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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default C-5/6 and 7 Cervical Fusion

    I had a fusion in aug of 07 and I am still in alot of pain. My x-rays look good but what I'm concerned about is my spinal cord or nerves being damaged. I can't seem to get through to the comp sergeon that I would like other tests besides x-rays. I have been dealing with this injury since oct of 06 and just would like to know what I should do? Get another opinion, Get a lawyer? I am having a hard time with my employer as well. They are giving me a hard time about my restrictions and cutting my hours to under 40 when there is other jobs I can do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: C-5/6and 7 Cervical Fusion

    Have you been released to RTW..?

    The 'other tests' would probably be an EMG... that is to determine nerve damage...
    But cervical spine surgery isn't necessarily to relieve pain, but rather to stop the condition from becoming worse. There probably is nerve damage to a point...IF your nerve/s recover, it will take about an inch per month...from your neck to the point, say your fingers/hand to become 'well'...the surgery isn't a ''cure'' for what ails you.

    What state are you in?
    Since WC laws are state specific, you should check your state web site on what laws govern your RTW.
    Your ER is mandated to engage in the ''interactive process'' once you are determined to be P&S/MMI and released to RTW.
    You can read about this here...http://www.rjop.com/PDF/Accommodatio...iveProcess.pdf

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: C-5/6and 7 Cervical Fusion

    I'm in Florida, thank you for a quick reply. I will read you link that you've provided. I am very confused at this point as to if I will ever be the same to work and earn at my full potential. Yes, I have RTW but I am under a 25lb restriction and surgeon is setting up physical therapy. Being in construction it's hard for employer to find work that's within my limitations. Also lack of hours because of my restrictions is a concern.
    Last edited by tuma; 02-17-2008 at 08:53 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,109

    Default Re: C-5/6and 7 Cervical Fusion

    I would contact the carrier and request a second opinion or consult. Make the request in writing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: C-5/6and 7 Cervical Fusion

    I had the same surgery 16 months ago and the pain has never improved. You do need to get an attorney because you will have some permanate damage, especially with range of motion. And once you are MMI you will be entitled to a settlement. I was never able to return back to work and once I was MMI my employer would not take me back due to my restrictions. My surgeon was very good, he did several different test trying to find out why I was still in so much pain. MRI, Mylagram, EMG, and a series of epidural injections. He finally said that I did have some nerve damage and that sometimes after a multi-level fusion you are left with chronic pain. So now I am in pain management trying to control the pain. I was able to get a large settlement but without the help of my attorney I would not had a clue on what to do. But even with the settlement I received it don't make up for pain I will have for the rest of my life or not being able to work again for the rest of my life. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: C-5/6and 7 Cervical Fusion

    I had the Fusion of C5C6-C6C7 and the pain I suffer from now is just what I have to live with. I was issued a PPD of 14% and all I can do is my regular exercises each and every day and Alieve or something along this line about 2-3 times a day. If you are around the winter cold areas, invest in some turtle necks and keep your neck warm when outside. It helps me alot.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: C-5/6and 7 Cervical Fusion

    tuma, RDA, painful62,
    You CAN live with 'chronic' pain...and you'll find that the more you do, the more you will be able to do...but keep in mind that this is something that each person has to deal with in their own way.

    I can say these things because I had a 2 level fusion first...C4/5 and C5/6, about 7 years later went back and the rest was fused..so now from C-3 to T-1 is solid bone...does it 'hurt'...yes on some days, and some days more than others. I take the 'pain meds' as needed, and some on a daily basis. But there are also times that I 'forget' to take any meds because it simply doesn't hurt enough. The biggest reason I continue the meds, is because the ones I take are opiates, and it takes a long time to wean the dose. I have though, by more than half in about a year and don't notice much difference.
    I lived in a very warm climate, and moved to the midwest and snow...I don't really notice much difference...other than some additional 'stiffness', which is about what the pain amounts to most days.
    "Nerve'' damage is common, and that is what you are ''hurting'' from...and it may or may not resolve. Only time will tell.

    tuma, it is too early to tell really what your condition will amount to...you're only about 7 months post-op and maybe are just too anxious. As I said, the surgery you had is not a ''cure'', but rather to hopefully stop any further damage.
    Cervical spine fusions seem to be the most popular procedure done in the US in the last 10 years.. that may have something to do with the ''baby boomers'' ageing process...(?) I don't know..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: C-5/6and 7 Cervical Fusion

    Thank you all for your input. I am back in physical therapy for another 12 visits and the doctor has scheduled another MRI. I also contacted a lawyer and am waiting to get my consult with them. If anyone has anymore that they can provide I would appreciate it. It helps reading what other people have been through.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: C-5/6and 7 Cervical Fusion

    Besides the MRI request a CT scan. At this point you need to know if your fusion actually "fused". You need a CT scan for that. Be firm about it. I had the same surgery and a follow-up MRI 12 months post-op. Surgeon said it fused based on the MRI. Still had continued pain. 24 months post-op found new doc he ordered CT scan. NO FUSION, confirmed by him and radiologist. Make sure you get proper testing done....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5

    Unhappy Re: C-5/6and 7 Cervical Fusion

    Hey Tina, you just confirmed exactly how I am feeling. They said that my neck isn't strong enough and that's why I'm in so much pain. So they have me doing exercises to strengthen my neck. But I'm in incredible pain. Just like you said, it's in my shoulder blades and my neck, shoulders, and down my spine are on fire!! Now I know that I'm not just being impatient. Please God I hope I won't be like this permanently.

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