Joe you will lose quite a bit of movement in your neck, I know with my C3/4 fused and my C5-6-7 fused I have lost allot, especially the ability to look upward, and to some extent my side to side movement. I like photography and like taking pictures of the night time heavens, and without a prism eye piece, the objects that is higher up in the sky is just about
impossible for me to see! Extra mirrors do help with the driving, where there is a will there is a way to find a solution to these new problems!
I also still have swallowing problems from my first fusion in 1985, they tell me that my vocal cords on the right side are still partially paralyzed from that time, along with as the doctor put it in the last EGD I had a couple of months ago, that there is some tertiary contractions and evidence of mild esophageal dismotility! I am pretty well used to that, as I have had to live with it for so long! But this type of surgery does change things, how much it will affect you being able to perform your job, well to be honest, you probably won't really know that until you have the surgery and then when you go back to work! Everyone is so different, and there can be major difference just between the different surgeries! You might have a completely different experience with this than what you did with your first ACDF. For me there was a world of difference from the ACDF I had in 1985 at C6/7 (but that disc, was really badly damaged, and was really pressing badly into my spinal cord, and also it had broken up and there was free floating fragments, floating in my spinal canal) But the one I had in 2009 at C5/6! This was the second one, and it was so much easier, and much quicker healing time too!. I think the worst one for me as far a post op pain that lasted, was the posterior articular joint fusion of C3/4 that I had in 2010, that took forever to heal and get the pain under control!
There is no easy answers, and you have allot on your plate to deal with! Good Luck to you!
Please keep us informed on how you are doing
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!