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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


I am so happy to have found this board. My Dr. had led me to believe this surgery was no big deal and after two weeks I'd be back to normal. So glad to hear reality from those who have gone through it so I will know more realistically what to expect.

My symptoms started about a month ago - pain in left arm to about elbow and across shoulders and neck. No numbness or tingling, but definitely some arm and hand weakness. I have a herniated disc and bone spur at C5-C6. My symptoms go away almost completely when lying down but are terrible when sitting up or standing. So, for the past month I haven't been able to drive, work, take care of my kids, etc... Chiro didn't help except for muscle spasms and it was impossible to ride 20 minutes in a car each way to PT three times a week (first time I tried I vomited from pain by the time I got there), so I have come to the surgical option pretty quickly. Mom had a bone spur and same level and Dad had herniated disc at same level so I guess I inherited the best from both of them. Their surgeries were years ago and both posterior approaches, so they weren't much help in letting me know what to expect (good news is they both had no long-term complications from their procedures and have needed no more cervical surgeries).

I know this is the best thing for me if I want any quality of life and my kids really need me, but I am still scared to death. I am most nervous about the initial postop period because I had a bad experience last year with an emergency laparatomy for a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst (I'm usually healthy, really!!!). I was awake the whole first night after the surgery and they had a catheter in my bladder which drove me crazy. They said I was having bladder spasms and it wasn't just uncomfortable - it really hurt! I never felt any incisional pain at all - just the bladder pain, and they couldn't take it out until Dr. gave orders the next morning. I am hoping that I can talk to the anesthetist about having it taken out as soon as possible after the surgery. I'm not scheduled till late afternoon so I'm terrified of another night like that. I also didn't like being alone all night - nurses were never around unless called and then very slow to come. I wish DH could stay the night. Just knowing he was there would relieve so much anxiety. I know, I'm a big baby!

Anyway, sorry to ramble. It's the nerves. I see others are scheduled soon as well. I hope to hear from you afterwards to find out how you're doing. I think I've forgotten what it's like to go about your daily activities pain-free, but hope it will happen someday.

Best wishes!


ACDF C5-C6 scheduled for 2/2/04

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