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positive results from ACDF

jcass29jjcass29 Posts: 2
edited 06/25/2015 - 4:41 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I read so many negative stories on here that really do nothing for motivation for those in recovery. I would like people who have had ACDF to post their success stories in this thread. Only success stories and positive results to show that people do have full recovery and can and do go on to live happy healthy lives. So please tells us your story of success.


Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that need members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
    . How long have you been using this?
    . Results
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

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Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
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What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 06/25/15 10:44 est
ACDF c4-c7 w/hardware 6-5-15


  • WolfpackSVBWWolfpackSVB Posts: 216
    edited 06/25/2015 - 5:05 PM
    I had an ACDF in November of 2014 and all of the symptoms related to it are gone. It was one of the best decisions in my life.

    However, I want to caution others that I was a good candidate for the surgery. The symptoms were moderate neck pain coupled with severe radiating pain and numbness down the shoulder, arm and into the hand, actually both sides before it was all said and done. Also, my herniation was due to an injury, specifically over-exertion in the weight room, it was not from generalized disc degeneration. Further, I am in my mid forties and in relatively good health. I am not necessarily an advocate of the surgery if a person doesn't have a herniation or a large bulge.

    But if a person does have similar circumstances then I highly recommend the surgery and think it should be the first choice. In my experience all of the treatments prior to surgery were not only a waste of time but also had the potential to cause more damage. And if a good PM isn't found then there will be many periods of unnecessary pain.

    Best Wishes
  • DeniseO_oDDeniseO_o Posts: 115
    edited 06/26/2015 - 8:23 AM
    Jimmy, I am 5 weeks post op from a single level (C6-C7) ACDF and I am doing wonderful! Every day gets better and I have way more pain free moments than not. I was also super committed to wearing my soft neck collar the first 3 weeks as advised by my surgeon. I also do not lift anything heavier than 5 lbs. I can easily look from left to right, but up and down is still a challenge but my surgeon said do not push past the point of stiffness or discomfort for at least 12 weeks and at that time I can do PT if I feel like I need it but that usually at that time patients already have full range of motion with no issues. I am trying to mind all of my rules because this is the only shot I have at a healthy recovery.

    As for nerve pain....I went into surgery with the effects of a selective nerve root block so I'll never know if the nerve pain was thanks to surgery unless of course it never comes back :)

    All in all, my only regret is letting people scare me into delaying the surgery. I wish I did it sooner.
    ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
    ...and it was the best decision of my life :-)
  • BlessedMom74BBlessedMom74 Posts: 322
    edited 06/27/2015 - 7:43 AM
    Even though I am not completely recovered, I am in less pain now than before my ACDF of C4/5. My range of motion is also better than before surgery. So over all I call it a success! I believe once I am fully recovered I will be completely pain free.
  • SkoshikaSkoshika Washington StatePosts: 22
    edited 06/29/2015 - 7:29 AM
    Hi, I have alot of time on my hands right now. So I decided to look through some websites to see what other's experiences were after their ACDF. I only found comments from 2009 until I registered to this site and was excited to see the few other posts that were current.
    I had surgery just last Thursday C6/C7 ACDF with hardware. This is my 2nd neck surgery in 2 years. The prior was for C7 left narrowing so he cleaned the area out going in from the back of my neck leaving the cutest little scar :-). This will not be so cute and more noticeable,lol. I was in the hospital overnight for observation. They had me taking 15 mg of morphine every 3 hours to keep my pain low. The thing I realized about 3 days later was that I was so used to the pain I had prior that I couldn't really judge what I was feeling anymore. I was sleeping mostly, when I moved was when I felt sharp burning and stabbing pain. But I learned quickly how to move around to not cause that. I only had to wear my collar in the hospital and my surgeon asked me to wear it if I went in the car. So I have been free to move my neck gently since the surgery. After my 4th day the nausea from the pain meds I'd had enough. I was sucking on peppermints to help ease it. I switched back to the oxycodone I had been taking prior to the surgery. That alleviated the sickness, but I was taking a full pill every 4 hours. Lol. Which I was trying to match the dose of the morphine, but my body tolerates oxy differently. So after a day I was really sleeping again. I decided to try a half pill every 4 hours like I had done prior to surgery. That was my magic spot. It keeps the pain manageable and I can function not sleeping all the time. When I do have a car ride or sit upright to long it does bring the burning sensation back so on those rare occasions I take 1/4 pill of my breakable morphine and that gets me back to the comfort zone.
    The things I have overcome so far are swallowing. Chewing food in small bites and taking smaller drinks of fluids was the trick. I actually sneezed earlier today which was a fear of mine since yawning felt so uncomfortable. It moved around my stuff in my throat again so swallowing I can feel again, which sucks. But I know it'll heal again quickly.
    I had really bad pain in my shoulder blade area and my hands went numb before surgery. Since surgery my arms get tired if I hold something up to long, but honestly there is no prior pain. I'm really looking forward to seeing how I will be in another week. I have my 2 week follow up with my surgeon next week and I will continue to follow his instructions. I hope he doesn't get upset with me for changing my pain meds, but I know my body well. I don't like to take the pain meds but I have fibromyalgia along with the neck issues so when I have to take it I know how much my body needs.

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on Welcome and learn more about SH and how to navigate this site to best benefit you.
  • http://www.spine-health.com/forum/treatment/recovering-surgery/c67-acdf-my-pre-and-post-surgery-journey

    If you want more current comments on ACDF. RichA started this thread and we have many people, including myself contributing to it frequently. It's also a great place for added support. We've built quite the family on that thread. I hope you join us.
  • jcass29jjcass29 Posts: 2
    edited 07/06/2015 - 3:28 AM
    Thanks for your posts guys. I'm 43 yr old male. I'm 4 weeks post op yesterday 7-5-15 from a ACDF of C4 through C7 its called a level 3 with hardware. My symptoms have subsided a lot considering the pain I was in pre op. I still have numbness and tingling in my arm and hands and my thumbs. I also still have pain in my shoulder though considerably less than pre op. My doctor In Annapolis Maryland thinks my symptoms will continue to get better with time. I've noticed that recovery seems to be in stages. I go for a MRI this Tuesday to evaluate the success of the surgery. I was hoping at this stage 4 weeks out my recovery would be further along than it is. One day at a time and keeping positive attitude is very important. Please continue to share your success stories.
    ACDF c4-c7 w/hardware 6-5-15
  • My neighbor had a four level ACDF. He said it took him one and half years before it all went away. He leads a normal life now, you would not know that he had a fusion.

    I had a single ACDF. I was fortunate in that all tingling and numbness were gone after 12 weeks. My bones had fused by that time also.

    Good luck.
  • WolfpackSVBWWolfpackSVB Posts: 216
    edited 07/27/2015 - 2:37 AM
    Don't forget that Peyton Manning had ACDF surgery and returned to the NFL one year later. Prince Fielder had ACDF surgery and returned to baseball one year later.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    I had C4/C5/C6/C7 done back in 1996 and 2000.

    I have been 95% fine since then. I may get a flare up if I (a) Overdo things and pay the price and/or (b) Spend too much time on the computer and pay the price. The price would come in terms of a headache for a couple of days and sore shoulders. But nothing major.

    Other than that, my only minor irritation is with my Range of Motion. I am limited in my Left to Right movement. That does impact my driving, so I have compensated with an over sized mirror.
    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
  • WolfpackSVBWWolfpackSVB Posts: 216
    edited 07/27/2015 - 3:41 AM
    Thanks Ron, I've been wondering about long term expectations.
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