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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

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I am to have ACDF with hardware. I am trying to hold off until after June 4th. I have been to two NS and both agree that I need surgery. They both say I can't do PT because the problem will get worse. C5 C6 disc ruptured in a car wreck Nov 7, 2003. I have pain in both shoulders, between shoulder blades, pain down both arms...have pain down right arm to index finger and thumb...some numbness in thumb. I have lost bicep reflex. Dr doesn't think It is pressing on spinal cord, but that I have a pinched nerve but it irritates the spinal cord...if that makes sense.

I am waiting because Husband was also in car wreck and can't work and I am still able to. I have bad days and good days... I work at the school and If I hold off till school is out I will get paid through the summer also...

I guess I just need some encouragement...I am really scared to have the surgery... Worried about after surgery also because Im the Mom and I take care of everyone....

What is recovery like??

Also, I will have to wear a hard collar for 6 weeks, with an additional one to take showers in. How do you sleep with that hard collar on. Can you lay down in the bed? Is a recliner better to get comfortable in? I am just so worried about everything.
Well you have every right to be scared but your fear has made you seek help and that is a good thing.

I am a survivor of the same surgery you are awaiting. Mine was acdf own bone for c5-6 ; it involved a major spinal chord compression and up here in Canada took me four years to get to two opinions and the right doctor and a whole lot of pre operation tries at injections, meds etc.

I have done amazingly well now and although I have days of muscle spasms and my throat feels swollen it does not compare to the incredible pain that guided my every day.

The first three weeks are the most difficult; then each month you get better. I did well and just got home from a trip with my family to Antigua that seemed like a dream when I compared it to my state prior to my Nov 10 04 operation.

I am still awaiting a surgery for my lower back; a fall from a beach chair caused my head to snap and my back to bang pretty hard on concrete floor of a store and I will never forget the incredible surge of pins and needles and cold and hot that started my journey through till now.

You will be okay my dear.. many on this forum have had good and bad experiences but most of us have had the surgery as there were no other options to ascertain a semblance of a life that we deserved. You are stronger than you think.. if you can hold out for financial reasons till June than do that and take your meds and baby yourself and tell yourself that there is a light at the end of the tunnel... I promise you.. I have looked many times for it and it always manages to shine just brightly enough to guide to get through and be the mother I need to be again and the wife I so miss being. You will get through... just keep asking questions, get all the support from us you can .. and we will in turn listen closely and help you... we are our own heros and soon you will be looking in the mirror at a new you... and you will be a form of hero to yourself for getting through this.

Take care.. nearly new again.. Nero
Hi jbabbitt,
I just had surgery on 3/9/04, C5-6 herniated disc with bone spurs. I got selected for the artificial disc, my Dr. is involved in the study. I am doing very well, a little stiff and sore and I still have sore throat, but it is getting better every day. I just started a new job today, 18 days after surgery. I would have liked to have a couple more weeks to recover, but I didn't want them to get tired of waiting for me. Good jobs are hard to find.

Hopefully you can hold out until June for your surgery. Have you checked in your area to see if any Dr's are in the artificial disc study, since you have on one level problem?

Let us know how you are doing and good luck to you...
I just had the same surgery on 3/11/04. I too was scared about having the surgery. I had back surgery 10 years ago and remembered that it was painful for me and I didn't want to go through that again. My symptoms started last summer and I thought that I would wait to see if it would resolve on it's own.

However, of course, that didn't happen. I reluctently decided on the surgery and scheduled it at my convenience. I AM SO GLAD THAT I DID IT!

Surgery of any kind is very scary but just remember that the ACDF is one of the most common types of procedures done today. The chance of a problem during the surgery is very, very low and compared to the back surgery, the recovery is much easier because they don't cut any of your muscles. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate the back surgery as an 8 and the neck as a 3. Remember though, all of us are different and recovery rates vary.

I am in week three of recovery and other than getting a little fatiqued in the evening, I feel great. The pain, tingling and numbness in my finger, thumb, arm and shoulder is completly gone (as soon as I woke up from surgery) and I feel like I have my quality of life back.

June is not that far off and if you can bear it, hang in till then! It will probably make you feel better during your recovery if you know that everything is taken care of. Stock up on frozen dinners!!!! My hubby and teenager have the microwave down pat.

Good luck and God Bless! :angel:

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