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  • Status post ACDF C5-6, C-67 6/30/04 update

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    Old 02-01-2006, 07:50 AM   #1
    boxer_dog_luv
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    Status post ACDF C5-6, C-67 6/30/04 update

    Hello to everyone! Wanted to check back 1-1/2 yrs later after my anterior cervical discectomy at C5-6 and C6-7 without plating using cadaver bone. I found tremendous support through this board and wanted to check back on how everyone was doing!

    At the time of my original one-and-only surgery, I was concerned if one could make a total and complete recovery, avoid further surgery, etc. I am now a 43 yr. old female with no medical problems other than the 15 lbs. I gained postop. I was overly cautious about doing anything that could cause a fall as I had no plate and actually was only in a hard collar for 4 wks when the x-ray showed good fusion.

    I tippy-toed around the first year trying to avoid slips and falls & any risk in general that could compromise my new found relief. In March 2005, I did slip on food on our school cafeteria floor and put 140 lbs. wacking the concrete floor with total impact on my right knee. Scared me to death, went to urgent care, x-rays of knee and neck, no problems found and I have done fine with no damage to knee or neck since.

    I was not able to walk and lose the weight on my own so I joined a health club 7/1/05 and also a weight loss group of teachers where we weigh in with the school nurse every Monday (since 1/2/06). I lost 8 lbs. in January and feel so much better than carrying the extra pounds. I have made wonderful friends and a support system in my cardiovascular classes at the health club; going 5 times a week. Exercise alone without diet modification--I never lost the excess weight.

    One friend told me that I would feel better and recovery would progress over a full year. I had minor aches and pains but nothing near as bad as the agony before the ACDF. Halfway through the 2nd year, I have to say I feel like a new person. I was a little afraid of situps or using weights to do chest, arm exercises b/c of stress on neck. My instructors at the health club are certified and make sure everyone uses the proper technique and I have had no problems whatsoever.

    Three months postop (last year) having a better mental outlook not being in pain anymore, I began my master's degree and will finish this coming fall. Before the original surgery, I could never have done any of this. My ACDF made a very positive change in my life. I am glad that I did it and had a great surgeon and medical team all the way. (I desparately looked for positive posts like this when I was facing the unknown before 6/30/04.) All the best and good health to all!

    Last edited by boxer_dog_luv; 01-29-2007 at 12:15 PM.

     
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    Old 02-01-2006, 02:55 PM   #2
    dennisgb
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    Re: Status post ACDF C5-6, C-67 6/30/04 update

    Hi BDL,

    Do you remember me? I had my surgery the same time as you back in 04'

    I am also doing very well and have lost weight and continue strength training every other day.

    I have posted my positive results here many times, but many here who have had poor results tend to over weigh the positives...most of the sucessful ones have gone on with their lives, and thus the web contains much more negative feelings towards ACDF surgery.

    I am so glad to hear you are doing so well. It is life changing to get rid of the pain and be able to function "normally" again.

    I hope and pray others here can get the same result.

    Dennis

     
    Old 02-02-2006, 07:26 AM   #3
    boxer_dog_luv
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    Re: Status post ACDF C5-6, C-67 6/30/04 update

    Hi Dennis! I wanted to check in with the board & search for your posts to see how you'd been and did just that. We were going through the same thing, same time, difference places. Glad to see you're still posting regularly. Exactly as you said back in 2004....people recover, go on with their lives, and you never hear more. It's pretty freaky to be facing a new experience, first surgery, and read all the things that can happen and not see any positive postscripts.

    To recap for interested readers of the board, by the time I had surgery, my mental/emotional state was rotten due to 3 yrs of trying everything to avoid surgery and being in constant pain, losing sleep. My only regret is that I initially self-referred myself to a chiropractor behind my family M.D.'s back and spent 2 yrs. being adjusted (and paying $--will I run out of money before I get better?) by a chiro who was basing it all on an x-ray. Big mistake. When I finally confessed to my family M.D., he ordered an MRI that showed bulging discs (not bad) so it was off to the cautious neurosurgeon who performed carpal tunnel surgery first as it could be causing same symptoms and he had seen worse MRIs, etc. Had a second opinion (ortho spine surgeon) who wanted to criticize the 1st NS and do epidural steroid injections instead for a year. More anxiety & tears, more confusion--am I doing the right thing--wanting relief, right now! Opted for NS #1 and surgery as scheduled by him (disregarding 2nd opinion). It was a long road that was just as mentally taxing to realize that I now feel great. I am thankful to all the wonderful people here who listened to a "negative me" and all my woes--always helpful, never judgmental.

    Looking forward to another 43 yrs (God willing) of good health. Hopefully my ACDF was just a bump in the road (never did figure what caused the dx--other than that my career was totally computers for 10 yrs. hence the CTS--no symptoms and still untreated although right wrist still dx'd with CTS too). Great to hear from you Dennis--take care!! All the best!

    Last edited by boxer_dog_luv; 01-29-2007 at 12:15 PM.

     
    Old 02-02-2006, 01:35 PM   #4
    sunshine221
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    Re: Status post ACDF C5-6, C-67 6/30/04 update

    Thanks for the good news. I too have no known cause for my spinal stenosis, but I do sit at a computer all day (and evening). I've rearranged things, bought a phone headset, better chair, etc.

    It makes you second guess everything in your life -- "now could this have caused the damage", etc. Should I ski, golf, play tennis, carry a backpack(light of course), etc.

     
    Old 02-03-2006, 11:55 AM   #5
    boxer_dog_luv
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    Re: Status post ACDF C5-6, C-67 6/30/04 update

    Hi Sunshine!

    Good thoughts. It does make you second guess everything. Absolutely--I was to the point should I do this--will it make it worse? How did I end up like this? I was carrying a handheld, smaller and lighter handbag--thinking that shoulder bags, etc. would aggravate which they did before surgery.

    With no plate, I allowed a year before I started to walk on a jerky treadmill at the gym or do really strenuous things. I thought that I would just walk around my property but that got to be boring, cold, and my body went to flab. After feeling progressively better over the first year, I really went on a self-improvement crusade 7/10/05; regular gym but didn't lose the extra 15 lbs. Now finally since 1/2/06 with diet management (eating healthier) and regular cardiovascular and strength training, I have seen improvement in weight loss and conditioning.

    For others facing same, I write because it has been a process to reach the low point of surgery and now to say that I feel better than ever with nothing to complain about.

    I was so afraid of jerks of the treadmill. Truthfully speaking, riding in the car after I went back to work after 8 weeks--the jolts, bumps, and sudden stops caused momentary sharp pain which gradually subsided. I limited my car trips to the absolutely necessary. I was also fearful of small kids wielding shopping carts in the grocery store; it takes a while to put that behind you. I said "No" to traveling in a pickup truck over 20 miles of unpaved road over a 70 mile pilgramage to visit the in-laws (and due to lack of medical care "if" needed) for the first year. (My husband fails to understand that one but he has never had a back/spine problem so it is not real to him.) I did what I wanted to do, didn't want to do anything to even remotely jeopardize what I thought was in my best interest--it was my recovery and I learned to say "No" so I could recover fully. Good Luck!

    Last edited by boxer_dog_luv; 01-29-2007 at 12:15 PM.

     
    Old 02-04-2006, 01:40 PM   #6
    sunshine221
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    Re: Status post ACDF C5-6, C-67 6/30/04 update

    Thanks for the inspiration!!!

    I lost 5lb pre-surgery and have pretty much kept it off, but would like to do more. I prefer to walk on our (rural) road, but not this time of year (we had a 40 degree day last weekend where I did walk outside). My treadmill is new and I don't feel that it's jerky (it's just boring) and I also have a stationary (recombant) bike. I'm going to start water walking this week at PT and then continue at the local YWCA -- but I'm not thrilled about the idea of swimming in the winter (I'm a Floridian by birth and I'm not used to indoor pools.)

    But I'm realatively upbeat at the moment -- my gait problem causes me to sometimes bang the toe of my right foot (obviously ruining shoes/sneakers) but I feel its improving to the point I bought new sneakers today.

    Bottom line is that I know (think) that exercise should keep me strong and then natural healing of the nervous system will follow.

     
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