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Failed ACDF

hitchedin76hhitchedin76 Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi, I'm new to this site but not new to the world of neck pain. I would like to hear from anyone that has had a failed acdf surgery since I'm scheduled to have a revision on April 30th and am extremely nervous. My failure is two-fold. Apparently my cadavar graft did not heal and then in February I was involved in a rear end collision (I was the one hit). I felt fine right after the wreck but by that evening, I was feeling some pain. I scheduled an appt. to see my GP and was told that what I was feeling was muscle stiffness. This was on Friday and by Monday there was a significant increase in discomfort. I then went to see my surgeon who took an xray and reported that the hardware appeared to be fine. After a couple more weeks of worsening pain, I finally requested a CT scan which was done. At my flup appt. I found out that the graft (one level) had in fact not healed and now there is a large crack in the graft, most likely caused by the collision. The revision will be done with an autograft this time and the whole thing is making me very nervous!!! I would appreciate any replies as to pain level and more importantly, the successes!!! Thanks so much!!


  • Hitched,

    I hope your surgery went well. I felt more discomfort from my graft site, but they took bone as well as marrow, and so I had an incision there too. I had to use a walker for a couple of days before I could walk by myself, but this was for a non -union also, and it was worth it because the graft took.

    Thinking of you and hoping your reovery goes well.

  • I had my revision of the cracked graft in late April 2012. This time my surgeon used an autograft which was supposed to be a better choice for fusion success. The surgery went very well and all was well until about three months ago (late March). I started feeling the same old pain but this time it was mostly on the left side. I let the pain go for about six weeks thinking that I must have done something to make the pain return and I just needed to let it pass. Finally, I made an appointment with my surgeon. Upon arrival at the appointment, an xray was taken (standard) and it looked OK. After asking what my symptoms were the Dr. was pretty sure that the arm pain and numbness was being caused by a pinched nerve in my elbow. He didn't really address the pain that I had come in for which was in the neck, shoulder and down the back.. To be honest, when I left with an order for PT, I felt a little like he thought I was just there for fun and pain medication. After thinking about the PT and his speedy DX of elbow problem I decided to request the myelogram with CT that he had mentioned but then took off the table. My request was met with some hesitation but the nurse got it ordered and precerted with my insurance. I got the myelogram/CT this past Monday (6-17-13) and waited two days for results. I got the call yesterday (Wednesday) that "doctor" didn't like what he saw and could I come in tomorrow (Thursday). When I got there the nurse had a whole different attitude as did the Dr. To sum it up, my second graft (autograft) has failed. Now my options are to have another ACDF done to remove the failed graft and another cadaver graft put in. The difference is he wants to put hormone in the graft to increase the likelihood of success. Second option is to have a one done with a posterior approach, which I was told is way more painful and takes longer to heal. Has anyone had this problem or can anyone give me their opinion of which direction I should go?? I'm not looking for medical advise and I certainly wouldn't make my decision solely based on others opinions, it's just nice to hear from someone else who has like experiences. Thank you!!!
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