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failed cervical fusion
I am 3 years post op  anterior cervical discectomy w/  allograft bone fusion levels 3/4,4/5 w/ titanium plate and screws. Now have newly herniated 6/7, MRI shows a "non fusion" at level 5/6, bilateral neural foraminal spurring. I have numbness burning pain and weakness down both arms, and severe muscle contraction in my hands, and even in my leg! Ortho surgeon planning fusion repair of level 5/6,6/7 this time using my own bone from my hip. There is great concern as to the success rate of a second fusion given that my first one failed. There is evidence of hemangioma in the bone marrow in thoracic vertebrae. Now being referred to bone specialist, and fracture specialist for evaluation. How can a failed fusion can cause this much pain and disfunction if the plate and screws are stable?  Will surgery help or further destabilize my neck? Are there any other options for relief? I am now limited to recliner, I cannot bend, and am told i can lift no more than 2 lbs! What caused the breakdown of the fusion after it was solidly fused?
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178107 tn?1315951230
I had the same surgery C5-C7 two and a half years ago. I am fully fused, but I am in constant pain. I have pain and burning in my neck, shoulders and arms, numbness and weakness in both arms and hands, I have terrible headaches everyday.  Even with a successful fusion some people end up in more pain for the rest of thier lives.  I'm in pain management and with all the drugs I've been on they can not seem to get me any relief. I'm on Duragesic patches 100mcg and Oxycontin.  I was never able to return to work after my surgery. I am 46 and I have two young children, ages 5 and 8. I am totally dependent on my husband and family for everything.  I can no longer do any of the things I use to do. I can't even take care of my kids without help. I also suffer from severe depression.
I'm so sorry your having so much trouble, and I hope another surgery will help, but as you can see with me even a successful fusion does not mean a successful outcome.  Did you say that you were fully fused and now your not?  I've never heard of that, if that can happen I may need to get my doctor to do another MRI.  Good luck and keep us posted on how things are going .
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178107 tn?1315951230
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178107 tn?1315951230
Sorry I just noticed the date on this post
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1489578 tn?1288271547
i had surgery, C-5 thru C-7. and i have constant severe pain in my neck and both arms, numbess in some of my fingers, when i squat down to pick something up its all i can do to stand back up, and usually requires holding on to something to pull myself up. my neurosurgeon says the nerves will heal at a process of 1 mm per week and the pain should eventually subside. i am so depresssed over this. can not function , get along with others, ill all the time, require the use of a walker or cane to get around. wish now i had not of had the surgery done
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1489578 tn?1288271547
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10+ days post-op from a 3 level cervical fusion. No neck pain and only some moderate pain from the bone graft site in my hip. My nerve pain was severe prior to surgery and was totally gone upon awakening from surgery.

There may be some complications/symptoms related to the surgery in the months or years to come. However, I tried physical therapy and spinal epidurals prior to surgery with little success. Surgery has made me pain free for now. Reading these posts I see some people have some continued nerve pain post-surgery or pain caused by the surgery itself. I knew prior to surgery that sometimes the nerve pain lingers for months to a year post-op. I feel like a new man and I pray that I continue to have better health and stay pain free.
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wow i'm glad to hear your pain free i had fusion c5 c6 c7 levels numbness in thoracic and scapula down arm into fingers index is in locked position and pain so bad i want to scream, now i found out i have marrow bone edema ,at fusion site  and its been 21/2 years since surgery need to get ct scan to see if fuse still in tact scared to attempt 2nd surgery they used bone from my hip and replaced bone in hip w/ coral  i spend most of my time laying down just to support my neck my whole life has changed ,i can't do anything i use to be so active , i have anxiety so bad i don't even want to get out of bed sometimes.i've had snr, epi shots in physcial therapy  drs don't know everything
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I just had 3rd neck surgery.  This was a repair.  I too am struggling with the depression.  But the alternative of being paralized wasn't worth the risk.  Doc was honest when I asked him about the pain and headaches being better and he said he hoped but no promises.  I still have to say it was worth it.  I am only almost three weeks out, and still have the sick headaches as pain, but still better than the alternative.  He expects healing to take a long time.  I also had lumbar surgery fifteen months ago and that is still healing as well.  Another 6 months there till we see how much pain is going to remain from nerve damage as I waited too long.  I won't do that again!
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I had cerival fusion C5-7 Nov2011. I am now suffering from straightening of the lordosis which means my neck no longer curves and looks like a rod in my neck. I am having trouble holding up my head and am in pain since I wake up in the am til bed. I am in traction 2x a day, take pain meds and wear a soft brace. My life and body is on a landslide. What have other people done? I will soon not be able to support myself, and you surely can't do it on Social security.
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