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thinking of backing out

I'm scheduled for an ACDF Tuesday but there are so many horror stories out there I think I will just live with the mild to moderate pain I have now. Any last minute pros or con's?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    edited 03/29/2015 - 8:47 PM
    Discuss all the pros and cons of having or not having the surgery.
    If there is no nerve impingement, and as you stated, your pain is mild, then you could wait. But that is something that only you and your doctor could decide on

    Read up on the cervical surgeries and you will find that they have become fairly common. The overall success rate for ACDF surgeries is very high. The recovery is quick and the long term situation generally remains positive

    Take a look at Back and Neck Surgeries
    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
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 552
    edited 03/30/2015 - 2:14 AM
    My first ACDF was not that bad. I had minimal pain. My sore throat was actually more bothersome. I don't think you will find many good stories on this site because they have all moved on & often don't come back here to update? I can assure you that within 1 hour after I left the recovery room, I was up & walking around the halls of the hospital. I even got permission from my unit nurse to go sit outside. I was discharged the next day & went home. I took some pain meds for a couple of days, but then stopped. And remember, surgery is not done to make the pain go away. It's done to fix the problem in your neck.
    Good luck with your decision.
  • Hang in there, think of it this way. You have a better chance of a successful outcome now versus waiting til it gets worse and you start suffering nerve damage. Surgery now will prevent things from getting worse in the years to come. Have faith in your surgeon and you will have a speedy recovery. I hear singke level ACDF is much easier and quicker recovery than those getting two or more levels done.
  • bambi69bbambi69 Posts: 15
    edited 03/30/2015 - 12:22 PM
    My husband has had 4 ACDF surgeries. The first three only offered a couple years of minimal relief and then as you may or may not know, the added pressure put on the disc above and/or below caused added problems. He always ended up going back for another level to be done. His last surgery was in May of last year and for the first time in 20 years he is completely pain free and requires not so much as an aspirin for pain. All I would say is you need to talk to your doctor and make sure only one level needs done so you don't go through what he has. Only the 2 of you can know the answer to whether you need this right now,, but if your pain is not all that bad, you may want to discuss the pros and cons of waiting with your dr too. It's a very personal decision. I wish you good luck and speedy recovery should you proceed now.
  • I needed the assurance and encouragement. I'm scared of the unknown. I do know that I have a bad neck that goes "out" often with a daily low level of pain. I am hoping for pain relief despite what is said about it. I will post how it goes. I am seeing a doc at the Mayo clinic who I really like. I am scared to death though.
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 552
    Sending prayers your way. You will soon be on the road to recovery with your new neck. Keep us updated.
  • Doug HellDoug Hell Posts: 335
    edited 03/31/2015 - 3:53 AM
    Anxiety is fear, and anxiety causes fear. Everything you experience may occur at times of danger as part of your working fear system. You're supposed to feel that way when you encounter danger. It's that feeling that keeps you safe.

    My advice is to make a list of questions and sit down with your Surgeon to discuss them. If there is a condition that needs to be fixed, proceed and read my signature :) If you can live with your pain, I would suggest living with it as pain relief is never a guarantee with this type of procedure. In some instances, there is more pain.

    Doug Hell
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • And remember that by and large you only hear the horror stories. The people that healed successfully have moved on with their lives and they are the majority.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    people who have had good luck tend to move on after a while. I am very happy for those folks.

    There are still a handful (like the moderator team) and others that stick around and try to help others
    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
  • Please don't get discouraged post surgery. It takes time for the nerves to heal. You need to thinks in terms of a couple months not days. The way I personally think of it as the surgery has given me an opportunity to heal.

    Best wishes.
  • I am new , just a few days into this website. 2 and a half weeks post op,from a L4-S1 spinal fusion. Just want to thank everyone who shares their stories. It has been very therapeutic . I am going to tell my surgeon about this for other patients. Big Thank you to the moderators .

  • Hi, I feel for those with need for surgery too. I have a disc that is bulging in my neck but have issues with the other two that two surgeons told me not to go thru with surgery, one said he didn't know where to start. I'm in pain but manage it with ice packs, meds, muscle relaxers, massage, tens, lidoderm, and limited use of neck while in extreme pain. I just lay down in a tub and soak. That helps decompress spine. Ive been this way since 2003 when a head on t-bone car accident. Just another fun thing to think about, when laying down, I noticed the ceiling more. I got my paint out. Keeping busy with other things to keep the mind busy helps too. God bless you all with this horrible condition. Im on disability since I can't work full time, but am now seeking help thru OVR. I live in PA. I went thru withdrawal 3 times since on those pills. Hate the pills but they do help with pain control. It's a constant cycle of tolerancy and varying the dosages. If a stable job or sympathetic employer can be found as well, that's a plus. I'm not giving up and will pursue a degree so that maybe I can find a remote position to work from home during the times I don't want anyone to see me in tears.
    SC from PA - Hope all here feels better with whatever makes you feel better. Keep those ice packs cold! May your batteries be charged for the TENS units, and your lidoderm patches be plentiful.
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