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ACDF Surgery for 82 yr. old

Ann62AAnn62 Posts: 1
edited 12/17/2014 - 12:37 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I'm not looking for actual advice here as much as some insight and experiences some of you have had with the recovery for this surgery. My Dad (82 yrs. old) was just diagnosed with cervical myelopathy (with bone spurs between C3 and C4) and ACDF surgery was recommended. It seems recovery can be quite difficult for even a much younger person. What are your thoughts on this for an elderly person? He is in fair health but has developed issues with walking and balance in the last 6 months which may or may not be caused by the myelopathy (meaning the Dr. can't guarantee his issues will be fixed by this surgery). He has no issues with pain at all nor does he have any issues with his upper body (no indication of the problem in his arms). His legs feel much weaker and he has a harder time lifting his feet when walking and his balance is getting worse as well.

Does anyone have experience with an elderly person who has had this surgery? What sort of outcome and recovery might we expect?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    My statements and views here are my own and do not reflect in anyone way Spine-Health or any of its medical doctors/staff/owners.

    My wife has been in the medical field for over 37 years and has been part of the Ethics committee. They look at the humanistic value of surgery, the value on life, the quality of life and much more. One thing they also look at is the age of a patient.

    Surgery, any surgery can present its problems and associated problems. The person undergoing these surgeries has to be physically and emotionally prepared for them. Many times, the doctors have voted to NOT perform specific function because it had no end life value.

    While many people are in the 80's are are still considered young, their actual surgery may be very successful, BUT it the potential problems that go along with surgery and anesthesia are troublesome. One of the biggest problems you will see in elderly patients having surgery is pneumonia. While young people can survive that, it can be fatal for the elderly/

    I am not saying to have your father have the surgery or not, just weigh out all the options....

    It can be a very difficult decision

    How much is he going to gain from the surgery? Will it make a difference in his day to day living?
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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