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ACDF & Plating C5-C6 C6-C7 Surgery

cjones5349ccjones5349 Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am 49 year old female I had ACDF & plating for c5-C6, c6-c7 surgery I had this surgery 2 weeks ago. I was so scared. I had the surgery 1 day and went home the next. My surgeon used synthetic material to fuse as they say if you use bone graft it is painful. I came home wearing a hard collar which in florida is a pain in itself. My numbness that I had in my left arm is virtually gone, the strength is back in my hand, it was the very next day. Yes the throat hurts but mine was only painful to swallow for about 2 days. I still have the feeling of a blob in my throat which will probably be there for awhile. All in all I feel that I made a good decision to have the surgery. Each individual is different and I too wanted to hear from other people who had the surgery but ultimately it is your own decision. As my husband said to me before surgery are you living a good quality of life and do you want to live that way forever or have it get worse. Good Luck to anyone who is facing the probability of surgery. I know I have a long road to recovery but each day it gets better. I also have good days and bad days but the bad days are getting less and less. If anyone wants to talk about their surgery or pending surgery I will gladly respond.



  • That's awesome that your surgery went so well for you and that you had near instant relief of the weakness and numbness. Stay strong and heal well. Life is here for us to live.

  • I'm so happy for you that you are doing well!!! I may be in touch with you later today.....Looks like I may have a similar surgery facing me; my issues are also at C5-6 and C6-7.

    I'm meeting with a NS this morning to discuss the results of my MRI:

    At the C5-C6 intervertebral disc space, there are severe disc degeneration changes. This is associated with anterior osteophytes. There is also a broad-based spur or a disc herniation complex that displaces the cord dorsally. There is a flattening of the cervical cord lateralized slightly greater towards the left side. In addition, there are also severe bilateral foraminal stenotic changes seen at this level. The AP diameter of the spinal canal is compromised at this level. It measures approximately 5 to 6 mm in its AP dimension at this level. In addition, on the sagittal images, there is suggestion of a focal area of increased T2 signal intensity in the cervical cord at this level, most likely represent myelomalacic change.

    At the C6-C7 intervertebral disc space, there are also disc degeneration changes with anterior osteophytes. There is a broad-based spur or a disc herniation complex that displaces the thecal sac posteriorly. There is a slight flattening of the cervical cord at this level as well. Mild foraminal stenosis from osteophytes in the neural foramina are
    seen at this level as well. There is also an AP diameter spinal stenosis with the AP diameter of the spinal canal measuring approximately 7 mm in its

    Thanks so much for being a resource! Although I have already had a fusion done, that was 15 years ago and was just one level. And I have to say, it went very well without any complications. As I'm reading through this site I realize that I may have a more complicated surgery facing me and I'll need all the advice I can get from people who have "been there and done that"!

    Now I'm off to get ready for the appointment!! Wish me luck!!
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  • I wish you all of the best for recovery. I feel fortunate compared to others who have had the surgery. I am just so grateful for the headaches that have disappeared. I used to have severe migraines now I get a mild headache but I believe it is from the medication. Please keep me informed as to your progress. I care.
  • Thank you for such kind words.
  • I hope that you are continuing to do well. Reading your story is making me feel less scared about my upcoming surgery in July. I am going to have either an ACDF or a corpectomy at C5 - C7 -- I'm still deciding between two options from two different doctors. It's so frightening to think about, especially wondering how I will feel when I wake up from the surgery.

    Thanks for sharing your story.
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  • ...that's great news regarding your recovery so far. Keep up the positive vibes!

    I had the same procedure 4 weeks ago (but with cadaver bone graft). I've been out of my soft collar for a few weeks, and I too have the "lumpy" feeling remaining in my throat. Otherwise I can't say I've had as much progress with my pre-op symptoms. Numbness and tingling is still there in my right hand, although slightly less than before. Neck pain and tightness still there, but no surprise since I believe that takes longer to resolve and some of it could be surgical soreness. I didn't have severe arm or hand pain related to my cervical issues, but I have wicked shoulder pain related to a chronic condition/previous injury in that area. Next up for me after I heal from ACDF is to tackle the shoulder problems...

  • Hi - my first time ever doing this blogging thing but it is great to be able to talk to people in the same situation.I do wish you luck as there is so much information to take in. I am also considering surgery for herniated C6-7, bulging at C5-6. Pain has persisted in right arm for a year and its driving me crazy. I am very interested in hearing from anyone who has had a Prestige or ProDisc Artificial Disc Replacement. I am also looking at going overseas to have a M6 ADR - the newest to come along. As I understand it, this Spinal Kinetics ADR actually mimics the natural disk. It is in clinical studies here in the states and the reports are good. So any one want to comment on these specific ADR's? and allicat I have no idea what a ACDF is or a PCF& L is but I hope that they work for you.
  • I understand your fear, I was so scared that I seriously thought about backing out of the surgery. Thank god I did not. I too wondered how I would feel after surgery. They do give you good pain meds. I had the morphine drip so much of the day of my surgery is a blur (good blur). My only problem was that the morphine made me sick to my stomach which I finally came to that conclusion at 3:00 am in the morning. They had given me phenergran for the nauseousness which helped. But I had 2 options I could continue with the morphine drip and then know I was going to get sick or decide to stop the morphine and try to swallow percocet even though it was hard to swallow I opted to go with the percocet (good decision on my part) Once I did that it was so much better. I do not recall any real pain in the incision area just soreness. I was real anxious to get out of the hospital. I made myself get up out of bed to go to the bathroom, they teach you how to do the roll out of the bed. I am not going to tell you it was a piece of cake, it all depends on your pain tolerance also but I must say I am seriously a baby when it comes to pain. I just got my stitches removed this past wednesday and boy did that feel good. It is very important that you do as the Dr tells you, no lifting and definetly no bending over. If I felt the need to bend I just stooped down with my legs/knees. PS - Before you go in for surgery take and put the toilet paper on your bathroom counter so you do not have to bend to get to it. I wish you all of the luck and if you need you can pull whatever strength you need from me. You can write me as often as you need and I will try to convey strength and courage through our posts.

    Good Luck

    Also it is very important that you feel good about your surgeon. I am a awful patient and he was understanding but firm with me which was what I needed.
  • So glad to find your post. I had the same surgery on June 16 with donor bone & am in the Aspen hard collar, which I hate. You are right about the heat! I was so scared also; almost told them on the pre-op table to forget it! I do not have stitches; my doctor used steri strips which have not bothered me. I had some soreness in swallowing for the first few days, but that has pretty much subsided; I did not experience the blob in the throat feeling. I, too, was on the morphine drip, but unfortunately for me, I have found that I am allergic to the narcotic pain meds. including the morphine, percocet, loratab, darvocet. They make me itch unbearably all over. I was prescribed the generic for vicodin & muscle relaxer flexipril which have helped. I do not have the numbness in my hand any longer, but wearing the collar makes my shoulder blades & neck ache in the back.

    I have had a hard time getting comfortable to sleep and with the not being able to drive. Bad case of cabin fever.

    I go back to the doctor next Tues. & I hope I can come out of the collar.

    Everyone hang in there & I thank God I found this site.
  • Hi, I am new here. I just had this surgery on 6/9. I went home the same day, no collar at all. I had a few rough days tring to get comfortable, and I could not swallow hardly anything for 4-5 days. The pain and numbness in my left arm & fingers went away almost immediately. Now 2 weeks later, as I start to try to do more, the numbness has come back in my fingers. Although not as bad as before the surgery.I too have that lump in my throat, but it is getting better everyday. I have returned to work today, office job. My doctor said it was ok as long as I take it easy, and not lift anything. My doctor has also ordered a Bone growth stimulator to help speed up the fusion in my spine. I get that on Monday. Well good luck to all of you...
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