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Cervical fusion needed?? Vertebrae drifting apart??

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Old 08-03-2012, 07:44 PM   #1
lindzer
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Default Cervical fusion needed?? Vertebrae drifting apart??

Hi, my boyfriend broke his neck in three places a month ago. He has been wearing a neck brace. After he was treated by his original doctor in Flagstaff, who had said that most likely the breaks would heal fine on their own, he flew to Illinois to recover there. He has been seeing a doctor in Springfield IL every two weeks, and that doctor is concerned that it appears two of his vertebrae are moving apart slightly... getting further away from each other. The doctor then said that because of this, most likely a cervical fusion surgery will have to be done on the two vertebrae.

He is scheduled to see his original Flagstaff doctor on the 14th to see what he thinks. But for peace-of-mind reasons... does the Springfield doctor's advice make sense to any of you (based on the information I provided)?? I cannot find any cases online where fusion surgery was performed because of two vertebrae moving slightly apart (it is my understanding that the vertebrae breaks themselves are healing fine, it is just that the are slightly further away from each other than they were 2 weeks ago.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:17 AM   #2
Dr. Smith
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That may depend on the direction in which they're moving apart. Without the medical jargon (because I can't think of it right now) it may be up/down, left/right, forward/backward, angled/tilted, and/or any combination of those, and if there's any torque (rotation) involved, things can be quite complicated.

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Old 08-04-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
MalindaK
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Default YHes, it's an option

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Originally Posted by Dr. Smith View Post
That may depend on the direction in which they're moving apart. Without the medical jargon (because I can't think of it right now) it may be up/down, left/right, forward/backward, angled/tilted, and/or any combination of those, and if there's any torque (rotation) involved, things can be quite complicated.

Doc
They may be moving or slipping onto another disc. IMO, sometimes a fracture can heal on its own. But if it's not healing (or *fusing*) then if it's at all an option, surgical fusion can keep it from slipping anymore. So yes it sounds logical to me.

Malinda
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