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Posted By : afreshstart - 7/14/2014 9:19 AM
Hello. I am entering my 4th week (June 18th surgery date) since hybrid cervical spine surgery. I am wondering if anyone else has undergone this surgery as I can find very little information anywhere on the internet.

I have the severe right shoulder/arm pain that I have seen others note.

This past week has been an increase in trouble swallowing and shortness of breath.

I was supposed to return to work on July the doctors will not release me until Aug. 4. Work is not thrilled with this. I am having a difficult time being on the computer to even pay my bills as typing increases the pain.

I am trying to determine when others have returned to work after the hybrid surgery. I know we are all different. I felt that I could have returned after a week but I would definitely be regretting it.

Posted By : straydog - 7/14/2014 10:34 AM
Hello & welcome to the forum. I am thinking you are the first one I have seen that has done an artificial cervical disc & to be honest i was not aware of this being done in the cervical area. A friend of mine had a lumbar done & has regretted it since. The surgeon that did her surgery pioneered the lumbar artificial disc so there was plenty of knowledge & experience as far as her surgeon went.

I think a return to work even in August is a little soon. What kind of work do you do? I see more people out a good 6 months in order to completely heal both inside & out. What may appear to be healed on the outside does not necessarily mean the same for the inside. Drs unfortunately, talk text book when it comes to telling a patient when they may return to work, if they told them 6 months to a year for these spine surgeries the patient would not ever agree to surgery. You are right everyone does heal different.

The one thing I will tell you is do not rush back to work & do not let the dr rush you back to work. Your post op care is every bit as important as the surgery itself. Where we see people have problems is when they jump out & do too much too soon & then they are knocked backwards. It takes a lot more to make a come back too. Trust your own judgment.

Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : Abilene - 7/14/2014 12:45 PM
I don't know anything about the hybrid surgery but it sounds interesting. It sounds like you were set up to have a rapid recovery but now it's going more like the others having non-hybrid surgery. My niece had that in November and returned to teaching in 8 weeks. That was VERY difficult for her. Your job will make a difference. But please do invest in yourself for now and let your body heal well before returning to work. I wish you did not even have the added stress of wondering about it. Stress is not good for healing.
Posterior C3 - C7 laminectomy and fusion 2 rods and 10 screws, local bone graft from surgery site-lamina and other bony tissue.
Knee and foot surgery
Cataract surgery x2. Felt that I was looking through water post-op. Told it is floaters that I probably had before surgery. I disagree. Very irritating, worse in bright light.
Thankful for my husband of over 40 years

Posted By : Lynnster - 7/14/2014 1:14 PM
I definitely have to agree with what has been said. I know for my fusion and laminectomy that it took over a year to fully recover and there are still days when I wonder if I did too much too soon. I know we all want to get right back to what we were doing before surgery but we have to be patient and let our bodies heal inside and out. I do hope that you will be able to return to work soon but please don't rush things. You will definitely do a two steps forward and three steps back sort of thing. Good luck with everything.

Posted By : afreshstart - 7/14/2014 1:30 PM
Thank you for the responses. I was a "guinea pig" in the past due to some other medical issues. I said that I did not want to be one again but with the lack of reponses across the internet regarding the hybrid surgery leads me to believe that I will be a paper topic for my surgeon. I did heal quickly and I was up and about within 6hrs after leaving the post-op. I did stay one night at the hospital and very glad that I did. My age and health made a big impact on the approval for the surgery so I can understand why there is not information available. I do want to share my story so others know this procedure could be an option for them.

I am slightly under 40 and I have no major health issues such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. I take no prescribed medications and I was only taking otc meds on a limited basis and vitamin D prior to surgery. This made a tremendous difference when getting authorization for the surgery and then getting insurance approval. It is very expensive, in my opinon, as I will end up paying alot out of pocket. I do not regret having the surgery and would do it again.

Posted By : Talon - 7/14/2014 1:53 PM
I am not sure what is meant by hybrid. A friend of mine just had the artificial disk surgery in her neck. All I know is she was up and out of the hospital the next day. I can find out if it was a hybrid.
Right shoulder: Rotator cuff repair 11/09, Lysis of adhesions 6/10, Bicep tenodesis and distal clavicle resection 12/10, Hemiarthroplasty with hemiCap 8/11, Total shoulder replacement 5/12, Reverse shoulder replacement 3/13, Disabled 5/13.

Posted By : afreshstart - 7/14/2014 2:03 PM
Thank you, Talon. I had one disc replaced with an artificial disc and the other disc was from a donor bone and it was fused (also known as acdf). I have another disc that is deteriorating and I hope I can wait several years for another surgery. I hope to have another artificial disc. Insurance would only approve 1 level for artificial disc replacement and I was told this is true for almost all insurance in the US.

Posted By : Abilene - 7/14/2014 2:09 PM
I'm also not sure what hybrid means but the being up and about after 6 hours, then go home after one night in the hospital is quite typical. My niece I referred to was walking down the hall 2 hours post op. I had a more involved posterior surgery and walked the first day, went home the next day.

Now you are having shortness of breath? Has your dr been informed of that?
Posterior C3 - C7 laminectomy and fusion 2 rods and 10 screws, local bone graft from surgery site-lamina and other bony tissue.
Knee and foot surgery
Cataract surgery x2. Felt that I was looking through water post-op. Told it is floaters that I probably had before surgery. I disagree. Very irritating, worse in bright light.
Thankful for my husband of over 40 years

Posted By : afreshstart - 7/14/2014 2:25 PM
Hi Abilene,

The hybrid is taking two different procedures during one surgery. They did the acdf and then the artifical disc. I was so nervous even hearing the word "hybrid". :)

I did not even wake up until 5hrs post op. I was very concerned about that but they really did drug me. Your niece was a very quick recovery. Wow!

I have not called the doctor. Thank goodness I live with a medical person. My doctor now seems to do the "oh that is normal" for every response to my current symptoms. :( I guess he feels he did his job and I am alive so not his problem (that is how I feel).

I am having breathing and swallowing issues. 911 is on call and aware. I will likely call my primary if they take me in. At least he and my surgeon know each other well and then maybe my surgeon will listen ;)

Posted By : White Beard - 7/14/2014 5:51 PM
Hi afreshstart and Welcome to Healing Well Chronic Pain Forum,  and Welcome to the ACDF club! LOL  Doctors often tell patients how they can go back to work really soon after surgery, but they are not the ones that were cut on, and are not the ones dealing with the post op affects of their surgery!   As you have been previously told, listen to your body and take things easy, it will pay off big time later on! You just have to let your body heal, the artificial disc is one thing and who knows how long that healing process is??? But since you also had a ACDF with donor graft, that does take some time to heal, and for the fusion to take!  With the two together, that just compounds things and I would think make the healing process even longer???
As for the breathing and swallowing difficulties, I think I would talk with your doctor about it, but I can tell you that these are pretty common side affects with this type of surgery, especially the swallowing problems. When they go through the front of your neck like that to do the surgery, they have to pull every thing out of the way to get at the spine, that means stretching nerves that go to the throart and larynx and all those areas. When I had my first ACDF at C6/7 I could hardly swallow, anything, and choked allot, and I even lost my voice for about three months. Still have some residual affect from that surgery as my vocal cords on my right side are still partially paralyzed.  If you read allot of the post of people here that have had ACDF surgery, I think you will find that the swallowing problem is a pretty common side affect.  But for most it does get better and goes away with time!
Anyway my advice to you right now is just be gentle with yourself, and take things easy and don't over due anything or cause any strain or stress on your cervical spine! Give your body time to heal and mend! And of course come here and let us all know how you are doing! When your here at this forum, you are part of our CP forum family!  It is a great place to come for support, and also to vent, your frustrations, as we have all done that at one time or another here!
Again I Welcome YOU!
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
I retired from the USAF, in Sept, 1991. I went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, I worked on Oncology and Med Surg , I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002! Diagnosed with: DDD, herniated Disk at T12, L3/4; C3/4 Posterior Articular Joint fusion Nov 2010; C5/6 ACDF Sep 2009; C6/7 ACDF Mar 1985; Ulcerative colitis; Chronic Pain; Complex Sleep Apnea; and host of other things! I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Posted By : Talon - 7/14/2014 6:18 PM
She said it was not hybrid. She has two artificial disks in the neck. She may go back to work this week at 4-5 weeks.

Posted By : Nodales4 - 7/14/2015 4:43 PM
Hello Afreshstart,

You would not believe how excited I was to see your post :)

We have had similar surgeries. My surgery was on June 11 this year and I was supposed to get a two level ADR in C6-7 and C7-T1. After my neurosurgeon did the ADR in C6-7 he found I did not have enough disc space in C7-T1 and put in a spacer fusion.

My recovery so far has been fairly good, first 3-5 days were pretty tough pain wise but I am now almost 5 weeks post-op. I plan to go back to work next week on July 20/15. Not sure if I am ready but my doc told me to try if I want and if it is too much he will let me have more time off. I have a medical administrative job so not very physical thank goodness, plus I want to go back to work if I can. I am finding my biggest issue right now is afternoon pain, I think I do too much in the morning and end up sore in afternoon and have to take more tramacet and lay down. I am 47 so a little older then you, I am fit and walk 4-5km a day and have been since day 7.

I have been looking all over the internet for others who have had this hybrid procedure and have not been able to find any one or much information on it. Keep me posted on how you are doing!


Post Edited (Nodales4) : 7/15/2015 12:41:58 AM (GMT-6)

Posted By : CaryF - 7/14/2015 5:12 PM
Hybrid fusion means a combo of 1 artificial disc & associated fusion with 1 or more "old style" level fusions. In the US only single disc replacement is being done although due to multi-level ADR done over seas, it may proceed to more than 1 level quickly here. Sure wish I were a candidate. It seems the benefits are overwhelmingly positive.

Goo luck to all who are having ADR or hybrid combos!

Posted By : Abilene - 7/14/2015 10:09 PM
Welcome Nodales4,

There is something wrong here. I think this thread was actually started a year ago on this same date-not sure why it shows today's date. I know my comments were NOT made today.

Read what Vernita says in her thread titled Ready for surgery. Her situation may relate some to what you have. There are many others of us who have also had fusion surgery. In the Chronic Pain 101 near the very top of threads, there is lots of information written for and by fusion people. Hope some of that will be helpful to you.

Be kind to yourself and don't push too much to allow the fusion to happen!

It might be helpful if you would start your own thread about hybrid fusions. If the person who started this thread is still active perhaps she will respond.
Subclinical Hyperthyroidism; Sleep Apnea; Shoulder Impingement Syndrome.
Posterior C3 - C7 laminectomy and fusion 2 rods and 10 screws, local bone graft from surgery site-lamina and other bony tissue 12/17/2013
Thankful for my husband of over 40 years

Posted By : nvrthesame98 - 7/15/2015 4:12 AM
Yes Abilene something strange going on in this thread. Lynsters not posted here by profile since March 9th yet according to this she posted yesterday,our login record shows her last login at the forum to be July 6th so how did she post yesterday?

I will check with Peter and see if he has any idea's but another mod a few weeks back asked about something like this in their forum.

When something bad happens to you, you can let it destroy you, let it define you, or you can let it strengthen you.

Posted By : straydog - 7/15/2015 8:22 AM
Ladies, I am having huge problems getting into the forum. I was not able to get in yesterday & post at all. If I was able to get in, I could not post.

I hope our new member here will make an intro post as I am sure she/he does not want to highjack Afreshstarts thread.
Moderator Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Post Edited (straydog) : 7/15/2015 7:13:27 PM (GMT-6)

Posted By : Paulh - 6/5/2017 12:06 PM
Hi peeps i. New nere based in the uk
Had my hybrid c4/5 cervical total dic replacment and c5/6 ACDF on the 17th may 2017
After op woke up with loss of feeling in my left hand thumb and index finger also cannot lift my left arm above my tummy
Was taken in for mri and xray the same day no evidence of haematoma or cord compression .
Its been 3 weeks now and no real improvment is this normal
I worry that i may not have full ise of my arm for ever now crying myself to sleep every night ?

Posted By : straydog - 6/5/2017 4:12 PM
Hi Paulh & welcome to Healing Well. Paul you have brought up an old thread. If you would please start your own thread here. To make your own post, click Post New Topic, type in a heading & then start typing your post. People tend to not read these older threads & you will get better responses by making a new thread.

Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

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