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ACDF c4/5, c5/6, and c6/7

Hello all! New here image" alt="image" alt=":smile:" alt=":smile:" height="20" />" height="20" />" height="20" /> 

Just scheduled my surgery for 4/5/17. Needless to say, while I'm glad I know what the cause of my awful left arm pain is, I'm nervous. 

I was rear eneded in November. And I haven't been the same since. I'm praying this will stop this life altering pain in my dominant arm.

Anyone who's had this surgery, what have been your experiences? Any advice? Also, on the day of surgery, what did you do to remain calm/deal with the fact things would be very different when you woke up?

still in shock from the surgeons reading of my MRI,


  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 1,033
    Hi Kristen,
    I had my first 360 cervical fusion of the same levels you are back in 2006 and was very successful. My symptoms are the result of a severe aggressive arthritis. I was somewhat nervous before that surgery and I was having the same symptoms you are having and it was getting worse, I needed it resolved. 
    In 2014 I had a posterior fusion from C2 down to T3 due to adjacent joint degeneration and more arthritis complications. I was much more calmer somewhat knowing what to expect of the outcome. My pain was managed well and the results are awesome.
    My lumbar surgery was a little more difficult as we have more body weight above to support, unlike the cervical spine where you only have the weight of the skull. 
    Follow your doctor's protocol and I am confident you will do well. Let us know how your new adventure goes and keep us posted here.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,270
    hello kmo0202 !

    while you are waiting for responses from members with shared experiences, search may be useful to you, upper right on page.
    you may be led to current or older discussions re your concerns.
    the main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to further reach on. very informative!

    you may be interested in reading...post op must haves....and ...recovery the most important phase....using search.

    we also have..surgery buddies.....for each month. that may be of interest to you as you share and encourage one another.

    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • I had that exact surgery.  I felt great but then for some reason another disc herniated in my neck above from c3-4.  I had a spacer put in which seems to be ok.  Pain from muscles in neck is still bad but at least neuro symptoms in legs, arms, and bladder gone!  yay.  If you have any Qs, please feel free to PM me anytime.  Also dont worry about the surgery. I fell asleep and woke up all fixed, easy as pie!
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510
    edited 02/15/2017 - 12:42 PM

    mark is right, surgery is easy - other people do all of the work!

    it is normal to be nervous though.  is there anything specific that you are nervous about?  i was fairly calm, but i was certain that i needed the surgery - and, well, i am not smart enough to be nervous...

    you might want to read bruce - my story, and the success stories! that i have been tracking.


    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.

  • I had this exact surgery in May 2005.  It has been a LONG time but I remember the initial pain being immediately eliminated after I had the surgery.  Of course, I had pain from the incision and surgery itself but I was pretty resilient.  I was young - aged 30 at the time.  I got back to all of my activities very quickly and have had a great 12 years until now.  Now C-3 is bulging and impinging on a spinal nerve so I will most likely have another fusion.  Unfortunately, some people that get these fusions have issues with the discs above and below the fusion and I am one of those people.  The conservative treatment is not working so the surgery is inevitable.  Point being, I am glad I did it because I have had 12 great years without the pain I had back then.
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  • In 2013 I saw my orthopedic surgeon to told me I had a herniated disk c6-7 and I needed acdf immediately. He put in an apparatus but I was still in a great deal of pain. I didn't fuse so he went in posterially to fuse with cadaver. Was fine until I got rear ended in 12/29/15. The pain start under right arm this time ( as opposed to left) wraps around my arm and down to the tip of my middle finger. 
    Surgery is 3/22 to go in the front and fuse c2-4 using 2 plates and removing apparatus flipping me over to fuse c2-7. 
    im scared out of my mind but I have great faith in the doctors and the hospital. Excellent support system.  Thank God!  
    I asked the dr  what would happen if I I decided not to do the surgery. He said I would be paralyzed within a short period of time. My stenosis is getting  worse by the day. 
    I wish you well on your surgery and I will be praying for you. Cari reck
  • Hi all!
    I am not the one living with neck and shoulder pain, but my husband is. His first fusion-C6-7- was about 5 years ago. He was involved in a work accident, an explosion of a fuel tank on his gasoline tanker truck, suffered burns and the subsequent C4-5 fusion about 2 years after the initial injuries. He is about 1 year post op with worsening spasms and neck and shoulder pain. Any insight would be helpful as we are asking workman's comp for a follow up. 
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