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c5 c6 acdf in around 10 weeks

swaynesswayne Posts: 42
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in New Member Introductions
hi im currently waiting to go into hospital to have an adcf c5 c6 im not really that nervous about the opp but a bit worried about life after ive just booked a villa in florida in dec 09 for somthing to look forward to just hope im fit enough any information would be great cheers


  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and and answer what questions we can. be sure and check out the "Back and Neck Surgery" forum for a look at what you might need after surgery. :D just be sure and follow your doctor's orders. :? good luck and keep us informed! :D Jenny :)
  • I'm glad you're not nervous about your surgery. I've had a 3-level ACDF and if I'd had vacation plans six months after my surgery, I would've been able to go. So hopefully, everything will go well with your surgery and you'll be in sunny Florida in December.

    Do you have to wear a collar after surgery?

    Take care and I look forward to find out more about you.
  • hi cath thanks for your reply,i think i will have to wear a collar after surgery but ive seen on necksurgery.com that if i have a metal plate connected i wont need a neck support but would i need a further opp to remove the plate ??also having had the surgery does it stop you doing anything now ie work (im a truck drive)sports, lifting,any daily duties, i have canal stenosis in other areas of my spine so il probs need more surgery as i get older :SS look forward to hearing from you cheers
  • hi jenny thanks for your reply il take a look at back and neck surgery i fully intead to follow doctors orders to the letter O:) cheers
  • Swayne, I had e 2 level C5-C7 June 2, 2009 with hardware. My neuro-surgeon still has me wearing a hard collar for at least 6 weeks, His theory is better to be safe than sorry and it gives your neck that much more support for the fusion to take place. Now trust me the collar is very hard to get use to when sleeping. Listen to everything your doc tells you and don't tryt to do thing you think you can do just because you are feeling better. Won't be good to mess up the fusion.

    Are they using allograft donor bone or autograft your bone?
  • Hi Wayne, Welcome to Spine Health
    I seen many surgeons before having my surgery.
    Because of having POSSIBLE diagnosis of M.S. on my records their where Surgeons that did not want to take the liability.(to many issues they would say)after seeing a neurologist in Madison who on paper stated NO M.S.could I finally get some one to help(2 surg said I needed C3-7 fixed.with C6-7 being the worse.
    It was 3 years ago problems when balance,pain,numbness and weakness started, and C6-7 was the only disk that was good in neck)(now was the biggest prob. as it was over 50% into spinal cord and left untreated could cause total paralysis.
    Time was not on my side and a wonderful surgeon almost 3 hours from my home was the one that did my surgery on C6-7 only.
    I actually wore soft collar for months before surgery as I always felt my neck was not strong enough to hold my head,riding in car was very painful even with collar and also found that sleeping with it helped with arms,hands and fingers from hurting & going numb. So after my surgery my collar was on 24-7 except for shower time,I was so used to it I had a hard time giving it up as it felt like a part of me.
    Now your question about removing the plate. I do believe the plate and screws will stay and donor bone and your bone will happily meet and fuse together in time.Some fuse fast some slower. I was slow to start fusing and the first 2 visits after surgery made me a bit nervous because nothing was happening from x-ray, surgeon had me have MRI done after 8 weeks of nothing happening to make sure their was no old disk left behind causing this but all looked OK and he said some fuse slow. I was and will forever take extra calcium and vit D (very important)well it was almost 4 months after my surgery I started fusing.It was very noticeable on x-ray.
    After my surgery most of the pain,numbness in right arm is better.(for that I am happy)
    I do see a neurologist often and had another MRI recently of brain and likely I will have the diagnosis of M.S. back in them records.(with new symptoms and flares)
    I have found many M.S.ers have cervical issues and it is hard to find surgeon to operate on a M.S.er. talking M.S. is for another day.
    Be positive and try and find out every thing you can about your surgery and if you dont understand something ask...

    sending many smiles. Patsy

  • Hi Wayne,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around there is so much information here to absorb. At the top of the page you will find a search function which will lead to many articles written and reviewed by the medical profession.

    Your question in regards to hardware removal? Most people are able to handle the hardware the rest of their lives and no need for removal. The only time the hardware needs to be removed is it becomes a issue. Those issues are in a small percentage of people. Each time they go back in they are creating more and more scar tissue. As far as the need for future surgeries? It is true that fusing does place additional stress and the other levels. With this being said more than likely one of the risk of surgery you signed off on is the need for future surgery. But I have seen many here who have no had that issue at all. Depends I think on the condition of the other disc as well.

    As many have stated follow the doctors orders to the tee and with any luck you will have no additional issues. If you are concerned for any reason about not fusing, ask about using your bone. Autograft does have a higher success rate, however does come with more pain from donor site as well.

    I see some who fly through the surgery while others have so many issues following surgery. I think it is all relative to the amount of damage that is done prior to surgery and the extent of it as well. Same goes with the need for collars and or hard braces depending on your specific condition will depend wether the surgeon orders this for you or not. If you have a stability issue, more than likely you will need a hard collar for awhile following surgery. Anyway just wanted to welcome you to spine-health. Take care and good luck with the surgery.
  • hi and thanks for your reply all info to me is great :))) i dont intend to do anything after surgery but relax which will be difficult because im not used to relaxing :))( i will listen to the doc as for the allograft or autograft im not sure :/ there putting in a cage and useing bone from my neck i think instead of a graft off my hip i think i need to start asking qestions (i think i was shocked when i was told and didnt take much in, cheers
  • Hi again, Wayne.

    Every surgeon has their opinions about neck braces after surgery - some want you to wear a hard collar for a while then switch to a soft collar, some want you to wear just a soft collar for a while, and some don't make you wear a collar at all. I don't know that the plate is the deciding factor, though.

    Because my surgery was so extensive, I actually felt protected wearing my hard collar and I'm glad I did. I wore it for about four weeks and then a soft collar for eight more.

    Tamtam is right - hardware removal is rare and you'll probably just live with it the rest of your life. Good news: it doesn't set off the alarm when going through security.

    For me, I am a bit restricted, but only because I have some residual pain issues (muscle spasms in my back and aching pain in the back of my neck). My surgeon says these will go away as I continue to heal - recovery is a long process. I've seen a lot of people have success with 1-level fusions, more so than with 3-level.

    Good luck to you and feel free to PM me if you have questions or want to talk.

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