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What I learned, Two level ACDF with flexible plate vs ADR

I had severe c5c6,c6c7 herniations with compression on the spinal column until yesterday. I had an anterior cervical discectomy with plastic spacers and a felixble plate.

It went fine and I was up and walking all over the hospital yesterday. I am 36 and had this injury for over ten years. I barely need pain medication due to a fairly sore throat but my pain is otherwise gone. I had pain I didn't even know about until it was gone:-) In a few weeks I will be able to hold my babies again without fear of injuring myself!

Another surgeon told me not to get surgery because I was managing my pain with lyrica and muscle relaxers. What he didn't bother to consider my over all quality of life, and my family's, and the side effects of these heavy duty meds. I'm glad the next surgeon I went to DID consider this.

I was considering a two level artificial disc replacement from somebody who is a paid advertiser of this forum but I can't say who, and I feel that certain surgeons are using somewhat dishonest marketing practices on the internet for ADR. Fusion with plates are a lot different now than what they used to be; they are not all outdated as some would have you believe. . They are flexible so that they won't impact the surround vertibrae and cause further deterioration AND they allow for complete neck mobility.

But the ultimate reason I chose ACDF over two ADRs is because I think my confidence in the surgical team is most important. I found my surgeon on Angies List and yes he turned out to be great.

If anyone has any questions please email or PM me.



  • wow! thanks for the story and information.

    i'm really glad to hear your ACDF went so well and that you are already receiving relief! it must be an amazing feeling -- . you must have been in a good mood, walking around and talking to the nurses without feeling like your arm/back was going to implode :)

    it looks like i'll be managing my c6/c7 herniation until November, at which point I'll probably have the same thing done as you, only on one level. i have to say, I am looking forward to that day.

    congratulations again on a successful operation!

  • I have a 2mm at C4-C5 disc bulge, 4mm Disc bulge at C5-C6 which is compressing the cord and the disc also lateralizes to the left neural foramen with moderate narrowing. At C6-C7 broad based 3mm right postlateral but extending into the left neural foramen with moderate to marked left foraminal narrowing without right sided stenosis. I am super scared of surgery. Partly because I work in the Operating Room and I know how things are really made. I know what can go wrong not surgical but also anesthesia. Not to mention the postoperative period and complications of surgery. But I've had this shoulder pain and neck pain for 20 plus years. And for the last 10 months things have gotten significantly worse. Numbness and tingling of my lateral two fingers. Throbbing pain along my arm including the wrist and shoulder. All of the pain is on my left side. Unfortunately, the numbness is now starting on my right hand too. I know what an ACDF is but what is an ADR? Anterior Discectomy resection? Can you elaborate a little more on that? I'm seeing the surgeon on Tuesday. And I am armed with information and questions. I think I have all my ducks in a row. But I am really interested in these flexible plates that you mentioned. I don't want a fusion because I still want neck mobility. So I was gonna ask about just doing a mirodiscectomy which is shaving of the bulging disc to relieve the pressure off the nerve as oppose to removing the entire disc entirely. Would love to hear your input. And super happy for you that have finally found some relief. I am hoping I have great results too. I just want to ensure I make the correct decision about what type of surgery I want done. Thanks again.
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