Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Please help me understand.

squaremanssquareman Posts: 1
edited 08/23/2015 - 9:51 PM in New Member Introductions
this is my first time on this website and found the forum information about cervical spine surgery very informative and helpful. I do have a few questions that I would most greatly appreciate some one to explain my concerns. I have asked my doctor, but would like to hear from the patient's point of view, so here I go.

1. I will be undergoing surgery on September 8th to replace two cervical discs.

2. I need help in understanding the difference between the terms "one-level indication" and "two-level indication".

3. What kind of neck brace am I most likely to be using, soft or hard and for how long and approximately how long will it be before I would be starting Physical Theropy?

4. I have a previously scheduled trip during the first week of October. This trip is very important to me because it will be the first reunion I will be attending with the PBR Force Veterans Association that will take place in Charleston, SC. I live in Homestead, FL. This association is comprised ONLY of veterans that served on River Patrol Boats (PBR) in Vietnam. I will be meeting some of my fellow brothers that served with me in Vietnam and who I have not seen since I left Vietnam on December 17, 1968. Please excuse the long explination, but I want to stress the importance of this trip. Now, my question. I had planed to make this trip by car with my wife. Do you think that it will be okay for me to make the CAR TRIP or should I change my plans to traveling by airplane?

5. Approximately how long is recovery and what does it intail?

I wish to thank everyone that helps me with my concerns.


Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. 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,

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    - 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

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
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

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 its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its 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 :

--- Liz,Spine-Health System Moderator



  • Hello squareman and welcome aboard!
    You will find many answers and helpful, knowledgeable people here on this forum.
    First and foremost, I just want to say thank you for your service to our country. You and your brothers &sisters in the military deserve our utmost respect and admiration.
    I too will be having cervical spine surgery a day after yours, on September the 9th-Anterior Corpectomy with strut at C6 with possible posterior fusion with instrumentation at the C4-C5 .
    "Level" is the amount of areas being worked on. for example C4-C5 would be two levels, i believe, but you may want to check with your doc to be sure. Same goes with your trip. My doc said I can drive to school in October, but I still wont be allowed to work or drive long distances. Maybe if you don't drive, your doc will agree to the trip.
    As far as collars go, I have to wear the C-Collar all the time for 4months, except to shower and i have to use the soft collar then, although it may be different for you. I'm sure preadmission testing will go over that with you. same goes for recovery time, since mine is 4months or longer and depends on how you are doing. physical therapy was only brought up to me while I'm in the hospital, although I'm sure PT is a must.
    I hope some of that information helps. Best of luck and prayers for your surgery!
  • tankeryankerttankeryanker Posts: 11
    edited 08/25/2015 - 5:12 AM
    Welcome to spine health.
    I've been a member here several years back when I had lumbar surgery. Now waiting on cervical one level fusion. If you are having a ACDF more than one level you maybe having an Autograft where they take bone from your hip to fuse your spine. From what I have read that hip incision takes longer for the pain to go away than the pain in the neck. After my back surgery I was out walking 2 miles a day at 3weeks. After my hip surgery I used a walker for 2 weeks then a Cain after that. I've asked my surgeon to use an allograft ( cadaver bone) so I don't have to deal with another surgery site. They say the fusion takes longer & if your not in good health or you smoke they want to use your own bone for the graft. If your having a total disk replacement with hardware I have a friend that had that & he was back to work in 4 weeks at the DMV.
    Good luck on your surgery & thank you for your Service.
    southern oregon
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    Traveling with Spinal Problems

    Personally, since your surgery is September 8th and your even is planned for the first week in October, that is cutting it real close. Many doctors do not want their patients in a car for 2 to 3 weeks, and not driving until after that. I would definitely check with your doctor to get their feedback, mainly if they think it could cause any new problems. Would the trip be uncomfortable? I hate to say this, but yes. A 6 hour car ride with approximately 600 miles is not going to be easy.

    I am years away from my last spinal surgery (last one in 2000), and when I travel by car, I need to stop about every 90 minutes, walk around, stretch, etc for about 15 minutes before getting back into the car.

    As far as neck braces, many doctors differ with this. When I had my ACDF (1996 and 2000), I was put into a hard Philadelphia collar for 7 weeks, 24/x7. Some doctors today only go with soft collars and some dont even want collars. In either situation, with that type of drive, I would make sure that you have comfortable pillow for your neck, ice to help you a bit and pain medications and muscle relaxers. I've done drives like you are talking about before and by the time I reached my destination, I was in no shape to enjoy it.

    I found the recovery from cervical surgery (ACDF) to be very successful. In the first couple of weeks, it was difficult, mostly trying to rest. But after I started with Physical therapy, everything just improved from that point on. Now, years later, I can say that those cervical surgeries helped me so much and have had very positive long term effects.

    It is an honor to hear from someone from the Vietnam conflict. It was a very difficult time in the United States. I for one, and I am sure there are many others out there, thank you for your sacrifice.

    Talk to your doctor about this.
    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
Sign In or Register to comment.