I had a ACDF on C4-C5 in March 2005. My diagnosis was severe spinal cord compression and my symptoms were pretty bad. Not only was I numb from the hands up to my elbows, but I was terribly off balance and falling down all the time. After this surgery I regained the feeling in my hands and arms, my balance was much better and I thought that was that.
Unfortunately, my balance started to once again deteriorate last year - I didn't go to my Dr. at the time, as my husband of 44 years was dying of cancer. He passed away May 7, 2008.
It took me awhile, but I finally made an appt. for my spinal problems in Oct. I was referred to the neurologist who referred me to the neurosurgeon.
I'm very concerned as the neurosurgeon says that a posterior laminectomy from C3-C7 fusion with my own bone and cadaver bone needs to be done. She also told me that I would have "significant loss of range of motion moving my head from side to side and also up and down".
I am going to have a phone appt. with her Tuesday at 9:a.m. (PST) as I have many questions. When I was at her office I was so shocked, that I simply didn't comprehend everything she told me.
The MRI basically explains that my cervical spine has worsened since 2005. The MRI says "C3-C4 disc is suspected to have developed at least moderately severe degenerative disc height loss since 3-28-05".
The MRI goes on listing C5-C7 - mainly stenosis has increased, development of a posterior disc-osteophyte complex.(Whatever that is - I "Googled it, but didn't find any real answers).
I would like to know if anyone has had their neck fused and have you had this many disc's fused? What is your range of motion???????? That is my biggest concern - will I never be able to move my head side to side? How will I be able to drive?
I would appreciate any and all replies to help me understand a bit more as to why my doctor thinks I have to be fused, and if so, is the range of motion permanent?
Sorry if I made a mess of this post. My mind simply cannot wrap around this right now.