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New to forum very confused

gethealthyggethealthy Posts: 303
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:33 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi! I've been reading your stories and appreciate your willingness to share.

I have several issues with my neck. I'm facing a tough decision, do nothing and perhaps have nerve damage, get a 3 level ACDF or a posterior foraminotomy. HELP!

I had a sport injury about 17 years ago that herniated my C7 causing a lot of weakness in my left arm. I chose not to have surgery because I'm such an active person I was afraid I'd cause lots of damage to the adjacent discs. I worked hard with a PT and got most of my left arm use back.

I've struggled off and on with pain from my neck but it would go away after traction, rest and ice in about 2 or 3 weeks.

About 6 weeks ago my neck went crazy. I couldn't get in or out of bed without screaming. I got an MRI and about passed out. 4 of my 7 cervical discs are messed up!

My PT got me to the point of just a tooth ache in my neck. My husband made me go to a surgeon. The surgeon said I have to decide whether to live with this and maybe do nerve damage, get a 3 level cervical fusion or do a posterial foraminotomy.

The surgeon suggest the 3 level fusion so he can fix the problem and prevent more damage. He said it may not relief the pain but will prevent nerve damage. It will cause stress on the other discs so a chance of more surgery is there. He doesn't think the foraminotomy stands a good chance of working. It could but he doesn't think so and believes I'll just be facing another surgery later.

My husband wants me to go for some more opinions which I will do. The surgeon has done work on a few people I know and they say he's really good.

I'm still very active so the thought of a long recovery freaks me out! If anyone could share their recovery experience after a 3 level ACDF I'd really appreciate it.

Thank you!


  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    I so understand your concerns but it sounds as if you have really done your homework. I have had a discectomy, corpectomy, multi-level fusion done from both anterior and posterior sides from C3 to C6. My neurosurgeon installed a strut, cage, plates, rods, and screws for hardware. I am almost 2 years post-op and I am doing fine for the most part. The source of my problem is severe OA. I am very active and am considered to be a workoholic even though I have had to slow down a little. If you have any specific questions I can help answer please feel free to PM me. There are many others here that have also had similar symptoms and surgeries so you will gain a lot from posting here and also in the cervical threads.
    Take care and the best to you.
  • Hi Lynn,

    It is a very good idea to at least get a 2nd or 3rd opinion. I have nerve damage at L5 nerve root in my back. It is not fun living with nerve damage. There is nothing in the USA at this point to fix nerve damage. Also thanks to my nerve damage I have bladder problems. If you want more info about my case please pm and I would be happy to answer any questions you have.

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  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H you have been given alot of good advice already. =D> i hope you are feeling better soon. :D good luck as you search for pain relief! Jenny :)
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