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Posterior Osteophyte Removal after triple level ACDF

eithneeeithne Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi All. I am new to this site and was wondering can anyone help? I had triple ACDF on C4/5 5/6 6/7 in Dec 2010. I recovered really well but pain started back in left arm and numbness in fingers in same arm. As a result, I am now scheduled for surgery in Sept 2011 for posterior osteophyte removal on same levels. Just wondering what post-op symptoms are. I am 41 with 3 children under 7 and have to honest in saying, I am not looking forward to it!!!!! Kind Regards


  • Welcome to Spine Health. I thought our docotrs were supposed to remove those nasty osteophyte complex's with the ACDF's? I think my ns only removed the worst one and the others are getting worse (will see my new MRI monday).

    I had the same surgery followed up with a MVA. I still have some issues with my neck/arms but now I have the added bonus of Thoracic issues.

    Good luck with your surgery.

  • Did you have the osteophytes at those levels before the surgery or did they appear after surgery? If you are fused at those levels, I don't believe you can develop osteophytes. Like Julie said, I thought the ACDF operation includes the removal of osteophytes. Of course, I'm not an expert, but this confuses me a bit! :?
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • I also have a bone spur at one of my levels (C5/6) that developed after my surgery. However, I'm not having problems because of it.

    What my surgeon said is that it was good news because that means there's bone growth. Well, yes, it's good as long as it doesn't cause problems, but the point is that spurs can develop after surgery as your bone grows during continued healing.

    I've heard that posterior surgery is more difficult to recover from that anterior surgery cervically due to cutting the back neck muscles. I haven't had one myself, but our resident expert, Tamtam, knows this all too well. Hopefully she'll pop on this thread and make a post letting you know what to expect.

    Take care,
  • Thanks for all the comments. Very much appreciated. During ACDF surgery I had 3 fusions and osteophyte removal at C4/5 5/6 6/7. Because surgery was from front of neck, it was not possible to remove all osteophytes at back of vertebrae. My scheduled surgery for Sept. will now remove these osteophytes at back of neck. It is not new growth - these osteophytes were present at time of first surgery.

    Before my initial surgery I looked at a lot of forums and was very nervous, as the post-op outcome seemed horrendous. Fortunately, I actually recovered really quickly. As Cath111 (Thank U) commented, I believe post-op symptoms from posterior is much worse due to the "cutting" of muscle. I just wanted to know if anyone had this done. Kindest Regards
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I am one the ones that have had both posterior and anterior approach. I can say the posterior was a much harder recovery. I experienced horrible muscle spasms following the posterior approach. The first week was pretty rough for me. After that the healing seemed to go much quicker then the anterior. The hardest and most painful thing to do was to get up out of bed in the mornings. Make sure you have something to support yourself with near your bed, I actually gave up and got a hospital bed my third or fourth day home. If you are given that option take my advice and get one. My insurance covered it at 100%. There are some that say it was the most horrible surgery ever so I was prepared for the worst. I personally did not think it was as bad as I thought it would be. Will there be hardware placed during the surgery? Myself it was 2 rods, new plate and I dont know how many screws. Keep us posted.
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