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Cervical Spine Surgery

GreyEagleGGreyEagle Posts: 350
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
:) Hi everyone. I am new to these Forums. I am a 56 yr old male (married 34 yrs as of June 15th), two grandsons (one almost 2 yrs the other 5 yrs old).

I have been having worsening left elbow pain (right too) for a yr and a half. I am left handed. MRI results this past week indicate I am facing major neck surgery (plates, and I don't know what else). I have nerves being impinged on, narrowing canal, bulging discs at the c3 to c7 levels.

My DO is sending me to a surgeon who specializes in this sort of surgery. I visited his web site and he looks like he has outstanding credentials.

I notice quite a few posts here referring to an ACDF. What is that?

Ken GreyEagle
jest an Ole Cherokee
Type 2 Diabetes
Messed up Cervical Spine


  • GreyEagle, welcome to spine health.

    An ACDF is anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. Basically it means that the surgeon will make an incision in the front of your neck (usually along a natural crease line), remove the disc causing the problems, clean things up, and then insert a bone graft into the disc space which will eventually fuse to your own bone creating one solid piece.

    By removing the bulging or herniated discs, he will decompress the nerve roots that are being pinched. Also if you have cord compression, this will generally be corrected during this procedure. It sounds as if you have some stenosis and surgery is the only way to improve this.

    Good luck, and again, welcome to spine health.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Thank you for your informative reply and the answer to what ACDF is. I'll find out more when I see the surgeon on Monday July 21st. His web site says he has 26 yrs experience. That is good to know.

    My DO told me after surgery I would not be able to touch my chin to my chest or fully move my head to look over my shoulder.

    Out of curiosity with your 'neck of steel', how much does that limit your range of motion?

    What has always amazed me is the range of motion cats have. Our cats love to sleep curled up with their heads upside down. lol.

  • Grey Eagle, be sure to talk to you doctor about Plasma Disc Decompressiom. If he doesnt perform it its because he has not yet been trained on it. It is brand new. It basically is a process whereby a needle is inserted in your disc and chemically burns several tunnels in your dics so that soon after, the disc material fills in to the tunnels such that the disc is decompressed and thebulging gone, thus the narrowing of the canal should no longer be an issue.

    Get a 2nd opinion from a doctor who performs this procedure to be sure that this procedure is not something for you. Id hate to see you get all plated up in major surgery when a simple plasma disc decompression can fix your problem.

    I have bulging discs at C5/6 and C6/7. I read this precedure has a 85% succes rate of significantly relieving pain. I will have mine on 7/15.

    Google it and you can easily find videos and info on this procedure. It costs $38,000 but they bill the insurance co $18,000. Its a big time procedure without the big time painand suffering.
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