I have a surgery date... 4/13/11 2 level ACDF

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 3/9/2011 8:57 PM (GMT -6)   
By a fluke the surgeons office called today to move my appointment up a week to today. They did a bunch of xrays and strength tests at my appt. I really liked the dr and his staff. He spent alot of time with me showing me the areas of concern and it is pretty bad. The herniation at c5 is pushing the spine out of the way. There are also some pretty large spurs.

He told me that he normally does not schedule surgery during the first meeting with him, but he said I met the two scenario's that he will. 1) Severe spinal cord inpingement and 2) a referral from my pain dr. He knows when a patient is referred to him from my pain doc that ALL non-surgical remedy's have been tried and no longer effective. I met both. They scheduled it for April 13th, but could slot me in sooner if they have someone drop.

He will be removing the discs at c5-c6 and c6-c7 from the front and using an allograft (cadaver bone). While he prefers to use a bone graft from the patient, he does not want to put me through that since I already have nerve damage in my pelvic region. He will use a plate and screws to secure everything. My entire left side from arms to legs are very weak. I had a very hard time with the dexterity tests.

He already told me that I will have a longer recovery due to the fact I already have a chronic pain condition in addition to the neck situation. He would not say if the normal 6-12 week average would apply. I will be in the hospital at least one day and will go home with a miami j neck brace.

He did say if I recover well and get to a point where I can work a few hours from home, he will allow that. But could not promise if that would be at week 4, 6, 8.....

I have an appointment Monday where my hubby and I have to meet with the scheduling nurse who will "train" us on what to expect, how to prepare for it and for care at home and what I can and cannot do.

Am I scared... Absolutely... Am I ready... YES, thanks to all of you and White Beard!

White Beard
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 3/9/2011 11:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Well I am sorry that you have to have the surgery, but  I am glad that they are finally going to get you fixed up., your haveing the same ACDF surgery that I had but I had C-6/7 done in 1985 on that one they used a piece of bone out of my hip! That was terrible my hip hurt so bad, I can still feel the knotch in my pelvis where they took the bone, My ACDF at C-5/6 was just done in September of 2009 on that one they used the cadaver bone, and oh that was so much better!  I am sure that you will do fine with the surgery, and hopefull even it you don't get all your strength back at least your pain will be gone and your weakness in you arms willl not get any worse. REDSAM if there is anything I can do to help you Please just let me know, I do wish you well, and I am always here for YOU,  as we all are!
Good Luck to YOU
Whiite Beard
P.S. Be extremely carefull between now and your surgery date! That is important!!!
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!

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 3/10/2011 6:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Wishing you good thoughts and a quick recovery. It is such a positive you like the doctor and staff. I hope you feel better soon.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 3/10/2011 7:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I am happy for you! This is a big step towards feeling better. I hope that it turns out to be much more than you could even expect.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 3/10/2011 9:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Today me and my boss the CFO had a meeting with the CEO to let him know of my condition. He took it rather well (I have a plus that he really likes me as he refers to me as his Master Sergeant). The bonus, he has been through the exact same thing only in the lumbar spine, almost every single piece. So he gave me some pointers. He said it took him a good 4 months to really get back to feeling like working. He has pushed my project due dates way out until we get a better handle on my recovery. He kind of made a joke too. "While I have been looking forward to the completion of your current projects since we have been putting up with crap statistics since 1992, so what's a few more months of crap". The crap I am cleaning up is not my work. He knows I am dedicated and will do what I can when I am able, even if it means part time for awhile. He told me in no uncertain terms he expects me to follow the dr's orders and to realize there are conditions that are beyond my control. Sometimes the grafts don't take immediately or they may have to do more surgery if complications arise.

I was kinda surprised when I also got calls today from other executive management members as he informed them of the situation and his expectation that they will support me while I am recovering because that is key to my recovery and return.

Kind of humbling for now. I feel lucky. It's kind of funny that there was a time where I was so afraid he did not know me and would cut my position during several layoffs. Now he is one of my biggest fans.
Hypothyroid, Chronic Pain associated with Abdominal Adhesions(ARD)with Nerve Damage, Multiple Herniated Disks in Cervical Spine, Anxiety, High Cholesterol, GERD, Diverticulosis, Carpul Tunnel, Abnormal EKG(past mild heart attack?). Surgeries: Hysterectomy, Gallbladder Removed, Bladder Sling, Sinus. On Dilaudid, Flexiril, Xanax, Trazodone, Synthroid, Anatara and Simvastatin

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 3/11/2011 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Paula. I am still a bit nervous because I already know that there is a high probability that there will be some layoffs or pay cuts at the end of this month. I hope the concern was genuine and not an act. So it a concerning time to be out which could end up to be awhile. I have faith in my skill, my knowledge (20 years), and my boss the CFO.

Today was a very stressful day for Pain and stress. We have family in Hawaii right now. Unbelievable stuff, AND they were there last year when they had another Tsunami hit.

Please pray for all suffering today, whether in pain or dealing with disasters.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16773
   Posted 3/12/2011 1:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow, you have been busy. I am sorry that surgery is the option but very glad there is something that can be done for you. Sure you are scared you should be that is normal any time surgery is is in our future. I think you will do just fine as long as you follow your drs orders to the t once you get home. The biggest problem most run into is they start feeling good and do things they shouldn't and end up knocking themselves back several steps. So, listen to what your boss said. It sounds like you have a lot of good support from the employer and that goes such a long ways.

Your surgeon sounds like he really has the right approach with his patients making sure they are very informed and understand what is going on with them. Very impressive.

Take care and try to stay as calm as possible.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum
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