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Thread: can anyone help me with answers?/

  1. #1

    can anyone help me with answers?/

    Hi
    I hope I am in the right place, and i am thankful to any replies...My dad was in a bad car accident 6 months ago (he is 60), he fractured his neck (odontoid), three weeks later he had an anterior spinal fusion. he is very lucky that he has no paralysis and survived the injury, but the Drs say that his fusion is not fusing or healing...nothing has moved but they sent him away for four months and said that if it moves in the next four months that they will have to do another surgery, if not, it just may never heal! Does this sound right? To me, it sounds like they are not doing enough or dont know what to do but im so worried about him having this non union that could shift at any time!

  2. #2
    Does he wear the stabilizing collar? I guess they are giving it more time to fuse.
    CWO

  3. #3
    no they took the collar off of him the day after surgery and said he didnt need it anyomre, I wa quite stunned at this but the Dr assured that he no longer needed it, that his neck was now stable. What concerns me is that the Dr said it may never heal and i just dont know how someone can live a normal life with a fractured neck that has not healed.

  4. #4
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    A non-union is a possibility with these kinds of surgery. I would think however that the collar should be used for up to six weeks after the surgery. Wierd...
    Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

  5. #5
    adele, what did they use to stabilize the fusion while it healed -- rods?
    It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

    ~Julius Caesar


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by adele81 View Post
    Hi
    I hope I am in the right place, and i am thankful to any replies...My dad was in a bad car accident 6 months ago (he is 60), he fractured his neck (odontoid), three weeks later he had an anterior spinal fusion. he is very lucky that he has no paralysis and survived the injury, but the Drs say that his fusion is not fusing or healing...nothing has moved but they sent him away for four months and said that if it moves in the next four months that they will have to do another surgery, if not, it just may never heal! Does this sound right? To me, it sounds like they are not doing enough or dont know what to do but im so worried about him having this non union that could shift at any time!
    Adele81,

    Non-union of odontoid fractures are very common. Your instincts are correct. This should be treated surgically. There is a high probability that it will not fuse by itself, especially since it has been 6 months since his injury. The following article written in 2007 by a neurosurgeon in South Africa summarizes the consensus of the field, that an odontoid non-union should be treated surgically.

    http://www.ispub.com/ostia/index.php...2/odontoid.xml

    However, the article is about odontoid fractures that had not been operated on and stabilized before. The decision of what to do after surgery had been done is controversial. Much depends on what surgery was done and how stable the stabilization is. Odontoid stabilization is hard to achieve in some patients (Source).

    If you are worried, you should obtain a second opinion from another doctor. Your father's doctor(s) should be happy to provide the referral.

    Wise.
    Last edited by Wise Young; 10-21-2009 at 03:09 AM.

  7. #7
    Wise,
    Thank you so much for your reply and supply of articles to read, it is much appreciated. My dad had an anterior cervical fusion with 2 screws and the Dr says it is stable even though it is not healing or fusing. He said he wont do the surgery unless it shifts, but couldnt it shift at any time? It seems so dangerous and scary to me to walk around that way. Dr says it may never heal! Can somoene live a normal life like that? Thanks for your knowledge

  8. #8
    SO Sorry, I meant to thank all for your replies, it means a lot to me that people are willing to take the time to write. hipcrip they placed 2 screws in his neck during the surgery to help it fuse but he didnt wear a collar or anything after the surgery.

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