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Third cervical procedure coming up

hi all,   I'm dave 62yrs old coming upon my third acdf in the next few weeks, no date yet I have to get my ducks in a row before I go under.
anyway my first acdf at C5-6 was back in early 2002 I will always remember my recovery,  as you all know it is hell.  All went extremely well for me though and I was back to work and pain free in a few months.  I enjoyed 4 years of pain free unrestricted activity until 2006 I started having numbness and tingling and loss of strength in my other arm.  Diagnosed the same and told of the herniated disc after my first procedure, I was angry the doctor didn't do anything about it the first time, I resisted another acdf and I was able to get in with a clinical trial and in 2006 I had acdp C4-5 artificial disc implant.  Recovery seemed to me to be faster and this time I was back to work in less than one month.  I have had the past ten years with no problems whatsoever until recent numbness pain and loss of strength and an MRI have pointed to herniated disc at C6-7.  The disc has picked my spinal nerve severely indicating another acdf is recommended to minimize loss of function in my left arm.  So despite not wanting it, I would prefer another implant my insurance will not cover the procedure, only fusion, so I'm getting another fusion.  Certainly not looking forward to it but I can say that I have enjoyed pain free existence following each procedure.  I don't know what caused the condition could have been injuries when I was young, could be just getting old, I cannot do anything about that so I'm opting for the chance to be pain free again and hopefully this will be the last such procedure I ever have to do.
while I appreciate the range of motion I was able to retain from the artificial disc, it did not prevent adjacent disc failure and here we go again.
I look forward to reading all the rest of your posts and I hope for all of your speedy recovery.  I will post more as I go through this again and look forward to any comments.



  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    hello davidfhall!
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • HI,

      Sorry to hear your headed back for round 3 ! I too am awaiting my 3 surgery this month ! My story is similar to your as I had C5/6 ACDF in 2009 without hardware, recovery was long but life resumed as normal for 5 years. Then woke up with pain same way as before boom C6/7 ACDF 2015,  but this time around no relief at all ! I suffer from DDD and adjacent disc segment disease. Some docs say it was a failed union at C6/7 with other issues in my neck. I have instability in two places of the cervical spine with osteophyte complex. I have been in pan for approx. 2 years now. I have exhausted all conservative treatments and have been using pain meds to help alleviate some of the pain. The meds do not keep me pain free just takes the edge off. Now I am scheduled for a Posterior Cervical Laminectomy & Fusion on May 19. My question to you is what kind of surgery have they suggested for you ? Have you exhausted all conservative tx. What is your pain level ?

    Good Luck !

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  • keg0406kkeg0406 Houston, TXPosts: 4
    Hi David,

    I'm sorry to hear you're going in for round 3. I'm staring round 2 in the face and am confused about what to do.

    I see you had an artificial disc implant at C4-C5, after you already had an ACDF at C5-C6. I also had an ACDF at C5-C6 in March 2014, and now they are talking about doing an ADR at C6-C7. I'm 38 and both doctors I saw believe I'll need a 3rd surgery eventually, to fuse C3-C4 and C4-C5. An artificial disc at C6-C7 would hopefully allow for some mobility in the future, but it doesn't seem like many people have artificial discs put in after a fusion. Most seem to extend the fusion.

    From a patient's perspective, would you recommend it? It sounds like you would, but I'm hoping for more information.


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