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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in New Member Introductions

I am nervous this morning as I prepare to go to the Neurosurgeon to consent to anterior cervical fusion of c5-c6 disk. I started out with pain and numbness in my left arm which quickly spread to my right arm. I had a disk herniation in c5-c6 that was found by my PCP in June. I have tried everything from muscle relaxants, vicodin, PT, massage therapy, changing my bed and pillow, biofreeze, thermacare, ice, heat, TENS unit and steroid injections among other stuff I cannot remember and now I am to the point where considering surgery feels like it's the only option left. I am also in the process of moving out of state and trying to complete the adoption of my foster daughter. Both my son and foster daughter are 2 years old so it is like having twins. Is there anyone who has had success with disk fusion? I want to be sure I do the right thing before going to surgery. This has been so frustrating the last few months.

Thanks for any help that can be given in advance.


  • Welcome to Spine Health. There are many successful cervical fusions every day. Please keep in mind when read on this board that most people that "stick around" are those still experiencing pain. It will tend to skew the appearance of success vs failure.

    The key for me is to listen to what the surgeon has to say and then run it past my intuition (at least that's what I do). If you have tried every possible conservative measure and it is effecting your day to day life, then it certainly isn't a rash decision. Just keep in mind that once a fusion is done, it cannot be undone. It's not a guarantee of 100% pain relief, but normally it helps enough to allow people to carry on with life again.

    Hang in there,

  • hey deb
    i had c1 c2 fused 9 weeks ago. so far all is good. i am actually on my way to family doc with my xrays from yesterday to have her check them.

    i feel great. i get the odd pain and strange symptom from surgery but i guess it is all routine post op stuff. i will keep u posted.

    good luck.

    keep in touch.
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  • I had this surgery on Oct. 8th. I will not sugar coat it for you. I had pain for the two weeks and took pain meds. Since then my neck has gotten better everyday. Just know that typically this is not one of those surgeries that will knock you out of commission for months. I was doing most of my daily activities on day 2 minus the heavy lifting. But with little ones and moving you might find some day to day things challenging. Most people find themselves in your position they wait until some symptom becomes more than they can take and then decide on surgery. Recovery varies from person to person but I've heard people say I went back to work a week later. Others still have some lingering numbness or tingling for many months afterward. But my final statement to you is. "I would do it all over again if I had to."
  • Thanks everyone. It sounds like it isn't to bad. i have been on pain meds since June. I guess a few more weeks to one more month won't hurt me to much more. I am pretty lucky that our move is taking us temporaily to my mother's house. At least I will have three other adults who can assist with the kids during my recovery. Hopefully, this will help me recover faster. To Tonya and Roxy: Was the post op pain worse for awhile before it subsided? Tonya: Were you able to keep up with your 7 year old after a week or so? I have seen my Neurosurgeon twice before as I did steroid injections and he says I can return to work in a week. I also work with an Autistic teenager. She's pretty easy to work with. I am more worried about my children. At least I have several adults to help at home as well as some people at my church who have offered to help.

  • I have not had a fusion but can tell you that you are right to do your homework on this. If the pain is unbearable and you have no other option than it may be time. just remember that surgery should be left as a last resort as there are no guarantees that it will help. Good luck and keep us posted.
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  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i do not have your specific pain problem but we do have pain in common. good luck with your fusion if that is your decision. please keep us informed of your progress. Jenny :)
  • Hi debgo!!

    I just had 2 level ACDF on 9--3-08.

    I had been in pain a long time and like you had been through the whole gammet of different types of testing, procedures an any type of thing like pillows and, creams to put on my skin, heating pads...whatever...
    Nothing really ever changed anything.

    In January of this year I had a Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy by a Neurosurgeon on C 3- 4-5 and I really did not have a reduction in the pain ...
    The relationship with the NS sort of deteriorated because he baceme disrespectful so I changed to an Ortho Spine surgeon.

    So the next step was the Fusion of C 4-6. Since I had the ACDF in Sept. all my arm weakness went away. As soonas I woke from surgery I could tell the arm weakness and numbness was gone.
    Of course I was in pain from the surgery, but was feeling well enough after 24 hours to go home. the first neck surgery was much more painfull and I was in the hospital for 3 days.

    I have followed my doctors orders for the walking and the restrictions and I am now starting to become more active and do walking. I recently started to drive and I am in a soft collar. In the begining I had a Hrad Aspen collar for 6 weeks and no driving for that time.

    Right now I am still on medication and I do have pain, but the pain is different and it changes a lot. I think this is because of the healing process.

    I am anxious to see what the doc says when I see him right before Thanksgiving. I know he said something about possibly putting me on an anti inflamatory and then off to PT.
    Iam currently in Pain management and my PM and I have decided to wait and see how I feel when I get my soft collar off, and start Physical therapy before we go reducing any medications....

    Overall I hope that you will see a trend of feeling better. Everyone is different and everyones body handles and heals from things differently. I am not a doc or anything, but I can share my experience with you...
    I feel that I am getting better! At this time I am really trying to be patient and not over do it although I manage to do so sometimes..

    I am the opposite of you...I live a lone and I am not in a relationship and have no children so I have myself and only myself to rely on...well I think we have that part somewhat in common. My Mom lives about 130 miles away and she has been here so much to help me through all my surgeries...
    so I too have good family support.

    Some people do leave when the pain stops...but if you stick around you will find a few folks who are kind enough to stay here and support others on their journey..

    Hey if you need some extra support please feel free to send me a pm...no reason to go through all this alone.

    I check in every day -every few days but if you do PM I will answer!!

    Only you will know wether surgery is the right thing for you!!!
    I wish you all the best and welcome to Spine Health

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