I had a triple cervical fusion in 2000. 3 discs had ruptured, I went for several consultations to try alternative methods, in hopes of avoiding surgery but there was nothing that could be done. When the discs ruptured the Spinal Cord was affected and I was left with permanent nerve damage. It was 11 mos before I could return to work full time. The surgery did relieve the severe pain and burning, and initially the numbness (that returned later). The ruptures were caused from repetitive motion injury from my job. After the surgery I returned and did the same work because I loved what I did and none of the Dr.'s said to stop working! 3 yrs later and more spinal damage I applied for SSD!
Each situation is different so its hard to say how long your recup time will be.
Definitely go for a 2nd opinion before having any surgery!!
Good luck to you!
Well I see a couple of the people that have had surgery has given you some good info as usual. Are you seeing a neurosurgeon for this surgery? Personally, if it were me I would consult with a good neurosurgeon for this particular type of surgery. The reason I say this is, a neurosurgeon is better versed in dealing with surgeries that involve the nerves, an orthopedic is more specialized in the bone structure.
Back when I was able to work, I saw many, many different kinds of surgeries. The people that required neck surgery always had better results and shorter recoveries when a neurosurgeon did the neck surgery.
Most of the time the drs tell the patients they can return to work in 6 weeks after neck surgery and I have seen many do just that. But, remember everyone is different and their surgery is also different, No two are alike. You may feel like working in 6 weeks and you may not. The main thing is to follow your drs instructions to the letter, your recovery time is also a big factor on well you do after surgery. Don't try to rush things along, let your body heal at its pace and take care of it. You will have some certain restrictions after surgery.
Please let us know when your surgery is scheduled and keep us posted on how you are doing.
I had cervical fusion in 2006 C-5/7. It was a very easy surgery with only an over night stay. Went home with just 14 pain killers and used tylenol after that. The worst part was wearing the big old neck brace, can't remember how long, then one of the soft rubber ones for a time after that. I still have muscle spasm problems in my neck two years later but neurontin taken twice daily has taken care of that. Probably be on it for ever but if it takes care of the pain then be it.
When I had my surgery it was a 23 hour stay....barbaric in my opinion! You need to understand, you will not be able to lift, bend or reach for a while after your surgery! A friend of mine had surgery 12/08 and was there for 3 days, not sure if they've changed the length of stay or if her Dr and insurance allowed the longer stay.
I go next Monday for a Mylegram and CT scan. Then after comparing these and MRI, the Dr. will decide if I can benefit from the surgery. He said since I have 4 very bad disc, if he fixes 2 of them, a lot of times the other 2 will get worse almost immediately. He does not want to try to fix all 4 of them. I am feeling better today. I was exhausted after the long trip to Dr. yesterday. My 2 Grandaughters, 13 and 16 and myGrandson, 6 were here all day. The girls were going to dust and vacuum for me. After about 1/3 of the vacuuming, they quit. Now I have more work from what they messed up while they were here, plus they fight so much, I was glad to see them go.
Thanks for all ypor encouragement!
Thank you for that reply.
I talked to the nurse and tomorrow I am picking up my test results and taking them to a Neurosurgeon in Nashville, Tn for a second opinion. Then if he says no, I will try to get into a pain clinic.
I am so sorry to hear about everything you are going thru. I know its scarey and at the same time very frustrating to say the least. I see PaLady has been helping you out here and giving some great advice.
I have seen lots of different kinds of surgery because of the line of work I was in. What your dr told you about the surgery is very true. I know that what he told you also was not what you really wanted to hear. You should appreciate his honesty. I know if a dr told me if it was him, he would not have the surgery, you can bet I would not either. Your situation is a little more complex because of the fact you have 4 bad disc instead of the usual one or two. That puts a whole new spin on things. What he said about fixing the bottom two then the ones above getting worse and causing alot of problems has a great potential of happening, I have ssen this happen not only in necks but in the lumbar spine too. Also, if you have alot of nerve problems going on surgery cannot correct that, they have to heal on their own. They may heal or they may not, no one can predict this one, Somtimes waiting too long to have surgery can cause irreversible nerve damage. Its really complicated.
It does not surprise me what he said about taking pain medication either. He is not into pain mgt so he has no clue about that area. A pain good pain mgt can do many things for us to relieve pain that the specialist can't. Most drs unless they are pain mgt drs do not want patients on pain medication, but then thats not their specialty either. I would not pay any attention to him in that department at all. But, I sure would get myself a referral to a good pain mgt dr. There are two types of pain mgt drs, one does injections and procedures and does not give medication. The other kind does this plus give medication. Be sure you get into the one that does offer pain medication. Before any appt is made be sure to ask if this dr does offer pain meds if he feels they are needed.
I think its good to get a secondd opinion here also, But keep in mind what Palady went thru in doing this too. Sometmes surgery cannot fix things.
I think the least you talk to people about this like friends and relatives the better off you will be. They do not have the proper information to really give you sound advice. Instead, you will end up being more confused than ever. Sure its easy for someone to say oh, get another dr to do your surgery, but its not that easy by a long shot.
I would not schedule surgery with the dr you saw first, There is no way I would let someone cut on me when they tell me they would not have the surgery if it was them. I would run as fast as I could from that guy. Please take care and keep us posted on how you are doing. We are here to help you in any way we can.
Please let us know what you find out at your appt. in Nashville, you have my curiosity up. I too had the shoulder problems and then lost the use of my left arm altogether from nerves being pinched. PT did help me get the use of my arm back but the shoulder would ache constantly and if I put my arm in certain positions it would tingle all the way to my hand and my thumb and half of my index finger would go numb. I couldn't work like this so I opted on fusion surgery in '06 at C-5/7. Here it is 3 yrs. later and I have had problems since with muscle spasms in my neck & shoulder areas. Like I posted earlier I finally had a rheumy prescribe neurontin about 6 mos. ago and it was like a miracle with the nerve pain. The spasms are gone. Good luck! It is a scary surgery to go through and a hard decision to make. Guess it all depends on how well you are able to do the things you need or like to do.
No, I didn't get to see the Dr. They just took my test results and said he would call me after he looked at them. I drove 2 hours to get there and I had my DH with me and that took longer because twice his Oxygen tank ran out and we had to exchange the tanks. Plus he has to walk slow and it was so hot. He did not want me to go by myself and I did not want him home alone so I would have to worry about him. He never understood the whole day what we were doing. So it was a long hard day for us. When we got home at 7p.m. after leaving at 9 am, we were beat. I timed it where he could get an eye exam and glasses in Murfreesboro because he had fell on his face on concrete and scratched his glasses and his face pretty bad.
I probably should have scheduled his appointment closer to home but I thought Lenscrafters would be right on the way I would be going. Sorry, too much info.
I'm so sorry that you have all of this on your hands plus having the disc problems. As I said, I had a wonderful neurosurgeon who was not at all knife happy which made me feel good. For my third and fourth surgeries I had to make multiple appts. and beg to have the surgery because I was vomiting constantly from pain. I couldn't leave the house, I couldn't drive....but he didn't think that the MRI looked that bad. Then after both surgeries he came to me and apologized because he said that the MRI did not show all of the problem and that it looked like a bomb had gone off in my neck. I do feel so much better but had to retire after the 4th surgery because of all of the physical restrictions I have now. My whole spine is a time bomb and I have scoliosis to boot so my problem might be different from yours. Get your second opinion and really think hard about the surgery. I'm right there with you about the mylegram's...I've had 2 and I'll never have another one. There has to be a better way to do that proceedure. I kept passing out and then had a headache that about killed me. I'll say a prayer for you that all goes well. I know what a big decision this is for you. Good luck!
Here it is August 2nd and I still have not been seen by the Dr for the 2nd opinion before surgery. They waited 2 weeks before they called me and was going to set up an appointment for me when they found out I had went to one of the other Drs. in their "Group". They have made such a big deal out of it, They said we do not swap patients. I said I am not his patient. I saw him in 1991 and 1992 and he released me and told me I was not a candidate for surgery. I was on WC then and they made a big deal out of that. I told them the WC ended in 1994. They made me get permission from the 1st Dr. and now they say I have to get permission from the Dr. I want to see. I told them that while all this rigamarole was going on I was here in pain and needed help. I don't think they care at all.
By the way, this severe pain started in May and I have been shifted from Dr. to Dr. and I am sick of it all.