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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


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After you have ACDF c5-6, are you "supposed" to be like new? For example, can you go on roller coasters and do everyday things once you have recovered, or are you always going to have restrictions even after the surgery?

Thanks.
I have alot of burning sensations after acdf c5-6. I am taking Nuerontin and Skelaxin with not much relief. Does anyone else have this?
boxer dog luv,

Sorry to hear about your friend's negative hospital experience. My experiences have been basically positive but there is no doubt that even with caring nursing care, they are spread way too thin over too many patients, especially during the night shift.

After a couple of negative experiences with overnight stays I made arrangements to have my husband stay with me overnight after my ACDF surgery. I had to set this up beforehand. I had to pay a small extra fee for a private room but I feel it was the best thing I could have done. I didn't even get back to my room until visiting hours were over. Then, I suffered severe nausea and vomiting all night long. If it weren't for my husband's quick hands with the basin I would have been a mess, and a real burden on the nursing staff. Also, I didn't have a catheter so I had to get up and walk to the bathroom every half hour due to the IV. I never could have made it on my own and a previous hospital experience taught me that I had to call the nurse at least a half hour before needing help to the bathroom. Anyway, it was extremely comforting to have my husband acting as private duty nurse and have promised to do the same for him should he ever need it. He was an amazing help. If you can have someone stay with you that first night I highly recommend it.

CTMom
I have had an acdf c5-6 and have alot of burning sensations in my shoulders across my back. I am on meds for it, and it has been 2 months, but still no improvement. Anyone else had this burning sensation after acdf?
Yes, I had some burning sensation. It must be the damaged nerves. I am 4 wks post op ACDF C5-C6. I saw my doctor yesterday and he mentioned it can take the nerves up to 6 months to heal after surgery. Hope you feel better!!
Returned to original NS 6/10 as planned; his PA always does all the preliminaries--NS wings in always briefly to draw conclusions. I stressed to PA that I was having definite worsening symptoms over the month of conservative therapy. (It is even hard to type with the left hand now.) He did the neuro tests and said there was a demonstrable decrease in strength on the left over the last month indicating he believes what I have been saying. NS appeared and said ACDF was planned; my symptoms indicated C5-6 but he would take care of C6-7 while there and open the foramen where the nerve roots pass thru the vertebrae. For the first time, he flipped open the chart and was pointing to his own extensive interpretation of the new MRIs which I first took to his office a month ago. His review and signed office note was far more extensive than the one page radiologist's report. I guess when I felt he was "dismissive" last month it could have meant that he knew he was planning to review the films himself, needed time to do so, and it was not the appropriate time to talk about the "what-ifs." He told me not to take another Advil or any NSAID before surgery on 6/30; only Darvocet for pain. My ins co. has dictated that this be a 23-hour short stay admission. He plans to have me in a hard collar, does not plan plating at this point but may if he does more extensive work than he thinks now. Will be out of work for 8 weeks. He was insistant that I use the closest hospital--the one I think has "quality" issues where I also worked for 10 years :) I have tried to quantify my fears--I think the surgeon/OR will be fine, PACU okay, it is only the nursing unit where "things happen" in the dark of night. My husband promises not to leave me and my "friend" of the previous post with the demeanor of a pit bull is "salivating" at body guarding. I do go for my second opinion tomorrow. My husband has talked to folks too and is very concerned about the plan NOT to use a plate/screws for fixation. I have been firm to my husband that once I get home I will not leave or be in a car until the doctor's appt. (I am seriously concerned about hubby's driving; he swerves, runs off the road, slams on brakes, hits every pot hole and animal by the roadside. I may have suffered whiplash on a daily basis and not know it?!? A real Mr. Magoo so the choice of hospitals might be a mixed blessing--only 30 miles away.)

I am so encouraged that I see people able to post 48 hours after surgery. Take care all. I don't know what I would have done without this board so I am trying to give back info from my humble viewpoint.
I am also concerned about the idea of not using a titanium plate. Out here in Los Angeles, I interviewed 3 surgeons and they ALL use plates nowadays and I believe we have some of the finest doctors and facilities here. I heard one time that they used to only use plates for multi level ACDF surgery because it was too expensive a procedure to use it for a one level ACDF!! Can you believe it?? That would force people into WEEKS of using a collar when they wouldn't have needed it with a plate. Please don't be a victim of this!!!! Ask him why and make sure it's not for economic reasons ... or get a second, third or fourth opinion!!! How far is a hospital you like?? Maybe your friend can drive!! Good luck. Ricki.
Here's another perspective on plates/screws. Not to give anyone here even more to think about, but my sister-in-law's close friend had ACDF (not sure of the level) using titanium plate and screws a little over a year ago (same hospital I had mine at but different NS). She first developed an infection in the area and was back in the hospital for a round of IV antibiotics for that. Then the plate started to irritate the back of her esophagus to the point where it was actually wearing it away and another serious infection developed that put her in intensive care for several days with antibiotics pumped into the site through a tube. Subsequently she had 2 more surgeries to remove the plate and re-do the original ACDF. So don't think plating is necessarily "foolproof" compared to other techniques.

Second, (for comparison) I went through ACDF C-6/7 in April using Rabea implant, no plates, no screws. I was not required to wear any collar. I went back to work at 10 days and drove at 2 weeks. My NS said that this is one of the most stable implants he's seen and has had patients who've taken serious falls shortly after surgery who've returned to be checked because they fear they've moved things around. Has never seen a misalignment in over 200 procedures. By the way, he's also qualified as a pediatric NS, is on the teaching staff at the Univ. of MN med school, and has literally a world-class reputation. I suppose it all depends on the individual situation and how many levels/severity in each case. But you can't make an automatic assumption that plating = better stability or better results.

You can go to 10 NS's and probably get 10 answers on this surgery. I still think that you hear more horror stories on this site (and I just added one above) than positive results, which has to make it tough and confusing for folks out there considering this procedure. Ultimately, you just have to make up your mind what's best in your case and do it.

Also, stuff like Advil (anything w/ibuprofen) hampers bone development after surgery and is not allowed until you're fully recovered.

My 2 cents.
Hi X-Man and Ricki, Thanks so very much for the info. My director's wife had ACDF w/plate in Nov. and says she can "feel the plate." Not a complaint, just statement of fact. That does not sound pleasant.

X-man makes a very valuable point--the more intervention, the more risk for complication. I have to keep doing mental health checks on myself--the constant aching, pain drags one down in mindset. After the 2nd consult where everything felt wrong about the ortho and his practice, it reaffirmed that my NS is being very methodical and careful. I probably shouldn't have let my PMD plant the seed about seeing his friend-the ortho--but after 6/30 it will be too late for a second opinion. You don't want to be too eager, but then you don't want to keep going around in circles.

I don't think they are doing the Rabea implants here (suburb of Norfolk, VA). In taking care of loose ends here in the community, I am amazed at how many people around me have had same surgery--having done quite well. Our principal had a two-level ACDF (for same symptoms as mine) in 2000, talked to my husband earlier in the week, so I tracked him down 'cause I wanted to watch him move his head. He says he has done great and would have done it sooner than he did as he has more mobility. His was done for DJD and is also diabetic so that was most encouraging. He says his plate/screws set off airport metal detectors so he carries a credit card sized x-ray (which I presume is imprinted with his name to cross check). Interestingly, like me, his MRIs didn't look terrible, only bulging discs, but he said his surgeon was amazed at how bad it was once inside--chards of bone sticking out.

Thanks for the Advil advisory postop. You hope the MD's don't forget to tell you all that stuff but one never knows.





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