Hello everyone. I am sooooo glad I found y'all.
I saw an Orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the spine Wednesday. He has a great deal of experience and a high success rate. I did a lot of research and selected him for that reason. However, I am still scared. He wants to do an ACDF (?) Worse is because I have a lot of bone spurs causing stenosis and large areas of bulging he isn't sure he can get it all repaired going from just the front and may need to finish up by going through the back of my neck as well. I've been reading tons trying to learn all the language used on my MRI and by the doctor but I haven't found anything like that any where.
He has ordered a CT scan for this Friday.
I had a MRI and nerve conduction study last month that showed several areas of nerve damage [carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel and three areas in my cervical spine] which the nuro thought was causing radiculopathy and it is all just from my neck. I don't understand how neck problems would cause a postive EMG test result for the carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel but they now tell me I have not got either???
The MRI seems to confirm I have symptomatic degenerative cervical (neck) radiculopathy. And DDD, cervical stenoisis and bulging at levels c7/T1, c5/c6 and c6/c7 as well. And some other things I cannot remember right now.
[Edited to add other findings: lordosis, scoliosis & spondylitis ]
I am nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. He tells me he thinks he can get it all done going through the front only but he may need to do some work from the back as well, which would require an over night stay at least. That is the reason he wanted to do a CT scan as well so he can see more of what is going on prior to surgery.
I am diabetic and my sugars have been high due to pain and stress levels. So he's warned me my recovery time may be increased too. He wants me to loose some weight prior to surgery. And of course quit smoking. Nothing like quitting at a time when I am in pain highly stressed.
Also, I have a heart defect (right subclavian artery) so he will have a visceral surgeon available during surgery as well. I have been symptomatic for that defect due to GERD brought back into focus due to stress and on medication for that. The artery protrudes on my esophagus all the time but due to the swelling from the GERD it is causing chest pain and trouble swallowing.
I know lots of others have had this surgery but I am wondering if others had other health issues going on as well? And while the surgery seems fairly straight forward and not as invasive as traditional spinal surgery, I wonder about pain levels post surgery and recovery times. Can anyone shed some light on this?
My husband started a new job in June so I am not sure he will be able to take much time off to help me afterwards so did I need to line up some help??
Any and all input is very much appreciated from this stressed out Texan. If you made it all the way through this post God bless ya and thanks.
I wish y'all pain free days and peaceful nights with fast healing. Hang in there.