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Pre-ACDF Surgery questions-not typical case

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello to all and thank you for this site. As I am new, sorry for if post is not in correct place, etc. I have seen two surgeons, several docs, a physiatrist (sp?) and believe that I do need surgery due to bone spurs at C6-7 that are hitting my nerves. I don't think I have a problem with this except I am not a text book case (per 2 surgeons) and PT, i.e., my pain is NOT in my arm (some but not my major complaint)! It started in my left Collar bone, neck, and is still there, spreading to the right collar bone, my back, shoulder blades. Some arm pain, left and right finger index to pinky pins/needles, left thumb numb at night twice....can't sleep as I wake EVERY time I turn over...literally, since February, March due to pain in shoulder(s), primary left, collar bone, neck.
Anyone else with A-typical symptoms that has had this surgery suggested...with or without success? Both surgeons did say, "no guarantee's". One surgeon did say, hopefully since the MRI does show damage (bone spurs hitting nerves), it will fix all of the problems once the spurs are off the nerves...and my muscles will relax and quit the "spasms" (my wording, not his) which he thinks is causing the back/neck pain at this point.
Your opinions greatly appreciated as I have been reading this forum for quiet a while now.
Blessings to all, Kimber


  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hey Kimber,
    Sort of sounds typical of my symptoms. I waited a little too long due to other reasons to have my ACDF and now I do have permanent nerve damage to my left hand. I am almost 2 years post-op of a discectomy, corpectomy, multi-level fusion of C3 thru C6. Most surgeons will tell you there are no guarantee's. I consider my surgery successful in that I am still walking and continue to lead a pretty active lifestyle.
    I am sure that you will be getting some more feedback here as there are many others here with experience in that procedure.
    Take care and the best of luck to you.
  • Thanks for your reply Ranger. What is the difference between a Disectomy vs Decompression in the "ACDF"? I will also look up corpectomy...

    Also, your symptoms were not to your arm/hand to start, but you ended up with damage because of waiting to have surgery? Did you start having pain there (hand/arm) as "typical" of this?
    That is what is so confusing to me after researching this....my pain is not typical...yet, an MRI doesn't lie as I've read on here...
    Thanks to you and everyone on this site.
    Best, Kimber
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Discectomy is when they remove the discs. Mine had dried up and collapsed thus pinching nerves. I did have numbness and tingling in my hand and arm in the beginning along with neck and shoulder pain. After an emg and an MRI it was very conclusive to where my problem was. The source of my problems are that I have severe OA (osteoarthritis) throughout my body including my spine. This disease is not curable and it will continue to wreak havoc with my body as time goes on. All my Dr's can do is fix the problems as they show up.
    You may experience better results with little discomfort depending on your situation. Let me know if I can help answer any of your questions. I am not a Dr so write down as many questions as you can to get the answers you need from your Dr's. It helps to take someone with you to your appt. also, two sets of ears are better than one as it can be somewhat overwhelming to absorb all the information yourself.
    Take care and keep us posted,
  • Thanks again for the info Ranger. Sorry to hear you will continue having to "fix".
    I hope I will be "fixed"...but will know more in a few months. I have compiled lists of questions before I saw the last surgeon after reading tons of posts from this site. I was very happy going in with knowledge and leaving with a good feeling. Much better than where I was in February!! Best to you Ranger and yes, it is very overwhelming.

    Anyone else with pain in their neck (no pun intended...:)), collar bone, sternum, shoulder blades...in addition to arm and pins/needles in the fingers? I'm just trying to anticipate what I'm up against and what to expect after surgery. Based on all I've read so far, your expericences have helped me be more prepared than I ever could have been without this site.
    Blessings to all, kimber :D
  • I had a 3-lvl ACDF last October. My symptoms were fairly typical, pain in the upper back and shoulders (muscle spasms), tingling 24/7 in right arm, and severe muscle pain and weakness in left arm. Both of my arms were back to normal immediately after surgery, but the muscle spasms never quite went away. I also have pain and achiness in the back of my neck now.

    I wish you luck on your surgery.
  • Cath- Question RE your surgery...in your 7/1 update you mention lumbar issues, any relation to the cervical surgeries? Also, how did you know there was movement around C5-6...MRI or could you feel it? Sorry if stupid question. Just wondering if I will know if something isn't right in my neck after this happens :S

    I worry that my neck and back aches and spasms won't go away and that is my main complaint to date. Even though I have tingles in my hands frequently, arm aches sometimes...but main problem is shoulder, back, neck, collarbone by sternum... (keeps me up every night)...I know no guarantee's, but this is sure a lot to go through....

    Do you or anyone think I should move these questions to the neck/pain area or another area?
    Thanks for all of you and your input. :D Greatly appreciated, kimber
  • My lumbar issues started full force in Feb. I've had sciatica on and off for years, but since Feb it's with me every day, along with lower back pain. It's totally unrelated to my cervical issues, however I'm convinced that when we begin our spiney issues and end up having surgery, it opens Pandora's box. But, maybe that's just me.

    The x-ray in July showed movement in my cervical spine. I think they can see it because they take two side-view x-rays, one with you looking as far up as you can and one looking as far down as you can. That's probably where they saw it. I can't feel it, but it probably happened because I keep forgetting and put my chin to my chest holding my hubby's slacks while I put them on a hangar. Not a good thing for a cervical spiney to do.

    My suggestions for you with regards to where to post, is to start a new one with new questions in the surgery area, assuming that you are definitely having surgery. There are a lot of members there that have had cervical surgeries and can answer your questions the best they can.

    Feel free to PM me if you have more questions or just want to talk. I know that surgery is a very scary prospect, but sometimes it's not about fixing you, it's about prevention and securing your cervical spine.

    Take care.
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