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terrifed of surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
It has been recommended that i "undergo a C5-6 anterior diskectomy and fusion with either iliac crest bone-graft plate and screw fixation or allograft plate screw fixation."
Anyone out there that has had it done want to share their experience? I found this site and am hopeful, yet terrfied.


  • When I first started having my symptoms this summer (severe neck and arm pain with numbness in left arm and fingers), I had an MRI done and talked to a neurosurgeon. He gave me the option of conservative treatment or surgery (the exact same as yours). I talked to a lot of people that had similar cervical fusions and also did a lot of research online. It seemed that the people that waited a long time to go to surgery after the initial onset of their symptoms had the hardest time recovering and not as much relief post-op.

    Although steroids, NSAIDS and cervical decompression therapy with my chiropractor relieved most of my symptoms, I knew the spinal stenosis and bone spurs weren't going to magically disappear. Rather than prolong the inevitable and suffer with long-term nerve damaged, I scheduled my surgery for the soonest practical time (4 months after the onset of symptoms).

    I am now 1-month post-op and don't have a single regret about my decision. Sure, surgery is scary, but I am gong to be as good as new in 3-6 months with (hopefully) no long-term affects. If you are in pain and have spinal stenosis or other nerve impingement, I would personally recommend going through with the surgery.

    Look under the "2-day post op" thread under the back and neck surgery category for other's experiences with this surgery.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347

    For a Spine-Health Site introduction, Click on :

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    If you have any questions, feel free to contact (PM) any one of the Moderators here Priestess , Bruce , Paulgla, DiLauro

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    Check the various tabs at the top of the Spine-Health page and you will find so much that is offered here.

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    formal medical advise. You should always consult with your doctors.

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    Please feel free to contact me at rdilauro@gmail.com or send me a message
    You wouldnt be normal if the thought of any upcoming surgery didnt phase you. Any one going in for spinal surgery is scared.
    The two major spinal surgeries are Cervical and Lumbar.
    Thoracic surgery is a complicated matter, so I wont even go there. I've had both cervical and lumber surgeries, several times. I have to say that I had the best results,
    the easiest recovery and the less overall impact to my life with the Cervical ACDF surgeries. I had C5/C6 and a few years later C6/C7. That was almost 9 years ago and the only time I have cervical problems is when I do things I shouldn't be doing. If you look over the forums here that deal with Cervical and Back surgery, I think you will get a positive sense on how well people do with Cervical surgeries. All spinal surgeries have improved over the years. I beginning to think that my first lumbar surgery in 1978 was done with wooden instruments and they had to put a stick between my teeth.

    Ingredients for successful surgeries

    1. Have confidence and trust in your doctor
    2. Know the hospital and staff that you will be staying at
    3. Be prepared for when you come home, what you should expect
    4. Ask questions over and over until you understand things.

    Spine-Health provides a wealth of information, not only in these patient forums but on the web site as a hole.
    Here is one of the better articles that help people before surgery.
    38 Questions to ask your Surgeon before having surgery

    Good luck
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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  • First and foremost Welcome :H

    I had ACDF on Oct. 8th. So that makes me about 7 weeks post op. You had something I didn't. Time to do some homework. I was in a car wreck and it was either have this surgery or risk sitting in a wheelchair for the rest of my life if I made one wrong move. I don't regret for one second the decision to have the surgery even if it had been optional. I can move my head. My neck doesn't hurt anymore. I can live my life again. That's not to say that it was all roses going through it. There is pain with any surgery. The one piece of advice that Ron gave you about your doctor I think has the biggest impact on how well your surgery and recovery goes. And recovery starts to happen rather quickly. I don't even know anymore that I have a plate and screws in the back of my throat. Unless I yawn really big. I eat what I want. I can perform most all of my activities that I enjoyed before. And most importantly I didn't wait until it was too late to have the surgery and I can now hold my Grandson. Please ask us any questions. You will find everyone here so helpful all the way through recovery. You'll be amazed at this community of people that you've found and how knowledgeable they are.
  • Tonya got it right- it's normal to be afraid. I would suggest that you get another opinion (if you haven't already) if you have any doubts in your mind and make sure that this is the route to go. A second opinion is sometimes all it takes to give us the guts to take the plunge.

    There have been so many people that have have their lives given back to them by this surgery, far more success stories than not I'm sure. I'm not a doctor and have no idea what your symptoms are but if your doc is going that way then you must be in bad shape. I wish you all the best on your road to recovery.

  • I was petrified of surgery and had way too much time to think about it!!! But -- I went through with it last Monday (5 days ago) because I couldn't handle another "pain flare".

    The surgery was SO much easier than I had ever imagined! Once awake and out of surgery and back in my room, I was so relieved. The little bit of discomfort was tolerable . . . still is!!! I'm sleeping a lot and doing very little, but I'm able to care for myself, walk, and shower. Gonna get out a little today -- need a change of scenery.

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  • I hope reading the posts and info at spine health helps you feel better. We're here for you if you need support. I haven't had surgery myself but wanted to welcome you here. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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