I had posted back in October. A that time I was contemplating another ACDF. I was having chronic re-rupturing disc (C-7). I was having balance problems and vertigo. I believe that my Neuro didn't believe that I was really in pain for 10 months. I decided to proceed with the surgery after a pain maangement center wanted to put me on MS Contin. I am so happy I had the surgery because when he got in there, he found out that my disc was broken in half and fragements were tearing into my spinal cord!!! It was a tough surgery and the recovery has been much harder than my 1st. Energy level extremely low, major back spasms, still neck pain (nerve damage). So, to say the least I am a very happy woman that I had the procedure done!! So if anyone has balance problems, vertigo and also chronic pain in which a selective nerve root injection dosen't help - and you are contemplating surgery - do it! It has been one month now, and I am just strating to gain some energy back....but can you all imagine what would have happened if I had not done it!!! God bless you all!
Hi....such good news for you, at least they found something very solid that they could repair to some degree. How badly it would have felt if they'd gone in there and found nothing, so I am sure it is very reaffirming to you to hear that report. You have given me food for thought, since I suffer with a lot of paraesthesia etc, since I broke my C1 in 4 places a year and a half ago! No one is talking surgery and I'm not hoping for it, but I AM pushing to get more tests and more MRIs etc to establish what the heck is going on.
Again, I'm so happy for you that you have are feeling better.
Sometimes MRIs and x-rays may not show the extent of a problem. My 2 level ACDF turned into a 3 level after the surgeon opened me up. It hasn't been the quietest ride since then, but life will get better.
I just got home from my postop appt. I had ACDFP on November 10 of C6-7. I asked for a copy of the surgery report so I could read it. They found I had 2 tears, Osteophytes and fragments. The fragments were severly compressing my thecal sac and nerve roots. My MRI and CT Myelogram did not anything but a herniated disc.
So it is important that sometimes to listen to the symptoms and not just the testing you have done. The first OS spine surgeon I seen did only listen to the tests and sent me on my way. I went to a NS and he did the surgery.
Thank god he did listen to my symptoms or I wold still be in severe pain and not getting any better. I don't think tears and fragments ever go away. The herniation might of.
I do have a herniation above this level but was getting better per the MRI's I had so he did not mess with it.
Hello - I have had severe pain all my life due to auto accidents. I had two rear enders in the past 4 years and whiplash so I have C-5 and C-6 C-7 bulges compressing spinal cord and others in thoracic area as well. My life has been pure hell. I have stabbing pain every day that wears me out and I've just tried to deal with it, but now I am so weak and losing control of my arms and legs and other symptoms, numbness, eyesight going feels like a broom in in my neck as well as stabbing pain that radiates down to my shoulder blade with tingling. I was to the point I was contemplating doing myself in but I finally gave in and started taking Darvocet. I can't sleep on either side or I wake up completely numb and aching on that side. I can only sleep flat on my back and I wake up all night. My neuro appt is tomorrow so I am armed and ready for lots of questions. Thanks for sharing yours so I know more what to ask.
You are what you eat so eat something rich!!
I can't imagine the pain you have been in. Like several of the other posters I had pain at c 6 c 7. It went away so despite diagnosis of serverely herniated disc I opted out of surgery. Two months later the pain came back wiht a vengeance. I had no choice but to have the surgery. It is the most amazing feeling to wake up in the recovery room and to be totally out of pain. My doctor said that there are tiny splinters that lodge in the spinal canal that can't be seen by an MRI.
I worry about the long term effects of taking narcotics every day. Good luck to you.
Sounds like you are 5 weeks ahead of me. I go tomorrow for xray and follow up. I'm hoping for soft brace to sleep in, hoping to be able to start weaning from collar, hoping for ok to drive soon. I feel great. Just the numbness in pointer finger. Like you I had lots of fragments which could have done indescribable harm had I ignored them though the pain made that not an option. Tell me how you feel and how much of your life have you resumed
I'm in PT right now. Most of my life is back. I still have knots in my neck to my shoulder blades. Can't seem to get rid of them. I go to my chiro 2-3x a week for a little adjusting but not to much and it seems to help. I'm trying to get to the point I can return to work. My job is very physical. Thats how I got this way from repetative movement( Mainly from taking the caps off truck radiators and filling them at chest level).
As far as I am concerned I am glad I had the surgey also. I had no life before the surgery. I lived on percoset and neurontin. I still take neurontin but much less now. Every time I try to wean off it I get achiness in my hand and fingers. They told me its probably the nerves coming back which could take up to a year.
I'm new to these boards but am happy to have found them. I am scheduled for acdf surgery on C5/6 & C6/7 on Jan.30th & wanted to hear patient stories rather than just Dr. ones. However, some posts have made me wince a bit due to having negative results. I actually have a large bone spur at C4/5 as well & am hoping doc. will be able to scrape that off w/out having to make it a triple. My symptoms have been going on for years but this past year the right arm pain & weakness has become too disabling so I'm going for the surgery as a last resort. (PT etc...didn't help. Too many bone spurs from C3-7.)
QUESTIONS FOR ANYONE WHO CAN ANSWER:
1.What range of motion can be expected after a triple discectomy? (Or a double for that matter.)
2.Will anyone who has had a possitive outcome from this surgery PLEASE send me some encouragement? :-/
I am 42 w/a great husband & 2 great kids. I have peace from knowing the Maker of my neck & am really looking forward to getting it all over with. :-)
You should post a new thread to get the most response.
I had a double ACDF at levels C5/6 and C6/7 in June of 2004.
I am doing great and don't worry anymore about my neck. All of my symptoms are gone. I was miserable for many years. My range of motion is probably about 15-20% reduced, although I don't notice it anymore, because I have gotten used to it. The place you notice it the most is driving. I can't turn all the way around to look behind, without turning my torso. This becomes normal operating proceedure after a while.
The most important thing for me has been excercise (once I was able to). Docs recommended that I follow a routine established in PT for the rest of my life. I do the excercises every other day, and it takes about 10 minutes. This helps to keep the neck muscles strong (and the rest of your body), thus reducing the stress on adjacent levels in your neck. It also keeps me loose, and I don't get the kinks and spasms anymore.
This surgery is like 98.9% successful. It is very well known and understood.
The problem with searching the web is that most people are looking for answers to problems, and thus you will find more bad stories than good.
I HAD A C5-6 C6-7 ACDF IN JUNE 04.....IT HASN'T BEEN All PEACHES AND CREAM BUT I'D FIGURED I'D SHARE MY EXPERIENCE......FOR THE MOST PART I WAS LUCKY BECAUSE MY SYMPTOMS PROGRESSED SO FAST THAT SURGERY WAS ALMOST INSTANT THEREFORE THE NERVES WERE NOT COMPRESSED FOR LONG.....I NEVER HAD TOO MUCH PAIN BUT I WAS SOMEWHAT OF A BODYBUILDER AND NOTICED THAT I COULDN'T LIFT ANYTHING WITH MY RIGHT ARM ANYMORE (I HAD A STIFF NECK FOR ABOUT A MONTH PRIOR TO THIS)....THE MRI WAS DONE RIGHT AWAY AND I HAD SURGERY ABOUT 2 WEEKS FROM THE MRI....YOUR RIGHT TO LEFT MOTION WONT BE TOO BAD BUT I TOOK A HIT ON LOOKING STRAIGHT UP.....HAVE TO STRAIN SOMEWHAT WHEN REACHING THE END OF A SODA CAN...I'D PROBABLY BE BETTER OFF USING A STRAW..... IT TOOK ME ABOUT 16 MONTHS TO BE PAIN FREE AND REALLY FEEL NORMAL AGAIN.. OTHER THAN THAN THAT I HAVE NO PAIN BUT I DO GET STIFF WHEN I OVERDUE THE EXERCISE OR SIT FOR EXTENDED PERIODS (I RIDE A DESK FOR THE PHONE COMPANY)...I'M RATHER YOUNG (28) SO I DO WHATEVER POSSIBLE TO KEEP MYSELF IN SHAPE SO WHEN THE TIME COMES THAT THE OTHER LEVELS DEGENRATE MAYBE MEDICINE WILL HAVE EVOLVED GREATLY WHERE THE SURGERIES ON THE SPINE WILL ALL ACTUALLY WORK AND BE MINIMALLY INVASIVE.....I STILL LIFT WEIGHTS......DO THE TREADMILL...YOGA....ETC....LUCKILY I LIVE IN NYC AND DOCTORS ARE ABUNDANT....I ALSO RECOMMEND FINDING A GOOD P.T.....I HAVE ONE THAT I SEE TWICE A WEEK AND WE DO SOME SERIOUS STRETCHING AND EXERCISES TO KEEP THE NECK MUSCLES STRONG.....MY INSURANCE GIVES ME UNLIMITED VISITS SO I PLAN TO SEE THIS MAN UNTIL I'M DEAD......
I can't tell you how comforting it was to read your responses. (I didn't know how to post so it would show on the main part of the board but think I've figured it out now.)
Looks like you two had the same surgery in June '04!
The long term is what I wondered about most so, thank you again for taking the time to help me feel better.
This is for Dennis's comment on this surgery being 98.9% successful???
Don't mean to be rude or incensitive but where in the world did you get that statistic??? I don't think there is a surgery out there for the spine that would ever be that good of an outcome since on the Pain Management part of these boards are filled with people who have had anywhere from 2-15+ surgeries on their backs. I just had my second cervical fusion in Dec. for a failed surgery on the same level back in 2001.
Just wanted to add a part of an article from WebMd below.
I am truly VERY happy for those of you who have had success in your surgeries and hope and pray that you don't have another problem with your spine but please be careful on your statistics as if presents false hope for many.
June 15, 2005 -- Surgeons tend to be "overly optimistic" when they counsel patients about the benefits of back surgery, a new study shows.
Almost 40% of patients in the study reported virtually no difference in back painback pain one year after having back surgery. But prior to surgery almost all of their surgeons predicted that they would have less pain and most said surgery would result in "a great deal of improvement."
The research is published in the June 15 issue of the journal Spine.
"Surgeons tended to give overly optimistic predictions, which were not correlated with patient outcome at one-year follow-up," wrote researcher Bertrand Graz, MD, and colleagues from Switzerland's University of Lausanne Medical Centre.