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Had a neck fusion, with plates and graph from hip. Having degenerative discs. Suggest the precautionary measures to be taken?

Jul 2013
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 2148 Questions
I just had a neck fusion, with plates and graph from my hip. I have degenerative discs. I have protruding disc from C2- through C-7. This is my second surgery. I asked him about preventative measures, he claims.. I have none. He has told me once I return to work in October , we will wait it out. He expects to see me in the future for more operations. I can't believe this is it? Nothing can be done? I'm only 49.
Posted Wed, 11 Sep 2013 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 26 minutes later
Brief Answer:
You can prevent further damage to certain extent.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX

The general impact after a cervical fusion will be one level above and one level below the site of fusion. As no movement occurs at the site of fusion, compensatory movements occur just below & above the fusion site leading to early degenerative changes.

A few tips that help in improving & maintaining the general health of your spine are as follows -
* Develop a regular fitness routine: Work with your doctor to develop a safe workout plan for you. Try to incorporate resistance training and aerobic and flexibility exercises into your routine.

* Eat healthy, nutritious foods: Base your diet on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

* Take breaks throughout the day: This is especially important if you work at a desk all day. Getting up to stretch every 30 minutes gives your back a chance to recover from the strain of sitting for hours.

* Develop good posture: Sitting or standing correctly promotes good health for your cervical spine.

* Get plenty of sleep: Aim for 8 hours a night.

* Stop smoking (If you are a smoker) : Smoking can accelerate the aging process, which is bad news for your spine.

There's no sure way to tell if you will completely avoid developing spondylosis, but leading a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to prevent spondylosis.

Hope I have addressed your query. I welcome any more clarifications

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had a neck fusion, with plates and graph from hip. Having degenerative discs. Suggest the precautionary measures to be taken? 6 hours later
Thank you for your prompt reply,
I work in retail, I work mandatory 10 hour days. I normally end up working 12. My job requires desk work in the morning, then heavy lifting the rest of the day. I am taking care of vendors, putting product on shelves. It is very strenuous. I failed to mention, I have mid and low back pain as well. At night, I have horrible pain in my legs, I cannot sleep. I have noticed that sitting, or crossing my legs causes my feet and toes to turn purple. Perhaps, poor circulation. I was doing very well on Chantax, however my doctor wanted me off it for my surgery. I am single, I need to work, I'm fearful of injuring my back again.
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 20 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Have a positive attitude towards your health

Detailed Answer:
Hi, Nice to hear from you.

I can feel your concern regarding your health from your description.

A few precautions to be followed during your job work -
* While at desk work, avoid placing your neck continuously in one position (like stooping down, looking up or sideways)
* While lifting heavy weights from the floor, always bend your knees (don't lift any weight with knees straight as it will exert enormous amount of strain on your back muscles & ligaments)

The nocturnal muscle pains in the legs could be due to muscle fatigue owing to your sternous job. Simple activities like -     Drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, massaging the cramped muscle with your hands or with ice,     taking a hot shower or warm bath & Stretching your leg muscles or riding a stationary bicycle for a few minutes before you go to bed may help in resolving your leg pains.

Have a great day
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