Today was a six-month follow-up on anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery where two herniated discs were removed, vertebrae C5-C7 were fused, and bone spurs removed. Before seeing the surgeon, a CT scan was conducted. The scan showed significant bone growth between the vertebrae (circled in the image). The screws are visible in the scan. The surgeon was very pleased at the amount of bone growth, decreasing muscle pain, increasing muscle strength, and decreasing numbness and tingling in my fingers. Nerve regeneration may take 1-2 years and hopefully things will continue to get better over time. If Payton Manning can lead the Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl after a similar surgery for one disc, then there’s hope for me!
Vertebrae C1-C2 were also checked on the CT scan since rheumatoid arthritis commonly impacts those joints that are near the skull. On a MRI radiology report last spring, it was noted that there was mild degeneration in that region. The surgeon showed those joints on the CT scan and indicated that there was some inflammation and bone-spurring present but it didn’t appear to be problematic at this time. I was told to pay attention to any deep pain in that region.
This was a very good report to receive. In hindsight, getting this surgery was a good decision giving the deteriorating situation at the time.