was the best in Springfield. I believe that. He did tell me that it was common to herniate or rupture disks above or below a fusion as they have a great deal of increased pressure on them. The more levels fused, the greater the pressure on them. At some point, I have another level that will require attention. Barring an accident, he expects it to last 10 years or more. He is hoping there will be an alternative to fusion by then.
I have several friends and a parent with a fusion. My parent had the lower back fused for 45 years without much complaint. My friends with titanium fusion have had mixed results. The people who had a single-level done right after their problems began had very successful outcomes. Everyone I know (with titanium plates) who waited over six months regained much of their strength but continue with pain, less mobility, and sometimes took as long as two years to fairly heal. Thankfully, the new artificial discs are being used fairly successfully in certain parts of the spine. Of course, long-term outcome at this point is unknown. But, I have mostly heard good news and less damage above and below the surgical replacement is expected in the future with the newer procedure(s). Let us hope so. I would investigate all options, if possible, before undergoing more surgery. But that is just me and I am not a medical doctor. Just thought I would chime-in. Hope you can start getting some relief. Docs wanted to fuse mine; but, I have now been advised against it. So, I am not doing anything like that for many years (if ever) if I can help it...Therapy has helped off and on, a little, too. Hang in there and LOL!
I completely understand what you are going through. I had two neck fusions (upper)? First fusion was about 12 years ago and second was about 5 years ago. Last week I had to be transferred to a hospital for severe head and upper back pain. The hospital took complete tests and found that I now have osteoartritis of the neck. I believe surgery is not an option. I have to be very careful and what activities I can do. Of course lifting anything over 15 lbs is Out! I went to my prime care physcian and he prescribed anaprox and valuim, both upset my stomach. I have been in perfect health even long after my fusions; however, down the road it brought about the pain I am suffering now. I want this pain to stop! I'm not much on taking drugs so I'm in a real fix. I'm 63 years of age and feel if this pain continues...I hope the good lord sees to it that it will be short lived. Good luck.
I am so sorry to hear of your pain I having problems with my spine and doctor has refered me to disceuss surgery having read all the posts here I don't think i will be having surgery. It seems like they still have not got it right and i think it best to leave well alone. I was refered to this forum from the Back and neck forum to read this and warned about surgery.
It is so difficult to get anyone to really listen to you I know have had this problem, but you need to get some help there is an old saying those who speak the loudest you have to keep annoying the meventually they will have to do something.
Good Luck and God Bless
Hope you get the help you need soon
I am a 42 yr old woman who has had 2 fusions. The first about 15 years ago worked wonderfully, however the one 10 years ago left me an incomplete quadriplegic with severe pain every day and in a wheelchair.
I do wish you luck with your health in the future, but be very careful if you have to have more surgery.
I had neck fusion of the c 3-7 in October and I'm pain free.
However since my surgery my thyroid has gone crazy I'm a type I diabetic and am having low blood sugar crashes that are life threatening to the point of seizures. My Dr. just took me off my insulin pump and I'm back on shots he wants to see me this weekend to talk about my thyroid. Has anyone else heard anything about this? midancer08 at yahoo
I have DDD and was recently diagnosed with 4 ruptures and arthritis in my neck that are impinging on my spinal cord. The doc advised me to do watchful waiting with monthly follow up, however he informed me if I went for a second physician, they would advise immediate surgery. My neck, shoulder and back are just plain tired and achy. I get more frequent headaches. My arm is still in good shape but obviously weaker. I had 4 ruptures in my lumbar that I have had 3 surgeries to repair over 10 years. Any thoughts?
I had anteior fusion of 3/4 and 5/6 I believe. One didn't take/fuse, so 10 months later they went back and did posterior fusion of 5/6 I think. These were done in 9/98 and 7/99.. I had no problems until I fell at a patients home while working as a Hospice nurse. W/C denied r/t pre-existing surgeries 10-11 years ago. I didn't know I could appeal their decision until it was too late. I now have severe neck pain and pain down both arms, but mainly left. Across back and shoulder blades feels like a rubber band that is being tightened and about popped. Sometimes I feel like if someone would just pull my head up it would help. Tried PT and chiopractor will not touch. Plates/screws in front and wires in back. Saw neurosurgeon and states I need fusion of 1/2 or 3/4 can't remember. I am concerned and wonder if anyone can share any info.. I know this is close to brain stem and sounds dangerous. I am afraid, but neurosurgeon says needs to be done ASAP. This is the same one that did my other 2 fusions. I trust him, but I am also afraid. I cancelled the date they had me scheduled for. Please shed some light for me.
I am so sorry, I think most of my comment should have been posted as a question, but I also gave some response to my cervical fusions. Pain free until my fall 10 years later. I apolgize. I am new to this forum, but glad I found it.
I have had fusions C2 -C-7 1 yr ago and I am in pain all the time. My head hurts my shoulders and my back between my shoulder blades. Exrays were taken 8 months after surgery and doc said everything is in contact but they cut so much muscle away from my spine that will take me along time to heel. He also said I will always have pain but will ease up when muscles are healed. Also said I would be parylized if this surgery didn't take place. Now I am moving with awful pain and wonder if it will be for the rest of my life. I do alot of paraying cause I can't take much more. Any more solutions from anyone?
Hi...I can relate to each comment. It has been 12 years since my posterior cervical fusion. I've taken pain meds and muscle relaxer. once pain better I will write more. Sorry for your pain, but now I see and believe pain is real. Wish my husband did. He says pain in my head. Yes it is. My neck, shoulders and almost every joint. Will TTYL. Wishing for moments without pain. Madlyn
I am also expericing problems. I had neck fusins 5 years ago. There is a plate in the front of my neck. I'm in pain everyday, the pain rushes up side of my head.
My surgeon has passed away. Went to a dr in same office this week. He told me the plate could be taken out, but I still wouldn't be able to move my neck side by side. My neck stays stationary. I do drive, but have to move my body to see if cars are coming. The longer that I'm up , my head falls forward, but I can't help it. Dr. said to try wearing the neck brace, it might help
I was not told that I wouln't be able to move my head after surgery. Now this Dr. is sending me to a pain management Dr. for shots. He also mentioned that he can insert an abfiberater, ( not sure of the name) in my head for controling pain. He said it is similer to an pace maker. I told him that I'm not interested as this point..
I can handle the pain, I just want to be able to hold my head up and turn it from side to side.
I had a spinial fushion on my lumbar in April and am in the recovery stage. I also have been told that I will need one in my neck eventually. I am only 33 years old and am finding it extremly frustraitng . I also have pain in my upper spine, all the spine seems to hurt. I have a hard like box feeling in my spine just above the site. I thought that this would be the only opption for me. Ive had pain due to degenerative disk desiese for over 10 years. I feel unable to ever return to work and am fighting a disability case. I still have a lot of continued spine and hip pain. I am very werry to go through the neck thing. Im scarred that I went through all of this for nothing. The hip pain and weakness seems to be getting worse and not much better. Im afraid that by the time Im 50 I'll be wheel chair bound. Extreme weakness and pain seems to be taking over my life. The doctor doesn't want me to take to much pain pills. What am I supposed to do with all of my pain. I know I'm young but hoe am I supposed to deal with all this pain for the rest of my life.
My name is Douglas, I have so many issues I can not list them all here. I did have the C5/C6 fused in 2003. My surgen was honest and said the rest of my back is three miles of bad rail road track and recomended not to have further surgerys on the lower and mid back. The neck though, he said would continue to get worse and I would lose use of my arms eventualy. I had a new MRI done last week. I have the films, wont see the report until September. They used cadavor bone on my fusion along with two titaniam rods and screws. On the film the disc and vertibra are one big black spot. Well, I just wanted to introduce my self to every one.
I wish you all the best of luck and if at all possible, a good doctor. Not easy to find. Sorry for my poor spelling. Medications make it tough to think clear. Douglas
I to had c5 c 6 fusion 6 years ago august, i feel that rubber band situation your talking about on my right side, im going to see a chiropracter friday to see if it can be adjusted back into place, will let you know the resuluts, also i never had any pt on neck after surgery, had surgery, went a couple of times for check up and that was it, wondering if scar tissue could of developed and is cause this rubber band like symptoms.
My name Simon Rangel I've had this done in 2009 from my C3 to C6, and am not any better i have numbness and pain all the time, my Doctor says that its due to artritis, but befor my accident i had no problems with artritis. I belive that they just don't have an answer for me to whys im not any better, if anyone know of an laweyer out ther that is fighting cases out there for this precedure that was done on me please email me at ***@****. I belive that scince my sergery (surgery) im much worse then better.
I to had c5 c6 fusion i have been in more pain and all they are doing is giving me pills that they cant tell me what for . i told them to take those pills and put it where the sun don't shine if you cant tell me y im taking them then im not taking them there no better then drug pushers . they just want to mask the symptoms and not do anything and act like im crazy im not they are .i to have bulge disk above and below my c5 c6 surgery and pulling pain down the middle of my head with sinking in the middle of my head swelling of my brain on right side of my head down the back of my neck going down my right arm thru right shoulder blade down to tail bone and then runs down to right foot . no end is sight i see the dr that did the surgery today with new mri . im at the end of my rope and now im getting sores on my body like infection in side my body . can no one hear our cries are they going to let this happen to others this must stop . just got back from the doctor unreal i took in the old and new ex-rays to compare i thought . and he just looked at new ex-rays i haven't seen him in a wile you tell me he remembers the old ex-rays by heart ? every thing looks fine with my neck but there is something happening not sure what he said but neck looks fine un real .i hear blood pumping in my right ear my head swells right side. down to my neck and now im going to see a ear nose and troat dr for the 5 time to check for the same things they been looking for ? don't know . this is crazy and u would think with all our testimonials some law office would try to help us get the help we need i have no life im happy just to wake up in the morning . who cares about us no one they are making all the money with lies of making us better .and then history and no one has the balls to stand up for the people the victim you see they mess us up and we pay them thru medical they make money and pill company s make money thats y they push drugs at the office they got something going all you see on tv is pills . dont know what to do we only have one doctor where i live that does neurology so im u know what cant fight my case or i have no other dr to go to . so life goes on the pain gets worse and everyone makes money as we are lied to and suffer . and pay for it
injury at no fault of my own just plain hard work all my life we all are victims because they know this neck fusion don't work . they keep doing it and lie to people that it works and it don't .you try to do the best you can cant work feel like you are useless and don't even try medical malpractice because all the lawyers work for the doctors they will keep it drowned in paper till you cant afford to go on then they have your house to so i guess all we can do is pop the pills and move on and pray that we wake up and that it will get better .i pray GOD BLESS EVERYONE THAT IS GOING THRU THIS I LIVE IT TO.
Im in the same boat as yall, i had 3cervical discs in neck done, i am in worse pain now, also im not taking any pain killers , just motrin and tylenol, because the doctors wont write them anymore ,because there cracking down on narcotic use, . My quality of life *****, i cant function, and now my marriage is suffering too. I am not a sew happy person, but im contacting lawyers right now, ive literally had enough, ,this is not fair and i didnt ask for this, i think its inhuman for any person to be in this much pain, thank you and im glad to see others standing up to this horrible thing,,,,,,keri
I am a structural ironworker from Chicago. I have lived with the constant pain of herniated disks, degenerative disc disease and arthritis of my spine for 30 yrs..I was raised on a farm and have been destroying my body doing hard manual labor since I was at least 12 yrs. old. I still work as an ironworker ( very physical and dangerous) and had c5-c6 fused in june 2003. My disc was completely exploded from a work accident. I had a cadaver bone wedge placed in my neck and DID NOT let them screw a titanium plate to my spine. I was told its only purpose was to give stability for one year until 100% fusion was achieved. I told the doctor that I didn't want to weaken my spine by drilling into it just in case I fell. Before surgery my right arm was numb from elbow to fingers and my bicep felt like it had an icepick stuck in it. I don't smoke so I fused quickly and the arm rehabbed nicely. I was off work 6 months and went back to my dangerous and physically demanding trade .All I was worried about was going broke and losing everything since workmans comp. was always threatening to shut me off. My lawyer settled for 50,000 dollars of which he got 10,000 and said that was the best amount .My doctor ,my lawyer ,my union ,and workmans comp. all let me return to my trade with no warning of future problems. I wish I had seen a site like this before returning to my line of work. I constantly get terrible neck aches and almost always have a knot in my left shoulder blade and upper back. Now my left arm started going numb last week and I finally got it relaxed. The past 2 days I fasted for a bowel cleanse to get a lower and upper GI done and my neck went beserk!! Had to bail on the test because my neck pain was so intense I almost went to the E.R. at 3 a.m .I had to eat some food to take 800 miligrams of ibuprofen to knock the pain down.I kept telling myself I wasn't being tough enough. I have found that the craziest things can set my neck off !!! I found this sight looking for answers when my pain subsided. Show this to your husband and maybe he will start to understand. No pain I have ever had is as relentless and unpredictable as what I go through with my neck!!! My upper body is covered with welding burns ,my lower back is a mess, I have broken fingers ,collar bones, arthritis in my hands, wrists ,neck and back and damaged almost every joint in my body yet my neck pain is the most unforgiving when it strikes !!! He needs to understand just how terrible this can be !!! I am fortunate because my pain comes and goes!!! I know that so many don't get relief at all and how devastating that must be !!! May God bless you all in your search for relief and healing !!!! P.S. I am blessed to have a wife that supports and understands. Hopefully your husband will start to understand more about your condition.
My neck is completely fused. I was on a drug 8 times stronger than morphine for 2 1/2 years. I was also put on Vitamin K injectable once a week for nerve damage for about 1 1/2 years and that helped. Then I wanted off the medicine which took a while, because it was a very strong narcotic . It has been 11 years now and I am so much better praise the Lord. My opinion to you is to continue looking for a doctor that understands the pain that you are in because you are not faking it. I had a doctor in Bismark , ND tell me the same thing. I know that people all over the USA have this problem, unfortunately the Neo-Surgeon has past away. I had to travel 500 miles most of the time by myself to see him. I was there at least once a month to have radiofrequency done. I had it done 7 times. Ask your Doctor about this procedure. Only a Neo-Surgeon can do this if he know how. I had this done before we decided to remove the discs from my neck. I had 3 surgeries in 10 month. Karen R
When you settled your comp did you give up medical? I am curious who is paying for your current treatment. I was fused a year ago 2 level - arm pain decreased immediately but I am still dealing with chronic bone pain near the fusion area as well as spasms - I also developed throat issues that cause a gag reflex if I bend forward for more than a few seconds or lightly press on throat area. I also get violent sharp pains that come and go and in new spots along the ulnar distributuin
Has anyone had their hardware removed with no issues? I had a spinal fusion in 1995 on C4-6 with a plate and again in 2010 on C3-T1. I have 2 rods a plate and 14 screws. I have very little pain but some of the screws are loose and causing problems in my facet joints at C6-T1 and C2-3 has narrowing in the foramen. Also my hands and arms are going numb and I get this weird sensation when I turn my head.The Dr. Said he can take the two rods out because they are causing problems but he's going to leave the plate since it's not a problem.
I had a two level cervical fusion done in 2008 -6 and a half years ago. I am a 20 year veteran nurse and no longer practice. I am determined to enjoy my life.
I have daily pain but I only take naproxyn when I need it -as soon as I need it, and I hit the pain hard and fast. I dont take it regularly-maybe for three or four days religiously then I taper off (about three or four times a year-sometimes more if I'm particularly active. I have not taken pain meds since 2008. Its not that I dont have pain-but I tolerate it better now than I did back then, and I know to rest when I need it. Usually I lay down once a day for about 15 minutes to get me through until night. At night I hurt awfully but If my dear husband will rub my skin anywhere for 5 minutes, I will focus on that sensation instead of the pain-and I will fall asleep. It is a skill I have perfected. Sometimes I use music to distract myself so I can sleep.
Most of my limbs are numb and I have difficulty grasping things and sometimes drop pots, but essentially, I am functional. I have three adopted kids and 2 foster toddlers. I am 49 years old. I ruptured L1 in my early thirtys, and L4-5-S1 -along with the cervical, when a 300 lb. patient fell and I tried to lower him with my body to the ground. Stupid-but I guess I would still do it again because he would have hit hard. Thats what we nurses do.
I still drive, turning my whole body to see, but not daily if I can help it. By the end of the day, I am pretty hunched over but the bed feels so good...
All this to say that it gets better. My family is supportive, and my husband hates that I will push myself sometimes, but he knows that my stubborness is why I am still functioning because he can see the pain and the problems that are occuring because of the disability. Things such as, my memory has been drastically affected by the constant pain. Memory problems that cause me to book and pay for two hotels for the same night and overspend-something I would never do before. I will be talking and the pain will shoot across my body in a wave and I will forget what I am saying. this is getting better now though. I think my nervous system has been in so much pain that it doesnt work as well as it used to and consequently, I dont get all the sensation of pain that I used to get.
The last time I went to the doctor, he diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis with thrombocytosis. I'm staying away from doctors.now. I dont complain if I can help it. I believe that God has a purpose for my life and I refuse to lay down and give up. I know, by my pain, that there is more of the same in the future, but I'm not wasting my time sitting in a doctors office anymore. I realize there really isnt much that anyone can do, so I make the best of the situation and plunge forward. I pray that many of you get strength to do the same by reading this post.
Life is good....
BTW, my daughter gave birth to twins last week and I was there to cut the cords: a boy and a girl!
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