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  • Like new after c5-c6 surgery?

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    Old 06-09-2004, 01:16 PM   #16
    rcrq500
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    Re: Like new after c5-c6 surgery?

    I have had an acdf c5-6 and have alot of burning sensations in my shoulders across my back. I am on meds for it, and it has been 2 months, but still no improvement. Anyone else had this burning sensation after acdf?

     
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    Old 06-09-2004, 05:33 PM   #17
    Ricki
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    Re: Like new after c5-c6 surgery?

    Yes, I had some burning sensation. It must be the damaged nerves. I am 4 wks post op ACDF C5-C6. I saw my doctor yesterday and he mentioned it can take the nerves up to 6 months to heal after surgery. Hope you feel better!!

     
    Old 06-13-2004, 05:51 PM   #18
    boxer_dog_luv
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    Re: Like new after c5-c6 surgery?

    Returned to original NS 6/10 as planned; his PA always does all the preliminaries--NS wings in always briefly to draw conclusions. I stressed to PA that I was having definite worsening symptoms over the month of conservative therapy. (It is even hard to type with the left hand now.) He did the neuro tests and said there was a demonstrable decrease in strength on the left over the last month indicating he believes what I have been saying. NS appeared and said ACDF was planned; my symptoms indicated C5-6 but he would take care of C6-7 while there and open the foramen where the nerve roots pass thru the vertebrae. For the first time, he flipped open the chart and was pointing to his own extensive interpretation of the new MRIs which I first took to his office a month ago. His review and signed office note was far more extensive than the one page radiologist's report. I guess when I felt he was "dismissive" last month it could have meant that he knew he was planning to review the films himself, needed time to do so, and it was not the appropriate time to talk about the "what-ifs." He told me not to take another Advil or any NSAID before surgery on 6/30; only Darvocet for pain. My ins co. has dictated that this be a 23-hour short stay admission. He plans to have me in a hard collar, does not plan plating at this point but may if he does more extensive work than he thinks now. Will be out of work for 8 weeks. He was insistant that I use the closest hospital--the one I think has "quality" issues where I also worked for 10 years I have tried to quantify my fears--I think the surgeon/OR will be fine, PACU okay, it is only the nursing unit where "things happen" in the dark of night. My husband promises not to leave me and my "friend" of the previous post with the demeanor of a pit bull is "salivating" at body guarding. I do go for my second opinion tomorrow. My husband has talked to folks too and is very concerned about the plan NOT to use a plate/screws for fixation. I have been firm to my husband that once I get home I will not leave or be in a car until the doctor's appt. (I am seriously concerned about hubby's driving; he swerves, runs off the road, slams on brakes, hits every pot hole and animal by the roadside. I may have suffered whiplash on a daily basis and not know it?!? A real Mr. Magoo so the choice of hospitals might be a mixed blessing--only 30 miles away.)

    I am so encouraged that I see people able to post 48 hours after surgery. Take care all. I don't know what I would have done without this board so I am trying to give back info from my humble viewpoint.

    Last edited by boxer_dog_luv; 10-10-2006 at 11:44 AM.

     
    Old 06-13-2004, 07:32 PM   #19
    Ricki
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    Re: Like new after c5-c6 surgery?

    I am also concerned about the idea of not using a titanium plate. Out here in Los Angeles, I interviewed 3 surgeons and they ALL use plates nowadays and I believe we have some of the finest doctors and facilities here. I heard one time that they used to only use plates for multi level ACDF surgery because it was too expensive a procedure to use it for a one level ACDF!! Can you believe it?? That would force people into WEEKS of using a collar when they wouldn't have needed it with a plate. Please don't be a victim of this!!!! Ask him why and make sure it's not for economic reasons ... or get a second, third or fourth opinion!!! How far is a hospital you like?? Maybe your friend can drive!! Good luck. Ricki.

    Last edited by Ricki; 06-13-2004 at 07:34 PM. Reason: spelling

     
    Old 06-15-2004, 12:07 PM   #20
    boxer_dog_luv
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    Re: Like new after c5-c6 surgery?

    Thanks Ricki. More people i ever imagined have had this surgery; all have the plate with excellent results. I had the 2nd opinion (50 miles away) 6/14 & with my PMD's friend/the ortho and fishing buddy. Large practice, like a puppy mill, disorganized, l-o-n-g wait, office staff would not even take my MRIs for fear of "losing them." No--ortho did not want to review them before he saw me. It raised my hackles when the "staffer" taking the hx, pronounced during the interview that since I had not tried a course of steroids, the MD would rx them and she could tell that I was apprehensive about surgery. Anyhow I was there for a 2nd opinion & the ortho proceeded to bad mouth my NS and wanted me to convert to his practice. The ortho wanted me to try a course of prednisone, epidural steroid injections and cervical traction w/ three months of PT. He wanted to try this one more thing before he would plan to do surgery--maybe I would need it in a few months. Well, this is contrary to my PMD who has been treating me x 1 yr. and wanted surgical intervention last summer. I have more confidence than ever in my NS now. From my previous posts where I have been worsening profoundly over the last month, have diminished strength in left hand & >numbness lasting longer, I have gotten to the point where it is intolerable. I am climbing the walls w/o my Advil and yesterday didn't take a Darvocet at all due to the 2nd opinion and was a wild animal by the end of the day. I ached so much I couldn't see straight and sat so long in the ortho's office that I finally had to stand when he arrived. From the posts and from people I have spoken with having same, I really think I have suffered enough, don't want more holes punched in my epidural space for steroid injections and end up having surgery later anyway. I had a complication w/ an epidural following childbirth and had a lot of phantom pain and scarring of the myelin sheath. Does this seem prudent and well reasoned by people who have considered or had epidural steroid injections, particularly those would have read all my symptoms/results in my previous posts? Thanks.

     
    Old 06-15-2004, 12:30 PM   #21
    boxer_dog_luv
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    Re: Like new after c5-c6 surgery?

    My husband is more concerned about the lack of plate/screw fixation. The two crazy things that worry me most: I have an antique 4-poster high bed with steps- Could I be killed in a fall from my bed? Also I have an 80 lb. boxer who is very physical & 2 yrs old--He has not knocked me down yet and I find my pets are usually intuitive about sick, frail or disabled people. (but I will mention this to my NS) No kidding--I picked up Sat.'s newspaper and a local man was killed in a 5 ft. fall down the steps of his yacht--he broke his neck. Just my luck to read all the broken neck stories now?!?. Somehow my gut feeling is of enormous respect for my NS (we worked in same facility for 10 years so his work/outcomes are familiar to me) and I trust him--I feel like he will plate/screw fixate rather than take a chance with my outcome. I would be in some very slim minority not to have a plate if it truly comes to pass. (I am not sure why NOT to plate would be the first choice in a patient w/ no past surgical hx, no allergies--only thing I can think of is maybe the six screw holes would increase risk of infection & titanium would increase risk of foreign body reaction--although these are not significantly documented risks so this revelation surprised me too.)

    I am committed to making sure I have the best recovery possible (will not take chances to jeopardize M.D.'s orders) and it would be no big deal to concentrate on that for 8 weeks.

     
    Old 06-15-2004, 02:13 PM   #22
    X-man
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    Re: Like new after c5-c6 surgery?

    Here's another perspective on plates/screws. Not to give anyone here even more to think about, but my sister-in-law's close friend had ACDF (not sure of the level) using titanium plate and screws a little over a year ago (same hospital I had mine at but different NS). She first developed an infection in the area and was back in the hospital for a round of IV antibiotics for that. Then the plate started to irritate the back of her esophagus to the point where it was actually wearing it away and another serious infection developed that put her in intensive care for several days with antibiotics pumped into the site through a tube. Subsequently she had 2 more surgeries to remove the plate and re-do the original ACDF. So don't think plating is necessarily "foolproof" compared to other techniques.

    Second, (for comparison) I went through ACDF C-6/7 in April using Rabea implant, no plates, no screws. I was not required to wear any collar. I went back to work at 10 days and drove at 2 weeks. My NS said that this is one of the most stable implants he's seen and has had patients who've taken serious falls shortly after surgery who've returned to be checked because they fear they've moved things around. Has never seen a misalignment in over 200 procedures. By the way, he's also qualified as a pediatric NS, is on the teaching staff at the Univ. of MN med school, and has literally a world-class reputation. I suppose it all depends on the individual situation and how many levels/severity in each case. But you can't make an automatic assumption that plating = better stability or better results.

    You can go to 10 NS's and probably get 10 answers on this surgery. I still think that you hear more horror stories on this site (and I just added one above) than positive results, which has to make it tough and confusing for folks out there considering this procedure. Ultimately, you just have to make up your mind what's best in your case and do it.

    Also, stuff like Advil (anything w/ibuprofen) hampers bone development after surgery and is not allowed until you're fully recovered.

    My 2 cents.

     
    Old 06-15-2004, 09:33 PM   #23
    Ricki
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    Re: Like new after c5-c6 surgery?

    Hey boxer_dog_luv,

    I agree regarding the injections. Sounds like you have suffered enough, and at some point permanent nerve damage can occur without surgery. I tried the epidurals and they didn't help much so I can't give much encouragement in that direction. I will check back to see how you're doing.

    Ricki

     
    Old 06-18-2004, 04:51 PM   #24
    boxer_dog_luv
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    Re: Like new after c5-c6 surgery?

    Hi X-Man and Ricki, Thanks so very much for the info. My director's wife had ACDF w/plate in Nov. and says she can "feel the plate." Not a complaint, just statement of fact. That does not sound pleasant.

    X-man makes a very valuable point--the more intervention, the more risk for complication. I have to keep doing mental health checks on myself--the constant aching, pain drags one down in mindset. After the 2nd consult where everything felt wrong about the ortho and his practice, it reaffirmed that my NS is being very methodical and careful. I probably shouldn't have let my PMD plant the seed about seeing his friend-the ortho--but after 6/30 it will be too late for a second opinion. You don't want to be too eager, but then you don't want to keep going around in circles.

    I don't think they are doing the Rabea implants here (suburb of Norfolk, VA). In taking care of loose ends here in the community, I am amazed at how many people around me have had same surgery--having done quite well. Our principal had a two-level ACDF (for same symptoms as mine) in 2000, talked to my husband earlier in the week, so I tracked him down 'cause I wanted to watch him move his head. He says he has done great and would have done it sooner than he did as he has more mobility. His was done for DJD and is also diabetic so that was most encouraging. He says his plate/screws set off airport metal detectors so he carries a credit card sized x-ray (which I presume is imprinted with his name to cross check). Interestingly, like me, his MRIs didn't look terrible, only bulging discs, but he said his surgeon was amazed at how bad it was once inside--chards of bone sticking out.

    Thanks for the Advil advisory postop. You hope the MD's don't forget to tell you all that stuff but one never knows.

    Last edited by boxer_dog_luv; 10-10-2006 at 11:45 AM.

     
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