June of this year I had a level 2 cervical fusion on c5 through c7. Looking at my x rays, it looks like the top and bottom sets of screws are screwed in at an amazing angle. To my knowledge and all of the research I have done before I had the operation, aren't the screws supposed to go straight into the vertebrae, not at an angle. If you look on my profile, I have included a couple of the 14 day xrays. The top and bottom screws are angled from top to bottom in the vertebrae. To me it looks like the doc used 1 size too small of a fusion plate and just made it work. Also one of the top screws is in at such an angle, the head sticks out of the plate. Also if you could Please look at the location of all 3 sets of screws in my vertebrae. The top screws look to be in a good chunk of the vertebrae, the middle looks close to the backside of the vertebrae, and the bottom screws look to go thru the back of the vertebrae.
Any insight in this will be of great help. I do have the 3 month xrays that clearly shows the screw head sticking out the top of the plate, and my doctor says this is normal.
Wow, I have read all the comments, and I am not alone. June of this year I had a c5 thru c7 with fusion. The ruptured discs were replaced with man-made discs( thank got at least i didn't have to have iliac crest bone from hip taken), and fused with Titanium plate. I had to wear a hard collar for 8 weeks post as I was a previous smoker. My Doc made me quit smoking before he would perform the procedure on me. That was a good thing for me, however it made me gain 40 pounds which was not. I consulted with him from the start. He tells me that the weight gain has nothing to do with his surgery. This Thursday, I am heading to see him for my 3 month check-up. For 2 months after the surgery, I started feeling better than before. This last month though, it is a much different story. The radiating and burning pain I had before the procedure is coming back, The numbness and tingling also has returned if I use my arms at 90 degree angles for more than 30 minutes. Swallowing and gagging is still an issue. As far as sleep, I get maybe 3 to 4 hours a night. I constantly get woken up during the night with pain. Headaches have returned but now start in the upper back and work its way up to my skull. Sneezing is a MAJOR problem. My neck has cold sweats 4 to 5 times a day. My voice gets harsh after about 30 minutes of conversation. I do feel that I have more pain and complications now than before the procedure happened. I was on percocet for the major pain and vistaril for nausea for the first week, then put on loritab for pain and kept on vistaril for nausea. I had allergic reaction to the loritab, so was put on darvocet for the pain. I chew 2 to 4 darvocet a day ans an occasional Percocet for the really bad days. I also take 4 to 6 ibuprofen for the headache and 2 to 4 vistaril for the nausea. I like many do not want to be treated like I am a 'psycho' or a 'worst patient ever', but am afraid thats whats going to happen (the doctor seems to be very pro business, and not pro patient). So from all the posts I have read, I can clearly see that I have a tough road ahead of me. I will be asking the doctor on Thursday, if Neuralgia is a considerable issue, and am very curious as to what he will have to say.
I went and saw my Neurosurgeon today and as Im not surprised, all of my post op complaints ARE NOT from the surgery. I asked him why I had pain in shoulder blades going up into skull. He said Not surgical related... I asked him why the constant headaches after surgery, He said Not surgical related, I asked him why shortness of breath after surgery, he said Not surgical related... I asked him if it was any possibility that maybe any nerve fron the incision site to the spinal area could have even possibly been damaged by the movement of the muscles, he said Not surgical related. I asked him why I still have swallow and gagging issues, he said Not surgical related. I asked him why the feeling of being choked with range of motion, he said "you know in our initial consultation, I said I couldn't fix you 100%". I asked him why if not surgical related, am I having to take so many pain pills every day, He said he gives the pain pills to me only because I say that I am in pain. I asked him why it hurt so bad to lay down to go to sleep, he said Not surgical related. I asked him why the cold sweats on the back of my neck 8 to 10 times a day and dizziness, he said Not surgical related. Then I asked him, what was the next step?? His response baffled me. He said,"I dont know, why dont you tell me"???? WTF.... Sorry to say, but thanks to my neuro, I have a very sour attitude towards Doctors once again. Like the old saying goes, "ONE BAD APPLE RUINS THE BUNCH"....... Oh yea I almost forgot, I asked him about the weight gain and assured him I knew it was from him making me stop smoking. He said as long as I am not loosing weight, then I must be eating well and gaining weight. And he also said since I was as he felt "eating well" then I must not be truthful about the gagging and swallowing issue. My diet consists of lunch, Yakasoba noodles, yogurt, and cottage cheese with fruit, and dinner is 1/2 serving of what is put on the table. Usually a meat, small potato, and vegetable.So eating isn't the reason for the weight gain.
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