Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

multi level ACDF

I had a previous allograft fusion at C4 -5 due to being rear ended. Rear ended a year and a half ago, not very hard like the first one. I kind of blew it off, but after a couple of months of pain and numbness I saw a dr. Did all the chiropractic, pt, epidural etc. treatments, only continued to get worse. Saw three Drs, all wanted to do surgery immediately. Don't really want to do this again, but really don't have a choice as 5-6 and 6-7 are herniated, and facets at 4 and 7 are closing around nerves. I know that first fusion had a lot to do with this, but I had no numbness, tingling, weakness, etc until last accident. Since that time, I seem to be going downhill fast and picking up speed. I really don't want to do this again as I'm really not comfortable with losing more range of motion and I know that 3 level is just going to crush disc below and above due to lack of movement. I would like to hear from people that have multi fusion's and what they lost as far as motion and how they have been doing long term. I work as a contractor and do very physical work every day, with some days extremely physical. I have been told by a couple of Drs that I need to stop right now and never again do physical labor or I'm just asking for problems, and that is now, not to mention after surgery. I'm trying to figure out what to do? I have looked at artificial disc's but only find 5 to 7 year old info, or the surgery is in Germany or Spain with the M6. Some of the other 's have had problems or there is a problem with going to Germany as they do too many in a day, etc. I have heard that an ADR is able to be fused later if needed, but a fusion is it, no do over's. Does anybody have long term info and/or not sit at a desk? Thanks


  • tamtamttamtam Posts: 2,749
    edited 11/02/2012 - 5:31 AM
    As far as your questions regarding the ADR, the first thing is you need to be a candidate for them, as not everyone can they be used in. I think that is one of the reasons for the failures, as they tried putting them in everyone. There are surgeons in the US doing them, and it is quiet possible some of the surgeons you saw do them and your not a candidate, which is why they were not brought up. You are correct they just fuse them, but in some instances they do need to be removed. Much different case in the cervical spine verses the lumbar spine, where they can't be removed. I would call one of your hospitals and ask specifically for a surgeon whom is doing them, you can also call back the surgeon's you have seen and ask if they do them. They do preserve range of motion, except and I have seen members here get them with good success, and some with not so good success. We had a member go to germany for them and in the long run, he had to have them removed due to a infection.

    As far as your questions to a multi-level fusion there are many of us floating around, with them. I personally think the success of them is based on how many times they need to enter your neck. Remember the more times they enter the more issues you will have with scar tissue. But there is no one here whom can say what your success will be with fusing in the other areas. The question is can you stand the pain now without the surgery and what are your risk. Many times it comes down to a have to situation regarding surgery, for instance if you have cord involvement or myelopathy. In the latter case, with myelopathy, surgery is done to stop the progression and not undo the damage that has been done.

    As far as your question to ROM(range of motion), each one of us is different. I myself have been in surgery multiple times and it is not the fusion itself that is the issue, but rather the scar tissue that grows back, causing more issues. On the average they say you loose 10% per level. So that would mean you would be a 3 level with a 30% loss of ROM. In some instances the patient doesn't realize the loss as prior to surgery they had no ROM due to pain. In your therapy notes it should say how much ROM you have now and you could judge by that. I should say it "should" as most therapist measure to gauge the success or failures with therapy.

    Anyway let us know what you decide we are here to support no matter what your decision is. If I can be of future assistance don't hesitate to pm me. Take care and keep us posted.
  • I had a 4 level ACDF from C3-7. Regarding range of motion, I had restricted range of motion before the surgery because of all the inflammation in my neck and shoulders. After the surgery as I recovered I felt I might actually have more range of motion because it didn't hurt to turn my head. I do notice now some issues with range of motion (1-1/2 years after surgery), which would include backing up a car and turning my head when somebody calls from behind.

    I hope you are going to find some relief.

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    I had a two level anterior only 6 year ago that failed ... cadavear implants impacted down into the vertabrea and another level blew ... after 1.5 years of absolute h_ll I had to have it all redone front back corpectomies cage etc. My remaining rom is about 15 degrees in any direction. Continued pain and nerve damage. Now my lumbars are joining in the mix as well as other chronic conditions. I had to give up my 30+ year carrier in healthcare & it 2 years ago ... out on ssd. "Retired" @ 49.. not my plan.

    Good luck and care to you sir

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Welcome to SH. Sorry to hear about your situation. Glad to hear that you have had multiple opinions from surgeons. Surgery is a very difficult decision to make, and everyones outcome is different.

    I had an artificial disc put in 9 months ago, after a discectomy/lami 6 months prior. Mine is lumbar though. Unfortunately it has not helped my pain at all. In my case, I think that the fact that I have moderate facet hypertrophy, contributed to the fail. Many doctors will not do adr if your facets are damaged. My surgeon assured me that unless they were severe it would be fine. I'm now, not so sure.

    There are surgeons in the U.S. that do adrs . As well as Germany, there are well know surgeons in England, Spain.

    Wishing you all the best in your journey. Please keep us updated on how you are doing.
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I also had C5, C6, C7 with cage in 2007 & lumbar in 2007 L3,L4 L5 & S1 they removed all facet joint's, peek cage etc! Then in Feb 2012 my C4 broke when I was waking up early and I could not move my upper body and neck and without thinking I ( unlocked it). So far the last surgeon was a Neurosurgeon, I had been to him before for a second opinion after my first surgery's and was in so much pain. He was awesome he use I am not sure if I am spelling it right but he did not use my own bone-cadaver bone. It fused great! But like some of you that have spoke about I am having issue's with looking back/forth for car's, trying to get out of parking spot's, muscle spasm's. The popping is back like it was before the disk broke so he has just put me into therapy so I hope it helps. I am wondering if anyone has problem's with BALANCE? I cannot put one foot in front of the other and walk a straight line at all!! I will shake like crazy and fall. I can't even hold the counter with two finger and stand on 1 foot without wobbling. Crazy.. I know what you are going Thu the pain, the arm's, weakness! I was in a wreck the end of 94 a 16 yr hit me impact at 75 miles an hour he liked 6 inches coming Thu my drivers door. I was in therapy a long time, chiropractor and a very tough woman it has been a long journey fighting and putting off the surgery's till it was to late and was to bad L4 and L5 had crumbled. I kept lifting heavy weight item's and weight's and all it was doing was making it worse. It is a battle we all face everyday of our life, if you are not sure about your doctor or ortho see a neursurgeon! That is what I wish I had done before my first one's! We all are different in every way. I worry everyday of my life that another one in my neck will go. But I went and saw my dr last Monday and so far no breaks yet since Feb 2012--but rest assured every 6 months I will get him to check. Mine are going like crazy but you can't live your life in fear-----just one day at a TIME!.......I know sometime's it is crazy I even feel this wave like vibrating moving which is fluid in your spinal cord. Crazy. Do like I do I know every detail about myself, learn and I even keep document's on me incase I am in an accident, even make sure a list of medication's to folk's. Godbless and I sure hope all of you had some good day's! love yall
Sign In or Register to comment.