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ACDF C4/5 & C5/6

lcfllcf Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I was wondering if anyone else had the same problem as me. I did not realize I had a herniated disc compressing my spinal cord for a few months. It started with 2 fingers on my right hand getting numb. I was in a car accident 21 years ago where I had a displaced fracture of the ulna & radius with some shoulder issues. I was told back then that I will probably get carpal tunnel down the line. Therefore, I thought that was the reason for the numbness. Then my right arm got numb. Next my legs started shaking (@ first was told it was due to anxiety as I was going thru a divorce where my ex was constantly harassing me). Then I was working out & my legs were all of a sudden weak. My chiropractor sent me for a lumbar mri which revealed a couple of herniated discs, but nothing that should have caused the leg weakness and spasticity per my neurologist. Neuro sent me for mri of brain & cervical spine to rule out MS. Well, no MS but found a herniated disc at c5/6 compressing my spinal cord. I couldn't believe this was going on considering I didn't have pain. Once in a while I would get a pinched nerve feeling in my neck that usually went away after a few chiro visits. Also had a slight herniation of the disc at c4/5. Anyhow, was told I have a spinal cord injury & needed surgery asap. Had a 2 level ACDF. I apology for this being so long but wanted to see if anyone experienced the leg weakness & spasticity. Since I am 3 weeks post surgery, the arm numbness went away, still have some numbness in both hands as well as leg weakness & spasticity. I was very active before this happened and am afraid that my legs will never be the same. Has anyone had the same leg issues & have they gone back to normal?


  • :))) I am now suffering from loss of balance and experiencing great difficulty in walking. Have seen my Surgeon who is worried and is sending me for urgent MRI scan also CT scan. I see him again on 11 March as he is away overseas until then. May have to be opened up again and metalwork from PLIF extended further up the spine. Also getting bad neck and shoulder pain again!! I am over the pond in UK.

    Previous operations: Rt Knee replacement in 1998 then revision in 2000: Lt Knee replacement in 2006: PLIF plus rebuild in December 2008: ACDF C4, C5 and C6 discs removed and replaced with titanium cages then fusion with metalwork in September 2010.I am also British Nuclear Test Veteran from tests in Pacific in late 1950s!
  • I also recently had a 2 level ACDF C5/C6 & C6/C7 and did not know for 2 months that I had herniated disks compressing my spinal cord. I had the arm and finger numbness and severe pain from behind should joint straight down my arm. I had no strength in my right arm. I knew something was wrong but was at the time caring for my 4 year old son who broke his right leg femur bone and was in full body cast - hence how I injured myself - lifted his wheelchair out of my car and thought I just pulled something - NOT! Anyway when I finally got my MRI I was in excruciating pain and was referred immediately to Neurosurgeon who advised I would be paralyzed if I did not have the surgery as one of the disks had dented in my spinal cord. I am about 10 weeks post-op and doing OK, I am in Physical Therapy 3x per week. I still have neck and shoulder pain and right arm still very weak but not the severe pain. I did not have issues with my legs but the neurosurgeon said that would have started soon... I have 4 year old twins so am also very active and have no time to care for myself - but have learned that if I do not take the time to fully recover I may end up back in the same predicament! I know my Doctor told me the numbness and weakness in legs and arms from this condition could take weeks to months to recover as nerves could have been impacted. Once you go back for your follow up I would ask your DR about how soon you can start PT as that is the best thing to get your whole body on the right road to recovery.. I will say that initially PT is very hard, hurts and exhausting but I believe well worth it ... Hang in there as you are early on only 3 weeks post op -- hope you continue to progress well .. keep us posted .. and Welcome to this Forum - there are great articles and others on here with great advice and support to offer you!
  • I still investigating with doctors but MRI confirms I have herniated discs c4-5 and c5-6. As I learned so far c4-5 and c5-6 cause radiculopathy to specific areas of upper body. I already saw a map describing the relation between the each Cdisc region and these specific areas.
    I do not have weakness in my legs as you mentioned but I start to feel somethink close to my ankles. As I understand this might come from other areas of column - not cervical that I should now investigate.
    I am 51 and the possibility of having discs in other areas with issues exists.

    I was just reading these links.

    I do agree with a previous comment of making your own research. By doing this I could be less scared and more able to discuss alternatives.
    The way I see it is preferable to be an active patient and participate of your neck decisions.

    Keep us posted.

  • I had ACDF c5-6 C6-7 and never had issues with my legs or feet. I had major issues with my neck, shoulder, arm and down to an including my fingers. This is a get forum to find out information. It is very important to research all of the treatments and procedures along withthe type of drs (NS or OSS). You also need to research the recovery and the way in which it will affect your daily life and ob situation. I found that it was best to have a notebook and always write down any question that you may have and all of the symptoms that you are developing. Do not relay on your memory.Good luck and keep us posted. :)
  • Fortunately so far the progress of pain is somehow I feel I will have the time to make a good research in order to try to take the best possible decisions. Hopefully, I am right. Of couse, I know it does not depend only on me, but I will do my homework!.

    Thank yoy for the recommendations!
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