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  • One year post C5-C7 ACDF

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    Old 05-30-2007, 08:08 PM   #1
    SpineAZ
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    Talking One year post C5-C7 ACDF

    I had my one year post-op visit with the Orthopedic Spine Surgeon today. The fusion is 100% complete and shows good positioning I still have some disc space narrowing at C4-C5 which I knew about (we decided to fuse C5-C7 and wait until the future, or maybe never if I'm lucky, to do a higher fusion if I should develop symptoms of C4-C5 disc problems in the future).

    I still some residual numbness in my left hand pointer finger with some minor (like 1 on a 10 scale) pain down the arm at times If this keeps up the OSS said I could do an epidural steroid injection to calm down the nerve. I'll make that decision if it gets worse and before the year is out (he's out of network for me and now I've met my out of network deductible - so if it at all bothers me I'll do an ESI before 12/31/07).

    All in all I went from pain on a 10/10 scale to 1/10 (2/10 on a bad day) and am SO GLAD I did the surgery One year later I can look back and realize what a good decision it was for me to have this done - and I hope anyone reading this is fortunate enough to have the amount of overall symptom relief I have had.

    If you have any questions or if I can help anyone in any way let me know. I'll keep lurking on the boards for a while.
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    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

    Last edited by SpineAZ; 05-30-2007 at 08:08 PM. Reason: correction

     
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    Old 05-31-2007, 12:27 PM   #2
    ember919
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    Re: One year post C5-C7 ACDF

    Hey, Kross. Congrats on the one year, and glad to hear you continue to do so well. I know you've been a great help to many people on the board.

     
    Old 06-01-2007, 11:14 AM   #3
    debmul
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    Re: One year post C5-C7 ACDF

    Congrats! And thanks for the info...I'm scheduled next week for surgery. You've made me feel much better about it, but I'm ready to feel better after years of this stuff! Did you have to do any type of PT after the surgery? I found a thread about sleeping in the collar...got any suggestions on that?
    Thanks again and best of luck!

     
    Old 06-01-2007, 06:31 PM   #4
    SpineAZ
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    Re: One year post C5-C7 ACDF

    I didn't have to do any kind of PT after the surgery. I was lucky that I had no significant muscle spasms (which I know leads some people to PT). My doctor just told me once the collar came off at 6 weeks to be gentle, let my body signals (pain, spasm, etc) guide me. He actually didn't want me doing too much stretching or movement until 3 mo after the surgery. So I could drive at 6 week, turn my head etc, but it was natural for my body to protect itself so I found myself being very careful.

    Sleeping is definintely a challenge with a collar. I have a bed wedge (you can find at many health care type stores - it goes under your upper body and I think mine was a 45 degree angle version) which I used in conjunction with a variety of pillows. The best suggestion for that I can give you is have many pillows in all different levels of fluff. Some that are more rigid and some that are very cushy and moldable to whatever you feel most comfortable at. Sometimes if I did fall asleep I would find the collar causing me some discomfort when I awoke - just from it being pushed a little higher. So get the sleep when you can, even if it's in spurts.

    My #1 piece of advice I wish I had known - don't let yourself just sit around for 4-6 weeks after surgery. I have a 2000 sq foot house and all I did was move from one room to the other. At 6 weeks when I went back to work the walk from my parking place to the building door was exhausting. I realized how much I had deconditioned in a short time. I wish I had my husband walk me down the block at first, then around the block, etc to keep myself moving. I even have a treadmill and I should have put it on the lowest speed and walked just 5 minutes a day to start and progressively walked more - although slowly - it would have kept me in better overall condition. And I bet it would have helped me sleep better too.

    Good luck! As I've said before the surgery was much easier and less painful than I thought. I am 110% glad I did it.
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    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

    Last edited by SpineAZ; 06-01-2007 at 06:32 PM. Reason: additional content

     
    Old 06-04-2007, 01:54 PM   #5
    MJPByron
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    Re: One year post C5-C7 ACDF

    Hi Kross,

    I tried looking for a private message function but it looks like this board doesn't have one. I have right pericentral herniations from C3-4-5. I don't have much numbness or tingling, but I do have some pain in the neck and shoulder. I am trying to find a way to convince my orthopedist to recommend surgery because PT isn't really helping. Do you have any advice to convince my doctor to let me take the plunge, and what was the run-up and aftermath like? When were you able to return to work?

     
    Old 06-04-2007, 10:26 PM   #6
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    Re: One year post C5-C7 ACDF

    MJPByron:

    First, be sure that your orthopedic surgeon is a spinal OSS. A regular OSS, though they may do some spinal stuff, isn't as well versed as an Spinal OSS. I had evaluations with both a NS and OSS and was thrilled with the Spinal OSS.

    They key may be in any MRI results - if it shows nerve impingement or disc herniation - the key may be to fixing that BEFORE you get the numbness or tingling. I had a really bad primary care doc when my symptoms first started so since it took so long to get to the right primary care and the right Spinal OSS I do have some residual numbness in two fingers on my left hand. So you could approach it as "the tests show ______ and I want to get to this before I have more severe symptoms or limiations". I wish I had been more proactive after the symptoms started. My first symptoms were pain in the neck and radiating into the shoulder.

    The surgery really was not too bad. As you can see by my signature line I have had a ton of orthopedic stuff done but this one was not very painful and percocet contained any pain quite well. I work in a desk type job (with some travel required local and via plane - but during recovery I could limit that). I did take 6 weeks off after the surgery because I had an Aspen collar on for 6 weeks and using a computer was hard - you never realize how often you glance down to the keyboard until you can't (and I'm a really good typist). I couldn't drive with the collar but that was okay.

    Let me know if there's any more questions I can answer for you.

    I see you are in NJ - I used to live in NJ (morris county). Cool area. I miss it. My husband won't even entertain the thought of moving that way.
    __________________
    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

     
    Old 06-20-2007, 09:42 PM   #7
    debmul
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    Re: One year post C5-C7 ACDF

    Thanks for the info! My surgery was cancelled (after I'd checked into the hospital) because of a sinus infection that had not cleared up. They said it would be too risky because of bacterial infection and the fusion plate. I'm glad they did the CBC to check my white count before surgery! I was all checked in, had the cute little hospital gown on and was in the bed all ready for my IV when they came in and said that it was cancelled. I was disappointed, (after being all psyched up about being rid of this pain!), but was glad that they did the blood work before surgery. That just made me more comfortable with my doctor and his PA. They're a great team! I now have the "all clear" and should be scheduled for the 2nd week in July after another appt. on Friday.

    Good luck to you all and thanks! I'll be checking back in

     
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