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Success Stories?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I see all these horror stories regarding ACDF surgery. I am just wondering if there is any success stories out there that someone could share? 8>

I am set up to have surgery on October 29th and I have nothing but positive feelings on the surgery. However when I read all the pain that people are still in afterward it makes me wonder....I can't wait until I get the surgery performed so I can live my life without any pain.

A positive attitude is a big part of having surgery and a speedy recovery, if you are negative things will not go your way, bacause you are already head strong thinking it will fail.
My advice to anyone who is thinking about or having any kind of surgery is to "Think Positive" :D

Look forward to reading some "positive" surgery stories.



  • I would have to say that my ACDF surgeries were sucessful. My OS has told me that 'bone wise' I am probably healed, but neurologicaly I have a ways to go. My case was much more than a ACDF. There were other problems to be taken care of. Due to myelopathy I am still dealing with some issues, probably for the rest of my life, but I am not in the pain that I had before my surgery. I am not 100 per cent by no means nor will I ever be, but I am very glad that the surgery took place. The doctors told me it would be a tough recovery, they were right, but if you take it easy and follow there directions, things usually work out. Good luck and keep us posted on your recovery.

  • Thanks Mark I appreciate you sharing. I will keep posting on here to let everyone know my success story!
  • Hi and best of luck with your surgery. Like you I look forward to having anything done which will assist my condition and have a possitive outlook.
    As Paul and Mark point out there are success stories out there, glad you will keep in touch following your own procedure.
  • Yes I am sure there are many success stories. It is a shame that those stories never reach this forum. I would love to hear some of them. It may be inspiring to others to know there is life after ACDF procedure!
  • Hi. :H My pain started only 5 months ago (seems like ages, though), but has steadily increased to where I have to take pain pills every day just to function. On Oct. 21, I'm scheduled for 3 lvl ACDF C4-5 C5-6 C6-7. I am alternately nervous and excited. :SS :))) I think it helps to have a little bit of time to prepare mentally and honestly, the longer the pain, the more I can't wait to get the ball rolling. I figure if I can just wake up after surgery, that's half the battle.

    I agree that you have to stay as positive as you can and I'm there with you. GOOD LUCK on your upcoming surgery. I plan on mine being a full success! <:P
  • I definitely consider mine a success! Even though my recovery was slow and long, it was well worth the wait.

    With a protrusion at C4-5, compressing my spinal cord to 50%, I had plenty of terrible symptoms from my neck to my hands to my legs. Just before the surgery I had gotten so bad that I had urinary urgency and hyperreflexia (when the NS tapped my left knee, my entire body bounced on the table...it was freaky weird). I couldn't move my neck at all, muscle atrophy had set it. Immediately after surgery I was in terrible pain, the urinary urgency was worse, by hands wouldn't stop trembling, my legs were in terrible pain, etc. I couldn't ride in the car without awful pain. But it was inflammation from the surgery...a lot of poking and proding going on in there....and just a slow path to recovery that the body needed to take There were times during my recovery I cried thinking that it was just so difficult; I didn't feel like I was getting better; I was discouraged and tired. But ultimately I'm too stubborn and persisted with the PT and exercises as directed. I am now more that 1 1/2 years post-op and I'd say I'm at 90 - 95% (depends on the day) and this is wonderful! I've posted twice in the Good News section.

    Educate yourself, understand what path of healing/recovery is right (or not right) for you, and find a great doctor.

    Take care!
  • I agree with you 150%!!! :) Mine scheduled 8 days after yours! I am like you I am so looking forward to this it is crazy. People ask "aren't you scared?" I am of course but who wouldn't be, I just want to live a pain free life. My pain has been with since agr 15 BUT it just really gotten really really intense in May of this year so we are similar in alot of ways.

  • Do you get up some mornings and when the pain starts, you say, "Dang, I wish the surgery were next week."? :))( My friend, who has been through a few surgeries, said a really cool thing. He said that as you're wheeled into the operating room, you're understandably nervous, but then you quickly drift into sleep and the next thing you know, you open your eyes and it's over. I find that thought comforting. From then on, it's all up to me (with a little help from my husband and mom-in-law, of course). Yay! This is also an excellent excuse to hog the recliner and remote. =))
  • Dem- I hope that your surgery gives you pain relief. I have not had surgery but there are days where I wish I could. I am sure you are going to be in pain after the surgery from the actual surgery. That will take some to heal. But I've read experiences where several have come out of surgery with no symptoms previous at all. Headaches, arm pains, and tingling gone.

    I wish you the best outcome, a speedy and successful outcome. Keep us updated.

  • I came home today after work to a voice mail that I was hoping not to get! My Ortho's office called to CANCEL the test I was to have on October 16th & 17th! I couldn't believe my ears. I called back to reschedule for the next week and they are already booked. My doctor performs these tests on Mon & Tues or Thurs & Fri. I had chosen Thurs & Fri so I could have have the weekend to recoop from the Myelogram & discogram. The nearest dates available is Oct 27th & 28th which is a Mon & Tues. Also, this is an over night hospital stay. Myelogram and Cervial discogram on one day spend the night then next day released to have the lumbar discogram. I also have to have someone drive me! Well that includes a family member! So, I had to make sure my sister which lives about 100 miles south of me has to change her schedule as well so she can be here with me.
    This is the second time he has cancelled on me the first time was 2 weeks ago for an appointment in his office.
    So, Now I am hoping (fingers crossed) that he will not cancel again, I am so looking forward to getting this done and I know that sounds crazy to some but I know you know how it feels.
    Since I have to have the test done on the 27th & 28th I can't have surgery until NOV 5th IF........the person scheduled would like to move to my old date of Sept 29th! You have to wait at least 6 days for the dye to exit your body from the myelogram to have surgery. If that person doesn't want to move their date to mine then I will be forced to NOV 12th date!!!
    I just got all the dates worked out with mty job and we worked out who would take over my position on the dates I would be gone even down to asking that person not to take a vacation day!! I now have to go in tomorrow and change the schedule! UGH!!!

    BUT.......at this point ANY date is a good date!! I will look forward to it always!!
    Sorry so long I had to vent!! =))
  • Patricia-
    I am so glad you have shared your story. I can tell you are very strong which is great you have to be to survive. I hope that you keep getting better and better with time. I know healing takes time and you have to be patient!

    We all have good days and bad hopefully more good. I love your quote it is so TRUE!!
  • Clarissa-
    Thank you so much for your kind words, I truely appreciate it!
    I am hoping for all my pains to be taken away by this surgery I am positive they will be.
    I haven't talked to anyone in person that has had this surgery I would love to sit down with them and listen to their story.
    I have a video of the ACDF surgery I will be having, it is an amazing procedure. The wonders of surgery! I absolutely can't wait for my day!
  • I think this is a very subjective topic. I've been a member of this community for 2 years now, and so to some I am sure I would be considered one of those horror stories. Heck, even to me I think it is a horror story. But even with everything that has happened, I still consider my story a success.

    I went into the surgery with so much pain that I was unable to continue on. I wasn't taking care of my children properly, wasn't doing my job as well as I should have, wasn't being a good wife, had no social life because of the pain, etc. Surgery was supposed to decompress the nerve roots causing my pain. That was done, so yes, it was a success. Unfortunately I continue having problems, but I do have a better quality of life now than I had previously. I am able to function without being fuzzy on drugs, I am able to laugh once in a while, I am able to play with my children again. Maybe not at the level I want to, but at least I am functioning somewhat.

    I think if one goes into spine surgery with the assumption that you will have zero pain afterwards, you are setting yourself up for a big let down. My doctor said he will not operate solely for pain relief, because there are no guarantees. What he can guarantee is that he can decompress the nerve roots causing the pain, and he can take the pressure off of the spinal cord so that no further damage is done. When he accomplishes those things, surgery is a success.

    Will I ever be normal again? Nope. But at least I can think of something other than pain 24/7, and that is a success.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Oh, Dem, I'm so sorry to hear that. I know how I'd feel if mine kept getting delayed, so frustrated. And, like you said, it's not just the surgery, it's work, rides, recovery, everything. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you (and with you).

    Just LOVE your positive attitude - that's gonna help you heal faster than anything.
  • dem, I'm lucky enough to be able to talk with a guy who had the same procedure I'm having done by the SAME SURGEON. How cool is that? I have about a million questions I want to ask. I know his was a complete success and was back to work in a month. Dem, if I actually knew this person, I'd ask him to call you, too. :)))

    Last night, I was feeling so good that I turned on some music real loud and danced around while I handwashed some pots and pans. Boy, do I feel lousy today. That's one thing I really hate is that you feel so good you overdo it and really pay for it the next day. #o

    Neck, you bring up a very good point about the assumption of being pain-free. I think that's a great way to think of it. I don't think I've ever had the level of pain you describe, so I can understand why you consider yours a success because you've had a certain degree of relief. I wish for you continued healing and more happy and hopeful days! >:D<
  • I am having the darnest time trying to get my insurance to even talk to me about coverage and authrizations! Even my doctors office isn't getting any response.

    I know that if you want something done, you have to do it yourself! That is what I intend to do one way or another I will get the andswers I need.
    Laziness is one of my pet peeves and I believe someone at my insurance company has dropped the ball and is taken a nap! =)) They can't get me down either. Tests and Surgery will go on. One way or another!
  • Wow, I would love to find someone to talk like you have. You are very lucky!!
    I am hoping for just a one level surgery on C6. My doctor seems to think I will be back at work pretty quickly.
    He does the surgery on Wednesday's only so he said with you positive attitude and your way of thinking I am sure you will able to go back to work the following Monday! Which is awesome! He doesn't use collars or neck braces! Says that collars just makes your neck weak!.

    My doctor is very positive also so that helps me right along. You knowI bet I will be at work the following Monday if it is indeed only a level 1.

    I will keep posting here, hoping between both of us we can spread being positive and help others.
    Like I said before having a positive attitude is half the battle!
  • She is eight days post op C-4-5-6 anterior fusion, (plate screws and glue) and one of the most active physical women I know. To begin with she has three horses and plans to trail ride and continue teaching. Is this feasible to any of you?

    Recovery is going well and the initial pains are subsiding. I found another string here that was nothing but post op horror stories. I searched and found this string.

  • Irishmare, I haven't been on here in a very long time, a couple of years, and isn't it odd that you should post on this thread the very day I decided to pop back in for a visit.

    I don't know your friend's story, so I can't really say what her recovery will be like and if she will do the things she did before. I'm sure you can find so many varied recovery stories on this forum which can make it very confusing. We're all different. But I can tell you about myself.

    When I first found this site, I really needed it. It was information, friendship, people who were going through exactly what I was going through. After surgery I continued to improve, slowly, and as I improved I didn't need as much help. My recovery was not easy and somewhere on this website, in one of these old threads, is a link to the old, previous website (pre-2008) where I had documented those painful days of recovery. As I healed, physically and mentally, my life became full again with family, work, and new adventures. I didn't hang around, I moved forward with my life. And for this reason you may not find a lot of success stories on this website, but that's not to say they don't exist.

    Possibilites for a pain-free, "normal" future exist, never lose hope!

  • I had a one-level 6-7 ACDF 4 weeks and 2 days ago, and I am probably on the far end of the success bell-curve.

    I had severe pain and weakness prior to the surgery for a couple of months.

    I was walking on the first day, back at work (just a half day) the following week (surgery on Wednesday, work on the next Tuesday) and have been completely pain free at some point during week 3. My surgeon was one of the no neck brace, get back to normal as soon as you can club.

    Some people definitely have issues, but there are success stories too - my snowboarding season is done for now, but I will be back out there next year doing normal stuff for sure. My only problem right now is trying to force myself to take it easy for the next couple of months so that I don't screw up the healing.

    I only really discovered this forum after I had the surgery - I am not sure I would have posted at all were it not for this specific thread, so there may be a few of us out here.
  • For Patricia and you; thank you both for the encouraging words. This surgery was delayed too long in hopes that we could get her an artificial disc. We researched it to the nth degree. I found the one Neuro in Maine that would do it (Ecker); and he determined that there were two levels involved and would not do a two level artificial disc procedure. He did do the surgery and we are pleased (plate, screws and epoxy). She has had the usual swallowing difficulty and her taste is messed up. There was no collar ordered, and encouraged too exercise to her limit.

    She was backed over by a contractor in May as he parked his truck and knocked her down, totally blind siding her. So there has been a litany of other professionals involved. It's a good thing I'm retired as this has turned into a full time occupation.

    God bless...
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