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Is a 4 - level ACDF surgery common?

Hi, my name is Ken, and I will be scheduled for a 4 level ACDF, very soon. I have checked around here and other websites, but I can't seem to find many stories about the type of surgery that I will be having. I have met with one surgeon so far and he recommends a 4 level fusion. I am meeting with one more surgeon tomorrow, that has already seem my x-rays and my MRI. He also recommends a 4 level ACDF. The first surgeon I met with wants to go in through the back of my neck, while the surgeon I am seeing tomorrow wants to go in through the front. That's where the conflict comes in to play.

Both of these surgeons have done this type of surgery many, many times, so I know I'll be in great hands with either one of them. They both are highly recommended, and are head of orthopedic surgery at their respective hospitals. I'll make my decision by Monday April 5th. I need to talk with my family after I meet with doctor number two tomorrow. If anyone has any input, or has experience with this type of surgery, I would like to hear from you. If you have any comments to make, please feel free to post them. Thanks for reading, and I hope everyone is doing well with their spinal problems. Ken


  • I have been told I also need this surgery. I have not been able to find any support groups or any information with positive outcomes for this surgery. I would like to hear from someone that has had this procedure done.

    My Neuro said I would be back to work in two weeks. I find this hard to believe.
  • I didn't have a 4 level, but thought I would chip in. There are a few people on here that have had it. One woman is doing well with her neck, but the surgery actually put her into heart failure (way beyond the normal complications), so the ACDF is the least of her concerns. Others move on because they are doing well.
    Generally, posterior is reserved if the cord compression is on the posterior aspect of the cord, for four or more levels (that would be you), or in older people. It can mess up your spine curvature if you're younger. I personally would try hard to avoid the posterior approach unless they gave me good reasons.
    Ret, I'm the one that sent you a message on FB, you are welcome to contact me otherwise. There is no way, in my opinion, you will go back to work in 2 weeks. Have you gotten a second opinion? With my 3 level with corpectomy, I went back at 8 weeks, and it was too soon. At 16 weeks, I just told my boss I can't work consecutive days. I started too, and I just fatigue too quickly. I still have myelopathy though, and I believe dysautonomia, so that's not normal either. I am on part time status indefinitely, which is a bit of a blow to me.
    I didn't think the pain was *that* bad, and they took out a chunk of my vertebra. Was it painful? yes. Was it bad? I've been through worse, that's for sure. I wouldn't let the pain of surgery stop you. But, if you're going into it to cure pain, make sure you read up - surgery won't necessarily cure it.
    Good luck with your decisions!

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

  • Hi Ret, if you can find out more information about this surgery, please let me know.
    Please keep us updated on your journey through all of this. I wish you the best possible outcome with all your spinal problems. Take care. Ken
  • Hi TWynnB . Thank you for your comments. I have seen two spine surgeons, and they both agreed on what needs to done, but they differ on what which to go. One wants to in through the front, and the other wants to go through the back. I'm going to ask him why he prefers to go Posterior, rather than Anterior. I'm scheduled for surgery on May 26th, so I have time to talk to him about it. I can't wait to get this over and done with. I'm in so much pain, especially in the morning, that I don't know if I can wait until May.

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting on my condition, and the information about the cord compression issues. If you have any other ideas or comments, please feel free to add to the conversation. Take care. Ken
  • HerniaticosisHHerniaticosis Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 14
    Anyone out there that have long term outcomes for their 4 level cervical ACDF? What is life like after 1, 2 and 5 years?
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Hello Herniaticosis....
    You have found this discussion thread that hasn't been active for about a year.
    May I suggest that you start your own discussion with your concerns and questions on this topic of your concern?

    More members with shared experiences, usually ...would more likely to respond.

    Thank you!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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