Is there hope after spinal fusion? (cervical)

I Have C5-6 fusion and I am as good as new... I had a totally blown disc with disc material floating in my spinal canal with impingement. Whole right side of my upper body got weak and atrophied.

I have competed in the worlds 18months after as a Brownbelt and was fine, and I just won a Silver in the Pan this year... was the best i ever felt... so ya, he can recover.

I LOT depends on whats wrong and what C#'s but be SURE to have him go to a sports medicine doctor... not just some regular hospital doctor... cause I can tell you right now standard hospital docs dont know there ass from there elbow when it comes to athletes and there injuries and what they can and cant recover from

My advice? Dont let anyone tell him he 'cant' do something... if they say that walk right out and go to someone else!

TravenBJJ - 
deamergb - 
TravenBJJ -  ^^^^^  Pretty sure the doctors will let him know what is best for him.  Stop scaring people.

I apologize is anyone thinks I was trying to scare people. My feedback was based on this from the OP:

" He is devastated now and severly depressed because doctors tell him don’t even think about combat sports again"

I have been to the top spine doctor in the south Dr Rhee.  I have also sent all my MRI to Dr Jho in Pittsburgh.  They both tell me I should be alright to coompete after acdf surgery.   I am trying to get the minimally invasive surgery done by Dr. Jho

Best of luck.

Bad C5-C6 Herniation Q & A please

I am a pain management specialist who did a fellowship in spine interventions. The majority of patients who come to see me have had spinal fusions by a surgeon.

I am also a ringside doc as well and a BJJer.

Competing in MMA after a spinal fusion depends on many factors. The condition and stability of the rest of your spine, the number of levels involved, the approach and type of fusion selected, any other medical conditions, h/o smoking, h/o poor healing or scar/keloid formation among many others.

In general multi-level fusions have dubious success rates in healthy non-combat exposed patients. Exposing these to the impact of combat is foolish because of the risk of failure and chronic severe pain or even worse neurologic deficits.

Small minimally invasive techniques are tolerated better and are less succeptible to cataastrophic failures, pseudoarthrosis, hardware failure, infections and scar formation(arachnoiditis)

So it all depends on your particular condition, your current state and what they plan on doing. Everybody is different. But if it were me and my livelihood did not depend on it, I would stick to grappling and not allow my head to get smashed in MMA. Chronic pain is terrible. I treat it everyday. It would be terrible to have a successful surgery that fails as a result of competition.

If your surgeon tells you not to compete don't go looking for someone to OK it after he operates because your surgeon will have had first hand knowledge of your spine and will possibly be unwilling to pick up the pieces if you shatter his good work. This type of revision would almost definitely result in a poor outcome. Just my opinion.

PM me if you want to chat

Some great info coming in. I truly appreciate it. He ruptured two disks: the first was between his c3-c4 and the second was his c5-c6, so he has 2 seperate fusions with a healthy c4-c5 disk between them (as someone said he went from 7 vertebrae to 5  vertebrae.

I really appreciate the info so if you've reading and have something to share, please do so.  In the end he is the onyl one who can make his decisions, but this young kid (23) is like my little brother and I'd be beside myself if he were to get injured again, maybe this time permanently in training.  I just need to hear what others have been thru, what you can or can't do after the surgery and how you felt about it.

I think this also helps me because I have an injury that i know needs surgery to fix, but can't come to terms that It means that I might have to stop training with my students.



More on this later but anyone have a 3-level ACDF?

Bull_in_chinashop -  well I too have 2 herniated disks and expereince pain and numbness from it but have elected (or rather procrastinated) to delay any surgery until absolutely necessary.

I'm in the same boat. Cervical and lumbar herniations.

My cervical herniation is more severe at this point causing intermittent neurological problems, but my lumbar herniation causes more constant pain.

I was a hard charging outdoorsman before my injuries and I've had to make lifestyle changes. I also have not messed with weight training since the c-spine injury. All I can say is it fucking sucks, I wish I had my old life back, and small amounts of opiates are enough to give my a halfway active lifestyle.


Rigamaroles - Each case is different, but your friend should be fine. I heard much of the same things from my surgeons that I visited with before I had surgery. I had two discs removed, shaved some bone spurring from the spinal stenosis and they did a laminectomy which is where they remove the sides of the vertebrae. I have osteoarthritis in my back and it will never be like it should be....but I'm good. It's probably 80%, but that's good enough to do Judo, box, kickbox, run, you name it. A lot of it turns into a mental battle and just managing your discomfort and pain. As long as he makes healthy decisions post surgery and takes it slowly, he should be able to any and everything he currently does. Mine wasn't cervical though, it was lumbar.

What were your symptoms prior to the surgery?

 Sounds like ou are a perfect candidate for the new procedures, Travenbjj.

I had C5-C7 fused a year ago. I'll let you know what happens when I attempt to train again in a few months. Phone Post

 Every case is different.

If he continues to train he will continue to fuck his neck up, there is no way around it. He maybe able to tough it out for a couple of years but the pain will only get worse.

jkkazmier - If he continues to train he will continue to fuck his neck up, there is no way around it. He maybe able to tough it out for a couple of years but the pain will only get worse.

If you have no clue as to what your talking about please just dont say anything.... this is a serious thread

I have ddd and been there done that. But by all means, let him figure it out for himself and ignore what the doctor told him, that is exactly what I did;)

i am getting a different surgery that will let me return to intense training

ask about

"microsurgical laminoforaminotomy and microdiscectomy. This procedure would allow the surgeon to remove the fragments beneath the left c7 nerve root without fusing your spine and potentially allowing you to return to vigorous athletic activities."




man ask the doctors about my surgery im getting

i had a doctor that wanted to give me 4 fusions

sometimes the underground can be a beautiful place