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C6-T1 ACDF

In late may, I started to get some pain on the upper right side of my back. Eventually, starting June, the pain had started to travel to my shoulders, biceps, arms. The pain was about 7/8 at worse. I also had weakness in arms and numbness in middle, ring and pinky fingers. I got an MRI that shows:

C6-7: Right lateral recess disc protrusion seen with slight encroachment on the right anterior hemicord. Mild to moderate foraminal narrowing bilaterally from uncinate hypertrophy and/or disc diseases. Posterior ligamentum flavum hypertrophy seen. No cord impingement.

C:7-T1: Small right lateral recess disc protrusion extending towards the medial foraminal region. This might affect the existing right C8 nerve.

The doctor suggested nerve block. I got one block done. it improved pain, but it is was more come and go. I feel like I am good for 2 days, but then pain all of a sudden the third day. Sometimes the pain lingers 2/3, but bad days its 7/8. I take three 800mg ibprofens a day.

I went back to the surgeon, and he said surgery. I wanted to try PT. I did PT twice, and the pain was unbearable. It was making it worse.

I went to another surgeon, he suggested double level surgery, C6-T1. I am scheduled for surgery November 30th.

I am scared. I don't know if I am rushing into this. Should I try other things? Another block? Chiropractor? Another PT place? I am not sure if surgery is feasible at this stage. Also, I have read that C7-T1 is more difficult.

Has anyone had it done? How was the recovery? My daughter in law had c5-c7, and she's against it and discouraging me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Comments

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello roshan!
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Gentle reminder....there are no medical professionals on discussion forums.
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • roshanrroshan Birmingham, ALPosts: 3
    Thank you! Not looking for medical advice but just want to know things people have tried prior to surgery. What has worked and what has not.

    Also looking for surgery recovery et al. Just a bit scared as surgery is on Wednesday.
  • I would get an EMG, a CT and another opinion before surgery. I had a MRI, an EMG, a CT and five surgical opinions. The opinions differed as to whether I should have a one level, a two-level or a three-level, but 5 out of 5 agreed I needed a one level. I opted for a one-level, which was recommended by 3 of the 5.

    I'm surprised your MRI doesn't have "grades." My disc herniations and my neuroforaminal stenosis were graded mild, moderate or severe at every level, with actual measurements of the herniations.

    You might also want to get selective nerve root blocks before surgery so they can try to determine if the real problem is C6-C7 or C7-T1. Generally, you want to fuse as few levels as possible unless two levels absolutely need to be fused. You said you had a block, but you weren't specific whether it was a selective nerve root block, done one level at a time.

    Finally, since your imaging says nothing about central cord herniations, you should be asking questions about whether a foraminotomy might be better suited for your issue than an ACDF.

    Having an ACDF was the best decision I ever made, but my imaging told a vastly different story than what you report yours show. I was also worked up much more thoroughly than it sounds like you have been.

    I wouldn't let a chiropractor anywhere near my neck and I found pre-surgery PT to be a waste of time and money.
    C6-C7 ACDF - January 20, 2016
    Shoulder surgery - August 2, 2016
    Interlaminar laminotomy, mesial facetectomy and foraminotomy bilateral at C5-C6 and unilateral left at C6-C7 and bilateral C6-C7 facet fusion - December 7, 2016

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