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ACDF next Tuesday and I am nervous

Last November I was involved in a car accident, passenger side impact( I was the driver). Right before the guy hit my car I instinctualy reached in the back seat to brace my 2 year daughter for impact (held onto her car seat for dear life). The accident jarred me pretty good. About an hour after the accident I started getting horrible neck pain. I had my first MRI last December, and told I had herniated discs C5-T1 with the c6/7 being the worst. I've tried every type of therapy, including the dreadful dreadful neck injections, which seemed to have made things worse. During the last injection(September), I had shooting pain down my left leg and they said it is normal. Now when I bend my neck down I get a weird feeling that goes down my left leg like during the injection.

Mast last MRI said the c 5/6 is minor as is the c7- t1. Now here is the part I do not get C6/7 Broad based disc herniation with approximately 3mm of central disc herniation. The anterior spinal canal displaced the cord posteriorly. AP diameter of the canal at this level measures approximately 9 mm
I am wondering if ACDF will fix all my problems? I am a little afraid of surgery and I am probably just nervous for nothing.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 10/16/2013 - 7:42 AM

    I'm sorry to hear that you are needing to have an ACDF next Tuesday.
    Are you just having the worst level fused, or all of them?

    It is perfectly normal to feel afraid of surgery, especially spine surgery.

    I had a 2 level ACDF done because my spinal cord was being pushed backwards and compressed.

    There are many stories on here where patients have this surgery and when they wake up all their previous pain has gone. Hopefully you will be another one of those patients.
    Once the cord is being compressed it is very common to need to have surgery to get the pressure off the cord to avoid permanent damage to it.

    There is a thread here with lots of ideas of useful items to help after spinal surgery. It is a long list as is covers lumbar and cervical surgeries.


    I suggest that you prepare your house to make sure that there is nothing that you can trip on; place items you use frequently at about waist height so you don't have to reach up or bend down. Stock up with ice cream as it is one of the easiest and most soothing things you can eat after surgery. Bendy straws will probably be useful as you won't be able to tilt your head back to drink. A grabber stick will be helpful to pick up things you drop. Have lots of pillows so that you can arrange them to suit when trying to get comfortable.

    Good luck and do come and let us know how you get on. It is helpful to be able to talk to others and ask and questions you may have while you are in recovery.

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