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  • one year after ACDF c5-c6

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    Old 06-28-2007, 10:44 AM   #1
    humantunigfork
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    Cool one year after ACDF c5-c6

    I just wanted to offer an update on the case of the human tuning fork one year after my surgery which resulted from a herniated disk c5-c6 that caused severe spinal cord compression....As the veterans among you know the surgery does nothing to resolve neurological issues caused by the cord compression...so folks like me wake up with the same numbness they had prior to the surgery...the surgery just keeps you from deteriorating further and I am thankful that I was able to have it. However one year after the fact..I have come to accept the "new normal" that folks write about here...that is...my left hand still remains numb (a little better than it was before)...I have a little numbness at the bottom of my left foot and in my chest cavity that has receded but still persists. I still have the hyperflexia caused by the injury...thankfully my lhermitte's sign subsided (that was the most disturbing symptom for me and cause for my moniker)...I've been playing a bit of guitar to try to improve my motor function in my left hand. I did return to play basketball perhaps a bit prematurely last winter (I tore my left meniscus...but we won our 4th consecutive rec. league title!...yeah it may be time to give up the hoops)...I am glad to be able to play golf again this summer after not playing at all last year...I have put together 3 rounds in the 70's in the past two weeks which is as good as I could have played before (without a torn meniscus)...So I guess all things considered I have moved on...I need to do some weight training to rebuild my right tricep which was devastated by the injury...but I am able to work and play a little bit so I feel fortunate in that regard...I appreciate all the support I got from this board...sometimes you can get freaked out on here...but at the same time alot of folks on here helped calm my fears about the surgery and recovery. My advice...this is a serious life changing deal here...don't let anybody tell you different. Make sure you are comfortable with your surgeon...I don't think it matters if they are an OS or an NS...just make sure all they do is spine...and they did a fellowship. If you have serious neurological issues don't expect the surgery to somehow cure them over night...sometimes they are resolved with time...i think mine are always going to be a factor...but I'm not going to use that as an excuse to be a spectator...You have to do whatever it is you do...Physical therapy is a great asset though I probably didn't do it long enough...Listen to your body...driving long distances...any type of vibration is not a good thing in the aftermath...I rode in a golf cart for 18 holes (not playing mind you) a month after my surgery and I know it set me back...try to be positive even when things look bleak...pray on it...peace...HTF

     
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    Old 06-28-2007, 12:12 PM   #2
    monarog
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    Re: one year after ACDF c5-c6

    HTF,

    Thank you for the update; I appreciate the perspective and encouragement. I am at 3 months post-op ACDF, C6-7, cord compression. I deal with lots of neuro issues every day. Some are slightly, slightly improved, most are just about the same. I am trying to look a week or more at a time for comparison, if I compare day to day I get VERY discouraged. My symptoms really move around; I just wish my nervous system would calm down a bit. I still twitch and buzz a lot, though some of my tremoring is a bit improved. Also, my balance and dizziness are a bit better - much of this waxes and wanes. I get facial nerve symptoms as well...I don't know if it's related, but I had no neuro problems until the cord compression hit. At this point, I am done investigating; I just want to live and hopefully have gradual improvement. Unless I start falling down, I am done with doctors for the time being.

    I am glad to hear you are out doing things that you enjoy. I used to be a runner and have not lost hope that one day I might partake again. But for now...I had a nice lap swim this AM. It's hard to get used to limitations, yet at the same time, one doesn't have to look very far to feel thankful for the blessings they have. Take care - wishing you continued recovery.

    Mona

     
    Old 06-28-2007, 07:57 PM   #3
    SKZ
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    Re: one year after ACDF c5-c6

    Thanks for posting, you guys. I am a little more than 5 1/2 months out from surgery. I was doing pretty darn well and now I am having a set back. All of a sudden my shoulder blades are killing me. It got so bad my PT got me an appt. for tomorrow with the spinal surgeon. I am really scared that I messed something up when I went on a plane trip in May and had to pull my luggage around ALOT. So the moral of the story, I supposed, is that set-backs happen. I am trying not to get overly discouraged....at least until I see the Dr. tomorrow. We are all in the same boat. I think I did TOO MUCH TOO SOON. Pulling and reaching are not good things after ACDF. I will post when i find out how screwed up I made myself.

     
    Old 06-29-2007, 10:46 AM   #4
    monarog
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    Re: one year after ACDF c5-c6

    Dear SKZ...

    I am so sorry to hear about your setback. Yes, you are understandably freaked out when it's suggested you go BACK to your surgeon...ugh! Let's hope it's not a structural issue and it can be resolved without anything too invasive. Apparently no MRI done yet, huh? As far as MRI's - that's a whole other soapbox for me. I had one done where my disc just didn't look so bad (though 6 months prior the MRI showed large rupture into nerve root). After a year of suffering - both pain and CRAZY neuro stuff - and loads of tests - I basically insisted on a another cervical MRI. Low and behold...disc shows flattening into my spinal cord. I just think that soft tissue moves, one quick look-see doesn't always catch what's really going on. Anyway...that's my issue!

    Please let us know what you find out. I'm sorry you're having this "hiccup" in your recovery - let's hope that is all it is and you'll be back on track shortly. I'll look for your update on the board. Take good care. Mona

     
    Old 06-29-2007, 10:52 AM   #5
    SKZ
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    Re: one year after ACDF c5-c6

    Mona,
    Thanks so much for responding. All this neck and back stuff gets so old. I so want to get out of this medical loop. I am going to post now about my surgeon appt.
    Sue

     
    Old 07-08-2007, 01:43 PM   #6
    ember919
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    Re: one year after ACDF c5-c6

    Hey, HTF, nice to read your 1-year post. Glad things are going as well as they are and that you're back out on the golf course. Hope things continue to improve (yes, they still can) and happy 'new normal' going forward!

     
    Old 07-08-2007, 03:50 PM   #7
    sunshine221
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    Re: one year after ACDF c5-c6

    HTF - Nice to hear from you. I too had surgery for cord compression and while surgery didn't solve 100% of my symptoms, I'd say they were 80%+ better after surgery. I still have a gait (walking) issue from the C7 compression but numbness, cold, etc. in my right arm and foot are only ocassional and neuro weakness (dropping stuff) from my right side is much better although I still favor the left side but I force myself to use the right like for stirring food, etc.

    I'm approaching my 2 year mark since surgery. I swim laps, go to Curves and walk/treadmill. I've done a little golf and did tennis once last fall and will probably try again soon. I've been afraid to do stuff which involves reaching over my head but I've started some stretches in that direction. The walking is the hardest - I don't have balance issues like before surgery but my leg just doesn't swing properly.

    As others have said, listen to your body and take it slow. In most cases we are better off than we were before surgery.

     
    Old 07-10-2007, 02:46 PM   #8
    Dutchgirl
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    Re: one year after ACDF c5-c6

    Thanks for the awesome update HTF! Yes it's true sometimes reading these stories can scare you, but it definitely is a great support place and I would not know what I would do without you all. These are the true friends in life, and the people who understand us! I've been writing on and off since 2005, and have not written anything for months at a time, because for the most part that was when I was doing well. It's just nice to know that you can join in again at any point and time when you need some comfort and help.

    It is so good to hear that you are staying positive and for the most part things have gotten better. Your right most of us will never be the same again, but just hope to live for the most part without excruciating pain every day. I have gotten so used to most of the pain and numbness, that when I needed my 2nd surgery (a couple of months ago) everyone at work was really surprised, because they thought that I was doing so much better, and had no idea that I was still in so much pain.

    I hope that things continue to get better for you! Keep us updated!
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    C5/C6 ACDF 08-22-06
    C6/C7 ACDF 05-22-07

     
    Old 07-21-2007, 06:36 PM   #9
    nero
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    Re: one year after ACDF c5-c6

    I have always felt that the surgery was a necessity for the many of us who suffered. In the end your life now will be about looking at the glass half full vs. half empty. Like you have all generally stated things change but what we are left with is still better than the former pain. Even if things get bad again be glad that surgery is an option if you end up back on that road. I used to wonder why me but in the end would you wish this on anybody..not likely if you are half a human being. So keep on with all your well deserved aspirations..it is truly heartening to know that others are out there finding the determination and strength to still grab on to and participate in whatever makes them happy in life. I know i am still trying.

    Nearly new....Nero

    Last edited by nero; 07-21-2007 at 06:38 PM. Reason: grammatical error

     
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