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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

I just found this board and thought I would share my story. Sorry its so long.

On Dec. 16th 2005, I had ACDF of the C4,5,6 with donor bone and a metal plate with 6 screws at Depaul hospital in Norfolk, VA. Dr. Byrd was my OS. I am 44 year old father of 2.

For decades I had upper neck pain, was always looking for some relief whether it be painkillers, icepacks, bought a hot tub, chiropractors, fancy pillows, expensive matresses, you name it I tried it but nothing would make it go away. It made me grumpy and affected my outlook on life, the only thing I wanted to do was lie down to get some relief.

About a year ago, sometimes I would move the wrong way and I would then have trouble turning my head to the left or I would feel a shooting pain down my left arm. Also, my arms and hands would sometimes fall asleep when motionless, this would wake me at night.

I am not one to complain and I am very healthy otherwise but my wife convinced me to go see our doctor about it. I felt like a sniveling complainer telling my doctor my symtoms, after all, I'm a tough guy right. Luckily, my doctor did not see it that way and decided something was wrong and set about a plan to fix it.

First, I was put on steroids and did physical therapy for 2 months. This did not help me much and in fact was somewhat painful at times. After a couple more doctor visits and some other drugs that did not help, my doctor ordered a MRI and referred me to an Orthopedic Surgeon (OS).

I saw 3 of these OS, I did not like the first one and the second didnt seem to have enough experience for my needs. They all said basically the same thing, I had a disc protrusion onto my spinal cord and some other technical nerve compression and all recommended surgery.

The 3rd OS (Dr. Byrd) seemed very experienced with this exact proceedure, he recommeded I have ACDF with donor bone and a metal plate. After stalling for a couple more months and talking to everyone I could find, and suffering, I decided to have it done.

I decided I could take several weeks off over the Xmas holidays to recover, so I scheduled my surgery for Dec. 16th.

After the surgery on the 16th, I felt terrible, I was in alot of pain and was not able to stand up to go to the bathroom, I could not swallow even a drink of water. The next day, the gave me drugs and sent me home. For the next several days I did nothing but lay in bed and sleep. After about 3 days, I was able to slowly walk around to house with my soft collar on. The swallowing was getting better also. I continued to take the Tylox they prescribed for the pain for about a week.

At about a week and a half, I noticed something! The continued nagging ache and pain in my neck was gone! Yes, I was still sore from the surgery, but I could tell the pain I was having was gone, along with the numbness.

I went back to work full time and drove after 3 weeks, still a little sore if I move too fast and not able to do any lifting for about another month according to my doctor. I also was able to stop wearing the collar with the doctors permission.

I'm now at 4 weeks since my surgery and I feel great. Just a little pain left now from the surgery, the scar on my neck is about 3 inches long and healing nicely, doctor says it will be barely noticeable in several months.

I do notice a little less range of motion, especially when I look up, but I think my body will adjust to that over time. Also, my neck gets a little tired at the end of the day but seems to be getting better.

So, I think although I am only 1 month out, I am so far a SUCCESS STORY! I feel much better and I am no longer a slave to tylenol or aspirin.

There is hope thanks to this wonderful operation and not everyone has a bad outcome. I think those, like me, who have success, no longer post here because they have moved on.

I will continue to update on my progress over the next several months for the benefit of others suffering from this same problem.

Good luck to you all! :bouncing:


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