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ACDF scheduled for April 24th

Ohiojohn1972OOhiojohn1972 Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have only posted once here before, but have read everything posted over the last few months in order to get a good understanding of what is to come. I am scheduled for an ACDF c6-c7 with cadaver bone and hardware on April 24th. Kind of nervous, but I've had good feedback on my Doctor from previous patients so that makes the decision a little easier. Just looking to get back to normal again.....

I am to wear a soft collar for a few weeks and then wean myself off as I see fit.

Any ideas on recovery time for this? I am 39 and fairly healthy. Had a micro-discectomy 11 years ago L4-L5, is the recovery similar?



  • Hi John,

    I need the same disc c6,c7 acdf as you. I am also the same age as you.

    I just wanted to welcome you and I wish you a speedy recovery. Keep us posted on your recovery.

    Missy, 1 level ACDF 
    Degenerative Disc Disease.
    Chronic Pain.
  • Hi, I had ACDF at C5/6 about 8 weeks ago. I have very tight muscles across upper back but that is pretty much the only pain. I am surprised at how much this is bothering me but when I asked ns, she said she wasn't surprised because she had to put a very large spacer (cadaver bone) because of some issues I had. It is huge compared to my C6/7 which looks pretty bad, but we left alone since I do not appear to have symptoms from this disc.

    I had a sore throat for about three days, not bad enough to be on liquid diet, just had to be careful about what I ate, as things would get stuck for first few weeks.

    I went back to work 6 hours a day at week 5 and just went to 8 hours last week. I am taking half a Norco in morning and half again in afternoon to help with the tightness, as nothing else seems to help. Also using a heat pad on neck. Not sure what I would do without that thing!

    I have been walking as much as possible and when raining, going to the gym doing cardio. I went back to yoga at week 5. I am back to most daily activities with a few exceptions. No vacuuming! Made that mistake a few weeks ago and was flared up for 4 days. Still not lifting things too heavy, but doing light housework.
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  • Hi John, Missy and Nicky,
    Nice to see some other Spineys coming up for surgery soon as well.
    Not nice that we need surgery though!

    Congrats Nicky to have yours done, must be a relief!
    Your recovery seems very smooth so far - thanks for sharing and giving us hope.

    Im up for surgery in the end of April, beginning of May - will find out exact date on Monday. They will do ACDF C5-6.
    John, cant answer your question but wanted to say hi and let you know that you have a surgery buddy around that time.

    Best of luck to a fantastic surgery!

    Cause: car accident & genetics
    Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
    Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
    Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
    Moving Forward: SCS
  • Thanks for all the replies so far, good to know there are others about to have this at the same time (not good that anyone else is dealing with this though). I have been scheduled for pre-testing on April 11th, and my surgery is pushed out to the 30th (my doing as I have too much to train others in my office to do while out). Starting to get a little nervous, but new pains are showing up/getting stronger so I'm ready to have it done as well. My right arm is the one affected but i've started to have troubles with my left foot. Anyone else have this problem? It feels like an ankle sprain, but affects me irregularly at odd times like in bed or sitting at my desk. After being on pain meds for the last 6 months I've noticed they are not helping as much and I want off them anyway, so i'm acutally looking forward to the 30th.

    I did see somewhere that c6-c7 requires more recovery time due to it's location and stress put on it. Can anyone verify this? In the end it doesn't matter, and i don't want to schedule an appointment to ask questions about something like this. 26 days and a wake up.....

    Take care
  • It looks like I will be doing C6 - C7 too.
    Met with the surgeon 2 days ago and my nerve problems point to 2 levels, so they will be doing C5 - C7, to make sure they get everything, rather than having to go in twice.

    I've read that too, about C7 being a little tough, but of course the doc won't say anything and both damage and recovery is always so individual anyway.
    Im hoping 2 levels won't be much worse than 1, and work has told me to take the time I need to recover, and I can always start out part-time.

    Haven't gotten exact surgery date yet but like you John, I'll rather have it sooner than later! The agony of waiting for surgery (scared, nervous) and the every day pain - Im exhausted! The surgeon's office is getting back to me this week.

    Good luck and my warmest wishes for a great recovery for you!
    Will be thinking of you on the 30th.

    Cause: car accident & genetics
    Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
    Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
    Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
    Moving Forward: SCS
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  • Well I'm down to 5 days before the procedure. Have everything in order for recovery at home and trying not to think to much about Monday.

    Hopefully everything goes without a hitch and is straight forward. Really hoping the worst is in my head and not reality.
  • Good luck to you John. A lot of here seem to be in the same boat... Waiting is the worse part I think. I'm sure you will do great and be giving advice to the rest of us soon!

    I'm supposed to have a C5-7 fusion with hardware, but I don't have a date yet. I just had another MRI today, and I'm hoping nothing else gets added.

  • Sorry to hear that you are needing to have surgery, but it sounds like you are ready both mentally and in your preparations.

    Wishing you a very successful and uncomplicated surgery. I'll be watching with interest, as I suspect that it will be in my future.

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