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ACCF + discectomy scheduled 8/29/2011-pretty darn scared

skdttusskdttu Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:56 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everybody. I'm one more newbie to the forum scrambling for support to manage high anxiety for an upcoming surgery. Today my surgeon gave me details about the procedure, and it's more than I was expecting. My 18 year old fusion has come apart somehow (still got the old plate and screws holding me together in a fashion). In the process of assessing my current pain we discover that one of the screws from my first surgery is in the disc space of C6-C7, which I've learned is a bad situation, too. Monday I'm to have an anterior corpectomy of C6 and discectomy of C6-C7, fusing with a cage and plate/screws (this time the screws go in the vertabrae, thank you very much). I'll be fused from C2-C7, if it works this time. Doc says he'll use my own bone and a bit of donor, if necessary. Apparantly, they grind up the bone and pack it into and around the cage. This probably isn't news to you guys but boy, it is to me. Wow. Just the idea of them taking a good bit of my spine apart and then balancing my head on a mesh cylnder freaks me out. I'm having fears of the cage drifting over and pinching my spinal cord. How does this not happen? I am much more anxious about this surgery than the first, I guess because I have time to think about it! I'm planning to go back to work 8 days post surgery. I'm tempted to watch video of the surgery on the Internet but somehow I don't think it would help with my anxiety. Any words of wisdom are most appreciated.

History of initial injury: Bicycle accident 1993 with resulting spinal cord contusion and weeks of quadraplegia; hernitated and ruptured discs at C4-C5 and C5-C6; congenital fusion at C2-C3; surgery resulted in fusion from C2-C6. Today I type with one hand and have a puny left calf, but I manage well. My job involves sitting for long periods and light typing/computer work.


  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,111
    I had the exact same surgery due to broken screws and the plate backing out. 8 days and going back to work is pushing it in my opinion. I have a desk job and went back at 4 weeks and to be honest I wasnt ready then. It wasnt a horrible surgery but the recovery was a little bit longer for me then my previous surgeries.
    Remember as you read this that this was my experience and everyone is different. Does your surgeon know that you plan to return to work in 8 days? Your fears of the cage drifting I think are fears only. Believe me your surgeon will make sure it is secure. I can remember how scared I was before this surgery so I feel your anxiety. I thought of everything that could go wrong before my surgery and had myself so worked up I had to be given something to calm my nerves for about week prior to surgery. You will be in good hands with your surgeon and good luck. If there is any questions I can answer for you feel free to PM me. Keep us posted and good luck
  • Welcome to Spine Health. I hope everything goes well. I agree 8 days is pushing it. Most people aren't yet released to drive so I don't understand how you can be expected to work. What Country are you in?

    My NS told me that I would be off for 2 weeks but after the surgery he changed to 8 weeks as things were much worse when he got in there so he changed his mind.

    Good luck to you,

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  • Thank you so much for your responses. I'm in the U.S. My surgeon knows I want to go back to work. I guess we'll see. I'll need to work on my patience. I don't plan to drive, of course. Last night I took one Xanax late. I guess it changed the terror to intense dread. Today I feel a bit better. I had the cervical collar fitted for the second time and the guy reassured me that it fit. I'm really short so one of my worries was the collar would be too big. It's not so that's one less worry. I'm working today and keeping busy for distraction. This weekend I'll go to the movies or something. I'm trying to think about the goal and not the process. Thanks again.

  • I hope you have a really nice weekend. Try to get everything set for your recovery once you get home, then relax and do some fun things. Perhaps go out for your favourite meal. Spoil yourself.

    This is a great place to get information and support after your surgery.

    Please let us know how you get on and we'll support you through your recovery. :-)

  • Thanks so much for the supportive replies :)
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