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I don't want acdf surgery--options??

nae919nnae919 Posts: 12
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Ihave a herniated disk, C6-C7,the spinal cord is displaced. Viewing the herniation it looks like it is pushing 50-60% of the way in to the cord. 2 Orthopedic Surgeons recommended surgery. The pain level is mild now (it was off the charts in the beginning). 2 months since it started. Some pain now, mild tingling and numbness in right middle finger.

1. it has been 2 months since it started, pain level is mild now. Should i keep waiting to see if symptoms resolve? Will they resolve over time?

2. What are the risks of not having ACDF surgery? Is paralysis a risk for me? I saw 2 surgeons and this question still has not been answered.

3. I do some intense workouts and triathlons. I have not been able to workout since it started, do I risk making the cervical herniation worse if I were to start working out again?



  • another nurse .{my wife is one} had the same operation as you are thinking of having .she was 50 when she had her operation and she has been fine ever since .and she is back to work with no pain at all ..neck surgey tends to be more of a success than lower back surgey because there is less weight and less movement there ..i recommended the tempur millenium queen pillow to her and after a little hesitation she bought one ..the best thing she has ever bought she said ..as for extreme exercise i would lay off should you have the operation ..remember all operation are to fix a problem ..if you can get some relief from it i would not risk making the repair fail .good luck .i can't comment from a personal level as i don't have any problems with my neck mines all lower back
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014

  • gets smaller. I had my operation and I think I would have wait to see if the herniation got smaller. I am not a doctor this is my personal experience. My disc was getting smaller... but I got scared. I would say that if you don't have much pain could wait at least that is what one of my surgeons told me.

    Hope you can heal with time!

  • i am wondering if given enough time, will cervical herniated disks heal? what have you heard about the healing?
  • Ask youself/ your doctors this... If I was in a minor accident (small fender bender, fell down carring something etc) would it get worse and could I end up very handicap?

    The spinal canal in the neck is very narrow- you are already displaced 50-60%- how much further will it go? I imagine your pain and issues will come roaring back the minute you do something that it doesn't agree with :) Most of of have had weeks of feeling great followed by weeks of h3ll.

    If it was a small bulge there is some chance of it repairing itself. The larger and older they get the worse. In a few years it could calcify then it isn't a simple surgery.

    The worse it gets-the more instabilty it can have on your entire neck causing more levels to fail.

    The other option could be a artificial disk replacement- ADR. Many active people have found that to be a better option. Ask your OS if you are a candidate then maybe seek out a NS and ask.

    I would take care of it, better safe than sorry.

  • Julie,
    thank you for your comments! I have not heard of herniated disks calcifying, another factor. I think i will get a neurosurgeon consult.

  • Hi!

    You could look for articles of resorb herniations. You can ask your surgeon about this.

    Hope it gets better!


  • Sorry for misspelling in the first post :-/
  • Post Edited by Authority Member Liz

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