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Info on recovery after repairing a 12 yr old C3-7 fusion

Started by C3-72001 on 03/09/2013 6:08pm

In 1999 I had a bad accident with a successful C3-7 fusion (autograft) in 2001. The fusion was fine untill last week. MRI shows it has collapsed/broken loose, ie. failed. It is leaning onto my spine. My R hand has weakness,
numbness, tingling, pain in forearm & all the symptoms get worse with any use of my arm/hand. I sent the MRI to the original surgeon (1500 miles away). His staff called & said: yes, it's broken, it needs fixed & he can due the surgery in 3 weeks. I want him to do it, he's very good so he's very busy. I knew this day might come but I never thought much about it. The bottom line is that there is nothing else to be done but surgical repair.What I'm concerned about is that the fusion will be to C2 & into T1 or T2. I'd like to hear from others that have had to have a successful fusion repaired that failed & their recoveryafter repairing a fusion vs the original recovery. I was 48 back then & I basically flew thru it so I expect to do well again. Thanks in advance for your kind considerations & info.

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1 Response


Dear C3-72001,
I am fused from C1-T2. All this started around 20 years ago. I was involved in a severe car accident. I was rear ended at 50 mph. I broke my neck at C1-2. I was fused at C1-2. Well after waiting for almost a year the fusion did not take (non-union). I wore a hard collar the whole time and bone stimulator. After waiting, the Dr. decided to go in and revisit using extra hardware. By the way, this surgery was done at University of Miami by an orthopedic surgeon. He did not do anything wrong, my body just did not fuse. About 2 years ago I was broad sided in another car accident and C4-6 were involved. I went to a Neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. It was suggested that a C1-C6 fixation and fusion. That was done in 9/10. On 6 month follow-up it was noticed that that there was a failed fusion at C5-6. I had 3 options, we decided to do an all posterior revision with extension of the fusion across the cervical thoracic junction into the thoracic spine. I had this done 6 weeks ago. It is such a major surgery that it was done on different days with 2 days between the 2 procedures. Basically I am fused from C1-T2. I have no turning radius with my head. Let me know if this is what you are having done and I will give you more information. Just be very very careful of the Neurosurgeon you use. That is why I went to Hopkins.

Doree A Bryant