Hi it sure sounds like those nerves in you cervical spine are being impinged, I have had both a C-6/7 ACDF Anterior Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion in March of 1985 and then another ACDF done at C-5/6 in Sept. of 2009! I will tell you both of these surgeries took away that excruciating arm pain immediately! The first surgery I had was a tough one for several reasons, the first being that the ACDF in 1985 was a brand new type of surgery, and was not widely done, and when they did mine they did not use any hardware to hold it together, and they used bone from my pelvis for the graft. The other major reason it was so hard was because of the damage I had the disk at C-6/7 was so badly herniated that it broke apart and there was free floating fragments floating in my spinal canal, all the doctors were amazed that I was not a quadriplegic, anyway after that surgry I lost my voice for over four months, and had swallowing difficulities. The healing time was very long. Now Fast forward to Sept 2009, I again started having severe arm pain and this time the disk above my previous fusion (at C-5/6) had went bad, and I again needed to have another ACDF done, but this time when they removed the disk they used a cage with ground up cadaver donor bone for the graft and then they put in a bracket across the space being fused and screwed it into the vertebra above and below the graft area to hold it all together. I was in the hospital for 3 days, I was up walking the day after the surgery. I had the surgery on a Monday morning, Monday afternoon when I woke up in my room, my arm pain was completely gone! I was sent home with a soft cervical collar to wear for two or three weeks. It really was a piece of cake! I might note the first surgery in 1985 I was in the hospital 8 days and I had to were the cervical collar for 5 months. They have come along way in doing this surgery! For me it done everything it was suppose to do and I have no regrets. The only thing I regret is as the Surgeon told me, that I got some very bad genes and my spine is an absolute mess, this past November I had to have more surgery on my neck and I had the articular joints in the back of the neck fused at C-3/4 this is a much different type of surgery as it does not involve the disks, and they go through the back of the neck, and they have to fuse and put brackets on both the joints on both sides of the vertebra. I have an incision down the center of the back of my neck, the entire length of my neck from the base of my skull to past the begining of my shoulder blades! Now this surgery was a real bear, and I am still in Physical Therapy three days a week trying to regain some more mobility in my neck! However with that said , it did take away my upper neck pain and the terrible pounding pain in the lower back of my head! So again the surgery did what it was suppose to do!
I would like to tell you REDSAM I do not advocate having surgery if you do not need it, but if it is needed, well............like my surgeon told me, that the ACDF surgery was extremely easy compared to doing all the other disk fusions on the spine, and the reason being, is that in the neck, the cervical spine is more easily accessible than any other area of the spine. Thus making it much much easier for the surgeon to do the surgery! It makes sense to me! Also he told me the success is much better, but what allot of surgeons don't tell you, and I just found this out in 2009, is that when you have a disk fusion, the disk above or below the fused area will usually go bad within ten years of that fusion. I was lucky I got close to 25 years out of mine!
I hope this has helped you, if you have any questions or if I can be of any help feel free to e-mail me.
I do wish you all the best and hope everything works out well for you!
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!