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Having ACDF surgery on C5-T1 in 18 days, I'M STARTING TO FREAK OUT!

Hi All, 

I'd love to hear some words of wisdom from people with similar situations. I'm all set for ACDF on my C5-L1 in 18 days. I've had chronic neck pain as long as I can remember, its always there. On good days it's just the normal underlining pain in the background. On bad days it consumes me and drives me crazy. I'm 39 and it's just getting worse as time goes on. I'm always aware of the pain. I'm not always overcome by the pain but it never goes away. It effects me the most when I'm sitting at my desk and I have to do that a lot. I own my own apparel business and I'm a designer and illustrator. My drawing arm and shoulder ache constantly while I'm working at my computer. Some days it's torture trying to get my work done. I've tried EVERYTHING over the years and nothing really works. I am however very active and do a lot of running including running marathons. I'm trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon and want to be able to achieve that goal! Being able to run means the world to me. Surprisingly I feel the best when I'm active. It's when I'm stationary that it's the worst. My neurosurgeon is extremely highly recommended. I've been seeing him for years and he's always told me to wait as long as I can and that we would know when it's time. He and I think that I'm ready. He seems very confident that I will be able to get back to running and live an active lifestyle. Up until recently I only thought I was having my C5-7 fused, thats what we have been discussing for years. Now we are adding the T1 and that seems to be where most of my problem is coming from. Adding the T1 has me pretty scared, I wasn't prepared for it. I'm worried that having that many fused will have quite an impact on range of motion and that it will effect my ability to live an active life. If I loose a little range of motion and the pain is much better I'm all good with that outcome. Hopefully it's not a huge loss of range of motion. I want to be sure I'm making the right choice for my family and I, they have to live with me and I want to be happy with my choice. I desperately want the pain to be better. I'm just not ready to forfeit being active. I've thought about it for years and I'm ready to do something about it. I do however still have a lot of fears and concerns. 

I'd love to hear from people that have had this many levels done. Has anyone had the same levels done? How has your range of motion been effected? Does anyone have the T1 fused with C7 that can comment on range of motion? Are there any runners in this group? Anyone with similar pain? Are you happy your did it, YES, NO? Sorry for all the questions! Thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate it and look forward to hearing from others! 

Best,

Ryan


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Comments

  • Hello outfitterink

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  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 947

    @outfitterink - I'm assuming that you have discussed why he thinks including T1 to the "fusion stack" is recommended.  Three weeks ago, I just had another fusion in my neck which now leave me with C2 to C7 fused.  I'm surprised how much range of motion that I still have.

    I'm not a medical professional, but what I understand of spine anatomy, if I was having C5/C7 fused, I'd hope that T1 was included in the stack.  Is your neurosurgeon proposing to perform the surgery anteriorly (front of the neck)?   

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