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Neurosurgeon recomended me a spinal fusion for my neck ( AFDC?) please help me advice !!

stasiamariesstasiamarie Posts: 62
edited 03/20/2014 - 11:24 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Helloo all. The Neuro went over my MRI with me today and said he recommends spinal fusion to replace bone graft with cadaver bone going thru the front of my neck. he thinks 80 to 100 % excellent recovery and fix of my pain as its very unbearable and left arm is weak and numb and shoulder pain etc etc yada yada. so I am waiting for the surgery date now but I am scared but relieved that I got a final answer of my pain that began up again Feb 1st Im new at all this so any one who had this symptoms and surgery which he said would be 5 weeks recovery time so I can return to work asap, as I sit at a desk so I am good no lifting or nothing and pain meds to help me make it thru the day untill I have my surgery and after. I need to go back to work and I also know resting is important and I will I promise if I couldnt do my job I would not go back Monday but I think I can do it my co workers are so sweet and I get alot of support there. My Boss said my job position is fine and not to worry so as I have been there 4 years 3 as a temp and never missed a day of work since I started. however FMLA I am not covered as only been permanent since Oct of this past year so only 5 months of perm status but I can get temp disabilty. to help me with income but my job position will be there when I recover they said plus I am going under unpaid medical leave act which only covers 30 days, so I will also use my sick and vacay time to cover the extra week or so I am not covered by,and by working till my surgery I can accrrue more and use more ! LOL NOW ,,,, anyone who had this surgery can you please tell me what you went thru? hard to swallow first off but that gets better Dr says. also how long were you in the hospital for this surgery? I love my Neuro he is so great. and undertands my need to work up untill my surgery date so he is allowing me to go back Monday yayyyyy I will be so doped up on the pain meds ibuprofen norco but only when I really need it. and lost of ice heat and neck collar to wear when my head feels heavy. I will be so happy if any of you reply to my post as I am scared of the surgery as I can be a baby when it comes to this. but I also am strong so I think I will do ok? any of your past or present operations of mine you can help me with will be greatly appreciated your time is precious. and I understand if you cant reply . I wish all of you pain free days to come. (:
ACDF One level C- 4 April 2014
DDD
Cervical Spondylosis \ Myelopathy
Chronic pain sufferer since 2005
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1

Comments

  • Hi Stasia: I think it depends on many factors as to how you recover from the surgery. Several things you did not mention which may make a difference...your age, what was the diagnosis as to why you need the surgery, will you have help after the surgery?
    2007 TLIF L2-L3 Fusion; 2012 C4 Corpectomy, C3-5 Fusion.
  • I was only in overnight. They want to make sure you can pee and poop, lol. They make sure you have no fever and you can swallow and eat soft foods. My fear was talking because I speak for a living, but I had no Spain from the moving of the esophagus, no hoarseness and was eating and drinking pretty quickly. There is a strand in here somewhere about preparing for your recovery. Don't worry the surgery is a breeze
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  • On the bottom of my posts it lists the surgeries I have had. I had no problems with my voice or swallowing/eating. I did have to wear the collar for over 3 months after and could not drive at that time, also wore a bone growth stimulator. I am still in pain and have tried many remedies to control the pain. If you go back to work too soon you may jeopardize your healing process. Since you do not have insurance coverage you might want to know up front what it will cost you, it is a very expensive surgery. You not only pay the doctor, you pay for the facility and so on.
    2007 TLIF L2-L3 Fusion; 2012 C4 Corpectomy, C3-5 Fusion.
  • stasiamariesstasiamarie Posts: 62
    edited 03/22/2014 - 2:16 AM
    ok I am 46 untill May 22nd I have full coverage on insurance thru hubby. as far as my job I talk on the phones as a counselor all day its easy no lifting as long as I have my pain meds Ill be ok as I need to work untill I can no longer so I can accrue more sick time and vacay time as I will be on a unpaid leave of medical absence only covers 30 days. I have been employed there for 4 years started as a temp and never missed a day since I started there except one day in 2012 I had to leave early when my hubbys brother passed from Cancer . that was it so my track record there and work ethics are very very good, I know people who are stilll temp there and had a baby was off for 3 months came back still had a job so I am not one to worry as my supervisor even said not to worry . finally went permanent in Oct 2013 90 days was over Feb 2014 yayyyyyy. I am blessed to have a job so I am gratefull for that so I am not covered by FMLA until my 12 month. I save my money so I am nt worried about unpaid leave I can get state disability . now my MRI he showed me ( Neuro ) from the top of my skull looking down to my spine a huge ball of darkness on left side which he says is causing my neck pain and arm weakness and finger numbness. and pain when he bends up my left arm up ward ouchy!!!! and now my need for ACDF to replace the disk with cadaver bone and fuze with plate and screws. he says 89 to 100 % success rate. he is the BOSS " they all call him over at Loma Linda in California is where I go. they say he is the best of the best so I believe and trust him no doubts there. I knew this was bad before MRI results came back . I am just glad I have an answer and now a prayer I can be fixed and be back to Normal Stacy no more pain meds no more dr visits no more stress . its hard for a person like me who is always happy no worries making everyone laugh or try to in anyway I can to now being this crying stressed out ball of pain ! I take it one day at a time and I am so glad I came back to this site I was a memeber here back in 2005 as I had neck pain back then same thing but not as bad as now. I wear my collar at night and during day but take it off to get air and try to stretch neck as much as I can without bringing on the pain that wont go away for nothing ,,,, meds Ibuprofen Norco Clonopin, tramadol. surgery date is going to be pushed back as requested by me for 2 weeks more than when they finally give me a date as I am now quitiing smoking or trying to I am so happy you all replied thank you please keep in touch hope your days are pain free forever! :) and yes I will have help after surgery my hubby suffers from MS and has arthiritis in his spine and his MS lesion rests on his spine so that causes him pain we are both a mess LOL but I love him and I have my 16 yr old teenage daughter to help me my sister who lives an hour away and MY MOM who I really wish was here lives 3000 miles away in Florida she is 81 and can do circles around me LOL
    ACDF One level C- 4 April 2014
    DDD
    Cervical Spondylosis \ Myelopathy
    Chronic pain sufferer since 2005
  • AngelaNCAAngelaNC Posts: 2
    edited 03/22/2014 - 4:02 AM
    I had an ACDF on 3/3/14 of c5/6 and c6/7. Mine was done outpatient at a surgical center owned by my neurosurgeon. I went in at 6 am and was home by 3 p.m with a hard collar. I can say from my experience that I had a sore throat and some hoarseness for about 5 days. Nothing too serious and I just ate oatmeal and had protein smoothies. The other challenge I faced was sleeping in that hard collar. I know most people do the recliner thing, but I can never sleep in one so I managed to get myself semi-comfortable in the bed. Once the 'surgical' pain as I call went away, the soreness in the shoulders and neck came along and is still here. I am still on a muscle relaxer and a pain pill only at night. If I am totally 1000% honest, I miss driving the most! I am so tired of being stuck in this house having to wait for someone to come and take me somewhere! :) I have my first follow up on 4/1 which will also be my first PT appointment as well. My surgeon allows for me to not wear the collar if I'm sitting watching tv, but if I'm up and moving it needs to be on. I have been known to fall asleep on my back in the bed with no collar on. All of my left arm pain is gone!!! I am so happy about that one after a YEAR of pain and trying to figure out what was going on. I know others have suffered longer and I wish you all relief soon! Numbness is still present in 3 of my left hand fingertips and that might or might not resolve. I wish you luck and definitely try to quit smoking it will help the healing process! Let us know how things go!
    Angela
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  • ECHEECH Posts: 19
    edited 03/25/2014 - 4:53 AM
    Hi again Stasia:
    I am surprised that the surgeon will operate if you don't stop smoking. You really must because smoking will jeopardize your healing. I also live in CA and had my neck surgery at xxxxxxx. Are you going to edit in Los Angeles? EDIT has a very good reputation. Like Angela, I had a hard time getting comfortable in the collar, but I slept in the recliner. I also had to wear it in warm weather, which really sucked. I also had a lot of shoulder pain until the collar finally was gone. PT will most likely help with stress from the collar if you go to PT. When I saw the surgeon initially it was because of the pain in my neck. He discovered that I had cervical spondylotic myelopathy and hyperreflexia which is very serious. I also have osteoporosis and arthritis. I still suffer pain and am searching for another method that might help. Like you, I originally signed up on this forum any years ago and came back. I hope all goes well for you.


    Post edited to remove name of specific hospitals. by Liz The Spine-Health Moderator Team
    2007 TLIF L2-L3 Fusion; 2012 C4 Corpectomy, C3-5 Fusion.
  • stasiamariesstasiamarie Posts: 62
    edited 03/24/2014 - 1:36 AM
    I am on day 3 quittting smoking and I am going back t work today after off for 7 days. I have enough pain meds and feel I can do my job withought irritating my neck or anything I sit at a desk all day so no lifting. I have a very Bad MRI mosltly all on my left side but last night I expereinced tingling on my front top legs when I rubbed them it was like they were asleep on their own it was scary but I have no clue if this is related to my neck and my issues on my left side only. I will tell my Neuro about it but I dont want to bombard him with new symptoms as they may not even be related I will just let him fix what he said he can fix first then go from there. I have all of the same symptoms you mentioned and more ! I gottaq get ready for work now hope you have a pain free day thank you for your advice ECH oh and BTW I have a recliner already so whew I just may have to make that my bed for a while after surgery. LOL
    ACDF One level C- 4 April 2014
    DDD
    Cervical Spondylosis \ Myelopathy
    Chronic pain sufferer since 2005
  • I am on day 3 quittting smoking and I am going back t work today after off for 7 days. I have enough pain meds and feel I can do my job withought irritating my neck or anything I sit at a desk all day so no lifting. I have a very Bad MRI mosltly all on my left side but last night I expereinced tingling on my front top legs when I rubbed them it was like they were asleep on their own it was scary but I have no clue if this is related to my neck and my issues on my left side only. I will tell my Neuro about it but I dont want to bombard him with new symptoms as they may not even be related I will just let him fix what he said he can fix first then go from there. I have all of the same symptoms you mentioned and more ! I gottaq get ready for work now hope you have a pain free day thank you for your advice ECH oh and BTW I have a recliner already so whew I just may have to make that my bed for a while after surgery. LOL
    ACDF One level C- 4 April 2014
    DDD
    Cervical Spondylosis \ Myelopathy
    Chronic pain sufferer since 2005
  • LuvrrroforangeLLuvrrroforange Posts: 4
    edited 03/24/2014 - 7:51 AM
    I had ACDF on C4&C5 in February 2013. My surgery went great. I had damaged the spinal cord with the ruptured disc. I also had the arm pain and weakness. Recovery went great. However, a year later I still have pain. The arm pain and weird sensations are gone because my spinal cord is now healthy but the neck pain is still there. I have a plate and screws. My dad had the cadaver bone, he experiences more pain than I do. I don't want to be Debbie Downer but no one warned me that this could be a life long struggle. Get physical therapy after recovery. I did not and am doing it now. I think it could have helped me a long time ago. I hope you have a good luck and recover quickly! :)
    Thanks
  • Thank you Luvrrroforange for your story Im sorry to hear you stilll have pain a year later ! I know everybody is different and every surgeon is different and people heal differently but if my neck pain is fixed than my surgeon said it was sucess if I experience other symptoms then he said it could be another issue which will be addressed at that time. PT will be done for me but on my terms depending how I feel I know my body and how much it can take and how much to push it I had a chiro one time cracked my neck and 5 mintes later I had instant migraine for a week!!!! so never again will I have ANY chiro touch my neck EVER !!! LOL I wish you pain free days :)
    ACDF One level C- 4 April 2014
    DDD
    Cervical Spondylosis \ Myelopathy
    Chronic pain sufferer since 2005
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