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  • ACDF--How will I know when?

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    Old 09-19-2007, 04:02 PM   #1
    notlikinit44
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    ACDF--How will I know when?

    I'm new on this message board and appreciate any info you might have time to give. I have spondylosis w/myelopathy--degenerative disc disease--from C3-C7. The pain is far from unbearable, but I do have pins and needles in both hands. Neurosurgeon recommends surgery, but I just don't feel that it hurts enough.

    How do you know when it's time?

    Thanks very much.

     
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    Old 09-19-2007, 05:21 PM   #2
    mllsj53
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    Re: ACDF--How will I know when?

    Hi there
    Sounds like alot of what's going on with me. Around the 4th of July I worked in my yard moving rocks, dirt etc and a couple of days later I woke up with pain in my right shoulder. The pain was really bad. Went to doctor, they said it was probably bulging discs and they gave me pain meds, told me to rest but 4 days later I also started feeling pain down my right arm and it felt like pins and needles on R little finger. I also had pain under my arm in my arm pit. I went back to the doctor and he gave me prednisone and said it was probably bulging discs. 2 weeks past and I didn't feel any better so I went back to the doctor and told her that my finger was numb and I was losing strength in my right arm and hand. Doc sent me to the spine clinic. Doc confirmed weakness in my right arm and had me have an MRI, EMG, Nerve Conduction test, Myelogram and CT scan. The excrutiating pain is finally gone and I questioned whether I needed surgery but after looking at the MRI results I could tell that the surgery was necessary. There were many bone spurs and several disc herniations. The CT scan showed that there is a large bone spur compressing my spinal cord.

    Have they done any tests to confirm what you have? Have they shown you want is going on with you? Talk with your doctor as to what you can expect if you don't have surgery. I wish you the best in making your decision.

     
    Old 09-20-2007, 09:20 AM   #3
    Backinthesaddle
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    Re: ACDF--How will I know when?

    Let me suggest that if you have any spinal cord compression do not wait for the pain to become unbearable. Waiting once the cord is compressed will only cause future pain as the brain remembers the pain and after a period of time does not forget. If the cord is not compressed and all you are dealing with is mild irritation then I guess you can wait. Just my thoughts.

     
    Old 09-20-2007, 10:05 AM   #4
    notlikinit44
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    Re: ACDF--How will I know when?

    Thank you. Apparently there's significant cord compression, but I've heard many daunting comments about the surgery. I've also heard that the recovery time is as much as a year. Is that your experience?

     
    Old 09-20-2007, 10:10 AM   #5
    notlikinit44
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    Re: ACDF--How will I know when?

    That's exactly how I found out what was happening. I was working with a pickaxe, and woke up the next morning with what I found out was a frozen shoulder. The neurologist discovered that it was emanating from the cervical spine. I've now had three MRIs, EMG, and two visits with the neurosurgeon. I'm concerned about the risks, the long recovery, and finding a good neurosurgeon I'm comfortable with, which I haven't so far. How long was it before you were able to return to physical work?

     
    Old 09-20-2007, 10:26 AM   #6
    notlikinit44
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    Re: ACDF--How will I know when?

    Has anyone had experience with (or knowledge of) laser surgery on the cervical spine?

     
    Old 09-20-2007, 03:23 PM   #7
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    Re: ACDF--How will I know when?

    Nerve damage can become permanent if not addressed in time. So you could end up with that pins and needles feeling even after surgery if it's not addressed soon enough. I had C5-C7 fusion and returned to my job 6 weeks later. I would say my "full" recovery was at a year only becuase that was the final xray my doctor takes to make sure all is fused. But, I was back to normal by 4-6 months post-op.
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    Old 09-21-2007, 04:36 PM   #8
    Jessarr
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    Re: ACDF--How will I know when?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by notlikinit44 View Post
    I'm new on this message board and appreciate any info you might have time to give. I have spondylosis w/myelopathy--degenerative disc disease--from C3-C7. The pain is far from unbearable, but I do have pins and needles in both hands. Neurosurgeon recommends surgery, but I just don't feel that it hurts enough.

    How do you know when it's time?

    Thanks very much.
    I am scheduled for ACDF C45 C56 C67 I had an MRI done on Aug 1st and because of the compression (mylopathy) on my spinal cord Surgery was advised. I had 5 Nero Surgeons and 1 Spinal Surgeon and they all agreed on the procedure. I met people and spoke to people in the waiting rooms who have wanted surgery because pain is unbearable but the Dr.s try conservative therapy first for these patience. When the same Dr.S saw my MRI they all skipped the therapy and went right for surgery. This made me think these Dr.s are notoutto cut unless it is necessary with fear you may be in danger of worsening without recovery (when your spinal cord is being compromised). I tried calling a Laser institute and they wanted to do one level C56 just cut the herniated disk (the part that was sticking out on my spinal cord and the osteophytes) I hacve a Kypjosis - meaning my neck is leaning forward and pulling my spinal cord and the the disk osteophyte is pushing onthe cord.. this is my situation...My surgery is Monday and I just today am comfortable with ACDF (my pre-op visit). The Laser Institute siad over the phone the Kyphosis inmy neck was sopmething I could live with. This was the wrong answer for me. Your best bet is to research. If I did nothave Kyphosis and mine cord was not compressed I may continue looking into the laser institues etc.. I am not a DR. just a 33 year old mom of 3. P.S. It has been a month since I have had any pain. I did have the numbness and tinglin in my left arm especially when I tilted my head back this has subsided I still get alittle numbness nad tingling in mu upper back and have some pains inmy legs but nothing bad, I would not even notice it if I did not pay attention to it. Good Luck. I think a good site was the Spine Online site - look at Mt .Sinah in NY website etc... get informed.

     
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