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    Hey all. I have some questions. I am told time and again that I will most likely be quadriplegic someday. I fell a few years ago, broke my wrist and apparently, destroyed my neck at the same time. Degenerative Disc Disease. Shortly after, I had an ACDF (Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion) C4-7. The pain never stopped and now I am told that I show signs of SCI. I will need another surgery soon - laminotomy/laminectomy. The spinal cord is being compressed at C3-C4, which is degenerating. I am told this is common. After a fusion, the vertebrae above and below the fusion degenerate at a faster rate. It appears this will be ongoing. Once C3 degenerates enough, they will have to go in and re-do the fusion to include C3. I had hoped that the ACDF would be the only surgery I would need there.

    Has anyone else experienced this degeneration? I am slowly losing function and wondering how far this will go. I would think they'd be able to stabilize the neck before I lose too much function, but it doesn't seem that way.

    I am wondering what the future holds for me. (I understand that every person's experience is unique. Just looking for some general ideas.)

    Any input? (And yes, this is from several neurosurgeons, physiatrist, PC, etc...)


    Let's see what input others with a similar situation may have. YOu have done the right thing by discussing this with your doctors. It is valuable to get opinion from doctors who are highly familiar with effects of degeneration of the spinal area. Your description of needing to re-do the fusion as your degeneration continues, does seem to be accurate information from my experience, but I am not a neurosurgeon.

    I am sorry for your progressing symptoms.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


      new member here also

      Hey i am a wife, and caregiver for my husband who has basically had the same news he has been incomplete for 15 years first sugery they used his bone from hip, all collapsed on spinalcord compressed it in c5,6,7, had second surgery to decompress and used titaniumm, but leaving t1 inpinched,for 15 almost 16 years in nov. he has done pretty well up until degenerative changes in april this year, altho 3 yrs ago a test was performed its called a tilt bed test and he shut down in a 45 degree angle,dr said there was weakness and slow blood flow back behind his heart from cord injury and he had to have a pacemaker, and now more changes in spine was having burning pain from neck to elbows dr ordered malgram no mri because of pacemaker 3 days after test he got a brain bleed in the spaces of brain,he couldnt get the headache to go away from day of procedure, and then the results of malagram came about 4 days later 2 areas narrowing in spine where the titanuim is attached at top and bottom, but t1 was already inpinched, they dont want to lift a knive because he has several levels of injury we wait until he is weaker in legs and arms worse than wat it is now, t1 is hard to get to will have to cut lik they are doing heart surgery doc says he may not walk again during 3rd surgery, husband didnt want anymore surgery but doc told him he would advice him to do something when these areas close off this is a vry stressful time and wait we are to let doc know when he is weaker , but he has started falling this week twice seem one leg is going out at times we are scared now. im very sad he is very angry he feels so bad .


        I was hoping to avoid further surgeries, too. I guess that will be me someday. I hope I last that long. They were surprised that it's only been two years and i need another surgery already.

        I go between anger, depression, frustration.... the pain in my arms had decreased for awhile, but has come back this week.

        The last time I talked to the neurosurgeon, he said the surgery may not increase what I can do and may cause more pain. All it seems it will do is postpone quadriplegia for awhile. I don't know what you'd consider me at this point. I'm certainly not fully functional anymore. I haven't been able to work for a few years now.

        It's nice not to be alone in this journey.


          Hello "noescape,"
          There is no reason to feel alone on your journey. The Care Cure Community is a good place to link up with others who share your experience. Welcome, and we hope to hear more from you.

          All the best,