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ACDF C4-C7 with Bone doner and plates and screws

Started by Bluebuddah9 on 11/25/2011 11:24am

Hi there - Little background with me, in 1985 I had a full back fusion for scoliosis, herrington rod, wires on top, wires on bottom, hip taken to fuse it together. It is now Nov of 2011 and I finally had my C4-C7 fusion done. Reason for waiting so long - there was no doctor out there that would not just fuse the neck. Every doctor I went to wanted to take out the old fusion (nothing wrong with it) and then fuse C4 - all the way down to S1. That meant permanent disability for the lack to be able to sit. This was unacceptable to me as I have a 6 year old son. Thank you to the powers of knowing someone who is married to an ortho doc for the Navy, because I was referred to Johns Hopkins Good Samaritan, Dr. Jay Khanna. He said there was no need to even touch my previous fusion and he would do the C4-C7 ACDF with donated bone cadiver, plate, and screws. He didn't want to take bone from my other hip. I had the surgery done on Nov 9, 2011, was sent home on Nov 10, 2011 and have only had to take tylenol. I was told very specifically - DO NOT TAKE ANY MEDS THAT CONTAIN NSAID'S OR IBUPROFREN. Reason being - they are anti-inflammatory drugs and prevent the fusion from fusing together. I keep reading about people taking Ibuprofen and Percocet and other things like that - I beg you if you have had this done - don't take those meds. Your fusion will not fuse properly and will most likely give you problems later on. I cannot take oxycodone (which does not contain any of that stuff) because they make me sick, so I used a fentynal patch - and only had to use 1 pacth for the pain when I got home. I am doing my PT as directed and my cervical collar was taken off within 1 1/2 weeks. Next appt is Dec 16 with xrays, but the doc was very addiment to rest. I had my voice when I came out of surgery AND more important - I had full use of my left arm again - no numbness, tingling, pain, AND I can actually unscrew a bottle top now with my left hand. I have been going through this for the past 3 years and just couldn't take the pain anymore. I did everything I could do - pain management, steroid injections, and NOTHING worked - the only thing that kept me going was accupuncture for the 2 months prior to my surgery. Yes it SUCKS sleeping - I haven't found a pillow yet that I can lay on comfortably, but each day gets better. The only problem I am truly having is that I am constantly coughing up crap from my lungs. Waiting until Monday when the doctors office is open so that I can make sure this is normal and not a rejection to the donated bone.
The only thing I have to say to anyone about to go through this - NO SMOKING (it breaks your bones down), and do your research on the surgeon. I was lucky to find the one that I did, plus he is constantly working on grants to improve these kind of surgeries. If the doctor has a CV - READ IT! It will make a difference in knowing your surgeon and what they are capable of doing and have done. Good luck to everyone that may have to go through this. I will post again after my next check up with x-rays. Peace to all!

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2 Responses


God of Mercy and Hope! I am preparing to have a C3-C7 fusion, I have had a S1-L3 fusion and I also
have 3 herniate disc in T9-T10 also T2-T4 but I only get pain from the T9-T10 disc so that is the hold up
of doing neck surgery is I have a great deal of pain left side from arm pit to hip with mid back low back thighs down to feet but i also have lost strength in my hands and left arm and have a old fusion C4-5 and even though the pain is unbearable I take little med s because they don't work for me.I do Pray you will continue to heal in a painless state.


Well I just got back from the doctor and apparently I have a Facet Root *Right behind the c4 disc that was replaced that is causing all of the pain that I am now having in my right arm. Physical Therapy for starts, and if no improvement Pain Management and have them inject something into the root. (That is going to be my last resort - I went thru 3 years of nerve root injections and they got me NOWHERE!) AND the best part, now I need a medical card that I have to carry with me at all times (I work on a military base and we have medal detectors everywhere) - OH JOY!