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asignor908aasignor908 Posts: 339
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am having ACDF at the end of July. My spinal cord is severly compressed by c34/c56 and they are removing both disc and raplacing with donated bone. I have had lonf term lower back issues, but about three months ago I suddenly had numbness and tingling pain in left arm and both legs. They tell me that the compressed spine can cause many future issues if I do not do this. MRI shows even no spinal fluid in one area. I have gone to two suergons with the same result. I am scared and I wondered if anyone have heard of the risks of not having the surgery or can offer me any advice or opinions. It's not just about pain, but the concern of the compressed spinal cord. They also tell me I have a double disc issue in mt lower back, but this is more important now because of the spinal cord compression. All responses will be appreciated.
AL in Cincinnati


  • Hi, and welcome to spine Health.
    I've not experienced any treatment on cervical issues (yet!) but have had a lumbar fusion.

    I think, in the neck, once there is compression on the cord, they want to deal with it because of the risk of permanent nerve damage. If you ignore issues in the neck, there is a danger of paralysis.

    I believe, from what I have read, that cervical fusion is generally easier and quicker to recover from than lumbar fusion.

    I totally understand your apprehension about spinal surgery.

    Have you read the articles on cervical conditions and treatment on this site? There is a wealth of information, which will inform you about your condition and help you to understand what the surgeon hopes to achieve.

    Do keep asking questions. People who have experience of your issues, will come along and answer them.

    Wishing you well in finding a solution for your problems. :-)
  • HI,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and be sure to check out the doctor written peer reviewed articles.

    AS far as the surgery itself and recovery. Cervical fusion surgery is far more risky than the lumbar fusions, as you have the spinal cord in the cervical area unlike the lumbar region. With that said the actually pain from the surgery is not as bad. When you have a cord compression the only thing they can do, is surgery. The cord compression puts you at risk for paralysis it is no longer a worry of permanent nerve damage. So the only option you have at that time is surgery. Ask your surgeon about myelopathy and if you have it or maybe you know. Sometimes they will do the surgery and while it takes the pain away it may not stop the damage that has already been incurred from the cord compression. But none the less the surgery has to be done to stop more damage from incurring.

    It is natural to be nervous about surgery. If you are really nervous about the surgery you can ask your surgeon to give you something. I can tell you I have been here for quit sometime and seen many cervical members come and go and do really well from the surgery.

    Myself I am fused from c3-c6 would I do the surgeries again you betcha. I like you was at the point that it was no longer pain we were resolving but rather doing it to avoid paralysis. You might want to check out the thread about post surgery needs and pick up some of the items on the list. Also if you are going to be in a hard collar be sure to request additional pads as it is hot and they get kind of smelly.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. If i can be of anymore assistance don't hesitate to pm me. Keep us posted and take care and do take it easy till surgery.
  • Thank you all for the welcome and the responses (although I'd rather be joining the priesthood, LOL).
    I just was worries about all this and although I had two opinions from surgeons which were identical, I wanted to be sure I guess that this was a needed surgery. Probably just scared. Anyways thanks for your responses and the welcome.

    I'll update my stats


    AL S
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