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    Old 10-29-2003, 07:38 PM   #1
    surf
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    Thumbs up acdf-long term

    I am looking for information or personal experiences relating to the long term prognosis on multi-level fusions. I had c5-7 fused 8 weeks ago and recovery has been outstanding. All of the pain, numbness and muscle weakness has resolved itself. I feel as though I have no physical restrictions and my doc says, go for it after 3 months. I am very athletic(surf, race bicycles, and lift weights. Will this surgery exempt me from my previous activity level?

    I have no genetic issues( I was assaulted by an inmate in custody). Currenty, work as deputy sheriff and my doc does not think this will affect my job.

    Anybody with info let me know, much appreciated.

    [This message has been edited by surf (edited 10-29-2003).]

    [This message has been edited by surf (edited 10-29-2003).]

    [This message has been edited by surf (edited 10-30-2003).]

     
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    Old 10-30-2003, 05:25 AM   #2
    siouxzy
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    Hi Surf. I am same line of work (L.E.). I had a C6/7 ACDF (partial discectomy, own bone, no hardware). After about 5 weeks I was back at work full time (restricted duties, no offender contact). After 6 months I was on unrestricted duty and there was NOTHING I did not do (go karting , abseiling, wrestling about etc). A couple of years later my fusion failed and I have since had 2 more surgeries and can not carry out most normal daily activities without HEAPS of pain. I couple of friends of mine have had cervical fusions and years (6 plus) are still doing well and are physically active in sport and also unrestricted at work (L.E.). Good luck, I hope you achieve a great outcome.

     
    Old 10-30-2003, 08:08 AM   #3
    surf
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    Thumbs up

    Thanx brother for the input, I guess I will have to wait and see. I did forget to add my doc said , think twice before going out in double overhead surf and no more boxing.
    Quote:
    Originally posted by siouxzy:
    Hi Surf. I am same line of work (L.E.). I had a C6/7 ACDF (partial discectomy, own bone, no hardware). After about 5 weeks I was back at work full time (restricted duties, no offender contact). After 6 months I was on unrestricted duty and there was NOTHING I did not do (go karting , abseiling, wrestling about etc). A couple of years later my fusion failed and I have since had 2 more surgeries and can not carry out most normal daily activities without HEAPS of pain. I couple of friends of mine have had cervical fusions and years (6 plus) are still doing well and are physically active in sport and also unrestricted at work (L.E.). Good luck, I hope you achieve a great outcome.

     
    Old 10-30-2003, 02:05 PM   #4
    winged phantom
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    Can I get into this conversation. My niece is in LE, not me. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.... (not! ) Let me refer you to this post from Leo, which seems to sum it up pretty good: [url="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/Forum113/HTML/001269.html"]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/Forum113/HTML/001269.html[/url]

    I think 3 months is a bit early to go for all the gusto. And whether you go for it at 6 depends on the shape of your muscles, I think. Just always remember that a fusion will put additional stress on the levels above and below it... it's my firm belief that all of us who have fusion surgery will be scheduling more surgery in the future. I'm 6 months post-op for my second surgery; hopefully I only have one more to go, waaaay in the future.

    Be careful out there! And thank you for all you do.
    wr
    ps Hi Siouxzy, "brother!" I didn't know that's what you did!

    ------------------
    • 12/29/89 C5-6 Microdiskectomy (no fusion)
    • 4/9/03 ACDF C4-7 with plating and donor bone
    __________________
    • 12/29/89 C5-6 Microdiskectomy (no fusion)
    • 4/9/03 ACDF C4-7 with plating and donor bone

     
    Old 10-30-2003, 04:12 PM   #5
    surf
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    hey,winged phantom thanx for the reply. I am working on really strengthening my neck/back muscles to prevent another surgery.

     
    Old 10-30-2003, 06:07 PM   #6
    winged phantom
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    Hi Surf,
    It's my contention that you should be careful of jerky movements that might affect your upper spine and of lifting really heavy stuff. Obviously the first thing can cause problems, and maybe it's because I cannot lift heavy things anymore without some problems... But I think that some doctors will not tell you the truth, maybe because they do not want you to be unhappy with the answer. Just be careful; you only have one spine. And life with an unhappy spine is frustrating, to say the least.
    wr
    __________________
    • 12/29/89 C5-6 Microdiskectomy (no fusion)
    • 4/9/03 ACDF C4-7 with plating and donor bone

     
    Old 10-30-2003, 06:14 PM   #7
    nero
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    Why can't a doctor be honest and just tell people who are having their first fusion that there is the possibility of future surgeries, whatever time period that means, due to the mechanics of the neck and the stress that fusions put on adjacent sites.

    My chiro talked to me about this and I read into if off the web from the compendiums of many Canadian ortho, spinal,and neuro surgeons and certain disc areas, ie c5-6 tend to cause adjacent pre-existing bulge sites to herniate and require fusion at a 2-5 year period.

    THe information is all over the place for surgeons to read and discuss yet this large component of what should be our basis for a decision is left unrelayed. I for one am angry as it is almost like malpractice to fail to disclose such pertinent information.

    I have c5-6 herniation and spinal compression, adjacent bulging disc site and l5-s1 herniation. My surgery in now up in the air as my surgeon hurt his own foot and may not be capable. But, after three years of having two postponements, due to fate perhaps luck, I am not going through with the surgery till I am lying in bed again. Yes that may be sooner than later, but so is a recurring surgery by the looks of it. At 44 I would rather live on minimal pain killers than spend the next 20 years of my life or 10 in and out of this ruddy dilemna instead of being a mother, wife and 2/3 person. My surgery is to be six hours not a walk in the park, and the thought of having to do this dangerous and gut wrenching surgery on a regular basis is not overwhelmingly appealing either.

    GOD HELP ME AND ANYONE ELSE WHO LIVES WITH ANY OF THIS HANGING OVER THEIR HEAD.

    NERO

     
    Old 10-30-2003, 07:00 PM   #8
    surf
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    Hey, this light duty gig is kind of cool due to the fact I can use county time to resolve health issues(just kidding). All kidding aside th doc said mri showed no bulging and degenerative conditions of the discs above and below fusion site. Could this bode well for the future or all fusion recipients f**** for the future

     
    Old 10-31-2003, 05:15 AM   #9
    siouxzy
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    Hi Surf , When I had my original surgery I already had minor bulges and spurs at the 2 levels above and the one level below my surgery (BUT none of those levels were causeing any problems at all). After the original surgery I regained a lot of my arm strength, got rid of the worst of my pain BUT retained some numbness and part of the arm always fatigued easily, nevertheless I managed easily to cope with patrol work. About a year and a half after the surgery a Doctor said my bone graft was being absorbed and was a failed fusion and unstable ... my duties changed to full time working at a computer THAT was harder on my neck than patrols and led to my neck becoming significantly worse. A percentage of fusions do go on to have probs at adjacent levels but if those levels are in good condition and you keep your neck strong you should be okay.

     
    Old 10-31-2003, 08:19 AM   #10
    surf
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    Hey, Siouxzy I find the desk job is hard on the neck. My doc is releasing me to full duty in two(2) weeks and I think it will be easier on my neck. My only concern is some lingering weakness in my hand and how that will affect my ability with control holds etc.

    At one point could not rack the slide on my gun(I think you understand that concern), anyways I will keep updating my condition. I appreciate the feedback and information. Lastly, I think a sound, positive and proactive frame of mind is very important in dealing with this type of problem. GOOD LUCK!!

     
    Old 10-31-2003, 07:43 PM   #11
    nero
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    After having read so many of you have had a return to the surgery room for another fusion its hard not to see that perhaps having a fusion surgery inherently sets you up for another one.

    Obviously no doctor will tell you that.. seems like everybody on this board found out the hard way...

    Being proactive is vital i agree. That means researching the odds for your future, treadmilling/exercising to bring oxygen to the site that is ill/recovering, trusting your gut instinct.

    I see spine surgery kind of like having a baby... or as Forest Gump said, "you never know what you're gonna get", and therefore you must figure that risk into the equation, not ignore it.

    Just my thoughts... Nero

     
    Old 11-03-2003, 09:10 AM   #12
    JonInTampa
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    Surf, it's great to read about your successful results from surgery!

    As to your question of whether to limit your activities to avoid additional problems - I'd ask you a couple of questions....
    1) how old are you?

    2) How's the health of your adjacent segments (especially the one above - c5/4)?

    If you have a high speed internet connection, I could see if I can
    dig up a streaming video from a Neuro surgeron that had his own
    two level cervical fusion, and continues to downhill ski. His comments are worth viewing.

    I think everyone's situation is different and results in a tough
    decision. I've avoided having a one or two level fusion as I actually have 4 bad levels. The alternative surgery I've had has helped, but I'm still in pain and limit my activities.

    Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress....

     
    Old 11-03-2003, 07:23 PM   #13
    surf
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    Hey, JONINTAMPA, I would like to see the video rea: the doctor who skis with the fusion. I am 42 and the doc stated absolutely no sign of degenerative changes of either disc above or below fusion site. Also, no spurs or foraminal narrowing. He says I was not a normal candidate for this type of surgery. Go figure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
    Old 11-04-2003, 06:02 PM   #14
    nero
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    Well I saw my dr. today and asked about the risk of adjacent sites since that seems to be the million dollar question.

    He clearly said its hard to say and that no one knows since there are so many variables that come into play.

    The main thing I find contradicting is that my surgeon has made it clear that regardless of me using gold standard of my own bone for fusion and the plate for fusion he is still requiring a three month commitment to a hard collar neck brace with intermittment time off after six weeks minimum. I find it incredible to believe that some of you never had to wear a brace, some of you only a soft collar. Its a drag to think of it on this long although i am sure i will adapt.

    Don't you think its a little soon, specifically referencing SURF man, that you can go wild after this surgery. I too am only forty four years young, 5'6 and 120 lbs and mostly muscle and I wouldn't tempt fate as much as I love my daily workout. Maybe i am over informed because I have been scared about somebody wondering around next to my spinal chord and regardless of the pain i love my life, but i pray you are a little extra careful. Remember how dominoes lean, well so does your vertebrae and you have radically changed things...

    Just be careful since you already have the fortune of having a perfect spine otherwise.

    NERO (now sounding like Grandma Moses)

     
    Old 11-26-2003, 09:33 AM   #15
    irish34
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    Re: acdf-long term

    Nero,
    I sent you a reply to another post you had however I now found this one as well. Our situation is frightening, very similary. Please see my post at "Just found out" Irish34. I am also a Deputy and was also assaulted, per say, by an inmate.
    Would really like to correspond with you.
    CJ

     
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