Having a cage and Fusion in neck - Cervical Myelopathy

Cervical Myelopathy

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Having a cage and Fusion in neck

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Why do the surgeons not say that having surgery to remove disc's and have a cage put in neck will make disc's at either side will get worse with the pressure of the cage and Fusion then the possibility is further surgery

13 Replies
MyelopathicMe
MyelopathicMeModerator

Hi Clive.

what you are describing is known as adjacent disc disease. When you have one part of your neck fused - and, as far as I'm aware it doesn't matter whether you have cage & plate or artificial disc replacement (although the idea is that artificial discs are supposed to be more flexible) it means that the stress & strain that that part of your spine normally deals with is spread to the vertebrae above & below the fusion site which take up the slack so to speak. This means that they can suffer more wear & tear than they might have had the spine not being fused. It's a possibility though - not a given. Some people have further problems post op, some don't. The difficulty is knowing who will & who won't.

And when it comes down to the choice of cage & plate or artificial disc replacement - that tends to come down to individual surgeon's choice rather than one being better than the other - which is also contested - especially by the medical reps!

Hope this helps.

Shirley x

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Hidden in reply to MyelopathicMe

Thanks Shirley, I will wait and see what they have got to say at Walton I know that Tracey who I was in touch with got worse after 2 ops but everyone is different x

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Hidden in reply to MyelopathicMe

Hi Shirley, hope your ok I have s couple of questions for you if you can answer please, about a year after my accident I was putting my jumper on when I got really sharp pain in clavicle area for about 5 seconds then after and still happening I get a big twitch all the way down to my heart do you think it could all be linked because when in hospital they thought it was a murmur, next one I get like tingling in my head as well as bad headaches and pain in left eye and top of head feels weird when I touch it , at hospital they said it wasn't , thanks

MyelopathicMe
MyelopathicMeModerator in reply to Hidden

Hi Clive - have just seen your question.

Assuming you don't have any heart conditions - if you are worried then do get checked out, then what you are describing could be very well linked to your neck.

Any time you move your neck, your spinal canal will inevitably narrow. if you have neck issues already - which we have e.g. surgery or osteophyte (extra bone) build up - that will exacerbate the symptoms as the compression as you move will impinge on any nerve roots in the vicinity & you can get a jolt -like sensation. Sometimes it feels like a zap or electric shock - it's known as L'Hermitte's sign.

As for the tingling in your head, headaches & pain in eye - you are not alone with those symptoms. Many of us in the FB support group also experience them. If you think about it logically, if nerve roots are being squashed when you move your neck, then the blood supply can also be squashed as the carotid artery passes directly on either side of your neck to supply the blood vessels in the head & brain.

Because myelopathy is not so well known all these symptoms we experience haven't yet been researched. Because we have been "fixed" surgically, the neurobods don't expect us to have any other symptoms, but as we can testify we do suffer with a whole range of neurological symptoms.

However, I have news because myelopathy.org has teamed up with AOSpine in the USA to bring together researchers, neurosurgeons, patients & their carers to find out what bothers folk with myelopathy most. I will be be putting up more info about this presently.

In the meantime, the golden rule as always though if in doubt, get checked out.

Kind regards

Shirley

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Hidden in reply to MyelopathicMe

Thanks Shirley , as always a good read I'm still waiting to be seen again at Walton center , should have a date after they have looked at recent scan but I Will be honest I don't think I could go through another op because I feel will I get any benefit from it as I haven't from the first , also I'm speaking to someone from America who as had a acdf a few yr ago who's going to see a surgeon about taking cage out and doing something else ,I thought when it was fused that was it or am I missing something x

MyelopathicMe
MyelopathicMeModerator in reply to Hidden

Hi Clive.

I totally get why you feel so reticent about the prospect of another op. To be honest - it's your body & no-one can do anything without your express informed consent - unless it was an emergency & you were unconscious & it was done to save your life sort of situation, but I digress...

People do in fact have revision surgeries, even if they have fused. Unfortunately there are times that the screws they use to put the plate in or the cage itself can slip or further problems can & do arise, so they have to go in again & repeat the fusion. That's the good thing about bone - it does self heal. It's awful to have to have a revision. but sometimes we have to.

But do your homework - get all the info you can before coming to any decisions, because I am not a doctor & speak from a patient's perspective. And if you turn them down this time, it does not preclude you from having surgery in the future if you change your mind.

Good luck with the appointment

Shirley x

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Hidden in reply to MyelopathicMe

Hi Shirley, thanks again , I took part in the myelopathy survey you put up I hope it helps x

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My Doctor told me about that!

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Hi there, what do you mean what Dr told you ,?

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Doctor told me that the cage and screws would affect the vertebrae above and below the surgery .

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Hi nyjaded, I had fusion c4c5 ,I have just had scan and c3 c6 c7 changes and I'm having more problems with legs as I went to long to be diagnosed as I was misdiagnosed for nearly 18 yrs and I have to live with my disabilities.

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

I'm 6 yrs post op and no better even worse told this could happen and that I could end up in wheelchair legs tingling sensation down to my ankles worst pain in lumbar but scan showed it was ok and it was the myelopathy I had gone from incontinence and couldn't control my bowels to going into retention and bowels clogging up but life's a bitch and we have no choice but to get on with it , I hope you have support from family .

Probably because we would not have the surgery if they would of told me that i wouldn't have. Just want to set some folks up for more surgery

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