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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 2/24/2009 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Julieleaps, I saw on your post that you had a spinal fusion.  Can you tell me something about it.
My Dr. wants me to see a Neurologist and consider a fusion.  I have herniated disk in my neck and lower back.  The neck is the worse.  It's starting to affect my left arm/hand.
lots of tingling.  I just had a knee replacement in Sept and sure am not ready or willing to have another major surgery any time soon.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 2/24/2009 2:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bet,

I'm glad to have seen your post! Yep, I had a two level anterior cervical discectomy with fusion (ACDF) in Jan 07. My symptoms included numbness in both arms and hands that increased over time. It was about 6 months from the first symptoms until I saw a neurosurgeon. The neurologist first thought I had ulnar nerve damage and gave me elbow pads to wear 24/7. It didn't get better, and when I got to the point where I could extend or flex my neck and bring on the numbness, then I was referred to a neurosurgeon. I saw him on Dec 22, 2006. I had severe cord compression! This could have been from a fall I took almost 10 years prior: it takes that long some time for the ostephytes to grow and cause a problem. He wanted to do surgery the next day if he could have, but it was close to the holidays and neither he nor we were prepared for that. I was his first procedure on Mon, Jan 2nd.

He went in through the front (it's easier that way than working around the spinal cord) and removed two discs and put in spacers as well as metal plates and screws for stability. This was at levels C5-6 & C6-7. It was done on an outpatient basis, if you can believe it! I wore a soft collar for a few weeks, but it took me almost three months before I could go back to work full time due to the amount of computer work I do. I did okay for a couple months, then I started having parathesia in my lower extremeties. Huh?! I never had a problem with my legs and feet before the surgery! I ended up at Mayo, due to some other numbness and tingling around my chin and behind my right eye. I had atypical migraines causing those symptoms. But, the parathesia was described as an ideopathic (unknown cause) neuropathy, and I started my trials of various drugs to try to get it under control, including Lyrica and Cymbalta - ick!

I did okay through the fall of 2007. In January of 2008, just about a year after my surgery, I slipped and fell on the ice. I felt the pain go right up my spine. Now, I had been through MRIs of my entire spine and I do have some DDD throughout, along with some mild thoracic scoliosis, etc. Anyway, after a month or so of continual pain, I went back to my neurosurgeon, who gave me some pain pills and suggested that I needed to see a rheumatologist, as my pain level should have been decreasing by then from the fall. I finally got in to see the rheumy in April and he immediately diagnosed me with fibromyalgia.

And, as I have indicated in my signature, my life has never been the same.

I'm not sure if that is the kind of info you were looking for or not, but I don't think I had ever told "my story" here on this forum! Let me know if you have any other questions. My only other comment for you is, I would make surgery a last resort, unless of course you have severe cord compression. If I had not had the surgery, any fall or car accident at the time could have paralyzed me! I have also done alot of reading that indicates that cervical trauma often results in fibro. One study done out west went so far as to suggest that the position they put you in for this type of neck surgery can CAUSE fibro!
Still learning how to manage my Fibromylagia, and all the lovely gifts it brings.   
I had severe spinal stenosis, had fusion done on C5-7, and my life has changed. 

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 2/24/2009 4:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I too had a fall at age 6. My dr. said the type of damage to my neck and spine is what you would see in someone who took a fall on the head. I fell off a fence landed on my head. I ended up with a concussion.
and in the hospital for 10 days. my skull was cracked from to back according to my mom.
not only do I have DDD , I have D Joint Disease. I had my first knee replacement in Sept. In time I will be having my other knee and both hips replaced. I was diagnosed with fibro 4 years ago.
Ihave hypo thyroid, hypertension, familial tremors (genetic all women on my moms side of the family)
Then of course like most of us here. Depression and anxiety.
I am looking at all my options before surgery. I don't think I could handle another major surgery so soon after my knee.
I am sick of hearing "oh my, you have soooo many things wrong with you for someone so young." 48
Luckily I have the best spouse in the world who understands and shows how much he cares.
for that I am blessed.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/1/2009 8:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bet,
I had very similar problems that your Dr wants you to see a neurologist for, and I have had a neck fusion and a lumbar fusion, as a matter of fact 2 lumbar fusions, or they took the old hardwar out during the second surgery and added new but went up to more vertebrae. After you have a fusion the vertebrae above and below take extra weight. I am feeling the pain below my fusion now and am not looking forward to more surgeries. You really need to watch what you are lifting after such a surgery. I did get relief from the surgeries, but that only lasted a few years then back to the surgeon. My problem is that I hate to ask for help and will do things that are to hard for me to do.. which causes me more pain.. I don't mean to tell you not to get the surgeries done, they really make the next couple of years so that you don't have a lot of pain that the problems are causing.. just letting you know.. Been there done that.. and I would do it again.
Take Care,
Sandy smurf

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/3/2014 12:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all! Julieleaps, I too had a cervical fusion (two level c5-6/6-7 with titanium plate/screws). I too have now been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I am having a bit of difficulty understanding what is happening to me. I don't understand how I can feel a bit drained and it's called fibromyalgia. I have difficulty sleeping (which I have always had) and it's called fibromyalgia. I now have a new pain in my hip and I'm assuming it too is called fibromyalgia. My continued neck pain is now due to fibromyalgia? I can't understand why there isn't more specific information about fibromyalgia and I can't help but feel like a hypochondriac. I am in pain every day and I am wondering if this is going to be my new normal. It can get a person down after a while :-( I am afraid to exercise at this point because the hip pain started after I began exercising again. I'm curious what your day to day experiences have been and what are your thoughts regarding a correlation between the ACFD and Fibro.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/3/2014 4:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome, princess45.
Since this is an old post these people are probably not here anymore.
Why don't you post a new thread introducing yourself?
Make sure to read fibro 101 thread.
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, OA, Depression, Allergies, and benign familia tremors

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

ak angel
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 3197
   Posted 3/4/2014 12:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome princess - I am a survivor of a 3 level cervical fusion. I had taken a fall causing severe cord compression. I went to surgery in the middle of the night. It was a long haul to recovery for sure. After recovering I attempted to go back to work with a weight limit of no more then 5 pounds the rest of my life. Well, working. In nursing is not the place to have weight restrictions. After 2 years of being in severe pain and calling in sick a lot I had to stop work. I was always going back to the bone Dr. Thinking something wasn't right with the surgery. It was at of desperation that I came across this site. It was here that I finally put the puzzle together. I was kind of mad that it took all these years for me and not my dr's to find my problem.

In fibro you can have lots of numbness and tingling. So it was easy to try to blame the surgery. The hip pain is usually bursitis and can be help with heat and ointments.

The best thing you can do is buy or download some books on fibro. It really help me in managing my fibro. Visiting and reading post frequently here will help you connect to other fibromites that will help support you.

I found out the simplist treatments work better for fibro. Exercise is a must for fibro. I would of never guess it myself. If I don't exercise, I get very tight and hurt. I do the following for my fibro. Heat, light exercise, magnesium, calcium, limit stress, vitamin D, remron and subutex for pain.

I am happy to say I have finally got good control over my fibro. I hope you can learn to manage yours soon. Yes, it's scary at first, but just take small steps in finding what will work for you. Please let us know if we can help more. I feel like we have something in common with our neck surgery.
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