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ACDF help

Barb3BBarb3 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi there:

I a newbie and I'm having C5-6, 6-7 ACDF in 6 weeks. I have a pre-op meeting in a couple of weeks with the NS, and I would really appreciate any info/questions that I should be asking.
Thanks so much.


  • Read through the posts here on this board and the surgery board as well. You will be able to find a vast amount of information.
    When I went in for mine (C5-C7) I was totally uninformed. I had exhausted all other non-surgical procedures so I had no choice, but I didn't really understand what she was going to do other than the donor bone and titanium plate and screws. I wish that I had asked more about long term expectations, just so I would have had a better idea of what the surgery would achieve for me. I did get great relief from the pain and weakness on my right side (shoulder blade area, right arm and hand), so that was a plus. What I didn't understand was that I might have continued pain in my back (which I do). In the end, the real purpose was to get the pressure off of the nerve that was being impinged and stablize my spine. We did that!
    You might want to ask specific questions about your recovery, restrictions, and what to expect in general so you won't be surprised. I got terrible muscle spasms that were quickly treated once I told the nurse, but they frightened me because no one had mentioned that it might happen. You really can get a lot of information from reading here too.
    Best of luck to you!
  • Thank you so much for your respone, I really appreciate it.
    I'm going to spend some time navigating the site.
    This will be my first surgery ever, so, like you, I really don't have any expectations.
    Knowledge is power and I don't want to be naive.
    ACDF is the end of the road for me, as I'm facing paralysis in my right arm.
    I've lived with pain from the right side of my neck, shoulder, arm to my finger tips for a year and a half.
    I've found that perhaps some people mean well, but they are misinformed themselves and then try and pass that on to you.
    A total stranger has informed me that the risks associated with entry through the throat are much greater than the back of the neck.
    Thanks again for your assistance. I'm going to keep on reading on this site.
    Best wishes.
  • I've had the c7 through c5 fusion done 15 years ago. I had also exhausted all other possibilities and the pain had become unbearable.

    The surgery went without a hitch. All my pain and numbness disappeared. I did have a slight loss of articulation in my neck, but nothing I consider to be an issue.

    I have bone from a cadaver and a titanium plate. It did take a year for my doctor to release me to resume normal activities of cycling, running, adventure racing, etc., which I have been able to do.

    Good luck.

  • There is an area that has all of the pre-op questions to ask. If you can't locate it let me know. I searched the web and I googled pre op questions to ask a surgeon. I started with that and then tweeked to my needs. I tried everything prior to considering surgery. My OSS worked with me for more than 5 years. When I first met him he told me that I would need surgery at some point but told me to try all of the alternative treatments first to see if they helped. He also pointed me in the right direction. I was under his care the entire time. He always stated that I would know when it was time for me to seriously consider surgery. He was correct. I also had 2 other consults before the actual surgery. One of my best suggestions is to keep a journal of symptoms, what activity caused them and what you did that may have been helpful, hurtful or did nothing.
    Let me know if there are specific questions that you have pre or post surgery. Glad to help. I only found this site post surgery.
    ************************************************** **
    12/9/2010 ACDF C5-6 C6-7 with plate, screws,
    BMP & bone fragment filled cages
    2/14/2011 trying to go back to work as a teacher
    2/17/2011 starting PT
    wearing bone stimulator 4 hours a day
    DDD, arthritis, herniated disks, pinched nerves
    3 months saw a little bit of bone growth (YEAH)
    4/9/2011 ROM much better, still achy and stiff in the am
    49 year old teacher
    dealt with pain for more than 5 years before finally having surgery.
    tried PT, cervical epidurals, selective nerve root blocks and acupuncture
    4/15/2011 Home Tens Unit
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