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Opinions/experiences with a second ACDF surgery appreciated

yellowboyyyellowboy Posts: 46
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had an ACDF C5-C7 in June of 2009 for chronic neck pain. The pain is still the same today. I have tried all pain management options , no success. My original surgeon says there is nothing else he could do, although admits my C4-5 is not good. I went to a second neurosurgeon who agrees with the first. Recently I went to a spinal orthopedic surgeon who recommended I have C3-5 done. I was told this ortho surgeon was aggressive on surgery, but he took some X rays that were never done before. They were with my neck extended down and up. He showed me how they differed from a normal extended neck. I would appreciate any comments, I am in no hurry to have this done. Thanks


  • Greetings! I've had two fusion (ACDF) surgeries for the C5/6 and C6/7, and now facing a possible revision. In sad fairness, surgery doesn't always resolve our pain issues. It depends on if damage occurred prior to the surgery.

    As for the 2 Neurosurgeons that said "nothing I can do", did they give a reason? The complete reversal of the Ortho-surgeon. What did he say was the reason he felt more surgery was warranted, and what benefit would you get from it?

    Most of our pain is due to the nerves being affected. Orthos work bone and joint issues (to include those trained in spine specialties - but they are still bone doctors), Neuros work with the nerve issues. 2 Neuros say no, 1 Ortho (aggressive in your terms) says yes. I think I would seek yet another opinion personally. Please let us know how it goes.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • The ortho showed me that when my neck was extended on the X rays I had "steps" on my vertebrae instead of a rounded curve. He did not guarantee anything of course. He just said that the discs were herniated, some spurring.

    I will probably get another opinion, I decided to wait until winter to have it done, if I go for it.
  • Nodding... I would get another opinion. Due to years of flying helicopters, I lost my lordosis (curve) in my neck as well. That of course changes the loading on our cervical spine, and at times (me/you) causes disks to fail - they weren't designed for this!!

    Glad to see you are considering another opinion. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I had 3 consults prior to surgery - 1 Neuro, 2 Ortho. They all told me that the reason to have the surgery was to take the pressure off the spinal chord so symptoms didn't get worse. Some people have some amount of pain decrease as inflammation decreases.

    If you are not comfortable or confident with the surgeon(s) you've seen, see another.

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
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