I had an acdf c6-c7 with Peek implant in february 2020. CT scan 1 year post acdf shows no fusion. I am having a lot of pain in my neck. Surgeon says this pain might be from incomplete fusion, but also from the herniated disc between c5-c6 or even from my facets that have arthritis. He wants to redo the c6-c7 and also do c5-c6. I very much regret having the 1 level acdf. Getting a 2 level acdf to me sounds completely crazy. Especially since c3-c4 is also bulging.
I would like to hear your opinion on 2 things:
1)Stem cell therapy for c5-c6, and maybe even c3-c4. Is this a therapy that works? And what are the risks? If it goes wrong, I can still have the level fused. So to me the risk seems low?
2)Replacing the c6-c7 fusion with an ADR. I have read that this has been done by some surgeons already. What is your opinion? What are the risks?
“Stem cells are stupid” is one of my favorite sayings. Stem cells need a “trigger protein” to turn into the cell line you want and base to attach to so there is growth and blood circulation. This is asking a lot for a cell injected epidurally.
I don’t think you should consider an ADR to replace a pseudoarthosis. The segment has been too stiff for too long and trying to regain motion can generate local pain. If you would have another surgery, I would use your own bone (ICBG) to give you the greatest chance to fuse that level.