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4 level ACDF

After receiving the second surgical opinion today, I am schedule for the four level ACDF on the 19th. It has not been an easy decision, and I haven't quite made peace with it. However, during the neurological exam today, my strength in left arm has decreased to 2/5. It was a 4/5 just a couple of months ago. The radiculopathy is bilateral and now my legs are starting to be affected, so I know it's time to do something. What are your stories? When did you know you had no choice but to move forward with surgery?


  • I had numbness in my fingers to start out with. After that I started getting bad pain in my arm and hand for about 3 months and after that it all just stopped and started to atrophy. So I had the surgery to fuse c7 t1. Never Actualy got all my musical back but the surgery was just for preventing anything else from happening.
  • I had acdf on C5/C6 last September. I had a compressed spinal cord with the myelopathy. My issues started in my arms and was already migrating into my legs. I was told that I had no choice for surgery. It had to be done. I still have issues in my legs and arms. It can be very unpredictable. I had been dealing with issues for over 3 yrs. by the time I got someone to take the issues seriously. By that time my options were very limited.
    Tracie C
  • Thanks for sharing your stories. It is a huge step, even when you know it is necessary.
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 556
    I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision to make. Now you can spend this week getting everything ready for your recovery. Don't forget to stock up on soft foods & I've found that those bendy straws were very helpful for drinking because I couldn't tilt my head back. Also, don't forget to get some stool softeners and take them right away when you get home. One more tip, don't forget to clip your toe nails the day before your surgery! You won't be able to do it for awhile after surgery! Ha ha
    Good luck & try not to worry too much!
  • I had an ACDF (2010) at the C3-C4 for a large right disc herniation, I will admit, I was terrified to undergo surgery, especially because I was only 39 years old and otherwise in good health. It has now been 4 years 4 months since my surgery and it took about 4 months to fully recover but I was up and moving around independently 3 weeks after surgery. Before the surgery, I asked lots of questions and did a lot or research, unfortunately in my case, I also found out that I had a small disc herniation at the c5-c6 and minimal disc herniation at the c6-c7, which could possibly produce issues in the future because of the hardware that was placed during my surgery. All-in-all, just stay positive, and listen to your body, don't over due anything after surgery and accept help from all family/friends until you feel strong enough to do things for yourself. Good Luck!
    J P-Thompson
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