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Post 3 level ACDF

I'm new to the forum, but hope to gain some insight about my issues.  In March 2016. I underwent a 3 level ACDF.   Let me say first, though, that prior to my surgery, I had NO neck pain, weakness (none I realized at least),  and no numbness issues.  In fact I was unaware I had a bad neck!  I did have frequent  headaches and a chronic ache under my right shoulder blade.  The Dr did an MRI for that, and, found that I had severe compression on 2 levels and moderate on the other!   The surgeon assured me that I'd recover faster, since I DIDN'T  have other issues to get over.  Basically he said I'd just have the surgery to overcome and should do wonderful!  I had the surgery.....upon waking from surgery, the Dr bragged it only took him 55 minutes to do my surgery and any other surgeon  would have taken 3 to 4 hours!  Since surgery. ....I have right vocal cord  paralysis and have had 2 surgeries on it.  I have awful burning pain at the bottom of my neck, across the top of my shoulders and across the top of my back; almost in a triangle.   Worse on left.  My surgeon wanted to show me all was ok....so he did a complimentary MRI, "just to reassure" me that all was good.  The MRI showed a herniation that was encroaching on my spine at the level above my surgery.  It also showed a wedge shaped compression  fracture at T1, below my surgery.   I'm scheduled for facet joint injections next week.  Already did trigger point injections that didn't  help...but hurt like crazy.  The surgeon said I may be one of the rare people that need to be fused front and back!  What???  

I'd like to know if anyone else has found facet joint injections to help?  And, if anyone here has been fused front and back?  I'm so unhappy because  altho, I can tell myself  I did the surgery to protect my spinal cord.....it is hard to realize a benefit from the surgery when I didn't have  pain before and now I do!!  I never took more than an occasional tylenol before....now I have to take a pain pill and muscle relaxer every nite just to be able to sleep!

Sorry this is so long, but I needed to tell my whole story so others could understand what I'm  dealing with!  Thank you in advance for taking time to read my 'novel'.  


  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,778
    Ourpaints- Welcome to Spine-Health!

    You maybe interested in my cervical adventure .....  click on the link below MY Story.  There are a very many of us who understand what you are dealing with.


  • GrumpGGrump Maryland Posts: 34
    You can say that again MN!

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  • GrumpGGrump Maryland Posts: 34

    As MN stated welcome to the forum.   If you search on his and my name you will see what we have been through and currently going through.

    Please feel free to private message me if I can share anything to help you.

  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510

    Have you gone for a second opinion, or are you sticky with your first surgeon?


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • GrumpGGrump Maryland Posts: 34
    I've been for 4 opinions.  All neurosurgeons.
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