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  • Do I still go for ACDF? (Long post)

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    Old 01-26-2009, 12:48 AM   #1
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    Do I still go for ACDF? (Long post)

    Sorry for long post but I wanted to give history.

    About two years ago I started having probs with pain and numbness radiating down left arm. Family Doctor sent me for PT which helped pain but was left with numbness. About 10 months ago pain started to become quite bad on and off again and I just kept taking painkillers for about 3 months and eventually went back to GP. She said it was neuralgia and offered me muscle relaxants. After another 2 months pain was so bad had to go back to doc again. I was offered PT but on our NHS service there was a 3-4 month waiting list. I went to private PT who did manipulation and Electromagnetic therapy. After a few weeks this seemed to help and I stopped the sessions as it was very expensive.

    Two weeks later I woke up in excrutiating agony with my left arm and upper back. This went on for days and family GP injected me with anti-inflammatory. This did not work at all and he said there was "nothing more he could do". I was screaming and crying during the night and day. Two days later I presented myself at A&E who gave me morphine patches which did help a bit.

    I also asked for a private referral to Spinal Consultant. He arranged MRI which showed large disc protrusion at C6/7 which was pressing on nerve and markedly compromising my spinal cord. We arranged for an ACDF mid-February which has since been brought forward to next week as someone cancelled.

    My "problem" is that my symptoms have started to subside a little. I still have left arm pain and numbness and spinal pain but it is a lot less. I have also now noticed mild symptoms down my right arm and tingling in my right leg from the knee down which was not there before. I am sleeping a lot better now.

    Like many others my job is at threat of redundancy over the next couple of weeks and if I do not take the operation now privately (connected to my job) I could wait for months on the NHS.

    I have a feeling that this is just a lull in my symptoms and even if I do postpone I will need this op in the near future. I am also worried about increasing nerve damage.

    I know only I can decide whether to have operation or not but any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    Bobbyboo x

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    Old 01-26-2009, 05:28 AM   #2
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    Re: Do I still go for ACDF? (Long post)

    Hi Bobbyboo,
    I had a spinal compression at C7-T1 which caused symptoms in both arms, hands and feet. I could hardly walk. I had ACDF in June 2008 and though nerves take much time to heal, I am so glad I had the surgery. I am improving slowly every day. I would recommend that you get this taken care of. I don't think that it will get better on it's own. I pray that you find peace for the right answer for you.

    Old 01-26-2009, 06:09 AM   #3
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    Re: Do I still go for ACDF? (Long post)

    I would also have the sugery. My problems started in October of 07. I was on pain killers for almost two months before the pain finally went away. I thought nothing more of it--until it returned with a vengeance in July 08. This time they finally sent me in for an MRI and learned I was having a nerve impinged upon by the disk space betweed C5/6. I had my surgery Sept 23rd, and I now feel great. No twinges, no pain. Best decision I made.

    And you're right, you feel good now, but you'll do something in the future, and it will come back, and it'll be months before they schedulle you for another surgery. Just my thoughts.


    Old 01-26-2009, 08:33 AM   #4
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    Re: Do I still go for ACDF? (Long post)

    anything that is actually "markedly" compromising your cord NEEDS attention sooner vs later. the longer that cord stays compromised/compressed,the bigger the risk of permanenet damage to it,and trust me,you do not want that. i have been living with cord damage since 2003 and it sucks in so may different ways i cannot even begin to tell you. you simply need to have that compression relieved at that cord and that nerve too. most spinal issues do NOT just get better on their own,it is more progressive. you CAN have some decent days in between the horrid ones,but what you actually have going on,well that WILL get worse as more time passes, its just the nature of spinal problems. if i were you,i would get this done asap,or risk even more progression and possible compression damage too. was there ANY mention of something called "myelomalacia' going on in that cord area yet?

    of course only you can make that ultamate decision,but honestly,i would not wait too overly long since your symptoms do dictate the effects you are having already with this. compression upon anything having to do with our spinal columns anywhere is just not something you want to have. it can leave its "mark' if left for too long. i do wish you lots of luck with this and hope you can get this all relieved soon. please keep us posted. marcia
    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
    11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

    Old 01-27-2009, 04:11 PM   #5
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    Re: Do I still go for ACDF? (Long post)

    I have to agree with getting the surgery. My surgeon told me that because this started so long ago & was let go I may very well have nerve damage & it is a wait & see situation after 1yr post op. If you know its not going to get better just get it over with. Trust me, I was so bad a couple wks before my surgery I honestly did not think I would make it & I am not kidding. Everytime I thought it could not get worse it did. At the end nothing touched that pain. When the surgery was done it was much worse then they thought. I am not trying to scare you by any means but I put my surgery off for a month due to the holiday & wish I would have had it sooner. No one likes the thought of surgery but sometimes its the only option. good luck, Sammy

    Old 01-27-2009, 09:05 PM   #6
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    Re: Do I still go for ACDF? (Long post)

    I too would agree that the surgery seems to be the right thing to do. You may, as you said, just have a lull in your symptoms and they may come back (and could come back stronger). And, if you have the means (insurance or financial ability) to do the surgery now it's best to move forward. Just think about your symptoms getting worse and having to wait for NHS help and treatment.
    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

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