Hello everyone! I see some names on here from when I posted every day almost 2 years ago! I cant beleive how faithful you all are. This board was a HUGE help to me whilst I was going through all the horror show motions proceeding my first ACDF 2 years ago C4-C6 double fusion, plate and screws, HORRID Philly collor for 10 weeks. Well, I WAS better! If any of you remember I am the activity nut, waitress, bartend, dance work out regular, do yoga, lift weights, camp, kayak, climb, the whole nine yards.
I went slow after the collar came off, I REALLY did, it was hard for a person like me, but I was real good. I was not however pain free, but all my MRIs showed perfect fusion and NO MORE herinations, buldges or spurs. So off and on BAD flare ups for 2 years now, only for my Nuero to tell me, I have no idea what your problem is, you waste my time! So I lay low for past 6 months, keeping on but popping the pillss and in BAAD pain. Just saw a NEW Nuero last week and he says most likely C7 is blown due to the plate and screws. He does not beleive in Plating or Neck brace either. Am waiting for results of MRI, he says wont be as bad as last surgery but he will have to make another incison on other side of my neck. Those who posted with me remeber I am WAAAY vain, now my first incision healed up beautiful, you can only see a thin line if you look close. I dont want another line, I dont want that repulsive 5 hour surgery again, I dont want to be laid up and out of work and gym for 8 weeks again, and I DONT want to be in pain. It is not fair! I went through all the motion first time, I was so bad I was out of work and on my mothers couch for almost 8 months,not to mention my Son just started Kindergarten at the time and My husband works very long hours. I spent 4 months in horrid pain doing all the conservative junk before the Nuero said OK, time for Surgery, then another month waiting for it and then 3 months to heal.
Any one on here gone back for seconds?? If so what is your experience?? Better or worse?? Successful or just one thing after another????
This was not due to any injury or car accidents at all. I never have had any idea what happened or how!!!! Is my freind June from New Hampshire still on here??? we had surgery same day 2 years ago???
In addition to my pain again, my Only sibling, my Brother Michael was killed in a car acccident just 7 months ago, and I have been very distraught. He was only 36, he was gone in an instant. It has been a HORROR show for me and my Parents, and I am sure the stress of it is making my pain worse, But Nuero says he has STRONG feeling its the disc below the plate.
I am off to work, I am bartending tonight, time to take some pills and go! what a life! LORI
Last edited by LadyRedFoxxx40; 09-26-2004 at 10:36 AM.
Aw Lori,I am sorry,life is hard enough without loseing someone so close to you, am sure the stress has got to be terrible,I am also sorry that you are faceing this surgery again,I had mine done Aug 13th 1 level, although C5-6 is blown above it, NS said it is a domino effect that once fusions start the level above and below suffer the stress and will also herniate,this is why he says my Bus driveing is at an end, says I logged to many miles,and I am 44 yrs old, sounds like this nightmare began much sooner for you,but you also sound like one heck of a fighter,so for that I am gratefull, we need all the positive fighters we can get,your 1st NS sounds like a real compassionate _ _ _ ! I wonder how some sleep at night!Once again i find myself jumping all over a conversation, I wonder if its just one of those days,Take Care,Hope we find a friend in one another,and I hope your pain lessens,Diana
Hi! I had 1st surgery in 97, 2nd was last November. The second one was much, much easier than the first ... I also don't have any injury reasons for herniation. Did it with my own bone first go around, bank bone the second. I also received a plate the second time around. I couldn't wear a Philly collar ... I mean, I had a Miami J for majority of time, with a Philly for showers. Philly was much more uncomfortable.
When I had my last surgery, both the disk above and below were herniated, but only the bottom one was symptomatic. I'm sorry I don't know the levels like everyone else here. If I had to guess, my first one was 5/6 and second 6/7. Doc didn't want to fix the other herniation b/c it was not bothering me, and there may be better options for me if/when I do need surgery on that one.
I'm not very happy having those scars on my neck, either, but my surgeon did a really good job at lining them up. Now it looks like I had thyroid surgery. lol Not really, can't even see the first one. No one even noticed it until I had my second surgery and I pointed it out.
Good luck with a quick prognosis! Btw, I am 44, have two adult children and a 6 y/o. My 6 y/o had just started Kindergarten when I had to have the 2nd surgery, so I sympathize with you. In fact, she was born just a year after the first ACDF.
So sorry to hear about your brother. I understand that losing a sibling is almost worse than losing a parent.
Donna I am so glad you went into your past and present surgeries, it gives me and I am sure "Lady"great hope regarding second possible surgeries, it appears I am in same boat that you were in, they left the top herniation alone cuz it was not causeing near the problems C6&7 were,plus I believe I was told that the curve of the neck can be kept more natural with one level done at a time,our neighbor girl though had to have whole neck done for a differant reason(tumor)I believe, and was in a halo brace for 6 months,she is only 25 yrs , expecting twins Nov 10th,and doing great,I am haveing some old pain memories today except in left shoulder, I believe C5-6 is acting up,praying it goes away ,or at least gets no worse.Diana
I was so naive after the first surgery. Never thought I'd have to go through it again. Domino effect was not in my vocabulary, although my husband said doc pointed it out. He retained it, I did not. I'm glad I didn't know it, though, b/c I'm not sure I would have handled the years in between.
This last surgery was such a surprise! It all started the first day of a cruise with my husband, when I put on the life vest for the mandatory life vest drill ... and it escalated from there. Oct. 16 (onset), Nov. 6 (surgery). I'm so glad it was fast!
I think the quickness of it all was also a huge factor in how quickly I recovered. I didn't have pain years before (that I know of). I think we all deal with pain that we don't realize we have.
I'm happy to have this board, to help me recognize warning signs, be thankful for what I have, and know I will have people to talk to if it ever happens again. :-)
Lori, Im sorry to hear about your loss you are a strong individual. You sound like me as far as how active you are. I too lifted weights 5 days a week, swim, run and bike. Plus I worked about at least 60 hours a week. No wonder I had neck problems. I had c5-c6 fusion with hardware and no collar. If you dont mind can I ask you when you started by in the weight room. Did you have numbness under your chin close to your incision? The only complications I have now 2 weeks post op are numbness under my chin and my shoulder feels unstable and spasms toward the end of night but the heating pad takes it away. Jerry
Re:EMG says no nerve damge from first ACDF, tommorw is MRI Davy & Belle still on?
Thanks to all who replied. I am 41 BTW. EMG showed no nerved damage or compression on cord. Dtr who did this test said he really does not think there is another herination in there, but he is NOT the Nuerologist and all will be told after MRI tommorow. If disc below is blown, what can I do? Get the surgery again and tough it out.
Yes my Brothers death is worse then a parent I supossed, thankfuly mine are still alive and youthful (only 60) but very aged from the death.
I swore that Neck surgery and that freaking Philly collar was the worse thing that EVER happened to me, UNTIL this of course. I know this is not the greif site so I wont go one and on but it has been horrible! My heart is broken! My only sibling, and we were close! When I woke from the first ACDF 6 hours later the first person I saw spinning of course from the anthesia was my Brother! My whole family took off work that day, I think if I get surgery again, he wont be there, but MAYBE just Maybe I will see him when I am asleep?
That is not the reason for my pain of course, but if I do get this dreaded surgery again, wouldnt it be nice to say good-bye to him?
Well, if it is NOT another herination and I know now there is no nerve damage WHAT COULD IT BE?? Sure feels the same as before. UGGGG!! We all know the frustration to well! Hey where is Mothman? anyone know of him?? How about Davy and Belle? I know they are still on her some where!!!
Last edited by LadyRedFoxxx40; 09-27-2004 at 01:27 PM.
Hey Aspen, no no numbness by my chin or incision. I started lifting about a month out of collar so all told it was about 10 weeks after surgery, I went light , nothing more then 5 pounds, gradually up to 10 lbs and then the pain all cmae back again. I am still lifing, but no more then 5 lbs with upper body, abs and legs I go strong. I probaly shouldnt lift ANYTHING at all ever again after that horrow show surgery, but no way am I not staying in shape! I am 5ft 100lbs and still have a Ballet body, Vainity might kill me I am sure,but I will keep going till I cant go any more.
We will see if I am stuck getting another surgery I might be scared into Yoga and Pilates!
Lady Redd, I am so sorry to hear about your brother. I lost my sister in a fire and both my parents have passed on, and losing my sister was so much harder. She was only 32 and 1 year older than me. Time will help but the pain never goes away and life will be forever changed.
I had surgery on level C5-6 in March. I was fortunate enough to be selected for the artificial disc trial study and I am doing great. I didn't wear a collar at all and was driving with in 10 days, working in 2-1/2 weeks. I still have some pain but it is a lot better than before surgery.
Good luck with everything and hang in there. We never know why such horrible things happen in our lives, but just know you are not alone.
Dear Rolex, I am sorry for the loss of your sister,I am lucky enough to have my sister and brother still with me, as we lost our parents years ago,my family has a very strong history of heart disease,so we are all battleing that, and unlike our parents, have found todays medicine to be of a great help to us.I am very intrested in the operation you have had, does it have the repeat history our fusions have, or is that the whole idea and beneifit of haveing the artificial disc?It sure sounds like your recovery time was short,what State did you have this done?And were you a trial study or is it being done alot? sorry for the barrage of questions,but it is of great intrest,oh and does your spine have like a cage or something to hold the disc in place?Thankyou for any info you can provide,and once again sorry for your loss,I know that when I had the bypass surgery my ma was passed on for 5 yrs already and I missed her so much,support and such and just knowing how fragile life is,Take care, Diana
Hey Rolex, Artifical disc?? That is great! do you live on the west coast??
They do not do that yet over her in the new Jersey/New Yourk area, I only wish, if I HAVE to do it again maybe I will hold out for that!
Thank you for the sympany with my Brother, he was only 36 also to young to die.
it is incredible though how many WORSE stories I have herd since his death. Makes ya wonder what its all about.
Solardust and LadyRedd thank you for your kind words.
In regards to the artificial disc, go to google and type in Bryan Artificial Disc and you can read all about to trial study going on here in the US.
My Dr. here in Reno, Nev. at the Sierra Neurosurgery Group is one of about 30 in the US participating in the study. I was so lucky to have found Dr. Lynch, he is a great Dr.
No, I didn't have a cage or anything. They just grind the bone a bit and insert the disc and the bone adheres or grows to the disc. I am so much better than before. You could have only one level problem to meet criteria to be in the study.
Hopefully the disc will be approved soon and everyone can get them. I think it is great.
Good luck to both of you...
Well well well.. isn't funny how the stats regarding recurring surgery are never conveyed and yet it seems to be a fairly talked about issue on this board in the past year (that I have been on).
I find it hard to believe that could we have all been nieve enough to believe we could go back to our old lifestyle. Did anyone actually tell us that would be the ability we would regain through this surgery. Did anyone say dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) would be a long term side affect possibly or that at c5 -6 level is generally the level that requires another surgery to the adjacent sites... why is so much that is written about here actually underreported by the surgeon. I am eternally grateful to mine but knowing all of these things would have lessened the impact of worry I have had dealing with these issues. This is not a surgery that fixes you up and you are all new again... it mediates quite successfully many times the immediate pain and we all know from these boards what is possibly down the road for us after the surgery.
I too am an exercise/atheletic person who gets a high from working out... even if that is treadmilling only since my injury. I do recall them telling me to take it easy but get on with my life and reattempt/pace myself.
How come those of you who have re-entered the "second time around" status felt it okay to exercise/weight train.. whatever. Isn't if funny how we all made this assumption when we all have had such a varied and diversified set of variables... ie. drs. symptoms., injury/non injury, no ddd, no arthritis, younger, older, no cord compression, major compression. Why could there have not been an open discussion, an information sheet amongst all those pre op forms explaining what to Really EXPECT. I cannot be the only person in the world who must have thought of this. Maybe like sellling any other product/service nobody wants to render negative information. However, I don't believe anyone who had this surgery, even knowing these outcomes, would turn it down if not for the fact there is no alternative to that excrutiating pain. Could not someone have told us...
My point being is maybe it all just comes down to the fact that having not been told we now know we cannot hope to be the same but something new.. something other than who we were before and the sooner we accept that.. there might be, might be, less of a chance of a second surgery. Or, maybe this injury should be enough of an emotional and physical tribulation to help us prioritize the need to be as fit as we once were and instead dwell on perfecting/enjoying/reasserting a new "us" in order to lessen the stress on our bodies/i.e. necks.
Iam not unsympathetic.. I am extremely cognizant of the fact that every day I could return to that pain.. sometimes I wish I was unaware.. as Donnakay stated .. that a second surgery is a possibility.... based on the science of where the fusion is i.e. 5 -6 most common to require another surgery.
Anyway, I feel badly for your return.. I pray for you... and there but for the grace of God go I... so I now treadmill every other day and Im not looking for a medal... just a way to keep my weight down, back strong and my neck still in tact.
I am really sorry about your loss... if God's promises mean anything.. and I believe they do.. you will see your brother in a better place...
Hi, Yep I said as much a few times, no differant though then my heart bypass, Docs do not tell of such things, if you are very lucky, a underling,(training Doc) blurts out some truths,Nero, the tread mill unless its a very high dollar low impact, and you have very good shoes, is a bad idea,in june after lower back surgery, I told my NS that I accindently backed into mine, he flipped,he wanted to know if I was walking on it,and that was no fusion surgery,he said outside fine but not on tread mill.So check in ok,I have a question for everyone, I made mention of my dizziness,and well the viral thing was kicked around, I did not go for that really, cuz no other symptoms,except a on and off headache, anyway, went back in, here my blood pressure was 156/120!!!!!!I have always run low, like 92/60,as matter of fact UW hosp, wanted me to raise it,haha, well somehow I managed that, and I do not know why,Doc told me to double up on blood pressure pills(I take to take load off of heart)and monitor it,oh gee's,all I need is a stroke, has any of you had your pressures go up?????I am seeing a differant doc tomorrow, cuz noone, is gonna drop the ball on me again!!!!!Diana
Nero, I will never go back to my old lifestyle, even though I have the Artificial disc and not the fusion. I will never try to ski again or ice skate. It has been six months for me and I tried lifting 5 lbs weights and it started hurting so I stopped. I my try yoga again someday but will be extra cautious around my neck area. I am very careful going up and down stairs. I have been walking a lot
Solardust, did your Doc say why no treadmill? That is strange to me.
I hope you are feeling better with your blood pressure.