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January 3 level ACDF it is.

Just back from the surgeons office to go over the latest MRI, Results show continued deterioration and 3 levels involved 2 significantly. He showed me on the MRI where the disc bulges were and where the nerve impingement was and helped correlate the symptoms with what we were seeing on the MRI.
He recommended a 3 level fusion, C4-C7 and I asked how urgent it was as I have a niece graduating Nursing school next month. He said not urgent but I have had significant changes in the strength on my left side and the longer I wait the less of a chance I will recover the strength.
He could tell I was unsure and asked how long I had been dealing with this and I said over 10 years... He asked , "has it gotten any better?" Of course the answer is no, and even after trying traction for the last year it has continued to get worse.
I should get the exact date soon, his nurse didn't have the January schedule with her.
He said Aspen collar for 6 weeks and I can go back to work when I feel like it, but no driving for the first 6... All the usual weight restrictions etc..
He wants me off pain meds at least 2 weeks prior, this will be difficult as I will need to work right up to a couple of days before surgery, and I usually end up in pretty bad pain at the end of the day already..
laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched


  • Oh Dave, I am so sorry that you have to have another surgery, especially a 3 level fusion. I also need a 3 level but mine is L3-S1 but still havent recuperated from knee replacement and sciatic pain following that surgery. I hate that you have to go without pain meds for two weeks especially since you have to work right up until surgery. I will be praying for you and I am always on computer at some time so I will PM you my email.

  • My l4//5 and l5/s1 are dessicated and have significant issues but cervical is worse right now. Also doing the cervical first will remove the symptoms being caused by cervical which could be mistaken for lumbar symptoms. one of the disc is touching the spinal cord, but no indentation, of course this is with all stressors off the neck when your lying down in the mri machine. So it is possible that some of the nerve symptoms I have in my feet are actually coming from above.
    I also had a knee replacement last October. When did you have yours? Take it easy on the knee rehab as pushing too much can set you back and slow the healing process.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
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  • kamgramkkamgram Posts: 483
    edited 11/09/2013 - 6:24 PM
    My TKR was Aug. 16 and having a thoracic spine surgery and 2 knee surgeries this yr. Has taken its toll on my body. My surgeon is very happy with progress in movement of knee but you are so right. My body has been through so much the past 18 months that I get exhausted very easily. Not just tired but times,where I can sleep for hours and hours and still feel so tired. This has been a rough year on many of us. Never dreamed it could take up to a yr. For knee to recover. May I ask you if you had any problems with sciatica on surgical leg. I have had the worst sciatica the past couple months and not sure if the nerve was damaged or irritated during TKR. I also have bone pain that makes it imperative I take my pain meds on time. Did you have this pain. Hurts from hip all the way to bottom of heel but worse bone pain is in thigh :( I am now having trouble with right knee and am going for another injection and xray Monday to see if OA Is destroying. Its,always something :/

  • The neck is a wonderful place for fusion, if there was a necessity at all. My results were immediately evident afterward and absolutely worth it. The lumbar, not so much....
    In my experience at least, the neck was giving me grief in pain and later on it came to be nerve issues that made the decision easy. My fingers (pinky and rings) would go numb while I was working with my hands and that was scary. Dr said it was a 93% successful surgery and other than he fact that the surrounding levels will eventually pick up the same bad habits, it was the fix for me.
    Best of luck
  • The great thing about ACDF you usually wake up feeling so much better. I had hardly any pain from surgery. The worst of it was a sore throat and issues swallowing. All of the numbness and pain in shoulder and fingers were gone. Best of luck to you.
    Acdf C5 C6 12/13/12
    Laminectomy and Discectomy L5 S1 12/12/13
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  • susabellssusabell Illinois Posts: 241
    edited 11/10/2013 - 2:03 PM
    Daverunner why does your Surgeon want you off all Pain Meds??? I had a Posterior in August and I went and got Several Opinions, one Surgeon told me the same thing, but He Did Not explain why, all he said is that the surgery would not work if I did not stop taking the pain meds. I went to another Surgeon and he did not have an Issue with my pain meds. I was in horrific pain prior to my Posterior surgery, I mean I could not work, or do much of anything because of a Horrible ACDF I had in May of 2010. Off lable products were used. My neck feels so Much Better after having the Posterior Surgery!!! :)

    Anyway I wish you the Best, and I am sure this will Fix You Up!!! Keep us Updated.

    ACDF C4-C7 5/13/2010. Synthetic Bone Graft Failed Fusion.
    PCF C4-C7 8/13/13. Rods and Screws Fused in 3 Months with Autograft.
    C6-C7 Spineous process Surgically Shaved Off 3/11/14.
    Sciatica 3/11/16 Left Leg prescribed Medrol Pack 6 days also Physical Therapy.
  • davrunnerddavrunner Posts: 479
    edited 11/12/2013 - 7:02 AM
    Kamgram - I do have sciatic pain in operated leg and knee pain which surgeon can't explain. It's one of those what is causing the pain, lumbar or some unresolved knee issue. I know there is a knee problem, surgeon is trying to get me into Vanderbilt but can't seem to get a surgeon willing to look as I've had 5 operations on that knee including a partial replacement that was converted to full last October. If I stay off of the knee it will only be slightly swollen, if I am up and about it looks like a small cantelope by the end of the day. check the bonesmart group on your pain as I don't believe that surgery would cause the pain you describe but I could be wrong. I do have a numb area of my leg that has been numb since the partial so it's not coming back.

    Susabell- Surgeon wants me off of pain meds so that pain management will be easier after surgery. I think it's to provide lower dose or less strong meds after the surgery than if I continue taking what I am. I've been tapering a little the last week to see how I would respond and it's not good. My normal pain level with meds is 4/5 which I can live with. Just reducing a little has me up at 6/7 and I'm not going to go any higher, so will be talking to the surgeon soon. I base my 0 to 10 pain scale on waking after a partial knee replacement where the nerve block failed and I had no pain meds onboard... That's what I believe a 10 is and don't ever want to experience it again. They actually had to knock me back out and 2 hours later I woke up as they were wheeling me into my room and the pain had only reduced to an 8 and took all night to get somewhat under control. The unfortunate thing is as I reduced the meds my lumbar pain is what is hitting higher not my cervical. seems to me the meds are helping more for my lower than upper back, question for the surgeon are we attacking the right area first....
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
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