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S&C UnderGround >> Cervical Fusion - Anyone had one?


9/12/12 11:03 AM
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Ptolemy
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Having C6-C7 fused in a few weeks. Does anyone have experience with this and getting back in the gym? What about BJJ? Is it not worth the risk? Phone Post
9/13/12 8:09 PM
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MbA7601
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My mom went through exactly that about a year ago. Granted, she's in her 50s, she's still pretty sensitive there and has a lot of stiffness.. She used to run and do like a boot camp type class, she tried it a few months ago but got some constant dizziness...

Wish you the best though man Phone Post
9/20/12 12:16 PM
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Niknak
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I've had exactly that, I'm now back into weightlifting and have done a little MMA since injury. Starting BJJ in next week or so.

Ref your questions, it depends on the specifics really. What sort of technology is being used for the fusion?
9/20/12 3:43 PM
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Ptolemy
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A synthetic scaffold between the vertebrae and a titanium plate in front. How long before you were confident with the strength of the fusion? What did your specialist say about BJJ? Phone Post
9/21/12 5:41 AM
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Niknak
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In my experience specialists know nothing about combat sports. So they aren't best placed to give tailored advice.

That said, in my case I was told there was no reason why I shouldn't go back, depending on how I felt. But my technology is different to yours. I have a 'peek cage' with no external plating, so my neck has completely absorbed all external materials. I simply now have a longer chunk of bone in my neck, vs before where it was 2 x chunks of bone with a disc in the middle (if that makes sense).

I believe, at least in my research, that the plating could be a real issue for you when attempting to get back into contact sports / heavy lifting.

That aside, in my case, I was only 'confident' enough to go back to combat sports after I'd had an additional MRI at the 1yr mark to ensure the implant was completely absorbed and the bone was solid. And then I left it a further 6 months. I also ate loads of calcium lol.

I haven't done loads of mma training so far but I have rolled and sparred a tiny bit. I've had tight headlocks, been kicked up the head (albeit I covered with arm) and taken a solid punch up the head - all fine thus far. It was a new club and no-one knew about my injury, so no-one looking to take it easy on me specifically.

I have a little left over nerve pain from the impingement experienced before the op, which may never heal. This can make any impact more painful than it was before, however the pain does not mean the neck is being damaged, it simply that my nerves are now more sensitive than they were before.

In terms of S&C, for me personally it took about 6months to start running with minor nerve pain due to the impact on pavement. But now 2yrs on I'm completely fine. I started lifting about 5months after (very light) and now about 2yrs later I'm lifting heavier, but don't go too crazy (about 1 x BW bench press for reps, 1 x BW dumbell squat for reps, overhead press about 0.25 BW for reps).

Hope this helps but any more questions just ask and I'd be happy to help. I know the pain, both mental and physical, so anything I can do...

(BTW mods might want to move this to injury forum)
9/21/12 6:59 AM
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Ptolemy
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Thank you so much for your assistance man. When I asked about any risk associated with taking a hit to the head and heavily lifting they just looked at me like I was a thug. I'm in my 20s and I don't want this to destroy the way I live. Phone Post
9/21/12 7:58 AM
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Niknak
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No problem.

TBH I think it's just about how you feel and the risks you are willing to take, as it definitely is a risk factor.

For example do I think I'll be hardcore sparring full power multiple times a week - no. Will I be powerlifting - no.

However I do want to have 1 x fight before I'm too old (32 now), and I do lift moderately heavy weights. So I will be intelligently training with that aim, and hoping that I stay fit enough to achieve my goals.

I've never done BJJ before, only sub wrestling, but as I understand it the gi can slow things down, so your risk of injury with a fusion is probably lower.

I would venture a guess at saying you can still enjoy training, but if you wanted to pursue a pro-MMA career you'd be exposing yourself to a very high risk IMHO.

Personally after all the issues I've had due to my injury - no training, depression, weight gain, getting a bit too alcohol dependent for my liking, no women - with all that now behind me I'm just trying to be sensible as I don't want to go back. It's been like a few years of my life have been stolen from me.

BTW in your research your may read about Keanu Reeves having an ACDF then doing stunts immediately after. But trust me, once you've had the op you will not be wanting to jump around anywhere for a long time.
9/21/12 1:06 PM
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GaryG
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There's a fairly long thread about this on the Health & Medicalground called "Bad C5-C6 Herniation Q & A please"

I'll bump it for you. Lots of info.

Good luck.
9/21/12 1:07 PM
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GaryG
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Edited: 09/21/12 1:07 PM
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dble
9/21/12 9:51 PM
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Ptolemy
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Thanks GaryG, some good info there, read through all of it. Phone Post
9/23/12 7:56 PM
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Malloy
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2004 fusion C-5 C-6

Went back to BJJ after 1 year received my blackbelt in 08. I do everything I used to do, my job does not promote good posture and is high impact. I have pain now and again but not many problems.

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