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acdf C5/6 & C6/7 surgery all dun



  • It certainly sounds like you need to have surgery.
    I have been told that it is done more to stop the progression of symptoms rather than get rid of them. He said that about 70% of patients will get some relief of their symptoms, but he couldn't predict who they would be or how long it would be before it happened. He also said that it would be 6-12 months before we knew how much relief I was likely to get.

    He agreed with my husband that the sooner I have surgery, the less severe the symptoms will be, so if I am left with them, they won't be so bad.

    I have been on this site for about 2 1/2 years now and have seen many patients come, have their surgery and go off happily to continue their lives.

    I would certainly have my lumbar fusion if I had to decide again. It has improved things no end.

    I think my advice to you would be to prepare yourself for a long recovery, and painful neck and shoulders after surgery. It seems that it is the muscles that are painful rather than the incision. Somtimes things are worse than before surgery for a while, due to the nerves being irritated. I was expecting the worst with my lumbar fusion and was pleasantly surprised. I would rather have it that way than be shocked at the pain levels.

    I have heard that lumbar fusion is easier on the surgeon (technically) and harder on the patient (the recovery), and that cervical surgery is harder on the surgeon (less space and the cord right there) and easier on the patient (doesn't have to hold all the body weight). My neurosurgeon did say that it wasn't an easier surgery to recover from as I would have severe pain in the muscles of the neck and shoulders for a while, but that I would be more mobile than after my lumbar surgery.

    Do let us know if there are any other questions you want answered, and there should be sometone who can help you.

    Make sure that you have plenty of pillows to prop yourself up and get comfy with. Also a grabber to pick up things you drop and bendy straws. Do you have someone to help you for a while once you get home from the hospital? Clear the floor of things you could trip on - you probably won't be able to easily look down for a while. Place anything you use frequently at an easily accessible height (no stretching or bending).

    I wish you well and will look forward to hearing from you after surgery and will follow your recovery with interest. The relief once you get to this side of surgery, is wonderful!

    I am in the South East
  • hi jellyhall, my partner will help but I have a shih tzu that likes to sleep on my chest when I sleep on the sette so mite have to put a stop to that :)I dont told on friday that I have to live on £85 a week for 37 weeks and after that I have to phone them and see if they can help, I wanted to give up work this week but I carnt so I will have to work but I will take it easy, only got 18 days left till me op, I will keep you posted, is there anything or any good questions I should ask my surgin the next time I see him ?
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  • i would definately ask your surgeon about his post surgery restrictions. different surgeons has different restrictions. will you have to wear a collar?



    do let me know what you find out. i am following closely behind you and want to learn from your experience. ;)

  • He said I will have to wear a collar and I will have a massive headache for 3 or more days because the spinal fluid and he said I should be off work for 6 weeks :) I don't think so, I am planing on 3 to 7 mths off work, but hope to be back sooner.

  • That I will be off work for 3 months (2 level fusion)
    That I won't have a collar
    That I won't have a plate (only titanium cages)
    That I won't have bone graft!! He said that my bone would grow through the holes in the cage.

    After all the things that I have read, it sounds that he is very minimilistic! I do trust him, but I do want to ask him again to explain how this will work.

    He did say that the 'spikes' in the cage will hold it so no plate is needed. He even said that he knew a surgeon who wanted to remove a titanium cage after two weeks and had trouble getting it out - he had to drill it out. I hope he gets it in the right place, so it doesn't need to be moved!!

    Hopefully the headache you were told about due to a spinal fluid leak, won't be a problem. I don't think that everyone has that. Only if the dura is nicked and causes a leak.

    I was told that I would have very sore muscles in my neck and shoulders for a while, a sore throat from moving the oseaphegus (Sp?), trouble swallowing and possibly a hoarse voice for a while.

    When is your next appointment?

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  • I'am hoping I might get something in the post tomorrow, so I can book it off work and ask him a lot of questions
  • What is this hardware that I ere a lot off ?

  • The metal implants that are sometimes used to hold things in place until they fuse. They aren't needed after fusion has taken place, but generally don't get removed unless they are causing a problem.
    Titanium is generally used as that is MRI friendly, which means that, if necessary, an MRI scan can be done after surgery. It doesn't set off alarms at airports either.

    For example;

    the screws and rods used when a posterior fusion is done (I have those in my lumbar spine)

    The plate that is used at the front to stop the cage or fusion from slipping forward and to hold it all together while it fuses

    Cages that are used to replace where the disc is removed - generally these are filled with bone chips (or BMP - synthetic product, to encourage fusion to start.)

    Do you know if you are having any hardware, or if you will have bone taken for the graft?

  • I don't no if I have to have a graft yet, but i will ask my surgeon when I see him, but the last time I seen him he, said he liked doing acdf surgery
  • Hi, first, let me tell you that a stupid decision of mine to carry a 20-lb box across the street and up an elevator to FedEx, in Oahu, was the last straw after a sudden onset of radiculopathy symptoms that began a few days prior, while taking care of my 4-yr. old granddaughter. I barely made it thru the flight home, but my ever handy Vicodin got me thru. 15 months later, w/o relief from conservative efforts, my ACDF C3/C5 surgery's planned late June. I also showed myeolomalacia back then (the white area in the cord), but now the stenosis and myeolopathy symptoms have increased, partly due to severe (level 4) anterolisthesis, C4 on C5, but my surgeon says they're subtle. It was the 2nd MRI we did, for comparison, that convinced him surgery was in order. Just wanted to add this quick note for now, please be careful what you pick up and haul. Could be a turn-around event. Yesterday, thanks to a very kind surgery patient's recommendation, I just ordered 2 Guided Meditation CDs specifically for my Pre-Surgery jitters. Feel more relaxed already, but really appreciate all the support found here. Good luck, I'll watch for your updates. Oh, unlike your obvious strength abilities, I'm a 60-yr. old, literally "90-lb. weakling", but I used to be quite a hiker. Hope to get back into that.
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