ACDF C5-C7 Five Years Later...
I come back to post and update here every so often because, I believe, the nature of these kinds of boards is horror stories (or at least it was years ago when I had my surgery). People with good outcomes, naturally, tend to move on with their lives and no longer post.
Well, I'm back to post a good outcome.
I had a fusion and foraminotomy on relatively short notice in 2006 after a neurologist noticed a lack of reflex response during an exam and subsequently scheduled an MRI. I went back to discuss the results of the test and wound up meeting with my NS the next day. I had cervical stenosis induced myelopathy and a clogged nerve vent off my spinal cord.
Following the surgery I had pain and expected it. But it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. The surgeon didn't rip apart layer after layer of tissue to reach my spine. A retractor here and a retractor there and he had a little tunnel to my discs. I was hitting golf balls (with collar on) at 10 days out. I did my three week X-ray (all good) and three month X-ray (released from care) and that was that.
None of that is to say I didn't have periodic flare-ups; I did and for quite some time. But I expected them. The guy took a burr to a nerve canal and jostled around all sorts of stuff. My cord and nerves had been damaged and took some time to return to normal. But, again, nothing unexpected.
All in all, my tonsillectomy was much worse (that really seems to bother some people). Everything is still fine today, although I have quite a bit of crepitus (cracking and popping). I see my Neuro once a year because my NS told me another level would probably have to be done at some point.
I ride a big motorcycle, play sports, and am in no way hindered by my fusion. Hundreds of thousands of people have this surgery and are back to work in about three weeks (that's typical). Don't psych yourself into thinking things are worse than they are; I'm absolutely convinced that your own expectations dictate your recovery.
That's all for now. Catch you in a year (or two or three).
"Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for." George Bernard Shaw
Last edited by ThoreauFan; 02-09-2010 at 04:47 PM.