I just found this site a couple of days ago. I was recommended a 1 level ACDF by 2 doctors, and a 4 level by another (who was very highly recommended). He considered that as the "conservative" approach, because although 3-4 is the worst, 5-6 and 6-7 are bad, and although 4-5 is not that bad it is the "monkey in the middle" and would need to come out as well. Any information on what to expect from the surgery, pain and recovery would be very much appreciated.
I trust this doctor - other doctors go to him for spinal surgery. I was concerned with the recommendation for 1 level because I anticipated having to have other levels with later surgeries, dealing with more operations and potential scar tissue and other issues.
I've had neck pain for 10+ years. Originally I was told I was not appropriate for operation. Every 2-3 years I've had MRIs and each getting progressively worse - bulging, stenosis, bone spurs, now myelitis. I've gone through PT, chiropractor (until I was told I shouldn't use chiropractic), various types of shots (which worked for a while).
It's scary to think about this operation. I hear it isn't as bad as lumbar surgery, but...it's still scary.
Thanks for any advice.
4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.