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3 Level Hybrid Combination of ACDF and Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement

CourtneyRae512CCourtneyRae512 Posts: 5
edited 03/20/2015 - 9:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone! Just wondering if anyone out there in the forum has ever had one of these hybrid combinations or know someone who has and how the recovery process has been. I am scheduled for mine on April 20th and just looking for any words of wisdom anyone has to offer on the subject. I had a posterior laminotomy in May of 2014 and it relieved some of my symptoms for a short time, but they seemed to come back with a vengeance and now here I am. I am having Mobi-C artificial discs placed at the C4/5 and the C5/6 levels and I am having the C6/7 level fused to try and preserve motion as much as possible since I am only 32. Unfortunately, I am military and I only get 30 days off of work and I see that the norm for procedures like this at a minimum is around 60 days, so that has me a bit worried with fatigue and pain control. But other than that, I am figuring recovery will be comparable to that of a 3 level anterior fusion since essentially the procedures are very similar from what I've gathered. Any advice is welcome and appreciated! Thank you in advance. :)


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  • TWynnBTTWynnB Posts: 265
    edited 03/20/2015 - 10:17 AM
    Where/what level was your previous surgery?
    Why are you having this surgery?
    I had a 3 level ACDF with corpectomy (so a little more invasive), and I'd agree that 30 days is going to be tough to do.Pain wise...I don't think the surgery itself was that painful. I think what you're dealing with now is going to determine how your recovery will go (do you have radiculopathy, myelopathy, just pain?)

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

  • TWynnB said:
    Where/what level was your previous surgery?
    Why are you having this surgery?
    I had a 3 level ACDF with corpectomy (so a little more invasive), and I'd agree that 30 days is going to be tough to do.Pain wise...I don't think the surgery itself was that painful. I think what you're dealing with now is going to determine how your recovery will go (do you have radiculopathy, myelopathy, just pain?)
    My previous surgery was from the C4-C7 levels as well, but primarily focused on the left side, as the majority of my symptoms existed over there at that time. I have the pain, of course, but I also have all the other fun stuff that comes along with the compression. I have bilateral radicular symptoms, but it's worse on the left still. The numbness, pain, weakness, etc. doesn't tend to go much past my right shoulder. But on the left side it is always present and all the way into my hands. The MRIs have been consistent with the radicular symptoms and there is also some scar tissue from the previous surgery that could be causing some irritation at the C5/6 levels. I haven't been diagnosed with any myelopathy, but I'm concerned some may have developed, as my legs have felt awkward and heavy the last couple of weeks. Making it tough to walk around and one of my doctors got strange reflex reactions in my knees and ankles when doing an exam during my last big flare up last week. I'm just trying to keep the pain at bay until the surgery. My neurosurgeon is supposed to schedule another MRI prior to surgery and I called neuro's office to have a phone consult put in today with the PA to discuss some of this with him. So hopefully all will just be smooth sailing! One month left!
  • Hi Courtney. I'm not familiar with your type of surgery, but I want to by and wish you luck with your upcoming surgery. I'm heading for surgery in the near future as well. I need to meet with a surgeon very soon (I hope) and get the process going. Good luck with the surgery and please keep us post on how you're doing. :) Take care, Ken
  • Thank you for the well wishes and good luck to you as well with your future meeting with the surgeon. From what I gather, the surgery is not fairly common. I was only able to find a few case studies done by a couple hospitals online and from what I could find that the first one had been performed in the U.S. in January of 2013. I was just hoping maybe I would get lucky and find someone on this site that had been through the surgery or know someone who has. But I have gathered some useful information from the forums and I appreciate the support thus far! One month to go and I'm getting pretty nervous! Maybe I'll get lucky and someone will skim across this post at some point that can offer me some insight. Otherwise, I will keep everyone posted as to how everything goes. I am still a ways out from surgery, Monday the 20th of April is my date. So I will update on how everything goes. I'm still stressing about how quickly I have to return to work (30 days), but since I'm active duty military I don't really have a choice. I guess I'll just have to voice it to my surgeon's office if I'm really not ready to be driving myself into work again at 5AM in heavy traffic after having a 3 level cervical spine operation, so we shall see how that goes. From what I've gathered, most people don't get cleared to return to work for 8-12 weeks after a procedure like this, so I'm curious as to how I'm going to handle such a quick turnaround. Anyway, I hope everyone had a great weekend! Thank you for any and all advice! ~ Courtney
  • Hi, I certainly hope the US military would not send you out to injure yourself even more if you're not ready for it. Would you have to be cleared for active duty before they send you out to do your job? If your body is not ready, and completely healed, there isn't anything you can do about. No wonder why you're worried. You should probably contact whoever you need to, to clear this matter up. You certainly do not need the added stress of worrying if you're going to be fit for duty or not. I would do this sooner, rather than later. I don't want to seem pushy or anything, but I have 25 years of experience of back related problems so I know what you're going through. I'm only trying to help. :) My doctor's office called me yesterday, and I'm meeting with an Orthopedic surgeon on Thursday. I'm very lucky I'm getting in to see this doctor so quickly. I'll check back to see how your progress is going and I wish you the best successful outcome possible. Take care, Ken
  • Hi Ken! I'm active duty, but currently on a medical limited duty status while awaiting my surgery and still will be afterward until they decide what they want to do with me. This is my second surgery in under a year, so I don't know if they will even continue me on active duty much longer anyway. For my surgery last May I only received 30 days convalescent leave, I was then sent back on half days for two weeks and light duty after that. The first one was much less invasive than this one will be and I remember how very tired I was just by getting ready and after the drive into work. I work in an industrial facility, so it's not really an atmosphere that's conducive to recovering from a cervical spine surgery. My command fixes aircraft, not people, so they're not so sure how to deal with someone that's broken like I am. They can't just order parts for me, fix me up and send me back out to the fleet! :) I guess that's what my surgeon is there for, so I will have to make sure I communicate with him and his office if I'm not ready to come back. It certainly wouldn't do anyone any good if I was able to get myself to work but exhausted myself too much to get myself home, or worse. I appreciate your help! I will voice as much as possible, as much as they allow me to, should I say. I just know surgeries of this type are a bit of a recovery and the sooner I get moving, the better, but I don't want to push it and hurt myself either. I certainly don't want to rush back to that table any time soon when I'm done with this operation! I wish you the best of luck with your appointment on Thursday, Ken! Take care!
  • ocelenoocelen Posts: 1
    edited 07/18/2015 - 9:03 AM
    Hi Courtney,
    I have been suffering from hernia at c5-c6 and c6-c7 levels and the pain is unbearable . I have been to couple surgeons and most of them recommended ACDF except one of them told me a 2-level artificial replacement would be possible and thus i have started researching to see if there are people who had this treatment as it s a considerably new method in the US and your post came up. I like the fact that the motion of the disks would be preserved as well as the stress on the adjacent disks would be significantly lower.
    I am only 32 years old but have been suffering this for the past 10 years. I would appreciate to hear your results and your input after the surgery and I hope you are recovering well.

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