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Surgery...again!

Hello All!

Though I am not new to cervical fusions, I am new to posting on this site. In 2006, I had a ACDF from C4-C7 and in 2011, I had to have another from C4 to T1. I was doing really well with occasional arm/hand pain/neck pain, but I had stopped taking all medications and working almost 50 hours a week.

Well, this last October, my family and I were stopped at a stoplight and rearended around 35-40 mph and sandwiched in between 2 trucks. No good! Thank goodness we were in my husband's "tank" and my family was not injured too bad, except for me. Since the accident, I have had migraines, bilateral upper extremity radiculopathy and neck and back pain. I have been going to a chiroprator and having 1-2 weekly massages, along with biofreeze, TENS unit, stretching etc........

Last week, I finally went back to see my surgeon and he told me that he thought I needed to have C3 fused now and he wanted to go in anteriorly and posteriorly with a rod placement. This scares me. Even though I work in the health care industry, I have seen alot! I am having an epidural done, but I know I am just postponing the inevitable.

What I am looking for is if anyone else on this site has endured this surgery and the results. I know that I will loose more lateral range of motion, but I am worried about driving, pain afterwards, etc.

Thoughts/answers.

Thanks!
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Comments

  • LizLiz Posts: 7,910
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

    - Detailed medical libraries of Articles and Videos that address almost every Spinal Conditions and Treatment

    - The Wellness section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.

    - Under the Resource tab, there is a section Doctor Advice Health Center which can be invaluable.

    - As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a Support System. You are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 International members and growing daily.

    - It is very important to understand the Forum Rules to make sure all of your posts do not violate any of the rules.

    - As a new member, it is helpful to understand the 'makeup' of these forums, how to make posts, tips on adding images and much more. You should read Forum FAQ

    Here are some you should take a look at:
    Read before you post
    Tips for Newcomers
    Understanding the rules

    All of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

    If you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the Private Message facility to contact any one of the Moderators on my team:

    dilauro

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    JellyHall

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,372
    edited 07/16/2013 - 1:13 AM
    I am so sorry to hear about your car accident and how it has caused the problems in your neck to return.

    I was told by my surgeon after my ACDF of C3/4/5 that he may need to do another surgery from the back as he wasn't sure that the surgery had done enough to get the compression off my cord. Fortunately, the MRI showed that my cord now has fluid around it so he is happy that I don't need anything done at the moment. I do know that I have nerve root compression at the levels below those fused and am still having my pains and symptoms in my arms and think this is why. I also have pain and symptoms in my feet and legs and we believe that this is coming from the cord. Hopefully it will improve but my surgeon has said if I still have it in November, which will be my 12 month anniversary of surgery, then I will most likely be left with it.

    There are people on here who have had ACDF and a posterior fusion in the same surgery. Obviously it is a harder surgery to recover from but there are people who have found that it dealt with their problems and they returned to their lives. They are probably not here reading and posting now.
    Second and subsequent surgeries on the same levels are generally more difficult but you may already have experienced that.

    Have you asked your surgeon what he thinks will happen if you don't have this surgery?
    He would probably say that things will get worse, but maybe not.
    I went ahead with my ACDF because my cord was being compressed and I was in danger of permanent damage if I was in an accident or even had a fall. We decided that it was better to get on and do it before things got more serious which would make it more likely that I would be left with my symptoms. I do still have most of my nerve pain in my arms and also neck pain. At least things shouldn't get worse now my cord is decompressed.

    I hope that someone will be along who has had this surgery. Please do remember that those that are still here have probably not had the same success as those who are back to living their lives and no longer have need of this forum.

    Looking forward to getting to know you better. :-)
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