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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Hi Frustratedlor - I heard via Jenny that you could use a positive outcome for an ACDF surgery. I understand the fear and apprehension that you are going thru right now. I spent a good month and about four hours a day researching my MRI results and looking for the best neurosurgeon and/or clinic to treat my problems. Fortunately my pain, numbness, and radiculopathy sent me to my PCP within one and a half months of the onset of my symptoms. My PCP immediately sent me for an MRI. Within two weeks I saw the NS and within two weeks I had the ACDF. I was extremely nervous about who to have do my surgery. Once I met the NS that did my surgery I was completely comfortable and confident in his abilities. Jenny has given you excellent information about that subject.

I had the bone spurs and arthritis that had built so much calcium deposit that the NS couldn't even see the nerve root at C5-C6. I had a very large herniation at C6-C7 that he removed as well. I chose to use cadaver bone for him to use in the fusion. I am now fused at C5 - C7 and have a plate over those three vertebrae on the front of my spine. The surgery itself is absolutely amazing. My scar on the front of my neck is about 5.0 - 7.5 cm long. It has healed very well and with no trouble. I had an added blessing in that I thought that I had rotator cuff injuries in both arms. (I played softball until 45 y.o.) I had to quit due to too much shoulder pain. Anyway, after the ACDF surgery that pain went away as well as all the original numbness, tingling, pain, and radiculopathy. I consider my surgery to be next to, if not, a miracle!!! I have great range of motion and no pain in my neck at all. I am better than eight years before surgery!!!

I would be willing to answer any other questions that you might have. IF I had to choose to do it again, I'd have it in a heartbeat.

I hope that this has given you some encouragement. Ask away if you have anymore questions that I can help you with about the ACDF surgery. Jenny knows more about everything else!!! (Actually, she probably knows more about the ACDF surgery itself than I do. She's just being modest and honest in telling you that she hasn't HAD it. :)

One more thing.........I'm with Jenny on the urgency of your situation. I fully believe from all my readings on the Healthboards that the longer the delay when you have numbness the less likely is a full recovery.

Hi No Change... My Doc gives me a 90% on the surgery. I think I am a candidate for some paralysis without it (either gradual, over time, or more immediate if I suffer another impact) because of the stenosis. I am at 9-10mm now... not much wiggle room there. My disks were lacerated from the accident. I think this is beyond bulging and doesn't bode well for much continued improvement, just more scarring and osteophyte-making. I am not anticipating full recovery of strength, will be happy if that happens, just want to stave off any further losses. My hands were problematic after the first whiplash. But now the numbness, tingling, cramping and spasms are all down my left side, including facial, ear, jaw (no TMJ- had that checked), and buttocks (feels like someone shot me in the ass). Before I started on the Topamax I felt like I had a severed wire dancing around in my head all the time (thus the daily migraines). Topamax was a Godsend for me. I take also Tryptans for when the headaches get around the Topamax. It helps some on neck shoulder and facial pain as well. I can't do narcotics and benzo's only sparingly, so I rely on NSAIDs when I need them, which right now is most days. You are absolutely right about the vitamins. I take 2000 mg a day of Ester-C, more if my inflammation level is high (the Ester-bound C you can take in higher doses without diarrhea), glucosamine chondroitin, a hefty B-complex, a multi, two types of calcium with Mg and zinc, E, D, and a probiotic. I replaced my statin (Zocor) with fish oil and red yeast rice for cholesterol because that drug had my pain level at a 8-9. Amazing how that works. If you are taking a statin (Lipitor, Zocor etc) and also suffering from an injury, look to the drug as a possible source of increased pain... mine was. I got off of it and started the vitamins... big difference! At least I am functional for now. Not sure how long it will last. I would rather have the surgery when my pain and function levels are good, because I think my recovery will probably be better as a result. Try melatonin for your insomnia... it also has some healing and anti-inflamatory effects. First check any contra-indications with anything else you are taking, especially SSRIs or other antidepressants or sleep meds. It works well for me. I have basically 2 possible sleep positions (in my recliner and now with a cervical collar on). One is on my right side with my left arm aligned, or on my back with arms in front. Of late my arms have started pulling together in spasms at night... wierd... what next? If you cet a camping pillow you can mold it to your neck nicely. Works great. Keep in touch! :)

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