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here I go again!!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everyone! I appreciate all your responses to my last post about my fear of having surgery. I am scheduled for Jan 23rd. I have another opinion tomorrow. Right now, honestly, I am 50-50 that I will go through with it. I suppose i will be swayed one way or another after tomorrow's appt. I have two questions,can someone help?
#1. By having this surgery ( Two level cervical fusion and discectomy), am I starting a chain reaction? When I read alot of our posts, I see that most people have several surgeries. It almost seems like that by having one, its only time until you will need another.
#2. Is there anyone out there who has good days along with the bad ones? Lately, I've been feeling rather good. I had an epidural right before christmas, and since its so cold here (New Jersey), I've been pretty inactive. I find that I have most of my problems in spring and summer due to being more active. There are days I'm in horrible pain, but days that I feel good. I know one person wrote me that that happens to her, but how do you decide to have surgery when you feel good...lOL! DOes anyone else have that??? Its easy for me right now NOT to want the surgery because I feel ok. But when I get active again, I'll be in bad pain.
I have herinated discs from c4-7, all indenting the spinal cord, with severe spinal stenosis. @)


  • Hi,
    I felt like you before I decided to go threw with it. I didn't get the surgery until 2 1/2 years later. I tried every conservative method first and yes I did have good days, but then the bad days started to get worse. I'm almost 4 weeks out and at first I regretted having it done because I was in more pain after the surgery, but now, I'm slowly starting to feel better every day. My guess is that if you don't get the surgery now, you'll only wind up doing it later and maybe it will do more damage by waiting.
    I hope it doesn't create a chain reaction. That is exactly my concern too, but.....you gotta do what you gotta do!
    Let us know how you make out tomorrow....
  • Id say go for it. Who wants to live in pain for long stretches at a time? Ive been researching surgery outcomes for 2 years now. I have come across many people in life who have had these fusion surgeries. My conclusion is that 70% end up much better (may take 1 to 1.5 yrs to get there though) 20% still have issues, 10% worse off. Those are dam good odds, though keep in mind also just my unscientific guess from memory.My company accountant had fusion 8 years ago and she has no other issues. The clients whom I closed thier home loan told me they both had fusions 4 years ago and they both have had a excellent successful outcome to date.

    Secondly, I know you have your mind made up on fusion, but, I cant help but suggest ADR instead. I am finding a much higher success rate for ADR patients than fusion. Much faster healing process also. Problem is, if your surgeon doesnt do ADR's, there's an automatic bias for him to recommend against ADR's.Lastly, assuming this is cervical fusion, if the ADR goes bad, you can always take it out and still fuse. But once youve fused, you cant go ADR.

    But if fusion is what its gonna be, you're still alright with that too.

    I too have been putting off the idea of surgery and floundered my way through on and off pain, but the pain is so bad now that Im just literally " pissed off" and just want it done. Ive had enough!! So, I have absolutely no sliver of doubt on my decision for surgey.

    Hell, if all hell breaks loose after surgery, they do got pain pumps so i can live my days out as a druggy gettin always high. Not too bad of a way to go??? he he he

    Take care ya all :0)
  • I had the same levels affected as you.It took me five years to finally find someone who would do my surgery.I was in such bad pain all the time but in the back of my mind i kept thinking what am i crazy wanting someone to cut into my spinal canal. 8} I found a great surgeon who did it and i felt so much better even the day i woke up from the surgery.I couldn't have made a better choice. Your right i also have read a lot of people having more surgeries after having one,but who knows if its because they had the first one or they just have bad spines and would have needed them anyways.I did have an mri of my entire spine before my surgery and i have many more herniated discs.Hopefully they will shrink down and go back into place.If you have severe stenosis then there is no way to fix it except for surgery,you may be able to help the pain with the injections but your not curing the problem just hiding it. Good luck making your decision
  • The best thing I ever did was have my ACDF surgery back in June! Only one level (c6-c7), but my neck feels almost like it did before I started having my problems. I only have had a few, VERY FEW bad days. I had some very mild stiffness/soreness in my neck for about a week. Of course, I still have a mild disc bulge further up, and like you I live in New Jersey. It was nothing I had had before, so...

    I find that when I am cold, I tense up, and that might have been my issue (as I do go outside sometimes for work), as fast as it came, it went away. Of course, we really only had a few very cold days so far this winter with no snow, might have been.

    Nothing anyone can say will make you go either way, but like you, I wasn't so sure about my surgery. My wife was 100% against it. You know, all the horror stories she heard from people. After a month or so of debating, my wife finally said that if I really had an 80% chance of everything going away, then that is what we needed, as I did nothing anymore but live in pain (and complain).

    I did exactly what my doctor told me to do, and I am so very thankful that everything went ok for me.

    I have had my one neurosurgeon inform me that epidurals only mask your problems, they are not really healthy for your body, and above all, the do not fix your problem. They will of course help you for a while if they work, mine took a few days to work, then back to where I was basically before having one within a few days.

    Since my surgery I can honestly say all of my main problems that were associated from my cervical neck are history. Again, had a few bad days with some newer soreness, but I have been having some issues with my mid/lower back since returning to work full time in September (work 11-12 hour shifts most days), so who knows if I was doing anything different.

    Today I go see a chiropractic doctor to hopefully cure my mid/lower bad pain since nothing shows up on any of my MRI's.

    Best of luck to you, and remember one thing, I was told by my doctor that the more nerve damage you get, you will only get so much relief from surgery. I didn't wait all that long, under about a year and half (if that) from when I started having problems, so for me I would say I am a good 90% better learning more towards 95% if I didn't have those few days I talked about.

    Sometimes when I am in bed, and I move or roll, I sometimes feel something different (nothing major, just like something is there, something is different from before, like something is not moving, if you know what I am trying say - LOL). That does remind me that I had something done, as my neck will never move like it once did before the fusion (even though I can do things many said they couldn't with their ROM), but if that is all that keeps me from feeling 95-100% like my old self, I'll take it and move on.

    Stay positive and hopefully you find what you are looking for, as pain is never a good thing to live with.

    I know there are a few posts about "positive surgeries" on here, so go and read them if you haven't, but remember, most people come on here for support and answers for their problems... Many move on once they feel better, but some hang around, so listen to them as well
  • Dialysisnurse,

    I feel the same way you do. I have some good days and I think well maybe I don't need the surgery (Scheduled for 1/13/09) but then a couple of weekends ago it acted up again and I was in the house on pain meds, Friday, Saturday and Sunday...so I took that as a sign that yes I can't take the pain any more even if its not everyday!!

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