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Had my Post ACDF 2 month followup....bad news

I had ACDF surgery on August 27th. At that time I was also supposed to have a posterior laminectomy done but the surgeon and my wife felt it would be a bad idea once the realized that Hurricane Isaac was going to hit us so hard. During my followup today the doctor informed me that based on the issues I am still having he wants a followup MRI and is planning to go ahead with the Laminectomy surgery C3 - C7. That is really not what I was hoping for and now I am quite unhappy at this point.


  • kamgramkkamgram Posts: 483
    edited 10/23/2012 - 10:29 PM
    I am so sorry for the bad news and more surgery. You were doing so good after your surgery too. I hope you will do well with lamenectomy also. Keep you chin up and we will all be praying for you.

  • I can understand that having felt that you had been spared the posterior laminectomy, you must be feeling very fed up.

    If that is the way to move you further forward to being without your symptoms, then perhaps that is the best way to go.

    I am having my 2 level ACDF on 5th November. My surgeon has said that he may need to do another surgery from the back afterwards, but that we will see how much relief I get from the ACDF before he decides.

    Yet again, I will be watching and reading to see how you get on.
    I was greatly encouraged by your recovery from your ACDF.
    Do let us know when you have a date for surgery.
    You can do this - you have done so well after your ACDF.

    Take care,
  • The request has hit my Tricare account. The Neurosurgeon wants to do the surgery 15 November which sucks because it is the dead center of my current school term. I was able to carry on after the ACDF and from what I read the Laminectomy is not nearly as rough to come back from and is often conducted as a day surgery. So with that said hopefully it will not impede my current school term. The referral order has listed Insert Spine Fixation Device 1 unit, Spine Fusion Extra Segment 3 units, Neck Spine Fusion 1 unit, Remoe Spinal Lamina Add-on 4 units, Removal of Spinal Lamina 1 unit. Guess I will have even more medal in my neck after this haha.

  • Interesting that you have read that a laminectomy is not nearly as rought to recover from.
    I have read that posterior surgery on the neck is more difficult to recover from than anterior.
    It will be intersting to see how you find it.
    Have you spoken to your surgeon about needing to get back into the school term afterwards?
    He may be able to put it off a bit to nearer or after the end of the term.

    If November 15th is your date, then we will be recovering together. There is a November Surgery thread with several of us who are having spinal surgery in November.

    Take care,
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 10/28/2012 - 7:58 PM
    I just thought I would toss in my 2 cents.
    I had ACDF of C5,6,7.. Used donor bone, plate and six screws. Easiest surgery I have had. I almost went home the same day but it took extra time and I was given a choice to stay or go. To be safe I spent the night and went home at 9am with no problems and felt great.

    Surgery was done for compressed spinal cord. If you enlarge my profile pic you can see the problem and also see that I am very lucky to be walking. A few weeks after that surgery I had many new issues most likely from moving my cord around and the cord damage that they now knew I had. The cord still did not have enough room so laminectomys were done for the same section. It was much worse then the first surgery so be prepared for a longer harder recovery. Sorry I know this isn't what you want to hear. In my case the laminectomys were way more time consuming and pain full.

    Long story short I also had a lumbar fusion on the same day but because of the cervical I was in ICU for five days.
    The laminectomys were harder to get over both the cervical fusion and the lumbar fusion.
    Unless you have a simple procedure you will most likely be down several weeks.

    Depending on what school you are attending they make some exceptions for you and give you extra time.
    After my surgeries I went to community college and they had all kinds of programs to help and make it work for me .
    If this information would help you I can go more In depth on it.

    Good Luck

  • Sounds like as far as reasons for the surgeries we are in the same boat. My spine was almost fully pinched off, the doctor said I was one fall away from full paralysis. Diagnosed with disc herniation with myelopathy and cervical stenosis with myelopathy. The laminectomy is to fix the stenosis issue. Everything I have read says that the laminectomy is typically done as a day surgery and that people are in relative comfort within a week. That may not be true but either way I will be ok. I recovered much quicker than I was expected to on my ACDF surgery, perhaps it is because of my age I am not sure. As to college, I go via distance learning. I am working on a Masters with Troy University via their eCampus. Work is going to require me to return within 2-3 weeks so hopefully I have a different experience then you did.
  • I have had ACDF C2/3/4 and Posterior CDF C5/6/7 plus plating to facet joints. My ACDF was done in September 2010 and the Posterior CDF in December 2011. Personally I would say that recovery from the Posterior operation has been easier, however I am still suffering extensive neck pain from ACDF operation. I have been getting injections on both sides of neck down into C5/6 and C6/7 which have helped greatly. My Spinal Surgeon told me that I am doing okay and to be patient! I take Naproxen twice a day and it just takes the edge off the pain. Good luck with any further surgery. Any spinal surgery is difficult and recovery is never easy.
  • bpreachersbbpreachers Posts: 147
    edited 10/31/2012 - 7:48 AM
    Have my pre laminectomy MRI with and without contrast tomorrow. Never had the dye before so I wonder if that stings going in. Oh well.

    Is it odd that even though I know the fixation plates used in my neck are titanium and therefore non-magnetic that I am still a little "nervous" about an MRI when I have metal in my neck already lol.

  • I haven't had an MRI with contrast, so can't help you there.
    What I can say though, that will hopefully help, is that titanium is an MRI friendly metal and will not be a problem with your MRI scan. I have had several since my lumbar fusion with titanium screws and rods, including lumbar MRI over the area where the hardware is. No problem!

    Let us know how it goes and how having the contrast is.
  • I had MRI of full spine and contrast with thoracic and lumbar and the only pain I felt was when the tech who injected it into my wrist...it hurt so bad but didn't feel anything from contrast. Hope that helps and I hope everything turns our well on test:)

  • Well MRI went well. I had a slight reaction to the dye in that it made my face itchy for a bit and I was very lethargic afterward. Apparently it can take a toll on the body to process the dye out of your system so that is likely why I was so worn out. Surgery is now officially approved by the Navy and is scheduled to go down on the 15th of November. I will find out on Monday or Tuesday what the doctor thinks my recovery will be like and I will find out on Tuesday how long the Navy is giving me for recovery before I have to return to work (I am expecting 2-3 weeks 3 being the most as they are very "stringent" on time off for medical purposes).
  • Being a two level ACDF patient as well, I just wanted everyone who has upcoming surgeries this month to know that you are in my thoughts. I am so greatful for my fusion, although it has come with a price, the alternative (being paralyzed) is worse. It is amazing at how much better you feel afterwards! Good luck to you all!

  • I had my 2 level ACDF on 5th November and am now home again.
    I am looking forward to the day when I am grateful for my fusion.

  • Sorry about another surgery, bpreachers so soon after your ACDF. I hope that 3 weeks is a long enough time to recover. Let's hope that the weather cooperates and no more major storms for a while. Jellyhall - I'm glad to see you feel well enough to go on-line! Best wishes to you both.
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
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