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Hi everyone,

I went to the neurologist yesterday and given the results of the recent discogram he said that I will need an 2 level cervical ACDF:(:(:( I think he said C 4-5 5-6. Everything was such a shock.
I was hoping I would be offered the ADR but once I saw the discogram results I knew in my heart that was off the table as an option. There was just to many things at to many levels.

The neuro wants me to see a Pain Psychologist before setting a date for surgery. He wants to make sure that I have no unrealistic expectations of surgery.
He said given that I had a very long work comp injury resulting in 4 surgeries and serious pain and that in my past I abused street drug he would like me to see the P. Psyc. He did back that up telling me he in no way thought that I was haveing Psychological issues or any issues with my 12 step recovery. He said its just to make sure and he passed no judgements.

I do not know what to expect from this and I am wondering if anyone has ever seen one.

I am somewhat scared of this surgery. I know that it has a 70% success rate, but that some folks have worse outcomes. Right now deep inmy gut I feel that I knew it has always been in the cards. Even early on the neuro told me before the Jan surgery Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy that I may need an ACDF or an ADR.

Anyway, I would love to hear people's experiences and also if they have seen a P. Psyc.

Thanks for the support.

Chrissy
Chrissy -

I understand 100% your concern and fear, I think being scared is a completely normal reaction.

I think it's a good idea to talk to a pain Psychologist ahead of time and actually wish I would have. I had complete unrealistic expectations of my surgical results. I had expected the results to be the same as my lumbar procedure (which I really did pretty well after, all things considered). I completely trust my surgeon, it was body that didn't respond like I thought it would. So, I do agree the with what your surgeon is recommending. However, I am hoping you do get the results that you so deserve - pain relief. I know you've endured so much

Keep us posted on what you find out. I will keep you in my thoughts.


~ Fiona :wave:
Chrissy, I actually had to see a Pain Pyschologist before my surgery because of my insurance company requiring it. I had C4/C5, C5/C6 and C6/C7 fused. That was quite a surgery and recovery ahead of me.

The guy I saw was wonderful. He even recommended some books for learning to cope with pain and things that might help. He also told me to expect to have some level of depression and it was completely normal. While part of me hoped surgery would be a "cure all", I knew it wasn't. I knew there were risks and potential long term things to deal with.

It wasn't a bad thing at all, more of calm me down and bring me back down to earth type appointment. My surgical expecations going in after seeing him was that at minimal, the pain level would be reduced and at maximum, I would feel like a new person. Unfortunately for me, I didn't reach my maximum expectation lol

Good Luck!!!
Hey there,

Well thanks for all the comments. I appreciate them.

I have discussed with my mom about the appointment and I am now looking forward to it. I am in the process of getting it scheduled.


My Mom and I also discussed that maybe I want to see someone on a regular basis that has experience with people in chronic pain etc.

I really think it may help.

So if anyone else has anymore input please share!!

Chrissy
If it's any consolation I found the ACDF a bit easier to deal wtih thean the posterior cervical foraminotomy. While I had to wear an Aspen brace for 6 weeks after the ACDF I didn't experience the muscle spasms and now what I call "cervical muscle fatigue" (after being up for 3-4 hours I have to lay down to relieve this thing I now call "muscle fatigue"). I had more pain waking up from the Post Cerv Foram. than I did from the ACDF (again, since they don't go through muscle it seemed far less traumatic to me).

Do you have a surgery date? Maybe I missed that post.

Karin
Hi Karin,

How are you??? I was just coming back into this forum to see how you were doing! I am still hanging out in the Pain Management forum.

No surgery date yet....

Here is an update for you.

I will see the Pain Psychologist on this Wed. I am finally getting closer to a surgery date. When I see the Pain Psyc. I will ask him how long it will take him to get his reportto my neors office. Depending on what he says, at that time I will re-schedule the Neuro appt. I have at the end of July for soon. The Neuro said it would be alright to see him sooner if I got done with the Pain Psych appt.

I did find out some things that were said in the initial Neuro appt. when he told me I need the ACDF and I was shocked and forgot some things.

He will be Fusing C 4-5 and C 5-6. He will be using Titanium plates and screws. I thought he said carbon fiber someting but the surgery coordinator said titanium plate ect. was in his dictation. She also said I would wear a Miami J collar for 4-6 weeks or more depending on how I am doing.

So almost there. Jumping through the hoops.

I did manage to go oon a small fishing trip with my Mom and we are now planning another one that is closer to home. It really upped my pain, but I want to get some fun things done before surgery.

Anyway I hope to hear how you are doing soon? The PCF really zapped my energy and it took about a month or more before I really got it back. I had to do things in small incriments. Hang in....

Chrissy
Chrissy:

I just made it to week 3. Actually I felt better the 2 weeks prior to this week - now I have HUGE muscle spasms. They've given me valium and flexeril - but I prefer the valium. Here's a big problem I don't know how to solve......I am a side sleeper. But I've found that after this surgery, while recovering, I feel much better if I sleep on my back. So I have a big pillow for under my knees and a cervical pillow for my head (has a neck support and cushions in all the right places). My husband said when he came in the room this morning (he's sleeping in the guest room while I recover) I was on my side with the leg pillow shoved off the bed. I have got to find a way to start on my back and stay on my back.....any suggestions? The first 2 weeks I used this large bed wedge we have and I think I'll have to try that again - but sleepign at an angle starts to bother my lower back.

It's at the point now where I woke up at 7 - at some crackers so I could take the percocet - took one and then laid back and watched TV until 9. I have to do this each morning just to be able to get up at 9. Right now it's 10:30 and I'm a bit sore but much better off than I was at 7 am.

My doctor says I shoudl be able to go back to work on 06/30. Thus far I told him I will try but if the week before I am supposed to return I'm still having the same problem I'm going to have to ask to see him.

By the way, the collar you'll have to wear is bothersome - but you'll get used to it. I'm one of those people who doesn't even like to wear turtlenecks since they are on the neck, but I've found neck braces don't get as close. They are bothersome at times, but all in all I am VERY glad I had one. Anything to help assure fusion.

Also, I had a electrostim unit I wore around my neck (looked like a 6 inch band than hung around my neck and the brace) that I wore 4 hours a day to aid in healing for 6 weeks. It may be something you want to talk to your doctor about.

Karin





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