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Old 01-05-2007, 08:36 PM   #1
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ACDF scared with much trepidation!

Hello All;
I have always been active, even though I was always obese. I hit 50 and decided that I would not progress much further in this life! I decided to start an exercise program. Walk 6-8 miles a day, pedal my bike more etc.
Well, upside in the first year I lost 60 pounds. Downside a driver who was looking right at mehit me an nearly ran me over while I was pedaling.
Broken collar bone, torn rotator cuff, damaged ulnar nerve. Not cool on this 51 year old body.
Lawyers sent me to an excellent pain Doc. Got my collar healed,got my cuff mended. My ulnar nerve which was almost dead was transposed. It took over 6 months for all that.
Meanwhile, I'm losing sensation on the right side of my body. No power either. Not cool! Go to the first Neuro, he says "live with it! File for disability. Your active lifestyle will have to end." Ah NO! Go to an Ortho he says "try that new streching device, I hear it works wonders!" . I go and they "say no more hard physical activity after the 16 weeks on the machine." Ah NO!
2nd Neuro says "you have two discs that are almost smashed flat!" "You are a perfect candidate for acdf."
Than I found this board. It really scared me!!! It took me another 4 months to decide on the acdf. The Neuro has done 6,000 of them. "No problem!". I finally decided in Sept. 06,. Oct. 16, I had the surgery. 1st one in my adult life.
He used a bank bone for the grafts. It was bilevel. He said he made me .5" taller.
I hate the Aspen collar, having to take pain killers! He put me on xanax for anxiety.(thank heavens)
When I went back 1 month after the post op visit. My right hand strength went from 40#s to 90#s. 10#s shy of my left hand.
My right side has the same sensation as my left. Neuro says "You can never be 100%, but If your still that crazy! In 6 months you should beable to dirtbike"etc.
Frankly, I've never felt stronger across my upper body. I find now that my stamina needs work. If I walk more than 4 miles a day, I'm down for a day. Not so much pain as just wore out. I still have the stabbing pains in the middle of my back! The pain comes when the weather changes. I may be pushing alittle too hard.
I can't and won't say it will work for everyone, but like the ulnar nerve transposition. Its really quite the little miracle.
I hope this helps,
Icejohnb

Last edited by icejohnb; 01-05-2007 at 09:02 PM.

 
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:58 PM   #2
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Re: ACDF scared with much trepidation!

Hi icejohnb,

Thanks for sharing your story. I am glad you are doing so well and fighting to stay young and active. My surgery was like a miracle too. I was nervous and also a little bothered by the donor bone thing, but I got over that real fast when I woke up in recovery without the pain down my arm, hand and fingers. WooHoo!

Hope you continue to do well.

 
Old 01-05-2007, 09:17 PM   #3
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Re: ACDF scared with much trepidation!

thank you for sharing your story, I am scheduled for acdf on Jan 24th, I have been watching and reading on this website for a couple of months....all that i have read has been very informative....I have chosen to use my own bone instead of donor bone........hope all goes well ,,,,,,,,I know they say the bone site is more painful than the surgery site....but I feel I will have more comfort of mind.........I would like to know what kind of help you needed at home after surgery,,.....thank you again.........

 
Old 01-05-2007, 09:40 PM   #4
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Re: ACDF scared with much trepidation!

I really wanted to use my own bone too, but the neuro said "Believe me, you don't want to do that." - Apparently the recovery from the neck is nothing compared to recovering from the pain of donating your own bone. The doc who did my epidural injections agreed. (Not what you wanted to hear, but sounds like you've heard it already. )

The only help I really needed was that I wasn't allowed to drive, do any lifting or vacuum, etc. I had my surgery in the summer and the neck brace was very hot. Mine was a very uncomfortable recovery, but not necessarily a painful one.

Best wishes for smooth recovery and good results.
Lilacs

 
Old 01-05-2007, 10:21 PM   #5
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Re: ACDF scared with much trepidation!

What type of help? Well that was the worst part! I needed so very little! It was a major concern tho. I gave my buddy 500 bucks to shop and run errands for me. He picked me up from the hospital. I was wearing sweat shorts, a button up shirt and my Aspen collar. We drove to the drug store, I was reclined in his car. WE got out and waited for my meds. We got home,he made sure I made it up the 3 stairs. I sat in my recliner for a bit. Than, I got up and got some juice, took my meds. I was bummed! 2 days later he took me to the store shopping. My buddy wanted to know what the money was for?The Neuro mandate was no lifting over 3-5#s, no driving and always wearing my collar, except in for a quick shower. No direct spray on the steristrips on the incision.
I wanted to milk this baby! My buddy took me for my post op visit 10 days later. Doc couldn't even find stiches to take out. My body had already absorbed them.
A month later I took the bus to see the Neuro. The mandates were the same, but he wanted me to really start reaching over my head.
Far less intensive, then I wanted I'm afraid. Most things you do are at a much slower pace.

 
Old 01-06-2007, 06:36 AM   #6
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Re: ACDF scared with much trepidation!

I am thankful for the success stories. Like Quilter58, I am scheduled for ADCF on Jan 23, and it is getting closer and closer. But if it gets rid of this pain and weakness in my arms and legs, it will be well worth it.

My Dr is removing disc and using cages, and he is going to use pieces of bone from the surgery and bone marrow, so i won't have a extra incision on my hip, I think there is a name for that procedure, but I don't know what it is. He did the same procedure on my L4/5 fusion last year, and I got along well. My sister used bone from her hip 3 ears ago for lumbar fusion, and still has alot of pain from it.

I also would like to know what kind of help I will need after surgery.

Good luck to all,

Peggy

 
Old 01-06-2007, 08:18 AM   #7
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Re: ACDF scared with much trepidation!

Well, my ACDF (2 level) is this coming Wed. I appreciate all the info you gave. I will return the favor to the board, of course by regularly posting how its going for me after the surgery. In the meantime I am on day 3 of an antibiotic for a sinus infection and the surgeon doesnt even know yet.Usually when i get these (and I have had MANY in the last 15 yrs), the antibiotic kicks in on day 4, which is tomorrow. I am hoping they dont cancel on me for the 2nd time! I probably have to pray more that we dont get ANOTHER big snowstorm on Wed., than about this sinus infection!! Good ole Colorado. WEIRD YEAR HERE!

 
Old 01-06-2007, 11:56 AM   #8
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Re: ACDF scared with much trepidation!

if you get sinus infections often, you might want to consider seeing an ENT for that (unless you are already) because he might be able to help manage it for you better... on another note, if you haven't seen an Allergist ever for a comprehensive allergy test, it might be a good thing to do so you can see what you are allergic to and hopefully prevent some sinus infections from coming on.

 
Old 01-06-2007, 12:39 PM   #9
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Re: ACDF scared with much trepidation!

PearlDoves:
Thanks for the info. I appreciate it. I have an allergist/ENT who I have been seeing for the past 15 yrs. who totally handles my chronic sinusitis. I have had 2 sinus surgeries, and I give my own allergy shots. I am what you would call a real expert on this annoying chronic problem. I am doing much better than I used to. Its just a bad luck deal that I got it so close to my surgery. I am hoping that I will be in good shape by Wed. and the surgeon wont be too concerned. (praying). I have to call them on Monday and fess up that I am on antibiotics. Let's just also hope the antibiotic kicks in by tomorrow. Thanks for your input.

 
Old 01-06-2007, 05:01 PM   #10
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Re: ACDF scared with much trepidation!

Good luck to all of you guys. I used my own bone and it was no big deal. It hurt for a couple of weeks, but it was nice having pain somewhere rather than my neck and back. There is always a positive in everything you do, you just gotta find it.

I am 100% healed. My Surgery was on Aug 14th 2006. I just spent the xmas up at Whistler Mountain.... Skiing my *** off. I have never felt better.

Good luck to you guys going in soon and to those healing, I will meet you at the ski hill!


 
Old 01-06-2007, 09:18 PM   #11
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Re: ACDF scared with much trepidation!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilacs&Lillies
I really wanted to use my own bone too, but the neuro said "Believe me, you don't want to do that." - Apparently the recovery from the neck is nothing compared to recovering from the pain of donating your own bone. The doc who did my epidural injections agreed. (Not what you wanted to hear, but sounds like you've heard it already. )

The only help I really needed was that I wasn't allowed to drive, do any lifting or vacuum, etc. I had my surgery in the summer and the neck brace was very hot. Mine was a very uncomfortable recovery, but not necessarily a painful one.

Best wishes for smooth recovery and good results.
Lilacs
>>>

Because I need a 3 level ACDF, my surgeon prefers to use donor bone and BMP gel. It would just be to much bone to harvest from me. They said they most always get a fusion with it. One PA told me she had been there for over 2 years and hasn't seen a non fusion yet. I also read about it on the Internet and they get a 95% fusion rate with it.

Sure, at first the thought of using donor bone was a bit creepy, I quickly got past that and am forever thankful for it.
__________________
Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

 
Old 01-06-2007, 09:25 PM   #12
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Re: ACDF scared with much trepidation!

Quote:
Originally Posted by icejohnb
What type of help? Well that was the worst part! I needed so very little! It was a major concern tho. I gave my buddy 500 bucks to shop and run errands for me. He picked me up from the hospital. I was wearing sweat shorts, a button up shirt and my Aspen collar. We drove to the drug store, I was reclined in his car. WE got out and waited for my meds. We got home,he made sure I made it up the 3 stairs. I sat in my recliner for a bit. Than, I got up and got some juice, took my meds. I was bummed! 2 days later he took me to the store shopping. My buddy wanted to know what the money was for?The Neuro mandate was no lifting over 3-5#s, no driving and always wearing my collar, except in for a quick shower. No direct spray on the steristrips on the incision.
I wanted to milk this baby! My buddy took me for my post op visit 10 days later. Doc couldn't even find stiches to take out. My body had already absorbed them.
A month later I took the bus to see the Neuro. The mandates were the same, but he wanted me to really start reaching over my head.
Far less intensive, then I wanted I'm afraid. Most things you do are at a much slower pace.

What I want to know is, did you get your $500 bucks back?
__________________
Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

 
Old 01-06-2007, 09:54 PM   #13
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Re: ACDF scared with much trepidation!

Quote:
Sure, at first the thought of using donor bone was a bit creepy, I quickly got past that and am forever thankful for it.
I'm thankful too, Shephardlady. I've always listed myself as an organ donor, but hadn't thought of tissue donation until my surgery. If someone can use my bones when I'm gone I'd glady extend the generosity I was offered.

 
Old 01-07-2007, 09:03 AM   #14
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sunshine221 HB User
Re: ACDF scared with much trepidation!

SKZ - don't be surprized if after surgery you have fewer sinus problems - could be related.

 
Old 01-07-2007, 09:14 AM   #15
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Re: ACDF scared with much trepidation!

How could it be related? Degenerative disk and joint disease and chronic sinusitis?

 
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