• Chance4Charlie

Bone grafts & trusting your surgeon

One of the decisions I have had to make recently was whether to use cadaver bone or my own rib bone for the bone graft that will go around the structure they build to fuse my cervical spine. We were originally advised to go with my own rib as there is a lower risk of rejection and a higher success rate of bone growth. As the bone graft is meant to grow around the structure they build to fuse and make it one piece from the skull to the beginning of my thoracic spine.

Although I have done a lot of research, I think one of the most important things going into a big surgery is to have trust in your surgeon. I know my surgeons are the best possible people to be operating on me and I feel extremely lucky to be gaining access to this hospital and this team.

We originally decided on my own bone being used as I have a pretty high risk of rejection and slow healing. On further reviewing my case my surgeons have decided my instability and issues in the rest of my spine and ribs (which move on a daily basis) are too severe and the risk of causing greater instability is more concerning than the risk of rejection. So we are going for cadaver bone. Cadaver bone also costs 1500 euros, so luckily we have that in the pot.

I am nervous about the risks of rejection or failure to fuse but this is why stayng in Barcelona for as long as possible is so important to me. Knowing that the surgeons who can deal with any issues that may arise are close by will give me the piece of mind I need to heal and recover.

This is also a reminder to me that although this surgery, if successful will save my life and hopefully fix my biggest and most pressing health issue (the neck instability) I will be far from well. I have syrinx's down a third of my spine, instability and frequent dislocations down the entire spine, most likely tethered cord, scoliosis, several herniated and thinning discs. Essentially my spine is a hot mess. This is the beginning of a long journey to better health and thank you to everyone who is on this journey supporting me!

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