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ccopecccope Posts: 78
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey Everybody,

Just found this site a few days ago. I'm about to have ACDF done @ C5-C7 next week in Chicago. I have already found this site to be a treasure trove of answers.

I'm pretty confident I'm making the right decision to have the surgery as I have now had two neurosurgeons and one orthopedic surgeon all say the same thing, "You Need Surgery Now". I recently had an epidural steroid shot and it did a very good job for the pain. Unfortunately, my spinal cord is so compressed and there is a 6mm cyst in the cord as well, it’s got all the doc’s nervous. I’m nervous about it as well, especially when I hear the words “permanent nerve damage”. I’m fairly young, 37y.o. male rapidly approaching 38, so the doc’s are optimistic about my recovery.

I do feel kind of guilty having the surgery now, my wife is 7 months pregnant and now she has to look after me for the next few weeks. I’m still trying to come to grips with not being able to drive for a month. With luck I should be well on the road to recovery by the time the baby is born.

I do have one ridiculous question. Has anybody with any hardware in their neck/lower back ever set off the metal detectors at the airport? I believe the plate they are going to put in my neck is titanium, so I’m curious as to whether nonferrous metals will set it off. I know this is a stupid question but I can’t get it out of my head.

Anyway, I look forward to learning from you all, and hopefully I can be of some use as well.



  • i never set off alarms at the airport, congrats on your upcoming baby, good luck on your surgery also.
  • I am 37 as well & am scheduled for ACDF C5-6 & C6-7 on March 30. I was wondering the same thing. Funny that with everything else we have to think about that that would cross our minds. Good luck with your surgery & congrats on the baby.

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  • Thanks for the replies!
    newfienurse said:
    I am 37 as well & am scheduled for ACDF C5-6 & C6-7 on March 30. I was wondering the same thing. Funny that with everything else we have to think about that that would cross our minds. Good luck with your surgery & congrats on the baby.

    I know what you mean. I know I should be concerned about things like: will I be in pain, what do I need to do to make my recovery easier, etc... But no, I'm concerned about metal detectors. My mind has always been goofy like that though.
    Hope you have a successful surgery and a speedy recovery!

  • I was told that the plate is pretty much in the center of the neck, so it shouldn't set off any alarms. However, it's probably wise to get a card from your surgeon to carry with you that states you have a metal plate in your neck, just in case.

    Good luck with your upcoming surgeries and feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

  • I just wanted to say that mine have never set off any of the sensors at the airport.

    Good luck.


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  • Titanium is a special metal that does not cause any alarms to ring when passing through security. My neuro says he gets asked that question all the time, so don't worry -- you are not alone in needing answers to simple questions!
    I am 11 days postop ACDF C4-C7 and my recovery has been amazing. Within three hours of the surgery all of my neck, shoulder and arm pain had disappeared. No more tingling and numbness in the hand/fingers either. Thanks to a very skilled neurosurgeon, I am pain free for the first time in months.
    The most difficult postop problem has been shoulder muscle spasms and pain secondary to the positioning on the OR table. Be sure and get muscle relaxants after surgery along with pain meds --
    Good luck with your surgery and I hope your recovery is as swift as mine. You should be doing well in time to welcome the baby!
  • Thanks for the advice everybody. It's good to know that I won't be frisked every time I go out of town.

    T-95:00:00 until take off

  • Good luck Chris! Hopefully you'll be doing great by the time I have mine done.
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