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ACDF 3 levels

rams83cjrrams83cj Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello. I am new to this forum.

I had ACDF on 3 levels- c5c6, c6c7, c7t1- fused with cadaver bone on 11/15/10.

Prior to surgery I had pain and stiffness in my neck with numbness and tingling down my left arm. I also had headaches every day.

I was hurt back in April 2010. I went through 6 months of Therapy, Massage, Chiro adjustments, Cervical Traction, and a series of 3 Epidural Steroid Injection shots. Which provided minimal relief for a very short time.

My MRI in May showed 3 disc herniations, a bulging disc and compression against the spinal cord. My MRI in October showed the same 3 disc herniations-but they had gotten worse.

I consulted with the NS several times. I was told I could live with the pain- but there are risks. If I had a bad fall or car accident- I risked paralysis. And then he went into the risks of having the ACDF. I carefully considered the options and had many conversations with my husband about what to do. He wouldn't tell me what I should do. Just told me he would support whatever decision I made. (I have a fantastic husband. And his support and assistance through this hellish experience has made me love him more!!)

Let me tell you...reading the list of complications and such as I was signing the consent forms really put me into a tizzy. I wish I would have asked for Valium or something to calm me down prior to the surgery.

The NS told us the surgery would take 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It was longer than that. 4 hours. Post surgery I have no headaches. I awoke with weakness on the Right Side. I couldn't use my Right hand. It scared me. I have had to squeeze a sponge piece to strengthen my hand. It is almost back to 100%. I also have numbness on my entire left side. I understand it is nerve numbness. I am afraid that it will never "awaken".

I see the NS tomorrow and my brain is scrambled as to what questions I need to ask him so I can understand the road ahead of me.

Thanks for reading. Any and all tips would be greatly appreciated.

Gina




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Comments

  • and welcome to Spine Health. :H

    I can't advice you or even share experiences about cervical surgery, but I wanted to welcome you here.

    I am suffering the same symptoms that you had before your surgery. I have had an MRI scan, but am awaiting the results. My appointment with the neurosurgeon is in March next year. I assume that if he sees anything serious, he will call for me to go and see him earlier than that!

    I had a lumbar fusion earlier this year, which has healed quite well (I hope that it is fusing, but no sign on the first x-ray taken.), but now my neck and thoracic spine are causing me trouble.

    I wish you well in your surgery and am glad that you have found us. You will get a lot of help and support here from others who have had the same surgery.

    Keep healing :D
  • I hope i'm not to late in saying that.Its too bad no one gave you any ideas as to what to ask.i hope that the doctor was very thorough in telling you his findings. If so then you shouldn't have a lot of questions remaining.I'm wondering if the symptoms your experiencing is still caused by inflammation from your decompression. It takes a long time for swelling and healing to take place and it hasn't been that long since your surgery.People have all sorts of problems after surgery that may go away with time. Did your surgeon tell you at any point that you had nerve damage?
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  • rams83cj said:
    Hello. I am new to this forum.

    I had ACDF on 3 levels- c5c6, c6c7, c7t1- fused with cadaver bone on 11/15/10.

    Prior to surgery I had pain and stiffness in my neck with numbness and tingling down my left arm. I also had headaches every day.

    I was hurt back in April 2010. I went through 6 months of Therapy, Massage, Chiro adjustments, Cervical Traction, and a series of 3 Epidural Steroid Injection shots. Which provided minimal relief for a very short time.

    My MRI in May showed 3 disc herniations, a bulging disc and compression against the spinal cord. My MRI in October showed the same 3 disc herniations-but they had gotten worse.

    I consulted with the NS several times. I was told I could live with the pain- but there are risks. If I had a bad fall or car accident- I risked paralysis. And then he went into the risks of having the ACDF. I carefully considered the options and had many conversations with my husband about what to do. He wouldn't tell me what I should do. Just told me he would support whatever decision I made. (I have a fantastic husband. And his support and assistance through this hellish experience has made me love him more!!)

    Let me tell you...reading the list of complications and such as I was signing the consent forms really put me into a tizzy. I wish I would have asked for Valium or something to calm me down prior to the surgery.

    The NS told us the surgery would take 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It was longer than that. 4 hours. Post surgery I have no headaches. I awoke with weakness on the Right Side. I couldn't use my Right hand. It scared me. I have had to squeeze a sponge piece to strengthen my hand. It is almost back to 100%. I also have numbness on my entire left side. I understand it is nerve numbness. I am afraid that it will never "awaken".

    I see the NS tomorrow and my brain is scrambled as to what questions I need to ask him so I can understand the road ahead of me.

    Thanks for reading. Any and all tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Gina




    Hi Gina,
    I had Acdf c4-c7 November 29 10. The pain in my whole right side was immediately gone. I do have pain and stiffness in my neck, especially in the morning and if I stay sitting too long. I am only 2 1/2 weeks post op though so I still consider myself very lucky. I do feel off balance as well and other tests are being done for that unrelated to the acdf. My NS did advise me going in that due to the nerves I had pinched at c7 (confirmed by an EMG) that nerve damage was being done and some was repairable however the longer the group was pinched the more irreparable damage was being done. I too, have an amazing husband and children that stood behind me through it all, I figure the more I work to help myself the better I will get. I have issues with some pain and some numbness but I feel very fortunate that my NS relieved so much pain and spasms, and jolts. My body would jolt due to the pinched nerves, like uncontrollable jerks. It was awful! And now it is gone.
    Good Luck to you, try to stay positive, I do beleive there is power in a positive attitude.
    Ina
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