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9 Days to AFDC on C-5,C-6 and C-6 ,C-7 Maybe C4, C5

JimbowJJimbow Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all...New to this forum. It is really informative about everyone's own set of problems. Mine, bad arm, shoulder pain in my right arm. Surgery on C6 and C7 is needed. Surgeons think its a good idea to do C5 and C6 also, and maybe more. One chance to go in from the front, and never deal with this again??? I work out and I know there will be loss of motion. I am worried.


  • Welcome to Spine Health. There are many successful multiple level cervical fusions done every day. The key is having a surgeon that you trust. If that's the case then just approach this with the mentality that you will follow the docs orders and heal up before pushing yourself to get back into shape.

    Try not to "overthink" everything prior to the procedure or you will run the risk of driving yourself bonkers with anxiety. Feel free to correspond with members here in the forums as well as in chat. Having a good support system and also preparing your home ahead of time, goes a long way towards making recovery much easier on a person.

    Best wishes,

  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of articles and videos on this site about ACDFs and many of us here have had them.

    I had a 3-lvl ACDF in Oct. 08 and consider mine a success. I healed well, but still have an incomplete fusion at C6/7 (that's the hardest level to fuse due to motion), but it's not causing me any problems other than a little pain and muscle spasms.

    My range of motion is very, very good for having had a 3-lvl fusion and I have to say that PT works wonders after surgery to get those neck muscles working properly and increase your ROM. Like my PT said, with all that metal and screws in my neck, my head is heavier than most and it puts pressure on the muscles to move my head forward. So I have exercises I do to keep my head as straight above my shoulders as possible which really helps.

    Try not to worry and drive yourself bonkers (like "C" said). Any spine surgery is a serious surgery and comes with a long recovery, but if you have complete confidence in your surgeon, you've won half the battle. Many here will tell you that the anticipation is worse than the surgery itself and I found that to be true also.

    The great news is that most of us have woken up from surgery with all the arm symptoms gone. I had severe problems in both arms and they were back to normal immediately afterwards, so that's something great to look forward to.

    Just be sure to follow doctors orders and restrictions after surgery to allow maximum recovery and fusion, stay on your med schedule for the first couple of weeks to make sure you stay on top of your pain, and everything should work out fine for you.

    Do you have someone to stay with you the first week or two after surgery? That helps a lot as you'll be pretty tired. You'll want to try and walk after you get home, starting with small distances and working up to longer distances as you're able to. Walking is a spiney's best friend. Also, look at the post-op musthaves at the top of the surgery page. You won't need most of those things, but grabbers, bendy straws and big clothes are great to have.

    I won't ramble any further. Take care and don't hesitate to ask any questions. Please keep us posted.


  • I haven't had cervical fusion, but I had a lumbar fusion 7 weeks ago and have been doing much better than I had expected. I would definately agree that the anticipation was worse than the surgery.
    I expected and was prepared for the worst but I was hoping for the best, and was glad that in my case recovery, despite some complications, is going well.

    I wish you well and will look forward to hearing how you get on.
  • Hi there,
    I had ACDF surgery on c5-c6 6 days ago, and although it was only one level, I believe it will be well worth it. I am still early in my recovery, but the pain, tingling and numbness in my arm, hand and shoulder are almost completely gone. I was very worried also, which is to be expected i suppose. I used to be very active, and worked out, surfed, and did a lot of activities. But the pain in my arm, shoulder and hand was so bad that it was not letting me do things I wanted to do anyway. Now I am hopeful that after full recovery, I will be able to do those things I loved again.
    Get all the info you need and do a lot of research. This is a great site to hear from people who have actually gone thru it!
    Take care, and I hope it all goes well for you also!
  • Thanks for the pep talk. I found out today that it is recommended that I get three done. The doc believes that I should have no more problems in my life again after this, due to the third, C4,5 is in a weakend state already, it has a good chance of blowing out if I don't get it fixed too. I do trust him....but still a little worried.
    Sounds like you've come out of yours in good shape. I'm told that there won't be many restrictions on me once I'm healed up. Really miss working out.
    Take care Jim
  • I am having 3 level ACDF, same as you had. You've given me some hope that all will be better soon. I really am worried about that C6.7 fusion. I guess, don't move too much in the early days after surgery. Probably easier said than done. Well, thanks for the reply, and take care,
  • Do you know if you'll be wearing a brace after your surgery?
  • Yes, I was told about 6 weeks with the brace/collar. Did you wear one? It seems some people don't have to wear one. Seems that it would help in the healing, fusing. I'm sure its not comfy. Oh well, whatever it takes.
  • Had 2-level almost seven months ago. Would 100% have the surgery again.

    Very slight ROM loss. Doesnt affect daily life.

    Started exercising 4 weeks post-op. Wore neck brace for 4 weeks.

    Last month got clearance to resume basketball. Have played 4 times with no issues or pain. No issues lifting weights, playing tennis or cardio work in gym.

    Everyone is different but good results do happen. Best of luck.
  • Does that sound good....I am going to recover, in good time, with good results, can't wait to work out (light weights) you are an inspiration.
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