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Newbie with upcoming ACDF C5-7

bcochran77371bbcochran77371 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello all, I have been having the pain in the left shoulder blade and down the arm along with the tingling and numbness in the left hand. I went and had an mri done and have severe compression at 5-6 and moderate stenosis in 6-7.

I first went to a neursurgeon that sent me to PT with relieve from my symptons and he said come and see me again in 6 months. I found another neurosurgeon who reviewed my mri and seen me in one day. I now have my ACDF scheduled for July 7, 2011.

I am a little nervous as I have never had any kind of surgery but cannot wait for the pain and such to be gone.

This forum is very informative and I am glad I found y'all.



  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. good luck on your upcoming surgery! you have the chance to become pain free!! be sure and check out the "Back and Neck surgery"forum for more input.. stop by the forum during your recovery, it can make a long day go by alot faster! be sure and follow all your doctor's orders.. all the best! Jenny :)
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    I have never had surgery myself..so I can not speak to that.
    I have had experience with different docs reading the same xray and coming up with totally different opinions. Of course, that adds to my difficulty with my issues...but finding a doc that makes the most sense and valadates my painful experiences ..I start trusting. I may double check his opinion, but my anxiety level is way down.
    For me..sometimes I bring someone to the doctor visit with me to help me understand..and remember. Their opinion helps me, also.
    Trust your doc and trust yourself. Whatever treatment you decide on...I wish you the very best!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    I had a 3-lvl ACDF, two of the levels included the ones you're having. I also had the pain in the back and arms and tingling your talking about.

    I'd never had surgery either when I had to have mine done and it was wonderful waking up with all the symptoms gone. I had lost full use of my left arm before surgery, so it was great to have that strength back.

    The back spasms may continue for a bit along with pain at the base of your neck for a time after surgery, but it's worth it. You may also experience swallowing and throat problems, but it varies so much from person to person that it's impossible to judge how you'll fare in that department until the weeks after your surgery.

    I'm hoping that you have complete confidence in your surgeon as that's very important. It's important that they keep tabs on you for quite a while after surgery to make sure everything is going well and not drop you after a couple of months. Mine follows his patients for two years, but I've had additional problems so I've been with him for three.

    Many will tell you that the anticipation is worse than the surgery itself and I found that to be the case. It can be nerve-wracking, but really, you just go to sleep then wake up and *BAM* it's over and on to recovery.

    Good luck with your surgery and keep coming back for support when needed and just to chat with others about what's happening. SH can be a great help for the recovery boredom.

    Take care and if I can help in any way, feel free to PM me.
  • It's scary for any surgery, especially your first. Ask as many questions as possible, and make sure you understand what's going to happen to you before, during and after the surgery. Also, feel free to ask any questions here.

    Take care and good luck.
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Post deleted. Solicitation at Spine-Health is never permitted.

    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Administrator 07/11/11
  • Hi Bobby,
    Having just had a re-do of my C5-C7, due to non-union of the last one, I can say you will be ok! I had anterior and posterior this time. The anterior was actually easy, and having a bit of trouble swallowing for awhile was the only major problem, and pain was very minimal for me, at least. The posterior one was much more painful, but while in the hospital, the nurses took good care of me, and I was discharged with meds to cover the pain. I'm now 8 weeks post-op, and doing ok... Still wear my collar now and then, am doing exercises for my neck, though still sometimes get pain from shoulders to neck....sleeping muscles need to awaken slowly! I'm sure you'll do fine....and yes, the waiting for surgery is sometimes worse than the surgery itself! Good luck, and let us know how you're doing!
  • My surgery was performed on Thursday 7-7. I woke up in recovery feeling great. The symptons in my left arm are all but gone. I still get the knot in the shoulder blade but not as frequent or severe. I take one pain pill at night before bed as a precaution. The soreness in my throat is all but gone. The worst part is trying to sleep in the rigid collar.

    Thanks to all!!
  • Post deleted. Solicitation at Spine-Health is never permitted.

    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Administrator 07/11/11
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