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ACDF Surgery in 7 days BUT

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,322
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Ok I have had bad pain in my L shoulder, arm, hand and arm for 13 months, I have finally got a date for sugery in 7 days.. BUT, 2 weeks ago I have lost the pins & needles & numbness. Now the mri said My c4/c5 & c6/c7 was very bad. Spine injections did not work, now why would this suddenly stop after so long? I dont want to delay surgery in the fear it would start again in a month then I would have to wait another 6 months for an operation. Any ideas if this is prob a temp glitch and do people recover without operation after 2 badly herniated discs? im sure my Surgeon will talk to me next week but just trying to get an idea on why this would stop after 13 months of solid pain. Cheers


  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    What you're experiencing is not uncommon. There's no rhyme or reason to why this happens, but if you're scheduled for surgery because you've got severe cervical disc problems, I would talk to your surgeon and let him know what has happened.

    You said that the pins and needles and numbness went away two weeks ago - is that still gone? Are all the arm symptoms gone? I'm interested in what you're now feeling, as you can see by my questions.

    Like I said, this has happened to some members here and have made them questions surgery and if it is still necessary. My guess is that if your discs were a very serious issue, they haven't healed themselves, but it could be that something is improving. Or not, just changing.

    The only way to figure this out is to talk with your surgeon and let him know what's happening. If your curiosity is getting the best of you, give your surgeon a call today and at least talk to his PA. They might have an answer for you.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • thanks Im seeing him next Thursday so will ask, my neck is still in pain and if i move my neck / head back it is very painful, I still get pain over my back and the odd tingle in my arm so it has not gone away 100%, before and the last 10 months th epain has been awful, pins & needles all the time, pain, arm dropping with no strength, pain in shoulder etc. Both discs were in their words "massive" im just surprised that it has died down after so long. Im from the uk and if they dont operate and it comes back I could have another 8 month wait! that siad my neck is still bad enough to stop me being active (cycling, swimming etc) what comlicates this is I have found out that I have damaged disc in my lower spine which are now causing me worse issues with pain and mobility. I know my surgeon will make the decision but at least before I knew where I stood, I just feel a bit lost now with this planned for a weeks time.
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  • If you have badly herianted discs, likely it is just a matter of time before you need to get them taken care of.

    I went through the same things - and never had a loss of strength. I waited soooo looong to actually get help though, that by the time I went to the Othro, my spinal cord was partially crushed along with the nerve roots. My reflexes were going crazy and I was losing sensation in my feet too. The doctors were amazed I was actaully walking fine and had no loss of strength or coordination while my MRI looked like a mess.

    On a positive note, I believe that if you are in this type of chronic pain, you will be glad when the surgery is done. I recovered quite well considering the damage I did (excellent actually), and could not be happier with the outcome. Of course, this is just my personal experience speaking - but I do beleive you should really talk to your doctor about this since it clearly is affecting your everyday. Sounds like you are really thinking this through - which is the right thing to do IMO.
  • It does sound like you need to keep your surgery appointment. If the disc problems are "massive", there's no fix other than surgery, especially since your cervical problems are still limiting you and your lifestyle and still causing significant pain.

    I know that in the UK it takes a long time to get these things set up, so there's no time like the present. I think you'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel after your ACDF. When I first saw my surgeon and we went over my MRIs, he was surprised that I wasn't having bladder and bowel issues because my cervical problems were so bad. My symptoms were bad, but I didn't think they were bad enough for surgery until I talked to my surgeon and after my surgery I realized just how bad it was.

    If you can believe this, before my surgery, I was getting a waddle under my chin and after the surgery, it was gone. That's how gone three of my discs were. LOL

    As for your lower back pain, well, you can see from my signature that I've had the same problem, but I didn't start having my lower back pain until 3-4 months after my ACDF. You have to just deal with one problem at a time and since you already have the ACDF scheduled, get your cervical spine fixed then move on to the next thing when the time comes.

    Personally, as I've said above, you still know where you stand - you have severe cervical problems that need to get taken care of and my guess is that your surgeon won't suggest canceling the surgery because some of your symptoms have changed or subsided. The discs need to be fixed regardless of your symptoms when there's that much damage.

    Take care and please keep us posted.

    PS Please keep in mind I'm in no way telling you what to do, just giving you my personal perspective from someone with severe cervical problems. It's still your choice, no matter what anyone here says. Surgery is a very personal choice and can only be made by you.
  • I had the same surgery 8 days ago. C6-C7 anterior fusion with the titanium plate and screws. I thought I'd lose range of motion in my neck,and that is very important in my profession, and this, and that,nope. I can turn my neck with much more range now because the pain is gone, I mean gone. Sure I got some soreness from the surgery, but nothing like the burning, stabbing, tingling, and numbness before. Don't get me wrong, everybody is different, and different people respond differenty to different things. And you may not have the same outcome I have. But, this surgery has been a complete success in my opinion. Also, it may be possible something has moved or changed but as my surgeon explained to me, spinal disks do not heal. If it were me and knowing what I now know I'd be running to get on the operating table, my neck feels pretty much normal again.
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  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    As others have said, if you have enough neck pain and significant history of pins and needles you should consider going forward with the surgery. Another reason is insurance. Your current insurance appears to have approved the surgery. But if you were to cancel it they may later question why you later request the surgery. There's been an increase in insurance company denying spinal fusions so take advantage of the insurance approval if you indeed have test findings and symptoms that indicate a problem. While the numbness and tingling is a big part of the symptoms, the simple fact that you still have significant pain in enough to justify the need for surgery.

    I probably need C4 added to my C5-C7 fusion. Yesterday I had horrible pins and needles down my right arm. I manipulated my neck a bit in various positions and in doing so could lessen the pins and needles. The movements I did likely adjusted the disc portion or fragment that was in the neck and moved it a bit from the nerve. But then tonight, while washing dishes, it came back again (I was looking down)
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • thanks all, just to confirm im in the UK so insurance does not come into this, we do not pay or use insurance for health we just have long waiting times... very long waiting times!!! i.e 5 month wait for nerve root injections. Up to 6 month wait for surgery. Well my surgery is now 15th of this month, and I am keeping it booked in.
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