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I am wondering if any who come to this site have had a successful ACDF surgery and are you glad you did it.I will have to get this surgery sometime in the next two to three weeks.The MRI showed I have three different nerves that the canal that they are in has narrowed pinching on the nerves.He said he would go in and open up the canals the nerves are in but after doing this it could make my spine some what unstable and that he would recommend a fusion from C3 to C6 which I think is a three tier I believe.The surgeon said if he did not do the fusion it could cause problems with other nerves if he just opened the nerve canals only.My discs are fine and that is what bothers me is it is nothing wrong with my discs but he said he would remove the discs and replace them with plastic wedges that have bone in them and that it will fuse with my own vertabrae.I am hurting extremely bad in my neck and have been off work for five months due to the pain.I absolutely know it has to be done as I do not want to damage the nerves as a EMG showed my nerves are still ok.My doctor is strictly a spine surgeon and does a lot of spine surgerys and is the number one spine surgeon at the hospital it will be done at.He has been doing spine surgerys for 18 years and for 7 years was the chief spine surgeon at a Naval Base were I live at.He told me he could get me back to work in 2 weeks which I find that hard to believe.He told me he has had fighter pilots flying after three months and could even stand ejection if needed.He does use hardware and screws to also hold it in place.I know people who he has done surgery on and they said that they would not let anyone else touch them.Also checking on the internet he is also rated excellent.Any information would be great especially your outcome.I have read a lot of things people complain about and know what they are but I also know thousands are done each year as my surgeon is doing 6 surgerys next week and 2 of them are ACDF.Thanks so much for any feedback!
SpineAZ thanks so much for your experience with your ACDF surgery.I dont want to have the surgery as no one does but also dont want to have damaged nerves.While my neck hurts a whole lot the top of my chest hurts just as bad.I have some pain in the top of my right arm and a little in the left and the surgeon said all of this is caused by the nerves that are impinged.He said after I am healed I would be able to lift weights,hunt,and fish or anything else I have ever done.I am a Christian and am praying first and foremost for the Lord to heal me with a miracle but if he choses for me to have surgery I do know that he will heal me completely then.I see you have had many surgerys and my prayers are with you for your healing.
[QUOTE=vaslugger;4332773]I am wondering if any who come to this site have had a successful ACDF surgery and are you glad you did it.I will have to get this surgery sometime in the next two to three weeks.The MRI showed I have three different nerves that the canal that they are in has narrowed pinching on the nerves.He said he would go in and open up the canals the nerves are in but after doing this it could make my spine some what unstable and that he would recommend a fusion from C3 to C6 which I think is a three tier I believe.The surgeon said if he did not do the fusion it could cause problems with other nerves if he just opened the nerve canals only.My discs are fine and that is what bothers me is it is nothing wrong with my discs but he said he would remove the discs and replace them with plastic wedges that have bone in them and that it will fuse with my own vertabrae.I am hurting extremely bad in my neck and have been off work for five months due to the pain.I absolutely know it has to be done as I do not want to damage the nerves as a EMG showed my nerves are still ok.My doctor is strictly a spine surgeon and does a lot of spine surgerys and is the number one spine surgeon at the hospital it will be done at.He has been doing spine surgerys for 18 years and for 7 years was the chief spine surgeon at a Naval Base were I live at.He told me he could get me back to work in 2 weeks which I find that hard to believe.He told me he has had fighter pilots flying after three months and could even stand ejection if needed.He does use hardware and screws to also hold it in place.I know people who he has done surgery on and they said that they would not let anyone else touch them.Also checking on the internet he is also rated excellent.Any information would be great especially your outcome.I have read a lot of things people complain about and know what they are but I also know thousands are done each year as my surgeon is doing 6 surgerys next week and 2 of them are ACDF.Thanks so much for any feedback![/QUOTE]
I had my ACDF on May 26, 2010. I had terrible neck pain for over 10 years. Doctors told me I would have to live with the pain. However, I finally found a doctor who ordered the necessary tests. I had neck, shoulder, arm, and hand pain. The surgery relieved the neck pain. Now I am dealing with shoulder, arm and hand pain. Now I have a doctor who thinks it is another underlying issue dealing with the ulnar nerve. I am relieved the neck pain has improved, however, the neuro connected the shoulder, arm and hand weakness to the neck. I still have these symptoms. Doctors don't know everything. Finding the right doctor who is willing to help sort through and order the necessary tests is the hardest part. Once you find that doctor it takes time to figure out what is really causing all the pain. I am still in daily pain and taking the hard drugs to stay afloat. I am hoping I can resolve my problems soon. My physical therapist thinks I have a tear in my shoulder along with bursitis. I have had two cortizone injections in my shoulder and now elbow to tunnel in on the ulnar nerve. The ortho doc definately has ruled out neck correlation to my arm problems. I am glad I had the ACDF because my disc was pushing on my spine, and I was only getting worse as the weeks progressed. I wish you the best in your surgery.
[QUOTE=vaslugger;4332773]I am wondering if any who come to this site have had a successful ACDF surgery and are you glad you did it.I will have to get this surgery sometime in the next two to three weeks.The MRI showed I have three different nerves that the canal that they are in has narrowed pinching on the nerves.He said he would go in and open up the canals the nerves are in but after doing this it could make my spine some what unstable and that he would recommend a fusion from C3 to C6 which I think is a three tier I believe.The surgeon said if he did not do the fusion it could cause problems with other nerves if he just opened the nerve canals only.My discs are fine and that is what bothers me is it is nothing wrong with my discs but he said he would remove the discs and replace them with plastic wedges that have bone in them and that it will fuse with my own vertabrae.I am hurting extremely bad in my neck and have been off work for five months due to the pain.I absolutely know it has to be done as I do not want to damage the nerves as a EMG showed my nerves are still ok.My doctor is strictly a spine surgeon and does a lot of spine surgerys and is the number one spine surgeon at the hospital it will be done at.He has been doing spine surgerys for 18 years and for 7 years was the chief spine surgeon at a Naval Base were I live at.He told me he could get me back to work in 2 weeks which I find that hard to believe.He told me he has had fighter pilots flying after three months and could even stand ejection if needed.He does use hardware and screws to also hold it in place.I know people who he has done surgery on and they said that they would not let anyone else touch them.Also checking on the internet he is also rated excellent.Any information would be great especially your outcome.I have read a lot of things people complain about and know what they are but I also know thousands are done each year as my surgeon is doing 6 surgerys next week and 2 of them are ACDF.Thanks so much for any feedback![/QUOTE]
Well my suggestion is DONT do the surgery, try some alternative therapies, through physical therapy and pain management. I am 7 weeks post C5-C7 ACDF, with two tier titanium plates and screws and the plastic wedges to replace the discs. I had actually herniated one my discs and compressed the other. The pain in my Neck has been really bad since having surgery, and the pain that you will experience between your shoulder blades is really unbearable at times. My initial symptoms of left arm numbness and tingling are completely gone. It just seems I traded one pain for another. I had a appointment with the Neurosurgeon yesterday and a Cervical Xray. Everything looks fine from his stand point, but he says I should expect to have pain for 6 months and still need to be very cauious with turning my head. Turning my head from side to side can actually cause problems with the fixation occuring and cause me to have chronic pain for the rest of my life. Only being 33, this is not an option for me.

Expect to have to wear a rigid Cervical Collar for Two weeks solid and then intermitantly. The plates and screws actually cause the cervical spine to stretch and therefore the muscles from your neck to your shoulder blades will most likely be in constant spasm for up to 6 months post surgery.

Since your discs are not affected, as a Nurse and a fellow ACDF patient...I really would try to delay surgery as long as possible and try a conservative method. Not sure what type of work you do, but expect to be out for 6 to 8 weeks (even if you have a office job), and absolutely no heavy lifting for up to 6 months. The recovery time is very prolonged with this surgery.
Birdman-I went back and reread what I initially wrote and there are some things I did not mention.I do have arm pain in both biceps and forearms which feels like a numbness and also pain especially in my right bicep but not much tingling at all in my hands which I am grateful for.They had an EMG done on me which is the most painful procedure I have ever had done and greatfully it showed I had no permanent nerve damage which they told me is good.The surgeon told me that when I have my surgery this month he will have a EMG also hooked up to me to make sure he does not damage any nerves.He also told me that he has had fighter pilots ready to fly in a jet for combat and could be ejected after three months of recovery.I pray that is the case for me also.When I first posted I was so blown away I was trying to remember everything he told me as he spent one hour and ten minutes going over everything with me.The pain always starts in my neck then to my arms and especially at the top of my chest.Thank the good Lord for moist heat pads.Thanks Again!
I've had a ton of surgeries and the ACDF was one of the easiest. Going through the front of the neck they don't go through muscle. So for many the post surgical pain is minimal. The collar can cause some muscle spasm so I found I needed muscle relaxers after the surgery. I still had some nerve pain though a large portion was relieved by the ACDF. Do everything the doctor says such as the collar, avoiding NSAIDs like aspirin / alevel / iburpofen and you may do well. Walking is key. I didn't and was exhausted on my first day back to work. Everyone in my office asked if my neck hurt and I said yes but really I was physically exhausted from doing nothing for the 6 weeks I was home. The fatigue you do feel is due to the surgery. Even though it's not very painful it's major surgery and your body takes a while to recover. So listen to your body and rest when you need to, etc.
[QUOTE=vaslugger;4332773]I am wondering if any who come to this site have had a successful ACDF surgery and are you glad you did it.I will have to get this surgery sometime in the next two to three weeks.The MRI showed I have three different nerves that the canal that they are in has narrowed pinching on the nerves.He said he would go in and open up the canals the nerves are in but after doing this it could make my spine some what unstable and that he would recommend a fusion from C3 to C6 which I think is a three tier I believe.The surgeon said if he did not do the fusion it could cause problems with other nerves if he just opened the nerve canals only.My discs are fine and that is what bothers me is it is nothing wrong with my discs but he said he would remove the discs and replace them with plastic wedges that have bone in them and that it will fuse with my own vertabrae.I am hurting extremely bad in my neck and have been off work for five months due to the pain.I absolutely know it has to be done as I do not want to damage the nerves as a EMG showed my nerves are still ok.My doctor is strictly a spine surgeon and does a lot of spine surgerys and is the number one spine surgeon at the hospital it will be done at.He has been doing spine surgerys for 18 years and for 7 years was the chief spine surgeon at a Naval Base were I live at.He told me he could get me back to work in 2 weeks which I find that hard to believe.He told me he has had fighter pilots flying after three months and could even stand ejection if needed.He does use hardware and screws to also hold it in place.I know people who he has done surgery on and they said that they would not let anyone else touch them.Also checking on the internet he is also rated excellent.Any information would be great especially your outcome.I have read a lot of things people complain about and know what they are but I also know thousands are done each year as my surgeon is doing 6 surgerys next week and 2 of them are ACDF.Thanks so much for any feedback![/QUOTE]

My surgeon was an orthopedists(sp). I had arm symptoms and neck cracking and popping before the surgery. I have the screws and post in place. I also had the narrowing and c7 was 50%impingement on the spinal cord. I was told that I had been lucky because at any given time I could have recieved a blow that would have made me paralyzed from the neck down. Really I believe that a positive outlook can help. I was not nervous before the surgery only worried that my family would pitch in. My first post op visit is Wednesday so we shall see if I am really doing as well as I think I am. Blessings to you all!:angel:





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