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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Blueyedcharlie... this type of surgery is long-established and very common. It's called ACDF (anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion). They remove the offending disks and put pieces of "donor" bone in their place, then hold it all together with titanium clamps. Eventually, your spine will be "fused", but you should lose very little range of motion, because the disks in question are not that important for r-o-m.

BTW, you did not specify exactly what disk(s) are involved. Vertebrae are known by numbers such as C4, C5, and C6. Disks are known by the two vertebrae they separate, e.g. the disk in between the C5 and C6 vertebrae is called the C5-6. So it's not clear from your post whether you are having one or two disks removed.

Either way, it's a pretty routine surgery. You will have to wear a collar after surgery, but I'm sure the surgeon has explained that to you. I wouldn't worry about being "fragile", as you will be bolted together pretty securely. The level and duration of post-op pain varies from person to person and surgeon to surgeon. If I correctly recall my ACDF 15 years ago, it was not as bad as a description of the surgery would leave one to believe.

As for your symptoms, these surgeries are primarily designed to keep things from getting worse. The extent to which they will improve existing symptoms cannot be known in advance. I would expect some symptoms to get better immediately, some to get better with time, and a few to never go away.

Unfortunately for you, you ran into some real IDIOT doctors, the type who dismiss every symptom and do anything they can to avoid any expensive procedures, such as MRI's and surgeries. Fortunately for you, you persisted, and you'll be getting the help you need.

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