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Newbie - scheduled to have ACDF next week and concerned...

ale896aale896 Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello everyone. I stumbled across this board when I was trying to do research about my upcoming surgery. I am scheduled to have ACDF on 3/31. I started having tingling in my last 2 fingers in my left hand back in 11/10. I also could not rest my left forearm on a hard surface without pain. Dr. scheduled me for EEG/ENT, and those results were:

1. There is electrophysiological evidence of a left ulnar neurophathy most likely across the elbow. There are no active denervation or reinnervation features.
2. The prolonged F wave in the left ulnar nerve is suggestive of a possible cervicalradiculopathy. Imaging study is recommended for clinical correlation.

Dr. then sent me for MRI. I had the MRI done, and these were the findings:

C2-C5, and C6-T1 all read No disk herniation, canal stenosis, or foraminal narrowing.

However, C5-C6 read that There is a broad-based disk osteophyte complex which does flatten the ventral CSF spaces and abut the ventral cord. The foramina remain patent without significant narrowing.

The impression was Broad-based disk osteophyet complex at C5-C6.

Dr. sent me to neurosurgeon, who basically said PT and nerve blocks were options, but a waste of time, and surgery would allow me to get back to my life quickly. I was ok with that until I started researching. The impression that I got was that surgery was minor, and I would be able to return to work in 2 weeks (as a computer tech, lifting heavy printers and computer equipment). From what I am reading, this seems to be MAJOR surgery, and I could take anywhere from those two weeks to a year or more to fully recover. Also, from what I have found, osteophyte is a bone spur, right? He kept mentioning removing a disk and placing a bone from a donor and fusing with my other bones, but nothing about the bone spur itself. Am I reading too much into this? Should I request a CT before surgery? I must admit I am very nervous about the surgery and recovery. Any advise for the newbie (even if it is just to calm my nerves)?

Thanks so much!



  • Hi April,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find many having the ACDF surgery. There is also a animated video here that shows the procedure, you might want to view. You are correct that the osteopath is a bone spur and it could be sitting in such a way that is causing issues with the disc. But, be sure to ask the surgeon if he is removing that as well. If you don't feel confident, get a second opinion. I usually like to tell members get more than one opinion.

    AS far as recovery, everyone is different. We have many members who have had the surgery and are just out being normal as the surgery was a success. I have seen members go back to work inside two weeks while others needed 10 weeks or so. It would all depend on your surgeons restrictions. Typically following surgery they only want you to lift a gallon of milk, and then you work up from there. One thing for sure is plan on doing lots of walking. So you might not be fused, but the pain and symptoms of surgery could be all gone and back at work. Just there is no set amount of time to tell someone.

    Just thought i would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Keep us posted on how you get along. Take care.
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. getting a second opinion, if at all possible, is a really good idea when it comes to surgery.. the more information you have the better for you!! good luck on your upcoming surgery... i wish you a full recovery and that you come out of it pain free!! stop by the forum during your recovery... SH can be a good friend during the long days!! Jenny :)
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