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Elk hunting after neck fusion

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Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby Bruce » 02 07, 2019 •  [Post 1]

Well the time has come that I have dreaded, going in for 3 section cervical fusion C5-6-7). Anyone have personal experience with elk hunting after this surgery? I expect this year to be out while recovering, just not sure what to expect after that. Any info is appreciated...

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Re: Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby tbarile » 02 07, 2019 •  [Post 2]

Bruce
I had c5 & 6 fused around 10 years ago. Had it done on a Friday and went back to work on Tuesday (medical sales). I was restricted from lifting anything over 20lbs (I think) for 4-6 weeks but then I was good to go. I began lifting weights as soon as I was out of that 6 week window and It hasn’t kept me from doing any activity that I want (waterski, Hunt, etc)I would think you would be good to go for elk season this year.
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Re: Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby Bruce » 02 07, 2019 •  [Post 3]

Thanks for the upbeat news
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Re: Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby saddlesore » 02 07, 2019 •  [Post 4]

Not my neck,but my first fusion that was in July ,I went on a full ten day elk hunt on horses wearing a full body brace. The second one was in a March, I went ML hunting in September,on mules.

Just be careful 50% of people that have spinal fusions are back for more surgery within 5 years.

Docs says I need C6-C7 fused and L4-L3 fused. Ain't going to happen any time soon
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Re: Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby BobcatJerry » 02 07, 2019 •  [Post 5]

I would think you'd be good with cervical fusions, they don't bear as much weight as the lumbar. Had my L4-5 fused 22 years ago and was playing adult soccer within a year plus a physical job. Had my 3-4 fused 2.5 years ago and was up and working around farm in 3 months and hunted the following fall, backpacked in 90 lbs. Had my hip replace 1.5 years ago, didn't go so well. Pushed it to early, and still not ready to go. Missed my elk hunt last fall and most of whitetail. Most do better than I did. I think you'll be going hunting. Just take it easy when and listen to the doc.Good luck.
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Re: Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby Bruce » 02 08, 2019 •  [Post 6]

Thanks again for the input. This will be my second neck surgery and am concerned about loss of mobility for sure. Hope to see you all in elk woods next season
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Re: Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby Lefty » 02 08, 2019 •  [Post 7]

Bruce wrote:Thanks again for the input. This will be my second neck surgery and am concerned about loss of mobility for sure. Hope to see you all in elk woods next season

Wow I almost feel for you
The spine specialist wants me to have surgery .
My friend neighbor and Bishop, a pheriphial nerve specialist says as long as the pain is bearable to stay away.

I believe many of the elder ( over 65) experienced hunters can give you the best suggestions.
I’m now 60: there are a lot of things I know longer participate in such as going fast in a vehicle, water and snow skiing playing hockey. I sold my 32 and 42 foot ladders

Before shoulder surgery I shot my compound bow 75 percent let off set at 37 lb just occasionally passed on
Way too many big and huge bulls under 40 yards I was shooting 44 lb during sept only drew on bulls and always lost arrows while letting down .

It can be done, just different than what you are use to
I hunted the relatively flat desert because of my hip and
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Re: Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby js80138 » 02 08, 2019 •  [Post 8]

Bruce I want to add my two cents to this conversation as I had a spinal fusion Oct 8, 2018. Please do your rehab completely. Everything your PT prescribes will be beneficial for your future health. Don't adjust at your pace because you feel like it. I wrote about my archery season in the Tree Stand tab. The thread is titled Ground Stand Hunting. I was very honest about my pre surgery status. As I type this tonight I have to say that I have not been this healthy since playing high level athletics. I attribute my physical fitness to my PT as I followed all of his advice, everyday. The season will be here before we know it. I have full confidence you will be able to hunt without restrictions if you follow the PT protocol.

All the Best,

Jimmy
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Re: Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby ray56hoc » 02 09, 2019 •  [Post 9]

I had my c6 and c7 fused in 1986 after a car accident while I was in the army and did very well after that. I have been on many hunts since. In 2003 I had to go back in and have the c5 fused at the VA hospital and recovered well and even had to deploy to Iraq for a year tour 8 months after that surgery. I may not have quite the range of motion and am always a little stiff in the neck but I still work a full time physical job and go on any and all hunts I can afford. I got a nice 348 6 x 6 bull elk last sept on a utah limited entry muzzle loader tag that I drew. I think if your having the surgery soon you will be good to go for any hunt this fall if you have a good recovery. Good luck have a quick recovery and good hunting. Ray
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Re: Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby blackwolf » 02 09, 2019 •  [Post 10]

Bruce, is your surgery going to be anterior (thru front of neck) or posterior ( thru back neck muscles). This makes a huge difference! Nine years ago I had an anterior fusion of C4-C5 and C5-C6 after losing left shoulder strength (couldn't even hold bow up). That went good and by 6 months out, pretty normal. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, once you have one level done, others follow. I had C3-C4 and C6-C7 done about 3 years ago, also anterior. Seemed to be going fine but was bothered by working more than previous surgery, I should have taken 3 months off but pay would have suffered. I kept having problems until got so bad (didn't fuse properly) I needed Posterior fusion C3-C4-C5-C6-C7_T1. This was 15 months ago and I was finally able to hunt some but very limited last Nov. It has been a life-changing experience. Can no longer work full-time, thankfully I am 65. I agree with above, don't have fusion until absolutely necessary. A Posterior fusion can be hell. Muscles that hold head don't fully recover.
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Re: Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby tbarile » 02 10, 2019 •  [Post 11]

Agree with everyone that you shouldn’t have fusion until absolutely necessary but having one fusion has not been found the culprit to other fusions. There is a lot of research on this and I spoke with my doc at length regarding this. They have no idea why some need additional surgery and others don’t. Could it be the original procedure? Additional degeneration that was going to happen anyway? Etc... No science points to a definitive reason. If you are losing considerable strength, have numbness, and PT, chiropractor, or cortisone injections don’t help, surgery is your only option. Get the opinion of a couple different surgeons before you take the plunge.
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Re: Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby saddlesore » 02 10, 2019 •  [Post 12]

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Re: Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby saddlesore » 02 10, 2019 •  [Post 13]

tbarile wrote:Agree with everyone that you shouldn’t have fusion until absolutely necessary but having one fusion has not been found the culprit to other fusions. There is a lot of research on this and I spoke with my doc at length regarding this. They have no idea why some need additional surgery and others don’t. Could it be the original procedure? Additional degeneration that was going to happen anyway? Etc... No science points to a definitive reason. If you are losing considerable strength, have numbness, and PT, chiropractor, or cortisone injections don’t help, surgery is your only option. Get the opinion of a couple different surgeons before you take the plunge.


One reason that further fusions are necessary is the next vertebrae/disc on top of the existing fusion takes all the stress.Especially twisting and turning Those who do not do a life style change and take care of that fusion are most susceptible. Sorry,but talking to three different ortho surgeons and two neuro surgeons they do not agree with your doctor.Their statistics show 50% of fusion patients or more will require further surgery in the future.True, degenerative joint disease adds to the equation. Having two fusion and the degeneration myself. I can attest to that
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Re: Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby tbarile » 02 10, 2019 •  [Post 14]

saddlesore wrote:
tbarile wrote:Agree with everyone that you shouldn’t have fusion until absolutely necessary but having one fusion has not been found the culprit to other fusions. There is a lot of research on this and I spoke with my doc at length regarding this. They have no idea why some need additional surgery and others don’t. Could it be the original procedure? Additional degeneration that was going to happen anyway? Etc... No science points to a definitive reason. If you are losing considerable strength, have numbness, and PT, chiropractor, or cortisone injections don’t help, surgery is your only option. Get the opinion of a couple different surgeons before you take the plunge.


One reason that further fusions are necessary is the next vertebrae/disc on top of the existing fusion takes all the stress.Especially twisting and turning Those who do not do a life style change and take care of that fusion are most susceptible. Sorry,but talking to three different ortho surgeons and two neuro surgeons they do not agree with your doctor.Their statistics show 50% of fusion patients or more will require further surgery in the future.True, degenerative joint disease adds to the equation. Having two fusion and the degeneration myself. I can attest to that[/quote

I too spoke with multiple ortho and neuro guys. I’m in medical sales so I had the luxury of talking with a lot of surgeons to get not only their opinion on which surgeon to use but also the disease. Do a google search and read studies looking st patients with ACDF or ASP and you will see that one study will show a higher rate of ASP while the next shows no difference. Bottom line is that ACDF May or May not lead to further surgery but I wouldn’t put it off if nothing else was helping. A prolonged delay can lead to irreversible nerve damage.
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Re: Elk hunting after neck fusion

Postby Bruce » 02 10, 2019 •  [Post 15]

Thanks for the inputs, after the first surgery I have lost a lot of mobility and range of motion. Basically the first surgery made looking up more than 10-15 degrees from normal basically impossible. I used to waterfowl hunt a bunch, and really cant do that much anymore. I guess my biggest worry is I will lose anymore mobility. I was back out deer hunting withing 6 months after the first surgery but that is much different than having to pack in and hopefully pack out meat if successful. I am definitely motivated to get better and going in to surgery my fitness is much better this go around.
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