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Thread: Cervical Disc Fusion Surgery

  1. #1
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    Cervical Disc Fusion Surgery

    It looks as though I may be needing this surgery in the not too distant future. If you have had this done, how did it affect your ability to ride after the healing process? Did it improve or worsen mobility in your neck?
    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by ducster View Post
    It looks as though I may be needing this surgery in the not too distant future. If you have had this done, how did it affect your ability to ride after the healing process? Did it improve or worsen mobility in your neck?
    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    I have no words of wisdom, but wish you well with it.
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    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    I'm looking at an L5 to S1 and an L4 to L5 fusion, according to the MD that PRACTICES Medicine. For old HD mechanics, this is almost a right of passage. I don't know of any of my friends that have positive things to say after their surgery other than pain relief. I going down a different path but I will watch your posts to see what you think if you decide on surgery.

    Good Luck.
    1997 R1100RT, 1981 KZ 440 LTD, R80RT, R90/6 sidecar, K1100RS,1983 K100RS (Cafe now)

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    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
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    20 years ago I had fusion done between C3 and 4 through a small incision in the front of my neck. Was in the hospital 2 or 3 days and then a neck brace at home for 3 weeks before returning to work. The biggest hassle was wearing the neck brace. No real pain involved in the surgery or healing process of note. Long term loss of some range of motion when turning neck from side to side but not enough to hamper riding or any other activity. Absolutely solved my pinched nerve caused by disc degeneration due to some severe neck sprains while barefoot water skiing. My condition had worsened over 5 years to the point of constant severe pain, numbness and loss of strength in one arm. The surgery eliminated all of those conditions for good so far. The only neck pain I experience is some fatigue or soreness if I keep it turned either direction real far for a long period of time. That is real easy to manage and rarely happens. The surgery was the best decision I made. Chiro and rehab and drugs were a total waste of time and money for me. I did have the best surgeon in the area at the time.

  5. #5
    Registered User oldjoebmwrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikegalbicka View Post
    20 years ago I had fusion done between C3 and 4 through a small incision in the front of my neck. Was in the hospital 2 or 3 days and then a neck brace at home for 3 weeks before returning to work. The biggest hassle was wearing the neck brace. No real pain involved in the surgery or healing process of note. Long term loss of some range of motion when turning neck from side to side but not enough to hamper riding or any other activity. Absolutely solved my pinched nerve caused by disc degeneration due to some severe neck sprains while barefoot water skiing. My condition had worsened over 5 years to the point of constant severe pain, numbness and loss of strength in one arm. The surgery eliminated all of those conditions for good so far. The only neck pain I experience is some fatigue or soreness if I keep it turned either direction real far for a long period of time. That is real easy to manage and rarely happens. The surgery was the best decision I made. Chiro and rehab and drugs were a total waste of time and money for me. I did have the best surgeon in the area at the time.
    What he said, almost the same scenario, made a 900 mile ride to my brothers the first of October of 2015, no problems!

  6. #6
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    C5-C7 two years ago this month, after fighting off surgery for ten years with cervical traction and massive doses of ibuprofen. Surgery performed by a neurosurgeon with 30+ years of experience, most of it as a lead guy at a university. Surgery was a breeze, mobility loss is minimal and only in the vertical plane (3" of titanium will do that), and gone is the constant pain and loss of strength in my arms. For two years or more just before the surgery I couldn't ride very far or long without a relief break, and could barely tolerate my desk job. ACDF surgery put me back to work and back on the bike.

    FWIW, I also investigated replacement (artificial disc), which led to investigating surgery overseas (more hardware options as opposed to the 6 or so devices approved by FDA, much lower surgery expense but your insurance is no use over there) but in the end data from the NIH showed NO statistically significant difference in results over fusion.

    Good luck, get it done!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikegalbicka View Post
    20 years ago I had fusion done between C3 and 4 through a small incision in the front of my neck. Was in the hospital 2 or 3 days and then a neck brace at home for 3 weeks before returning to work. The biggest hassle was wearing the neck brace. No real pain involved in the surgery or healing process of note. Long term loss of some range of motion when turning neck from side to side but not enough to hamper riding or any other activity. Absolutely solved my pinched nerve caused by disc degeneration due to some severe neck sprains while barefoot water skiing. My condition had worsened over 5 years to the point of constant severe pain, numbness and loss of strength in one arm. The surgery eliminated all of those conditions for good so far. The only neck pain I experience is some fatigue or soreness if I keep it turned either direction real far for a long period of time. That is real easy to manage and rarely happens. The surgery was the best decision I made. Chiro and rehab and drugs were a total waste of time and money for me. I did have the best surgeon in the area at the time.
    The positive outcome of your surgery is very encouraging. I don't have excruciating pain, more like a dull ache in my neck, but do get the numbness at times in my right arm. I am already scheduled for an epidural injection in a few weeks. I am hopeful that does some good. After my DR. looked at the results of the MRI that was done, she wasn't positive that anything other than surgery would help much. It's good to hear that there is a chance to eliminate the pain without completely losing the ability to turn my head from side to side. That prospect makes having the surgery more appealing.

    Thanks for the info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldjoebmwrider View Post
    What he said, almost the same scenario, made a 900 mile ride to my brothers the first of October of 2015, no problems!
    I am glad that you also had a successful surgery. A 900 mile ride is impressive even without having any physical issues.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by dieselyoda View Post
    I'm looking at an L5 to S1 and an L4 to L5 fusion, according to the MD that PRACTICES Medicine. For old HD mechanics, this is almost a right of passage. I don't know of any of my friends that have positive things to say after their surgery other than pain relief. I going down a different path but I will watch your posts to see what you think if you decide on surgery.

    Good Luck.

    Mind if I ask what that 'path' might be ? I'm headed for a different path regarding hip replacement .

    PRP, then perhaps Stem Cell injections.
    Ron Prior {AMA member ,MOA member}
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  10. #10
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 71243 View Post
    Mind if I ask what that 'path' might be ? I'm headed for a different path regarding hip replacement .

    PRP, then perhaps Stem Cell injections.
    I'm trying as hard as i can to stay away from the knife. I was told a few weeks ago it isn't a matter of "if" but when I wind up hosed.

    Currently, get the "twinge" I do acupuncture and chiropractic. Do the the drugs, chemicals be a boy's best friend at times. Gives me a good sleep.

    The real hard stuff is no less than twenty minutes as soon as I get out of bed and stretch. Yes, stretch, pretend I'm a twelve year old Gumby. Not a good photo. I think I look like that Rock guy in the Fantastic Four pretending I'm the rubber guy.

    Co-Q-Enzyme 4(??) as a supplement. Vitamin B-12. Stay away from any food that comes in a package.

    I have a positive mindset that I'm still just a kid but my body disagrees with me. To hell with what my body says 'cause I still think I will make it to the NHL and win my name on the Stanley Cup. You should have seen me hit on this Red Head serving me beers today in my favorite bar. She wants me!

    I have no answer for anybody to overcome any issue. I drinks my beers, I loves my friends and the cute Red Heads of the world, be ware!

    I'll keep you posted how I do with Michelle.
    1997 R1100RT, 1981 KZ 440 LTD, R80RT, R90/6 sidecar, K1100RS,1983 K100RS (Cafe now)

    “The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex.”

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselyoda View Post
    I'm trying as hard as i can to stay away from the knife. I was told a few weeks ago it isn't a matter of "if" but when I wind up hosed.

    Currently, get the "twinge" I do acupuncture and chiropractic. Do the the drugs, chemicals be a boy's best friend at times. Gives me a good sleep.

    The real hard stuff is no less than twenty minutes as soon as I get out of bed and stretch. Yes, stretch, pretend I'm a twelve year old Gumby. Not a good photo. I think I look like that Rock guy in the Fantastic Four pretending I'm the rubber guy.

    Co-Q-Enzyme 4(??) as a supplement. Vitamin B-12. Stay away from any food that comes in a package.

    I have a positive mindset that I'm still just a kid but my body disagrees with me. To hell with what my body says 'cause I still think I will make it to the NHL and win my name on the Stanley Cup. You should have seen me hit on this Red Head serving me beers today in my favorite bar. She wants me!

    I have no answer for anybody to overcome any issue. I drinks my beers, I loves my friends and the cute Red Heads of the world, be ware!

    I'll keep you posted how I do with Michelle.
    I understand your reluctance to go the surgery route. I plan to try an epidural injection first and see if that helps. The people in the medical profession who are the experts tell me not to get high expectations, but I want to give the injection a try before I go "under the Knife."

    Good luck with your back AND the redhead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ducster View Post
    It looks as though I may be needing this surgery in the not too distant future. If you have had this done, how did it affect your ability to ride after the healing process? Did it improve or worsen mobility in your neck?
    Thanks in advance for any feedback.
    Not had it myself, but ... I have never known anyone who had JUST ONE back surgery. Of the dozen or so guys I know personally, they ALL have had a subsequent back surgery, and some have had several subsequent back surgeries. My doctor's advice: "If I can get up in the morning and say to myself, 'I can stand this one more day,' do NOT have surgery."

    Good luck with whatever you do.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    Not had it myself, but ... I have never known anyone who had JUST ONE back surgery. Of the dozen or so guys I know personally, they ALL have had a subsequent back surgery, and some have had several subsequent back surgeries. My doctor's advice: "If I can get up in the morning and say to myself, 'I can stand this one more day,' do NOT have surgery."

    Good luck with whatever you do.

    That's kind of the rule I live by as well.....going to have an injection in an attempt to add some days to that.
    Ron Prior {AMA member ,MOA member}
    Milford,Oh
    2002 KLT
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  14. #14
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
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    I believe it is important to note that cervical (neck) and lumbar (back) surgeries are two different categories that may share some similarities but not all.

  15. #15
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ducster View Post
    It looks as though I may be needing this surgery in the not too distant future. If you have had this done, how did it affect your ability to ride after the healing process? Did it improve or worsen mobility in your neck?
    Thanks in advance for any feedback.
    Something I may have to do in the future as well, degenerating discs C3/C4 and C4/C5, but so far physical therapy and change of habits has been successful in reducing the symptoms. Agree with others here that differences between lumbar or cervical surgeries are significant. My brother had lumbar surgery five times, but his injury came from falling 26 feet off a telephone pole. That was in his twenties, and at age 70+ he still leads a very active life. His daughter had a cervical operation (from injury in a car wreck), she's not had any problem at all from that procedure.

    Best of luck and keep on riding!
    Bill Johnston

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