Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

advertisement
advertisement
Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

Notice
All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Upcoming ACDF on 6/2/2010

SANDIEMASSSANDIEMAS Posts: 15
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:44 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello

I am scheduled for surgery in June and terrified. I have read alot of things about people not recovering from the Cervical Disc Removal and Fusion. I have had back pain since I can remember. I have been to Chiropractors, acupuncturist, massage therapist, pain management, and tried MMB and Steroid injections. I still struggle daily with pain in my head, neck, arms, shoulders, buttocks, and left leg. The numbness is annoying and the sharp pains that feel like electrical pulses are unbearable. I have on several occasions had to pull over the side of the road and just cry the pain is so bad.

So, now that i have vented:) I worry that I will go through the surgery and everything will be the same. I work as a social worker for the state and have a home full of foster children. I love my life, my kids, and my husband. I do not want to be laid up for the rest of my life but I no longer can coninue this way either.

Has anyone been through the Surgery? If so, how long to recovery? How long until I am back at work if at all. I hve to drive to clients homes, lift children, and make very important decissions about the lives of these kiddos. I have been out of work for 2-months now because of the pain and have been fighting with my Std COMPANY for benefits. I don't know if I will ever be able to return to work...

Any experiences, advise would be greatly welcome. Thanks for reading my story.

I am getting my C4-5 done. I have sever stenosis on most my back several ruptured disc, ddd, bone spurs and lots of other issues with my lower back which I was told we will work on next.
**Sandie**

ACDF C6/C7 2009
Laminectomy/Disectomy L5/S1 2009
Stenosis
Migraines
Chronic pain since 2007
Anxiety disorder rx'd 2009
PTDS rx'd 2009
Several mbb, steroid injections, nerve root burnings C3-L5
advertisement

Comments

  • My Bad it is not C4-5 it is C6-7. I am not sure if it makes a difference.

    Below is my MRI results for reference. Please let me know if any of you have similar diagnosis and the outcome of your surgery:0)

    C6-7 - Severe Canal Stenosi with Circumferential effacement of the cerebral spinal fluid, deformity of the ventra cord and posterio displacement. Severe bilateral neural foraminal narrowing also noted.

    C4-5 - Mild Disc desiccation prsent. Disc bulge is seen posterior asymmetric to the left projecting 3-4 MM beyond the posterior vertebral margin.

    T2 - abnormal Marrow dema
    T1 - 8mm of decreased signal realative to adjacent disc.

    L5-S1 - small acute annular tear. Left lateral recess stenosis where disc protrusion abuts andslightly posteriorly displaces the left S1 intercanninular nerve root with mild proximal-inferior left neual foraminal narrowing.

    L4-5 - Disc bulge/mild disc desiccation
    L3-4Disc Desiccation
    Remainder of lumbar spine no significant canal stenosis or neural foraminal narrowing.

    -- Any lame man's interpertation of this MRI would be welcomed.

    Thank you
    **Sandie**

    ACDF C6/C7 2009
    Laminectomy/Disectomy L5/S1 2009
    Stenosis
    Migraines
    Chronic pain since 2007
    Anxiety disorder rx'd 2009
    PTDS rx'd 2009
    Several mbb, steroid injections, nerve root burnings C3-L5
  • First, let me say how sorry I am to hear that you're in so much pain. I'm a neckie, too, had my 2 level ACDF in July of 2009. I still have some neck issues remaining, but that's from other areas. My surgery was a complete success!

    There are a TON of success stories out there with these surgeries. The reason you don't read about them on these forums are those patients are out there living their lives, pain free! Don't get me wrong, it's going to take a long while to recover from this surgery. It's a major surgery, and it'll knock the soup right out of ya! But your doctor feels that you have a good chance of it helping with the pain, otherwise he wouldn't be doing the surgery. I also suggest you check out the post http://www.spine-health.com/forum/back-surgery-and-neck-surgery/post-op-must-haves-0 which has a ton of good ideas of what may help you. There are tons of things you may (or may not) need before, during, and after your surgery, to make things easier on you and your family.

    As far as the MRI results? Not a clue, sorry. I took a copy of all of my results, and looked them all over, went over them line by line with my doc, and had my hubby with me, and I STILL had no clue what they meant for the most part. None of us here on the forums are doctors, and aren't qualified to give any kind of layman's interpretation of any type of test, and I believe to do so violates the forum's TOS. If there are things on your report that you have questions on, though, you should be able to make an appointment to talk with your doctor about them. He should make the time to go over the results with you, until you are better able to understand what is going on with your spine.

    I know how scary an upcoming surgery is, and how hard it is to try to relax and calm down beforehand. Maybe spend some time with your kids & hubby working on what you find on the list, and let some of that take your mind off what's coming up, and before you know it, you'll be on the recovery side! Feel free to PM me, as well, if you like. Keep us posted!

    Kat
  • Hi Sandiemas and welcome! I can't offer personal experiences from a cervical perspective. But I have had a lumbar fusion.

    I, too, was terrified before surgery! You will probaly be told many, many times that the anticipation is much worse than the surgery and I hope you too find it to be the case!

    This is my 3rd lumbar surgery in 4 years! I have learned along the way that I don't have to be that terrified.

    During your pre-op, let the nurse and anethesiologist know how you are feeling.

    Then the day of surgery they can give you something so you will be more comfortable. I did and it was awesome. I was calm, sleepy and before I knew it, I was in by room. I don't even remember recovery! Which is fine with me!

    While you have time before surgery, perhaps you could go to PT. Based on how you feel and your MRI report, it would be helpful to learn body mechanics and core strengthening to protect your back, that you can use now and after surgery.

    I can understand your concern regarding going back to work. On behalf of the work you do for these children, I'd like to thank you! What a difference you make in their lives! :0 Thank you! and God bless you and your husband!

    I am a pedi OTR so I too, will have to learn a new way to do my job. Pre surgery, I spent my days on the floor with special needs babies. Getting down on the floor now......hmmm

    But we can, and will do this! :) We are here for you! Wishing you the best! Shari

  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Welcome, and I agree, many of those with success stories have left these forums. Some of us who stick around have a few more problems, but that is not typical.

    I had my ACDF in 2006 and was back to work within 6 weeks. I had an Aspen neck brace so typing with that on was hard, I never realize how often I must lightly glance down during the day. My one big piece of advice is make sure to get walking as soon as you are allowed. I sat on my couch for 6 weeks so my first day back at work was horrible, not due to my neck but because I was so deconditioned!

    Often people wake up after ACDF with an amazing amount of relief. I've had a ton of surgeries and the ACDF was one of the easiest. I woke up with nerve pain and numbness gone. When I got back to work I wasn't 100% but I continued to recover over time. I should have asked for C4-C7 (the surgeon said C4 was 'iffy') and now I may need to add C4. With my recent lumbar surgery I told the surgeon, in the presence of my husband and a nurse "do whatever you need to do when you get in there, if another level looks like it's in trouble then do that level as well".
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Hi, Sandimas! I had a 3-level ACDF with 2 hemicorpectomies in late 2006.

    You will read that some people had complete relief, some partial relief, and others have the same pain they always had. The one thing that absolutely WILL change from this surgery is that the pressure on your spinal cord itself (which if it progresses could be life-threatening) will be alleviated by this surgery. This is the primary goal of this surgery, halt the progressing of a condition you already have; any relief of symptoms is really a bonus. Just remember you play a part in relieving those symptoms, it's not just all about surgery and medications.

    A lot will be up to you right after your surgery and beyond. Physical therapy is a pain, so to speak, but you need to do it. You will have pain from nerves that have been compressed sometimes for years, and it will take a while to calm them down. Use your medications as directed and stay ahead of the pain, don't just wait until it shows up and try to treat it -- it's much hard to relieve pain than it is to prevent it.

    Posture is important, even more so when you have a fusion. If you have to stand in front of a mirror to get it right, do so, but learn how to do a proper chin tuck to help strengthen your neck muscles. Never underestimate the value of ice and heat -- but save the heat until a bit later in your recover, as it will bring more fluids to an already inflamed area.

    I got a cervical pillow (it's just the roll that slips into your regular pillowcase over a standard pillow) and that helps me sleep better. (You can find them if you Google "physical therapy cervical pillow".)

    I'm a big proponent in taking responsibility for our own health and our own recovery. I've had too many patients just give up and turn themselves over to a neverending cycle of doctors, medications, surgeries, and injections, but they never get out of their chair or do even simple exercises while they are seated. I've had other patients that, god bless them, are in such agony with such disease states that they simply cannot move from their beds. When I feel lowest I think of them and realize they'd probably give a fortune to be in MY shoes. I hurt like the dickens too, but as long as I can move, I will.

    So much is subjective when it comes to pain: your mental outlook, expectations for treatment, support systems, stress levels, other illnesses, all these combine to form the unique person that is you. No two people feel pain the same way. No two surgeries are exactly alike. Do everything you can, based on your situation (which we cannot really know), to make your surgical experience a success.

    And don't forget, we're part of that support system if you need us. :)
  • >:D< WOW!! Thank you all for your replies. They are very encouraging to read. I so appreiate this forum. Just reading the stories of others and recovery trials makes me feel better about this whole thing. I agree with you about needing to engage in our own recovery. I have changed many thing in my life style in anticipation of this surgery and in hopes to be a success story. I have lost25lbs and got to my "idel" weight. I have quit smoking... "This was the hardest" I have incresed my activities as tollerated which isn't much. I have purchased an exercise machine and use it while watching my shows in my room for at least 30min daily. so with the encouragment from you all. The education that I have gained from these post and my wonderful family and doctors I am looking forward to a fast recovery. Thank you again. 2-days and counting I will keep you posted after surgery since I will have a lot of time on my hands.... I don't know how I am going to sit still for this but I am sure I will be able to...
    **Sandie**

    ACDF C6/C7 2009
    Laminectomy/Disectomy L5/S1 2009
    Stenosis
    Migraines
    Chronic pain since 2007
    Anxiety disorder rx'd 2009
    PTDS rx'd 2009
    Several mbb, steroid injections, nerve root burnings C3-L5
  • I will be thinking of you after your surgery, I am having my acdf c4/5 c5/6 done june 8th, good luck and hopefully we can compare notes as we recover!!! Congrats on quitting smoking, I havent tackled that one yet I know I should. Keep being your own advocate and you will do great, good luck and my prayers are with you. Lela
  • Hoping that you are all set for your surgery tomorrow.
    Have a good day today, and make sure that you do something to spoil yourself.

    Once you are over on this side of surgery, we'll be here to cheer you on in your recovery. :D

  • Sandiemas,

    Good luck with surgery tomorrow will be thinking about you. I myself have been through several cervical surgeries with good results, just had other levels popping so to say. I think you will be quit pleased when you wake up and realize it is done and over with. The walking is key, in my opinion. Congrats on the smoking and weight loss. They will not only help in your recovery but will carry you along way in other health. As far as the walking goes my surgeon gave out a walking program post surgery and I took off from there. Using a pediometer helped a lot and taking different routes. Funny how I had driven all those routes and never noticed lots of things I seen while walking them. So while your anticipation of tomorrow is rising just think the positive of that thursday you will be on the upward side of it. Take care and let us know how you are doing when you get settled.
  • I had that very same surgery two years ago now. I had an ACDF on 4-7 and it went great. Woke up from surgery out of pain and was back to work in a week. Was to full activity within 2 months and back on my bike in four. Now two years down the road I am even back to golfing! Something I didn't think I woudl ever be able to do again. So as one who did well I am wishing you well and trusting that it will go as well for you.

    Gary
  • Going to be thinking of you tomorrow, and hoping for a speedy recovery! Just remember, take it easy, and we're all here rooting for ya!
  • Thanks for all the encouraging words. They are appreciated. I look forward to having time to really read each of your post and communicating/comparing notes :)

    To Lela1122 -- You know where I am coming from... I will be thinking of you on the 8th... Good luck and I look forward to healing together. Let me know how yours goes and I will do the same.
    **Sandie**

    ACDF C6/C7 2009
    Laminectomy/Disectomy L5/S1 2009
    Stenosis
    Migraines
    Chronic pain since 2007
    Anxiety disorder rx'd 2009
    PTDS rx'd 2009
    Several mbb, steroid injections, nerve root burnings C3-L5
  • Thank you for your words of encouragement...
    **Sandie**

    ACDF C6/C7 2009
    Laminectomy/Disectomy L5/S1 2009
    Stenosis
    Migraines
    Chronic pain since 2007
    Anxiety disorder rx'd 2009
    PTDS rx'd 2009
    Several mbb, steroid injections, nerve root burnings C3-L5
  • Thank you TamTam
    **Sandie**

    ACDF C6/C7 2009
    Laminectomy/Disectomy L5/S1 2009
    Stenosis
    Migraines
    Chronic pain since 2007
    Anxiety disorder rx'd 2009
    PTDS rx'd 2009
    Several mbb, steroid injections, nerve root burnings C3-L5
  • Thinking of you today, before you know it, you'll be on the recovery side! Good luck today :)
  • Just wanted to say I am thinking of you & wishing you a speedy recovery! I am 6 days post op and it does get better every day!
  • Hello All,

    Just wanted to keep you posted. I came out of the procedure pain free... I have local pain in the throat and the back of the neck from the procedure itself but my Arm, Shoulder, and Hand are pain free. I haven't felt this way in years. I am so excited to feel good again. I can't wait for the recovery process to complete and get on with my life. Thank you for your words of encouragment. I am following post opt instructions to the T because I do not want to chance screwing anything up.

    I want to say if you are thinking of having this done and scared of the possible side effects. Make sure you have a good doctor, look for advice from others and encouragment, then go for it. I would do it again in a hot second. It has only been two days but I feel good. I hope that it last a lifetime.

    I will post again after a few more days to see if all is still well.
    **Sandie**

    ACDF C6/C7 2009
    Laminectomy/Disectomy L5/S1 2009
    Stenosis
    Migraines
    Chronic pain since 2007
    Anxiety disorder rx'd 2009
    PTDS rx'd 2009
    Several mbb, steroid injections, nerve root burnings C3-L5
  • So very happy for you! Congrats! I will pray that your recovery continues!

    Try not to do too much and over do it, it is easy to do when you feel good for the first time in a long time!

    Wishing you the very best!

  • Congratulations Sandiemas! LD
    Doesn't it feel great to be on this side of surgery. No more worrying about it. Just relax, follow the rules and allow your body to heal.

    Welcome to the spiney club :H
  • Congrats Sandiiemas! I am so glad to hear you are doing so well! I am glad you are on the other side of it! Just take it easy and let your body heal!! Keep us posted. Lela
  • So happy you came out of surgery pain free! It is pretty amazing...isn't it!? My arm and hand numbness and burning were gone right after surgery. I am now 6 days postop and doing ok. At 4 days, I started having mild numbness in my arm but no way near what is was like pre-surgery. Please keep posting how you are doing and remember to take one day at a time. Good luck!
  • So glad that you're doing so well! Isn't it wonderful to feel fairly good again?
advertisement
Sign In or Register to comment.