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Fused disc in neck

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FishaHallic

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I have been dealing with numbness and tingling in my right arm and soreness in my neck and right shoulder for about   1 1/2 yrs.  I had 3 injections and went thru physical therapy with only minor improvements.  Talked to my orthopedic  doctor today and he recommended surgery on my neck where they fuse disc together.  He said that arthritis is causing this and the longer I go with my current situation the more damage I am doing to my nerves but with surgery it will limit any further damage and make it so I am not in as much pain at end of day.

Now, I have always done physical work whether it be remodeling houses to commercial a/c to working in manufacturing as I have done for the last 24 yrs so my body has been thru a lot in my 60yrs.  I have already had disc surgery on my lower back but it was not fused and it helped a lot. 

My question is has anyone here had there disc fused in their neck (I hear it is pretty common) and how did go, did you lose any neck function or have any bad experience with it.  I'm not gonna lie, I want to have it done because I already met my insurance deductibles, my neck and shoulder hurts most of the time and the tingling kinda gets on my nerves  :).  Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Thanks

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Oldfart9999

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They can't use a neural stimulator? You do what you need to, no need to live in pain!!!
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Deadeye

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Mine was to the point I could no longer turn my head to the left.

I had Bone Spurs growing up n down off of the wings of the vertebrae that stopped the turning and pinched the nerves.

My Neurosurgeon said it was time to go in and clean it out. Said he would do it all through a tube about the size of a ballpoint pen. Then attach Titanium Spacers on the.Wings to keep them apart.

Said it would take about 30 minutes per side and three levels would be done.

Ended up in there for over 3 hours. Dr said once he got in there it “was a real mess” and he had to chip away all the Spurs and clean and grind away the bone so the nerves would clear.

I got three Titanium Wing Spacers on my left side and two on my right. The other Level had actually grown together, so much that he was afraid to attempt to chip them apart for fear the entire Wing would break.

Then he would of had to fillet my neck open and do a complete Screw and Rod fix at all levels making my lower neck fully fused.

I will tell you when I woke I was in the worse amount of pain I have ever felt. Any movement at all was extremely painful.

I was not allowed to pick up more than a quart of milk for two months.

However I regained most of my lost movement and most of the pain was gone as well, once the healing process was over.

I have fought to not have surgery done on my low back since 2012. At some point I will loose the fight and have to.

Most days most people would not think I am hurt at all, but I have learned how to live with it. And I hide it well.

But on the end of some days and I stop for the day my low back “sets up” and I’m done. Can’t move with out pain, sometimes extreme pain.

I use meds and injections as I need them.

Hope your neck deal goes well for you.

Here are some pics of what my neck looked like after.






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geneinnc

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They fused the bottom 3 in my neck. Mine was so bad I could not lift my left arm to my waist. I came out 3" taller after surgery. I forget what they used to space them out but they did fit me with a piece of metal to keep them from compacting again. I waited much too long. I was very fortunate to regain almost full use of my arm. I'll never put it off again.

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Mike Cork

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Mother Nature had two levels fused. Hers started with tingling in the arm, advanced to excruciation pain. By the time they did the surgery she couldn't hardly move her arm. Even without moving it the pain was miserable.

Surgery lasted literally 35 minutes, doc went in through a wrinkle in her neck. To this day you can't tell where it all happened. She had immediate relief. A couple weeks of therapy to make sure and she's been great. That was 10 years ago.
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geneinnc

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Mother Nature had two levels fused. Hers started with tingling in the arm, advanced to excruciation pain. By the time they did the surgery she couldn't hardly move her arm. Even without moving it the pain was miserable.

Surgery lasted literally 35 minutes, doc went in through a wrinkle in her neck. To this day you can't tell where it all happened. She had immediate relief. A couple weeks of therapy to make sure and she's been great. That was 10 years ago.
They went through the neck on me. They said cutting those huge muscles in the back of your neck is the cause of the extreme post surgery pain plus the hiding the scar. There's a plan for most everything in modern medicine.

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FishaHallic

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Mine was to the point I could no longer turn my head to the left.

I had Bone Spurs growing up n down off of the wings of the vertebrae that stopped the turning and pinched the nerves.

My Neurosurgeon said it was time to go in and clean it out. Said he would do it all through a tube about the size of a ballpoint pen. Then attach Titanium Spacers on the.Wings to keep them apart.

Said it would take about 30 minutes per side and three levels would be done.

Ended up in there for over 3 hours. Dr said once he got in there it “was a real mess” and he had to chip away all the Spurs and clean and grind away the bone so the nerves would clear.

I got three Titanium Wing Spacers on my left side and two on my right. The other Level had actually grown together, so much that he was afraid to attempt to chip them apart for fear the entire Wing would break.

Then he would of had to fillet my neck open and do a complete Screw and Rod fix at all levels making my lower neck fully fused.

I will tell you when I woke I was in the worse amount of pain I have ever felt. Any movement at all was extremely painful.

I was not allowed to pick up more than a quart of milk for two months.

However I regained most of my lost movement and most of the pain was gone as well, once the healing process was over.

I have fought to not have surgery done on my low back since 2012. At some point I will loose the fight and have to.

Most days most people would not think I am hurt at all, but I have learned how to live with it. And I hide it well.

But on the end of some days and I stop for the day my low back “sets up” and I’m done. Can’t move with out pain, sometimes extreme pain.

I use meds and injections as I need them.

Hope your neck deal goes well for you.

Here are some pics of what my neck looked like after.






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OUCH!!  I don't think mine will be that bad, at least I hope.  He told me it would only be 4-6 weeks recovery before I could go back to work with out any limits.  I have to get another MRI to compare to last years and then we will go from there.  I wanted surgery last year when it first acted up but they would not do it because of the pandemic.

As far as the back went, I let it go for years, constantly in pain, shots, tense unit, ben gay, massage and I finally got to the point where I was bed ridden.  The first couple of weeks after my back surgery were rough but I am glad I did it.  I still have issues from time to time but they will go away after a couple days rest.
17' Grizzly w/40hp etec, micro powerpole and Lowrance Elite 9 TI 2

9lbs 15oz PB    2021 winner of Ted and Dave's spring classic

allaboutfun

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Got some hardware in my neck too...triple fusion. They went in through the front.

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Wizard

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I've had 2 neck fusions. Both went well. As always, the quality of the physician is very important.

Wizard

Oldfart9999

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I'm starting to have soreness on the left side of my neck and going into the left shoulder, reading about you folks I really don't need it, from both ends of the spine is a bit much.
Rodney
Old Fishermen never die, their rods just go limp.

big g

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Best of luck with the recovery.  Dealing with constant pain, changes everything normal in life.  I have had two lower back surgeries and thank God have been pain free for ten years, but still think everyday just how I'm laying in bed, and when I have to do physical lifting.  Once you have been there, It is never far from conscious thought!  They can do some magical things with modern surgery! Best of luck my friend, I hope you return to normal soon! ~sun
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