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Getting ready for c6-c7 acdf

Ohiojohn1972OOhiojohn1972 Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello All,

Just looking around for information on my upcoming surgery and this site has been terrific. Thank you all.

I have not been able to schedule it yet as the surgeon won't let me until I quit smoking for at least 6 weeks. I'm on week 2 and it's starting to get better...it's a terrible habit anyway but after 25 years it's tough to walk away from it. I'm trying to hold off anyway until after Spring Break in March as we have a Disney trip planned. My two youngest have never been (7 and 4)so I don't want to take this away from them.

Can anyone give me a little feedback on how long it usually takes to get back to work (at a desk job)? My job is pretty stable and we had a record year, but you never know. Being out an extended period of time doesn't help my cause. Although 10 years ago I had a micodiscectomy L4-L5 and with them help of my brace and pain killers went back to work a week later. I'm not doing that again...the recovery time took twice as long and I've never been the same.

Thanks again for all the great information....takes away alot of the unknown.


  • First let me say welcome to spine, Have a look around and you will find many other one level fusions. As far as the recovery time and going back to work it all depends on the individual and what they find during surgery. Your surgeon should be the one to determine the appropriate amount of time of work. Also it depends on if you are using allograft or autograft. typically the time off is about 6 weeks, however I have seen others go back earlier and some latter. It will also depend on if the surgeon is gong to use any type of bracing following the surgery.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Keep us posted on when your surgery is and how you get along.
  • I had a 2 level ACDF at C5-6 and C6-7 in June 2009. Mine was done using stem cell implants and anterior bracing. This is after 2 years of treating chronic pain under a Pain Management physician and then being referred to a neurosurgeon. In 2007, I went through what I call "The Gaunlet" of pain management procedures and drugs, only to have the neurosurgeon say he wished he could have seen me a year earlier. Makes me wonder what path I should have taken or now should take. I have since moved and no longer see that neorsurgeon. I am again fighting the chronic pain with a pain management physician and the "Gaunlet" of treatments and drugs ... now adding cervical dystonia to the mix. I DO hope and pray for your safe and speedy recovery. God Bless.

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • and welcome to Spine Health.

    Can I ask you why your neurosurgeon said he wished he could have seen you a year earlier? Did he tell you why that would have been better?

    Were the stem cell implants used like graft?
    I haven't heard of that before.

    I assume that your ACDF didn't work if you are back into Pain Management, or is that for a different level?

    You will find lots of friendly people here and great support from people who understand being in daily pain.

  • I can't really advise you on the recovery from a cervical surgery as I haven't experienced that.
    I have had lumbar fusion which called on all the patience I could muster as I was off work for 5 months.

    I am working again now but am having new pains and symptoms from my neck to my toes. I think my lumbar fusion was successful and that this is all new stuff happening.

    I would definately advise following all restrictions after surgery. Many of us learn the hard way that if we try to push too hard, we live to regret it; both painwise and it also sets us back in our recovery. Daily walking is just about the best thing we can do to help the healing along.
    Frequent short walks are better than one long one.

  • Neuorsurgeon felt that he should have treated surgically because discogram revealed ALL 5 discs bad and none of the previous procedures yielded and relief for me. This conclusion was made after the discogram and another MRI revealed numerous arthritic changes now at the C5-6 & C 6-7 levels ... pinched nerves, some bulging placing pressure on spinal cord at both location. Really no other option. The stem cell blocks were used in place of the bone grafts. I had not heard of it either. Neurosurgeon in practice over 20 years & involved in R & D of options for DDD & spinal disc replacements. My pain management is now for levels C2-3 thru C4-5 and inflamation, pinched nerves and scar tissue from 1st procedure. Hesitate on further surgery. I welcome any comments or suggestions.

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • if only we can wait long enough for them to be tested and become commonly used. The trouble is, I think that may be a while down the line. Meanwhile we need relief from the pain.

    My brother-in-law who is in Australia had a cervical fusion and they used coral for the graft.

  • I have heard of coral being used for grafts, too, not limited to just cervical spine. Any idea of the success rate or post-op recovery as to pain, length of time, etc.? I know that everyone's body responds differently to different procedures and meds. Just looking for general info regarding coral grafts and after effects. Any pros and/or cons? And yes .... we DO need relief from the pain. Seems one procedure just raises another issue and exacerbates existing ones.

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.

  • all I can say is that my brother-in-law was back at work to quite a physical job quite quickly. I think he started to return at 2 weeks, but had to be very careful. As for success, it is hard to say. A lot of his symptoms seemed to be dealt with, but he still has (after 6 years) awful burning pain in his legs. He has been told that this is due to permanent nerve damage because he was very advanced before they realised what his problem was. He was falling and on testing, one side of his body was numb from his toes to his shoulder. He had surgery a few days after having the MRI scan!

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