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acdf c5-7

I was wondering if anybody could tell me how their range of motion is after an acdf at c5-7. The reason I ask is I am a trucker and I was involved in a major truck accident in December 2012. A car did not yield the right away ( he was cited for the accident), when he impacted with my tractor trailer, I put my truck in a ditch and up and over a culvert at 45 mph. Need less to say, the truck stopped in less than 8 foot and was totaled. I guess my question is, will I be able to continue to drive a tractor trailer after the surgery?

Thank you in advance,

Michael L Adams


  • My range of motion after my ACDF C4/5 C5/6 (I have since had more surgery due to other related issues) did not affect my "overall" range of motion much. The only deffinate limitation that I had was looking up. Looking up was drastically limited to only 5-10 degrees. However I have to assume that while driving a big rig looking up is not excessively important. As far as being able to use your mirrors or look down the road you should be fine. You should discuss your concerns with your surgeon to get insight directly related to your specific case. But I had extreme herniation at the above mentioned levels and the only limitation was the looking up.
  • But my range was pretty crappy before surgery. I had 4 levels done on Jan 03. I just started driving around town a couple of weeks ago. Of course, I drive a little Prius.
    I would think with your mirrors (and maybe a backup camera), you would be fine. I have been amazed at the number of people who have had this surgery and are back at their usual activities. Have you asked your doctor yet??

    4 level ACDF completed on January 3rd.
    I developed an infection which required reopening the wound on January17th
    Looking forward to life without as much pain!
  • I did ask, but he said " everybody is different", not the answer I was looking for from him ;). So, I thought I would ask here and see how others were doing and possibly find another driver who has had this done.
    Michael L Adams
  • I'm not a driver but I was/am a personal security liason as one of my jobs in the military and the ACDF did not affect my ability to aim a weapon. My second surgery has though. I doubt it will give you many if any issues with driving a rig.

  • I have had a 2 level ACDF, but at higher levels than you. Mine were C3/4 and C4/5. My surgery was in November last year and I am back at work as a Teaching Assistant now.

    As far as driving is concerned, at first my neck was stiffer and I had to use my mirrors a lot, but it is pretty much back to how it was before my surgery now. I did ask before surgery how much my mobility was likely to be affected and my surgeon said I shouldn't really notice much difference because it was already limited by the problems in my neck. He was spot on!

  • Thank you all for the information, it is greatly appreciated

    Michael L Adams
  • And yes, while it is different for everyone, my surgeon told me (and was correct) that we have an instinct to modify our behavior when we have limitations.

    If someone has limited range of motion, they tend to turn from their shoulders rather than from the neck in order to do what is needed.

    I had an ACDF C3/4 and C4/5 - negligible loss of range of motion, but if I do have to turn that extra inch, I do find that I turn my shoulders or upper torso.

    I doubt you'll have a problem doing what you need to do. With mirrors and modifying your own behavior (turning shoulders or torso) - I suspect you'll be fine.

    Just comply and cooperate with the healing plan your doctor puts you on and let your neck fully heal.

    And, your surgeon is right - everyone is different and the outcome for everyone is different. :)

    Good luck to you!
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
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