Hello, I am new to this and have never tried a forum like this. I have been researching ACDF over the last several weeks since have tests to check on symptoms which were mainly numbness in my hands, some wrist pain shoulder/neck pain.
I have met with the spine surgeon, an ortho specializing in just spinal surgery. After review my xrays and MRI as well as the exam, I have significant DDD, with osteophytes C4-5 and C5-6 with decrease lordosis causing kyphosis, stenosis at the foramens parathesis bilateral UE, along with cord compression confirmed also with physical exam; hyper reflexes, clonus... Surgery is schedule for 12/30/09. Happy New Year!
Basically I am overwhelmed. Am I making the "right" decision to proceed? I am comfortable with the surgeon, have asked many questions, yet...I am a physical therapist, 40 yo, very active, especially karate recently as well as gardening , kayaking ,bicycling, and skiing with a son and a new widow for just a year this month, so everything is overwhelming.
My symptoms aren't that severe, but from my work experiences and discussion with the MD, I know relieving the compression sooner than later can prevent nerve injury and further neurological and sensory complications as well as more musculoskeletal changes. I don't want to be kyphotic and in pain as well as not able to pursue my activities that get me through this time and in the future at my age
I love my karate; was to be testing for my black belt, that may need to be delayed. But I worry about getting through this alone. What will I really be able to do and when, other than what has been described to me by the MD and PA: pain, taking care of my son with some supports, getting him to school without driving, returning to prior activities without too many limitations, feeling alone, and just being suddenly afraid with a date scheduled to work within the confines of medical insurance too. Basically I am scared, nervous and ready to call it off, though there never will be a "good time" to do it.
The surgery itself doesn't bother me, though having someone so near my spinal cord and the hardware is a little unsettling. I quess I worry about waking up and not having my husband there and having a meltdown with the staff thinking I am crazy. I am more concerned about the getting around, at home not too mobile, pain,eating and sleeping,not driving for awhile, will the fusion cause major losses in ROM, and when I'll really be ready to go. Is 3 mos until I can do most things realistic as has been described, with obvious thing not to do like bunging jumping. Is the collar that uncomfortable?
I hope someone may have had similar concerns/ fears. I know anxiety is a factor as well as a history of depression, not improved by the winter.
I know many of the posts have information, but I am looking for some direct encouragement during this hectic holiday season, when I am not feeling particularly festive.
Thanks to anyone who may have some input, ides, further questions to ask, or comments.