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3 level acdf

bryan1471bbryan1471 Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi my name is Bryan,Ihad a 3 level acdf year and a half ago.Just thought i could ease some fears about surgery,i was off work for 6 months thank goodness for workmans comp.For the most part i have no pain,just little ackes every once in a while,i dont take any pills in fact i was off pain pills after 3 months. And as far as range of motion goes it comes back i think its all in your head your brain tells you not to turn your head too far but u can with time,i think kinda like breaking a leg it takes time to gain confidence again.well would like to help with any questions.


  • Hi byran,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find many multiple level fusion patients including myself. Although I disagree that you don't loose any motion, as just by the theory of what the surgery is. The are removing a joint and replacing it with a solid affixation device. When you break a leg, the leg is already solid and not a moving joint, say as in a knee. If they fused a knee joint you wouldn't be able to move it which is why they replace them. But as a four level fusion myself trust me it is not in my head why I can't move it my neck, it is in my neck. Now some might get used to not being able to move, and I also know depending on the levels and which type of movement you are talking about it different. For example up and down and right to left. But there are many of us with cord damage and a condition called myelopathy and surgery was done to stop progression not to give back something. Also those of us with permanent nerve damage, the nerves will never heal.

    I do think you can help others to not fear the surgery, as you are right the surgery itself is not to bad depending on which entry anterior or posterior. But just because one is having ACDF the reason for surgery may be very different. That is great work comp helped you all the way through your surgery, and you didn't have to worry about a settlement or anything like that. I am happy to hear the surgery worked so well and you are back at work and doing fine. AS you read the forums you will find there are many others whom it also worked very well for.
  • Bryan, that is wonderful that you didn't have pain after 3 months. There are many people out there whom have this surgery and do very well, so I'm glad you are one of them. Why were you off work for 6 months though?

    Fusing the lower segments of the neck will restrict some of the side to side motion. Higher ones restrict the up and down motion. It is true that muscle tightness will make it worse but no matter how many exercises or stretches one does, you'll never get 100% range of motion again. I have fairly good ROM, but as Tamtam said, the fusion itself prevents some of the rotation from ever coming back.

    I look forward to seeing the encouragement you are able to provide other c-spine surgery patients.


    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
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