I went to my doc yesterday . I assumed all he would be doing is taking out the blown out tissue inbetween the disks. He informed me that I would need to have this (titanium ) plate put in to increase stability afterwards. Heres the thing though. Right now I don't really have much limitation in my neck movement. Everywhere I have read anything on this operation it says post-op I will have (some) stiffness in my neck and some range of motion compromised. My main issue is pain down my right arm from where the disk is blown out pushing on a nerve.
I am not a fan of surgery considering all the ones I've ever had haven't exactly made my issues improve.So here I am . Do I risk my neck motion to stop the pain in my neck? Or deal with the excruciating annoying neverending pain in my arm..
ANY ADVICE WOULD BE MUCHLY APPRECIATED.
Thanks in advance,
It is a tough decision deciding whether to live with the discomfort of the symptoms or the affects after surgery. I've had 3 surgeries and I'm fused from C2 through C7. I have a plate on C5,6 and 7. I delayed surgery the 3rd time and tried PT. It helped temporarily but gradually my symptoms spread to other areas. I decided to have surgery again. It eliminated the symptoms. My range of motion in my neck has decreased but not as much as I thought it would. I have trouble getting comfortable while sleeping and wake up stiff almost every morning, but it goes away once I'm up and around. Compairing the aches and pains before surgery and after I feel that I did the right thing by having surgery.
Luckily, with having only one level fused, your range of motion wont be limited hardly at all.i have a plate and screws and have had two surgeries done on my C 6-7,and have almost the same range of motion now as i did before the surgery.Actually it is much better than before the surgery as the majority of pain and those constant muscle spasms have gone.if the loss of possible ROM is what is your deciding factor is about whether or not to have the surgery, I really doubt that it would seriously impact you.if you want a good chance at losing the pain.the surgery would indeed be your best bet.Good luck on the decision process,I know there are alot more things to consider while trying to decide.You have to do what you really feel is the absolute best thing for your particular situation.marcia
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.
I had a cervical fusion of c5-c6 with plate and my own bone in Jan. I started PT about two months after that. I had therapy for about a month and was able to regain almost all my range of motion. Everyone is different, but I don't feel that I really lost any mobility. Good Luck.
I have had both a two level ACDF followed 18months later by a posterior three level fusion C4-7. Before both surgeries my neck movement was restricted because of bad muscle spasm. After the second procedure I was in a hard collar for 8 weeks after which I was started on PT.
Today, almost 7 months post op I can move my neck better than I've been able to in over two years I can rotate it without problem or pain. Two movements I can't do are holding a phone to my ear and tucking my chin completely to my chest - neither of which is important compared to other benefits from the surgery. Regardless of how many levels you need to have done, most important in my case, was a good physical therapist who made me take it VERY slowly so I could make a full recovery without hurting myself.
If you dont have a lot of neck pain you should try a epidural steriod injection first. I had a great deal of relief from arm pain from the injection but it did nothing to relieve the neck pain. Have had a 2 level fusion with hardware and 3 months out only have partial improvemnet.
I had a 2 level ACDF 4-6 with the plate and I don't notice any range of motion loss. I had surgery 12/04 and can turn all the way both sides, up and down and I am fusing fine. Stiffness in neck a little after waking,but it quickly goes away. Better than that arm and blade pain for sure. I don't take any meds at all for a couple months now.