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jerry909jjerry909 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in New Member Introductions
I'm new, hehe! 44yr old male- DDD and other impingments

So my ACDF is on Aug 4. And my surgeon first wanted to fuse c4/c5 c5/c6 c6/c7. I have right arm deltoid and bicep weakness/ and sharp pain when I cough in the right neck.

Based on my anxiety, she has offered to do just the one level(the one weakening those two parts of my right arm). And "take care of me if I need it" later.

A big part of me doesn't want to have to come in later and get worked on again. So that part says get 'em all done now.

This is my first surgery ever. So I'm just now starting to accept and adjust my fear into hope.

I looked into the laser endoscopic treatment, but I would have had to travel to another state and maybe not get approved. Also I can't trust the referal list they gave me.

I mean who would send you a list of patients that will talk
bad about you?

So I'm otherwise in good health- other than some hypertension and choresterol meds.

How tough is life with a 3 level fusion? The surgeon said a 1 level would be virtually unoticable. And she said that I'd have almost the same neck mobility as I do now with a 3 level.

What do you all with neck fusions think?


  • HI Jerry

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find many including myself whom have gone through cervical spine surgery. With the surgery your doctor proposed to do, did she discuss with you your range of motion having all those levels fused? Also did she discuss the probability of multi-level fusions and not fusing and the need for additional surgery if that happened. What type of bone grafting material will she be using, allograft or autograft. Sometimes on these surgeries more is not always better, so to speak. Depending on what you do for a living, having a 4 level fusion may not leave you with enough range of motion to do your job. Just some things you might want to consider.

    As far as being nervous that is only to be expected. Many will tell you they wake from surgery with all the symptoms gone and feel much better with some post op pain is all. Others, have taken some time for the nerves to heal up.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. If there is anything I can do, don't hesitate to pm me. Take care.
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i want to wish you the best of luck on your upcoming surgery!! you have the chance to become pain free! please follow all the doctor's orders to the letter!! a healthy recovery is so vital! stop by the forum duruing your recovery! the forum can make a long day go by alot faster! be sure and check out the "Back and Neck surgery" forum for more input!! Jenny :)
  • Welcome to Spine-health. I'm sorry you have to make this tough decision, and that you've come to the point of needing surgery. As far as how many levels to do, that is really a personal decision. You need to think about how confident you are in the surgeon and the hospital where the surgery will be done. Balance having the more limited surgery pros & cons and maybe needing to go back for more surgery, or having the more extensive surgery with the additional risks but the potential of solving more of the problems.

    I took the more extensive approach. I was very confident in the surgeon who recommended the 4 level. He was highly recommended as was the hospital where the surgery was to be done. He considered the 4 level the conservative approach given the issues with the other levels that weren't as bad. The surgery was much longer, and the hospital stay 4 days, but now I have about the same range of motion as before surgery, and pain at a more manageable level. I had 2 other surgeons recommending 1 level. For me, I just felt strongly that if I did 1 level I would be back in a couple of years for another surgery.

    I made the decision that was right for me and you will do what is right for you. I wish you all the best.
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • I'm with the other posters as to the fact that this is a very personal choice and you can't know ahead of time what kind of fusion you'll have, etc.

    Having said that, my first thought when I read your post is to have it all taken care of in one fell swoop. I had a 3-lvl ACDF at the same levels and it was very successful, my ROM is not bad and I healed well. Of course, that's the thing - that's only my story.

    You can't know what's going to happen, but like it was said, if you have confidence in your surgeon, I wouldn't risk going under the knife again later. Each time you have to go under anesthesia it's a risk and the more you do it, the more dangerous it becomes.

    That's just my two cents worth - only you can make this decision and I wish you the best. Feel free to PM me if I can help you in any way.

    Take care,
  • I really appreciate your input. My surgery is this Thursday. I really don't want to go in multiple times for my neck. I am getting the cadaver bone.

    I work at a computer desk. My surgeon says my ROM should be similar to now.

    I just don't want to feel like I can't look around. So I hope that the pain and muscle weakness reduce significantly.

    Well it seems like I should get all 3 done in one session.

    Thanks so much! really!
  • HI,
    I've had that surgery, C5-C7, anterior....Mine didn't fuse properly, so we just redid it, this time anterior and posterior. The anterior is much easier and less painful.. You may, however, notice some trouble swallowing for awhile, but it will get better. Stock up on soft, easy to swallow foods, like pudding, ice cream, etc. My ROM is basically the same as it was...I don't notice too much difference. However, when you go back to work, be sure to move around a bit now and then so stiffness doesn't set in...
    Best wishes for a successful outcome!
  • Hi Jerry,

    I just wanted to wish you GOOD LUCK this coming Thursday!

    I am pre-surgery for a two level ACDF and hope to hear yours goes well.

  • I had my 3 month follow-up for my 4 level fusion. I am fusing fine! I wish you all the luck with your surgery and recovery afterward.
    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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