or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Recovery from Cervical Fusion

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi folks!

Looks like I have lost most of this ski season since I had a cervical fusion operation (C5-C6, C6-C7) on December 10th. Anybody been through this before? Other than following Dr.s orders, anything else I can do to get ready to ski in late Feb early March?

I've got an update for those of you who knew of my plight from the golf discussion forum. I was initially supposed to have the operation on 11/26. Unfortunately, I was too sick to do it that day. It was rescheduled for 12/5, but the Dr. was sick. I finally had it last Monday. I still have the numbness in my left thumb and forefinger. I have been told that it might take up to 6 months to a year for that to go away if it ever does. I hope it eventually goes away. Not that it will affect skiing, but that it WILL affect golf.

Also, I found out in early September that the contract funding for my project was ending. I've been job hunting since then and working around all the Dr. appointments and everything else since Oct. 20th when I blew out my neck. Te good news regardig that is I have another job starting Jan 7th. My current job will end on 12/28 and I will get a 3 weeks severance and 48 hours of vacation. So, I get a week off and pay for 4 weeks. I'm thinking I got a pretty good deal out of that.

Looks like things are going to work out for the best. I've been very lucky in that regard. Have a great ski and holiday season and I'll be back on the slopes next year for sure.
post #2 of 4
I had C6-C7 fused back in 2002. I wore a rigid neck brace for 12 weeks, and couldn't drive a car (can't turn head) or do much else during that time other than walk.

My numbness down my left arm and hand slowly went away over 6-12 months. I was definitely worried right after the surgery, but I can say it is well and truly gone for me. I do occasionally get some tinges of phantom pain in my left shoulder blade from time to time (that was my worst pain due to the pinched nerves other than the numbness down my arm and hand). For a week about two years ago I slept in my neck brace to stabilize myself while sleeping and that helped me through a slightly painful time. I haven't had to do it since. My spinal surgeon warned me I have some other iffy discs in there.

I really hope it works out for you. It ended up being a godsend for me. I was in a huge amount of pain for a month or two before the fusion. The pain was almost completely and instantly gone.

Plus, you'll have cool looking X-rays. My titanium bracket and four screws look great! Fortunately it doesn't seem to set off X-ray machines at the airport. That would be a hassle.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

They used Ti cages, plate and screws in my surgery. The cages screw in between the vertebrae to keep the spacing and the plates and screws hold it all together. In addition they took out bone spurs in the neuroformen (sp?) to help with the pinched nerves.

Right now I'm in a hard collar. I'm hopeful they will clear me to drive next week so I can come off Short Term Disability and finish out my current job. They might let me drive in a soft collar and use the hard collar the rest of the time. I was told 2-3 months (8-12) weeks for a full recovery. I tend to generally heal quickly.

The hard collar is a pain in the arse. Let's just say I am not thrilled with it. I also have to wear a cervical stimulator 4 hours a day to help with the healing. I can tell the plates a there sometimes when I swallow. I am allowed to move my head a little 1/2" right/left and up/down. No tilting. Showering is a real pain too, but will get easier when the sutures come out.

I'm hopeful I can start playing golf in March and then have a full ski season next winter.
post #4 of 4
My wife's neurosurgeon did the plate-and-screw fusion of three vertebrae in her neck to address deteriorating discs that were pinching nerves and making her hand go numb.

Pain relief was immediate upon recovery from anesthesia, but she still had some numbness in the hand as much as a year later. All cleared up now. She didn't have to wear a collar. The surgeon used some "new" procedure that created instant inner stability and obviated the collar. The scar on the front of her neck is almost invisible now. She skied again about a year after the surgery.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: