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Old 11-23-2003, 12:07 AM   #1
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grace54cl HB User
Lightbulb Possible side effects of an ACDF

Does anyone have a list perhaps of possible side affects from having an ACDF? The neurosurgeon I went to see wrote down ACF as for the procedure he will perform. Is there a difference? ACF, ACDF? I have a damaged, bulging disk in between C5 and 6 along with bone spurs and his suggestion is surgery to remove the spurs, fusion, using my hip bone, and then a plate. Is there a benefit to using donar with your own bone marrow or just donar bone? Or is it quicker healing, like say couple weeks or months if you use your own bone? If C5 and 6 are fused, doesn't that cause more problems with other vertebra above and you eventually have to go in for more surgery, more fusions? I have been in pain for 3 years, chiro treatment, acupuncture, physical therapy 2 times a week, and none is working to rid the pain. I didn't do therapy this last week and I am in so much pain. Cant keep doing what I'm doing, but to think of surgery, on your neck, and never being able to turn back,,, it's just overwhelming. What to do!
Any response is very appreciated,
Thank you,
Carolyn

Last edited by grace54cl; 11-23-2003 at 12:09 AM.

 
Old 11-23-2003, 03:12 AM   #2
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DonnaKay HB User
Re: Possible side effects of an ACDF

Hi Carolyn!

I do not have a list of side effects from this surgery. I also don't know the difference btw ACF and ACDF. Hope someone else can clear that up for you.

Six years ago I had 5/6 fused. I had no choice but to do so. Two weeks ago, I had 4/5 fused with a plate. 6/7 is also herniated, but not symptomatic ... Doc says that I will have more options open to me if/when 6/7 needs help.

My first surgery I used my own (hip) bone for the fusion. This time I used bank bone. At this point, I am so happy that I used bank bone for this surgery. There has been a lot less pain involved during recovery.

Living in pain, as you are, is a horrible way to live. I hope that you are able to find relief soon. For me, upon wakening from the surgery, the pain associated with the herniations were immediately gone. It's amazing!

Good luck to you!
Donna

 
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Old 11-23-2003, 10:48 AM   #3
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luvwindnhair HB User
Re: Possible side effects of an ACDF

Hi Carolyn,

I can try to help here, since I have had the procedure you are going to possibly have also. ACDF stands for, Anterior Cervical Decompression Fusion. So if your doctor has said it is ACF...that means there will be no decompression. Which is removal of the ruptured disc. I am not sure how a fusion will occur since the disc will still be in place. Which is probably causing you the pain you are having. Have you had a discogram yet? This is a procedure which will tell your surgeon where the pain is coming from. Very important test. You were asking about the possibility of furture surgery. Yes that is a big issue. This is why you should have a discogram to check the other levels. Am I confusing you? I guess the point I am trying to stress here is, ask more questions, you need to know everything before you take the step into surgery. I am very very happy I did it. I have zero pain, from the moment I awoke from surgery. I can move my neck with no limitations. I would do it again tomorrow if I had too.
Cindy
By-the-way I did not have a cervical discogram, mine was cut and dry as to where my problems were.
__________________
L5/S1 herniation 7mm 01/18/00
Microdiscectomy/Laminectomy 10/12/00
Thoratic pain began Dx buldge @ T-8 08/02
Had MRI on Lumbar because pain was returning, also scaned T spine 8/02, Dx recurrent L5/S1 herniation and new herniation @ level L4/5
Cervical pain began 2/03
Had MRI~Dx herination @ level C 6/7
Had anterior decompresion with hardware and use of my own hip bone graft to C 6/7 8/14/03
Accepted in Clinical trials/getting my 2 level Prodisc ADR in Feb!

 
Old 11-23-2003, 12:48 PM   #4
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grace54cl HB User
Re: Possible side effects of an ACDF

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonnaKay
Hi Carolyn!

I do not have a list of side effects from this surgery. I also don't know the difference btw ACF and ACDF. Hope someone else can clear that up for you.

Six years ago I had 5/6 fused. I had no choice but to do so. Two weeks ago, I had 4/5 fused with a plate. 6/7 is also herniated, but not symptomatic ... Doc says that I will have more options open to me if/when 6/7 needs help.

My first surgery I used my own (hip) bone for the fusion. This time I used bank bone. At this point, I am so happy that I used bank bone for this surgery. There has been a lot less pain involved during recovery.

Living in pain, as you are, is a horrible way to live. I hope that you are able to find relief soon. For me, upon wakening from the surgery, the pain associated with the herniations were immediately gone. It's amazing!

Good luck to you!
Donna
Thank you Donna so much for your response. Do you know if 4/5 and 6/7 were herniated before the operation on 5/6? That's just what I'm afraid of. I asked my surgeon about that, and he of course told me, no that wouldn't happen since my bones above and below 5/6 are healthy,,, (that of a 14 year old, ha). I was told by my regular physician my neck is that of an 80year old with all the deteriation all through my neck.. who to believe?!
Also Donna, how long was your recovery using the donar compared to your own? The reason I ask is that I'm on Winter break from Dec 8th through Jan. 5th and I want to be over the worst hurdle before going back. So if it means being in more pain and shorter recovery using my own bone, that's what I will have to do.
Carolyn

 
Old 11-23-2003, 01:53 PM   #5
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grace54cl HB User
Re: Possible side effects of an ACDF

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvwindnhair
Hi Carolyn,

I can try to help here, since I have had the procedure you are going to possibly have also. ACDF stands for, Anterior Cervical Decompression Fusion. So if your doctor has said it is ACF...that means there will be no decompression. Which is removal of the ruptured disc. I am not sure how a fusion will occur since the disc will still be in place. Which is probably causing you the pain you are having. Have you had a discogram yet? This is a procedure which will tell your surgeon where the pain is coming from. Very important test. You were asking about the possibility of furture surgery. Yes that is a big issue. This is why you should have a discogram to check the other levels. Am I confusing you? I guess the point I am trying to stress here is, ask more questions, you need to know everything before you take the step into surgery. I am very very happy I did it. I have zero pain, from the moment I awoke from surgery. I can move my neck with no limitations. I would do it again tomorrow if I had too.
Cindy
By-the-way I did not have a cervical discogram, mine was cut and dry as to where my problems were.
Hi Cindy,
I just spent 30 minutes writing a response back to you and the whole thing was wiped out because I highlited and tried to use color and an Angel and guess what, my whole heart felt response was totally abliviated,,, with just one click!! EEEK!!!!!!. I will rewrite though, now be brief.. you are saved from my long responce about my injuries and pain..... well here goes again......
I will check into having a discogram, never heard of it till just now. My Surgeon must have meant ACDF because my disc between 5/6 is damaged and he also used an MRI and X-ray to diagnose, Would that be a good enough, or how extensive of information does a Discogram give? Also I asked the surgeon about if there would be any deteriation down the road due to added stress on other vertabra and he told me no since its 5/6,,,,he said I would maybe have some problems if it were any higher... not sure what to believe. I am going to go for a second opinion though. Well, thats it for now.
I do thank both of you, Donna and you Cindy for taking the time to read my thread and showing your care and concerns
Carolyn

 
Old 11-23-2003, 01:57 PM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 83
luvwindnhair HB User
Re: Possible side effects of an ACDF

Hi Carolyn
I feel like I am butting in here, but thats nothing new for me!! I was reading your post to Donna, and I just needed to say...Both your DRs are right. You see, your surgeon says your BONES are that of a 14 yr old. Thats wonderful, but they are not what causes your problem. You primary care MD says you have degeneration through out your neck, thats right too, your discs are degenerating, and thats your problem. When your discs rupture, it presses on your nerves, causing pain. Your bones really have no determination on the degeneration. It helps to have good bone quality, but the disc is the problem.
Also, this could mean you will need future surgery because the hardware will prevent future problems at that level, but the other levels (which are not protected by hardware/fusion) will be put under more pressure after your surgery. Thus causing more degeneration and possible rupture.
Your other question about grafting, I used my own bone for the "best possible fusion". If you do not smoke, you can go for the cadaver graft. I dont smoke either, but I know that there is a slight chance of no fusion occuring if cadaver bone is used. I had alot of hip pain after the surgery, it took about 3 weeks for it to subside. I do still have pain on occasion, if I sit for to long, etc. I think its worth it to use your own bone, and get the best possible results.
Good luck, cindy

Haha I was typing my responce, when you were, and I lost mine too!!!

The discogram is a procedure which simulates the pain you now feel. It is not a fun test, but the results are great. Its done in a hospital, you get some mild sedation, and the inject dye into the hurtful disc. Then they need you to let them know if thats the same pain you feel daily, or different. It does hurt, but worth it. And so is a second opinion!! MRIs can provide enough info, if your doc is confident.
__________________
L5/S1 herniation 7mm 01/18/00
Microdiscectomy/Laminectomy 10/12/00
Thoratic pain began Dx buldge @ T-8 08/02
Had MRI on Lumbar because pain was returning, also scaned T spine 8/02, Dx recurrent L5/S1 herniation and new herniation @ level L4/5
Cervical pain began 2/03
Had MRI~Dx herination @ level C 6/7
Had anterior decompresion with hardware and use of my own hip bone graft to C 6/7 8/14/03
Accepted in Clinical trials/getting my 2 level Prodisc ADR in Feb!

Last edited by luvwindnhair; 11-23-2003 at 02:03 PM.

 
Old 11-23-2003, 03:55 PM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Posts: 266
DonnaKay HB User
Re: Possible side effects of an ACDF

Carolyn -

My recovery time for the first surgery, fusion with my own bone, was 8 weeks. I am two weeks, three days right now and I didn't take a pain pill today - just muscle relaxer. You can ask my husband about the difference between the two surgeries and he will tell you "night and day". I'm glad I have both experiences to pull on ... I was fully ready to have to use my bone this surgery, and was kind of surprised my doc (same surgeon both surgeries) suggested the bank bone. I was in a study last surgery, which is why my hip bone was used (I had forgotten about that). He says that if he had a choice in his own surgery, this is the route he would take. I totally trust him so accepted his advice. And the pain that I referred to that I had the first surgery was NOT in my hip - it was in my neck/arms. I was a-okay with the hip bone. I'm really not trying to push you one way or the other ... they're both good IMO. Of course, I haven't gone back to see if my bank bone is fusing yet - so the jury is still out.

It's a personal decision, really. Do you like your doctor? That's a big factor, too. If you second guess your doctor, you'll always second guess your surgery.

Donna

Last edited by DonnaKay; 11-23-2003 at 04:00 PM.

 
Old 11-25-2003, 07:59 PM   #8
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Location: Virginia Beach, VA, USA
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Deborah2003 HB User
Re: Possible side effects of an ACDF

Hi Carolyn.. I also had Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion.. Discectomy means removal of Disc. What they do is remove the disc between the two vertebrae.. stick in bone from the hip to fuse the two vertebrae together... and then use a titanium plate to keep it in place.

There is a really good explanation of the procedure on the web.. you could do an internet search and find it. (sorry board rules prevent me from posting the link)

Using bone from your "own hip" is considered the gold standard. You are supposed to have better and faster fusion using your own hip.. The down side is you have another incision and area of the body that needs recovery. The "other" upside is that with own bone you "know" the blood source and tissue is 100% compatible with your body... and less chance of disease.

My surgeon is not 100% convinced that fusion of one area will automatically mean future fusions for other adjacent areas. It is true, however, that fusion in one area will cause additional stress on the joints above and below the point of fusion.

On Thursday I will be 12 weeks post op and very happy I had the surgery. The pain is gone. I still have a few problems with my right hand.. but that is carpal tunnel related not disc related. (it was "double crunched" prior to the surgery) I would do the surgery again in a minute with no hesitation.. yes recovery is long.. but worth it to have a life without pain.
__________________
Deborah
ACDF C5-C6 & C6-C7 Own Bone and Plate Sept 2003

 
Old 11-25-2003, 08:29 PM   #9
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Deborah2003 HB User
Re: Possible side effects of an ACDF

Hi Carolyn..
oops it posted twice.. sorry
__________________
Deborah
ACDF C5-C6 & C6-C7 Own Bone and Plate Sept 2003

Last edited by Deborah2003; 11-25-2003 at 08:30 PM.

 
Old 11-25-2003, 08:32 PM   #10
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 154
irish34 HB User
Re: Possible side effects of an ACDF

Carolyn,
I am going thru the same things as you right now. I am a 26 year old Deputy Sheriff and was just told yesterday that I will have to have ACDF surgery. The herniated disc at C5-6 is causing Spinal Cord Damage.
CJ

 
Old 11-26-2003, 06:52 PM   #11
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK
Posts: 312
NYFUSED HB User
Re: Possible side effects of an ACDF

Quote:
Originally Posted by irish34
Carolyn,
I am going thru the same things as you right now. I am a 26 year old Deputy Sheriff and was just told yesterday that I will have to have ACDF surgery. The herniated disc at C5-6 is causing Spinal Cord Damage.
CJ
HI CAROLYN,
A myelogram is also a great test to over the discogram and it is less painful. Was you MRI With contrast??? If so, I dont think you would need any other diagnostic test. I had an ACDF C5-6-7 in October 2002 and did not have good results due to my surgeon. Get a 2nd 3rd opinion!!!! It cant hurt ,only help . I also agree with the others re: other levels and future surgery. (I need to have the c4-5 area done) 95% of fusion patients do have probelms later on. For the bone issue you can also ask for the interbody cage. It looks like a cylinder and they actually inject a needle into the hip bone and draw out marrow. That marrow is placed in the cylinder and inserted between the discs and is supposed to fuse immediately.( I am having that done in 2/2004) My first surgery I used my own hip bone and still have pain from time to time. My husband had a similiar bone harvest and he never felt any pain at all. Everyone is different and noone will have the same results. If I had to do it over..... NO WAY !!!!
Also, remember these boards are usually filled with people looking for help and advice due to pain,failed surgeries etc. ( LIKE ME) so you might hear alot of horror stories. You probably wont hear all the "good" stories regarding ACDF'S and I am sure there are plenty. Dont let it get you down.

GOOD LUCK
LORI


LAMINECTOMY L4-5 2001
ACDF C5-6-7 2002
POST. LAMI-FORAMINOTOMY C6-7 2003 TO REMOVE BONE SPURS

2/25/2004 ACDF C4-5 AND REVISION SURGERY C5-6-7 , NEW PLATE WITH INTERBODY CAGES

 
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