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UPDATE!!! Setup the surgery date today and got the info...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
on what is being done.

I'm scared out of my mind. When I had my lumbar surgery taken care of I was cool as a cucumber but, for some reason the thought of going in thru the front of my neck is not nearly as welcoming.

The surgical procedure is as follows (as stated on the sheet he filled out):




I guess I have a general idea what all this means. That just makes me more nervous.

I asked him about post surgery, he said I'll be wearing a collar for between 2-8 weeks. I asked about restrictions farther down the line and ROM issues, he said I will see a slight decrease in my current ROM and as far as restrictions from activities are concerned he said obviously I'll want to shy away from any contact sports, I specifically asked about golf and he said give it about 8-10 months before you attempt to golf and that has more to do with your lower back than your neck. The one thing I forgot to ask him is if I will have to stay off of roller coasters since we are planning on going to Disney World in October (7 months post surgery).

My surgery date is 2/27/09.

He was initially saying he was only going to do the C6-7 disc and see how that helped out but, today after looking at my latest MRI he said it would be best to take care of all three now since they have all become equally FUBAR'ed.

Oi vay!

When I had my lumbar surgery I sat in the "staging" area for almost 2 hours cause my doctor was late. Everyone kept asking me if I was okay, was I nervous, if I need anything. I didn't need anything to keep me calm. This time however, I will probably need something.



  • I hope everything's on time for you that day. I wish you all the best. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • you are facing these issues. I'm a lumbar girl myself, so am very unfamiliar with cervical issues. With your surgery so far out, it may be hard to stay calm and not worry. I prefer "fast" timelines, myself. lol

    We'll be thinking of you and praying it goes well,

  • I had ACDF c5/6 in March '08, I was like you very nervous before surgery and I understand the feeling of this procedure going through the front of my neck. Well, it all turned out good. I was told that by going in the front, they would not have to work around the cord. That made it more comforting.
    Are you able to ask to be the first patient of the day for surgery, I asked and I was the first patient. That way if the surgeon took longer with other patients, I would not be waiting to go to surgery. I know this does not help if the doctor is late, but it may avoid the other.
    I have a small scar, but it is fading the incision was about 3-4 inches and it healed up quickly.
    I hope the time passes quickly for you but as it gets closer to your surgery, if you have any other questions just PM and I will be glad to answer.
  • Having had this surgery twice now I can tell you that it isn't as scary as it sounds. It just seems WRONG to have someone "slit your throat" but, in reality, the anterior approach is much earier to heal from than the posterior. There is no muscle to cut, they just move all the anatomical structures out of the way. I'm not saying it's easy, just that it's not as bad as it seems. There isn't a thing wrong with having a little happy drug to relax you before surgery if it makes you feel better. I was nervous as hell up to the day but was eerily calm the day of surgery.

    Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you. You do have a LOT of time to think about it LOL!

  • ...you're going to have the exact same surgery that I had in October. It is definitely nerve-racking to wait and when I had my first pre-op appt with my surgeon's PA, I told her I was freaking out. I had never even been in the hospital before. She gave me some Xanax to take when I had anxiety attacks and they helped. You might want to talk to your PA about something to help keep you calm.

    I wore a hard collar for the first 3-1/2 weeks and, strangely, I learned to love it. Ok, love might be a bit strong, but it was like a security blanket - it covered my neck and held up my head. I've been in a soft collar since then and I don't love it anymore. Just a necessary evil.

    When I had my first discussion with my surgeon in Sept. (when he told me it wasn't a matter of "if" I had surgery, but "when"), he told me that if I had the surgery in October, he'd have me back on the golf course by April. That's six months out.

    I haven't had any complications from my surgery - no major throat issues, no debilitating pain. I won't lie, I'm still not pain-free, but I've got my eye on the April carrot so I'll just keep on plugging along.

    Good luck with your surgery and feel free to PM me any time if you have questions or just need a friend. Use spineys have to stick together!

    Cath >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Thanks for the info everyone. I'm sure I'll have more questions as the time passes towards the end of Feb.

    Have you noticed a decrease in your Range Of Movement?
  • kx90, yes my ROM is pretty darned limited, mostly looking up and to the left. But I've been in a collar for three months now so there have only been a couple of times when I've tested it. Hopefully, the PT will help me increase my ROM.
  • I was told that I won't need PT unless I "wanted" it.
  • New question for anyone that has any info:

    Did your doctor require you to where your neck brace prior to surgery?
  • Oi! I should ask my doc for some valium next time I see him. :O
  • Any more info on what to expect or others experiences would be greatly appreciated.

    What are the precentages that everything will come out just fine? 80%? 85%? 90%?
  • Hi again kx.

    I didn't wear a collar before surgery, just woke up in one and still at it. If you're freakin' out like I was, do ask your doc for something to help calm you down. Most don't mind because they understand how stressful this can be.

    As far as percentages, unfortunately each person and each doctor are different so it's impossible to give you a percentage. Your better bet would be to ask your surgeon his or her success rate. If you talk to 10 people, you're likely to get 10 different answers as to what they experienced after surgery and how their recovery is going.

    Take care of yourself and I'm thinkin' of ya!
  • Thanks again for the info.

    23 days and counting, the nerves are getting rattled pretty good now since I've got my surgery clearance appointment tomorrow and my neck brace fitting on Friday. :O
  • Surgery was yesterday, 3/6, scheduling issue pushed it back a week.

    Was a nervous wreck going in. After the doc saw me the nurse hooked me up some chill juice :D

    Went in, was out in 6 hours. Woke up, they started pumping me up with Dilaudid :D

    Was moved to ICU after I started eating ice chips. They brought me a dinner and I ate it without any problems swallowing. SCHWEET! My only fear going in did not materialize. Thank God!

    They were giving my IV Dilaudid every hour, and Xanax every 8 hours. The next day, today, the doc saw me at about 4:30 and changed my dressing. Said everything looks good, only had to fuse 2 levels (C4-5 and C5-6). He did say however, that they were far worse than they appeared on the MRI's. He said one fall and I could have been paralyzed they were that far into the spinal canal.

    I geuss I won't know any ROM losses until 4 weeks from now.

    Only about a 2 inch incision, a lot shorter than I would have imagined.

    All in all I'm very glad I did it. I noticed right away that the numbess and tinglies are gone in both forearms and hands.
  • Hi KX

    Happy to hear it went well. I'm very anxious as well. 23 days to go! Keep us updated. I like to hear good news...gives me hope. Take care.
  • I'm glad to hear the tingling and numbness is gone in your arms. I wish you the best for your healing. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'm telling you what, mental stress does effect the healing and recovery greatly. :(
  • Did/does anyone have a problem with sweating while in their collar?
    I mean I woke up this morning, freezing yet my face, neck and shoulders were dripping with oil and sweat.

    Oh and I HATE sleeping in this collar. I wake up all jacked up thinking someone is choking me!
  • Gnarly lookin' battle scar. Wear it with pride.
    Best wishes bro, hope ya have a speedy recovery and keep on keepin on.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Chicks dig scars, right? ;)
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