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chronic arm pain possible fusion at c67

arodigaarodig Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:29 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am a female around the 40 to 45 which suffers from a herinated disk at C6-7. The doctors are recommending a Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Bone Graft Fusion but is there any one that has had the surgery at C6-7 and what is your recovery status after surgery. Trying to decide on surgery or not.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,045

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    Just start reading some of the posts here and you will find out just how many other members here have had ACDF on C5/C6 and/or C6/C7. Its probably one of the more common of all cervical surgeries.
    I believe after reading many posts here you will find so many members who had good luck with these surgeries. I did very well with my ACDF in 1996 and then next one in 2000.
    My recovery was right on target and I have had little problems since. I know surgery was necessary when the numbness in my hands were to the point I was always dropping things and I was living in headaches all the time.
    Recovery time varies. So much depends on the actual surgery, if a soft or hard collar will be used afterwards and what the physical therapy routine will be
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
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  • I've had a 3-lvl ACDF w/hardware and consider mine a success, even though I'm still having some muscle spasm and pain issues. But for such a large surgery, doc said it's to be expected. I had my surgery at age 47 and it went very well.

    Are you having muscle spasms? What kind of pain are you having with your arms?

    Feel free to PM if you have questions or just want to talk. Take care and keep us posted on your decision.

  • Hi arodig....

    Yes, I had the procedure done about a year and a half ago... I was as scared as all hell...

    The moment I awoke from the surgery, my pain was gone and just had a stiff neck... I was back to work in 12 weeks. I listened to my orders and did very little during that time frame except read and watch tv... I am glad that I had it done but remember the following:

    I am now having further problems because other levels can deteriorate after the procedure. I now have forminal narrowing at the same level and above and it appears that I am on my way for surgery number 2.

    Basically, this may be a "life" sentence for you like it is for some of the rest of us. If you have degenerative disc disease, it just does not go away.

    Good Luck@!
  • arodig said:
    I am a female around the 40 to 45 which suffers from a herinated disk at C6-7. The doctors are recommending a Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Bone Graft Fusion but is there any one that has had the surgery at C6-7 and what is your recovery status after surgery. Trying to decide on surgery or not.
  • Hi, I've had 2 surgeries in my neck c5-6 in 2003 and c6-7 in 2007 It did not help me I'm still in so much pain, I'm at a point I don't know how to handle it anymore. I might seek out a counselor just so I can talk about it before I lose it. It didn't work for me but It doesn't mean it can't help you.

    Good Luck
  • Hi,

    I had c6/7 ADR surgery and mine surgery is a success. It is already 8 months. I am back to running and just completed a 10km race yesterday with just under an hour timing.

    I say go for the surgery with ADR.

    Cheers !
  • Well I had ACDF C6-7 in 7/07. I did not do Bone Graft I used cadaver, my Dr is a firm believer that it is better that way. He says all he sees is bone graft patients with bad hip pain forever. That surgery was a great success. Three months after that I had Anterior Posterior L4-L5 L5-S1. That was a success too. I was playing golf, softball etc until 1 month ago. Horrible pain in my neck and left arm. i thought it was my old surgery site, wrong severe herniation C7-T1. I just had fusion on 2/18/09. Nothing has gone right since. I have been in horrible pain since surgery. My pre surgery symptoms are gone, but now I have severe horrible pain in my right arm, right shoulder and all over my neck. I am awaiting an MRI hopefully this week. I am only 34 and was on the SWAT team as a cop, so I was in great shape. It can happen anytime anywhere. Good luck with the surgery if you do it. Again, look at a cadaver disc instead of Graft. Please post if you have surgery or email me
  • Good Morning Brian

    First I would like to wish you the best in your upcoming recovery and hopefully the MRI will not be painful (been there) I see my Dr. again for a 2nd opinion. I am also in law enforcement and plan on returning. I work everyday except for dr. apts and I have arm pain more so in the left than the right however the right arm is trying to catch up. I am unclear when it comes to surgery because my C6-7 disk is underneath the sack and pushing on my spinal cord on the right side now. Some of my friends tell me traction and exercise but I have tried that. I need to know if there is anything available and if traction at home is a possibility before surgery. That is one of my questions for the Dr. The part that makes me real nervous is that I have two other bad spots in my neck, but I can not read the future.

    If you do not mind me asking what were some of the questions that you asked your doctor prior to surgery?

    Thank you

  • I was a 45 year old when I had ACDF for a ruptured disc at C6C7 with severe arm pain. i was in surgery within 5 weeks of me rupturing the disc. i woke up from surgery completely pain free. I had bone taken from the hip and that caused the most pain.The hip pain went away within 5 days after you got up and moving around. Mine was successful but I need a second fusion 20 months after the 1st due to a disc above going bad.Hope that helps. Bethy
  • My Dr is recommending the cadivar bone instead of my hip bone. How are you now and are you working? How is your neck effected and what are your restricitons.
  • My PT recommended a home traction device and my surgeon prescribed it for me, to see if this will help preclude need for surgery.

    I've been using it for a few months. Not sure it is helping, since my symptoms have not improved. In fact my range of motion, as measured by PT today, has decreased during that period. So no great improvement, but I figured it has been well worth a try. I'm not eager to choose surgery, but I also don't want to hold off too long if my symptoms will slowly drift in the wrong direction. The PT said it does help some of her patients, but certainly not all.

  • samksmithssamksmith Posts: 15
    edited 03/14/2013 - 3:56 PM
    I am in the same boat. I am scheduled for surgery on the 28th. I have cervical myelopathy of the C6-7 level that is compressing my spinal cord. There is significant swelling. I was initially diagnosed with an entrapped ulnar nerve in my right hand, but I am certain that isn't right. I had an MRI done in May that showed a herniation at the C6-7 level that was pushing on my spinal cord. I was sent to PT and did Traction which helped for a few days at a time. After PT finished I have been going to a Chiropractor. That has helped some, but not enough. Over the past year I have been loosing my coordination. My legs hurt and my knees have been swelling. My feet hurt constantly. The pain is always there in my neck and lower back. I have sharp shooting pain in my right hand, and throughout my entire arm. The elbow seems to be the pains favorite spot at times. I have no real grip in my right hand, and I am starting to have some similar occurences in my left hand. The last MRI I had was march 7th. This one showed some swelling around the C6-7 and decreased flow through my spinal cord. The neurosurgeon was surprised no one referred me earlier. I am set to have the Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Cadaver (Bank) Bone and Titanium plating on the 28th. The surgeon pointed out that there is begininngs of deterioration at the C5-6 level. He said when he gets in there he may decide to do 2 levels. Fun I know right! Just call me Zombie Neck after the 28th!!! Haha!!! Hope you are doing allright.
  • I had surgery in October 2012.

    My surgeon used cadaver bone mixed with my bone - the bone that they removed during surgery - and they grind it up and use the mixture. He did not want to introduce potential issues using hip bone (thank goodness) and by using the mixture of my bone and the cadaver bone, the fusion would occur and occur more quickly.

    I used a bone growth stimulator (external stimulator that sends pulses) - and just a little less than 4 months, I am fully fused.

    This is the one question I would ask -

    My surgeon indicated that the reason he wanted to go through the front of my neck vs. the back of my neck is because there are a lot more nerves at the back of the neck and it is a more painful healing process.

    Mine was a two level fusion and he went through the front of my neck - and while I know that I am completely unusual in this, I had NO pain whatsoever and never used pain meds after the first day of my surgery when they had me on morphine - until it was making me nauseous.

    I lost my voice for a while, but I never had pain.

    Now, I think some of that is attitude and I did listen to "guided imagery" audio recordings in preparation for surgery (and I will never know if that made the difference or not, but to not have ANY pain at all - that is just amazing to me, so I have to credit SOMETHING!)

    I would ask why they are going through the back of the neck, just so you know the reasoning.

    Good luck to you!
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
  • BUT if one or both arms get heavy and are hard to raise go to the ER
    I waited to long and have cord damage
    This should never be allowed to happen but it does. The day before my surgery while driving I noticed my arms getting heavy and moving down to my lap and resting on, my legs. My hands were OK to steer the car and only lasted about ten mims each time.

    Not meant to scare you just be aware
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