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anterior cervical disectomy and fusion c3 and c4

rachelsmom2003rrachelsmom2003 Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everyone. I am scheduled to have ATSF at c3 and c4 next Friday (sept 9). I woke up April 28, and felt like i slept on my neck wrong. The next morning I woke and could barely move the pain was so intense. Saw my family practioner and he gave pain meds and pt.Did take x-ray but said it showed no evidence of a problem. The pt thought i needed to see a chiropractor, so i did.He said x-ray showed a pincehed nerve and strsightening of the neck. After the first few visits I got some relief but was still very stiff in the am. Then noticed in May tingling in my fingers that would comne and go. Went back to see FP in August as I noticed I was having trouble holding onto things, and picking them up (mostly small things). Had MRI showed herniatedc disks at c3 and c4 with complete flattening of the spuinal cord. Im alos having a lot of weakness in my arms. Went to neurosurgoen this week monday, he wanted to do surgery immediately but i had to make arrangements for my daughter so its next week. I clean houses for a living and am worried that it will cause further damage if i go back to this type of work once im healed. I was told surgery is my only option and if he waited the four to six weeks that it normally takes to get into surgery it is a distinct possibility I would be paralyzed. Never had any surgery before (natural child birth) and have no idea what to expect. I have had the feeling of bieng shot with novicaine in both my hands for atleast a month and the ns said he could see effects in my feet as well (i havent noticed this yet)Just wondering how long or if anyone else has these symptoms and if they went away after surgery? Also the last two days I've felt like my midsection is going numb (novicaine feeling) not sure if i should call ns or not since so close to surgery. any input would be greatly appreciated. Also wondering an odd question, how long before you can go back to being sexually active? I ask because it has effected that area of my marriage since April and I think I'm looking forward to that intimacy
again as much as I am hoping to get the feeling back in my hands. lol oddly enough neck pain has subsided compared to what is was originally... sill hurts off and on, feeling like it is catching on something and/or it can't hold up the weight of my head anymore. PLEASE HELP :)


  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I can tell you my experience but remember this is me and everyone is different. I believe if I remember correct my first surgery was about 6 hours and I had all the symptoms that you have described. It was a overnight stay in the hospital. Upon waking from the surgery all my pain in my arms and numbness were gone. My arms did feel very strange for a day or two but I was told this is because the nerves were waking up. Even though I did have post op pain the god awful pain prior to surgery was gone. The docs were very good at keeping the post-op pain under control and I was comfortable while recuperating. You more then likely will have a mild sore throat and only be able to eat soft foods for the first few days. A must have for me during recovery was straws, so I suggest getting them if you have not already done so. A comfy pillow to prop yourself up in bed with. I think you will be surprised at how much better you will feel immediately. As soon as you are able remember to walk. It is very important to keep your muscles from going into really bad spasms. Keep us posted and good luck
  • Hi Rachel,

    I am sure you will feel so much better after acfd! I had a lot of the symptoms you describe and I am currently a little over 2 months post op. Although I am not 100% I feel so much better than before surgery! As for cleaning houses... You should be able to go back to that. I am a very fast paced restaurant manager, and I went back to work after 2 months. Just don't try to go back too early. Good luck and let us know how it goes. Try to not be nervous. I was in less pain post op than pre op.

    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of support in the forums and information throughout the site.

    Like Susan and Donna, after my ACDF all the pain, numbness, clumbsiness and weakness was gone upon waking up from surgery. It was a wonderful feeling.

    I'm glad you're going to have the surgery, but know it's very scary. Let me just say that most will tell you that the anticipation of surgery is worse than the surgery itself. And usually you can go home the day after surgery. You might have swallowing issues, and there will be some painful days, but it's not awful, really.

    Try not to worry and look forward to getting your arms back.

    Take care,

  • You have found a great place to learn about your neck problems and will find this a friendly place to get support. :H

    I haven't had cervical surgery, but have had a fusion on my lumbar spine.

    I do have neck problems though, with compression on my cord at C3/4 and C4/5. My surgeon is watching me and waiting to see how quickly I am getting worse. I think this is because I don't have Babinski's sign, which indicates that damage is being done to the spinal cord. I do have stiffening spasms in my legs and abdomen in the mornings and after getting up after sitting for a long time, though.

    I will be very interested to hear how you get on as I suspect that surgery will be needed in the future.

    Do ask any other questions you may have, and take a look at the top of the Back and Neck Surgery page where there is a list of useful items for after surgery. Don't be too scared of how long the list is! It is for lumbar surgery too. It will give you an idea of things that will make your life easier while you are healing after surgery.

    Take care :-)

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