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ACDF c5/6 on 11/17. questions

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
HI all.. I'm new here, but decided to post in this section first as I haven't had much issue with my neck or back.

Details-- Soccer and Ice hockey player since 2000. Mom of 3 (18,12,10) and work part time.
No real injury issues to neck back, but got a stinger about 2 yrs ago when i was nudged playing hockey. Off and on this happened and was told pretty normal for such a physical sport.
Decided to see a neurologist because my arm had been falling asleep a lot and my thumb and first finger keep going numb.
had EMG on the 5th Nov and MRI on 30Oct
EMG showed some carpal tunnel, but MRI was different story.
Here's the details of MRI

c5/6 level mild degenerative change with posterior spur and disc bulge complex which causes effacement of the thecal sac and abuts the spinal cord. focal high T2 signal within the spinal cord at this level measuring 6mm by 4mm Associated right sided neural foraminal narrowinging due to uncovetebral hybpertrophy and left neuroforaminal narrowing to a lesser degree at this level.
C6/7 mild posterior spur and disc bulge causing mild effacement of thecal sac. spinal canal and neuroforamen are preserved..

So I saw a neurosurgeon on friday and am scheduled for ACDF of c5/6 on the 17th of this month. Sudden. No collar needed, back to work following week. uses titanium plate/screws as well.

I have a few questions---

I'm grossed out about allograft and am considering autograph. Am I nuts? if you have used your own bone for one level let me know your thoughts.

c6/7.. can't they do something during this surgery so I don't need another surgery down the road?

Either way I'm calling doc tomorrow to discuss this.

Good news is I can return to hockey in 3 months (more if I involve 2nd level)

Thanks in advance for your input!


  • Hi,

    Welcome...I hope you find as much help here as I did. Am still recovering from my second surgery this year. In May I had a revision of c5/6 with plate and screws. The first one never really took when it was done 9 years ago using allograft. The orthopedist told me that they irradiate them donor bone so much that it gets porous and has a higher failure rate than one's own bone. This time around I had them take the graft from my hip and had no real pain; you've given birth three times and play hockey so it should be fine for you. =D> Seriously, the bone was uncomfortable for about a week; it was the sutures at the same level as the belt that made me more uncomfortable.

    ask your doc about the stuff going on in the back of your neck. It's as serious and can cause even more pain than what is going on anteriorly. I just had c 4/5/6 "cleaned out" because of degenerative disc stuff that was crushing the nerves.

    Back to work the next week...we'll see about that! #o Take it slow. With kids it's hard but you have to take care of yourself as much as possible so that you can play hockey in a few months. Don't rush it; you could be sorry later on with complications or a longer recovery.

    Good luck. Being on the other side of the operation is easier than getting ready for it. Just remember that everyone heals differently and that you're gonna be fine in the not too distant future.

  • Herniations can be "fixed" and/or "harmless", so that is more likely than not why they aren't including that level. Until the disc becomes pretty useless, they usually want to leave them in as long as possible. If they still cushion and do their job, and are not the source of the pain, they want to minimize the surgery as much as possible.
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