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I had my ACD surgery and fusion on Friday, 3/23/07. Today is Sunday, 3/25/07. I feel great compared to the other postings I've seen. I'm taking it very easy, but after reading this site last week, pre-surgery I thought things would be much worse. I hope more people read this and can realize that this procedure can have immediate benefits. My muscle spasms were terrible the past 4.5 months and had been off and on since I was 19-20 years old. I'm a 35 year old male in pretty good shape other than my spine.
I think a positive attitude and understanding that being uncomfortable will come with the recovery since your movement is limited, but it is 20 times better than the pain I was in before and even after two days I know it was the right decision.

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I'm now a little over 4 months post surgery and still take 1/2 pills of my hydrocodone prescription (5/500) once or twice a day. I was taking 4 full pills a day and was tempted to take more every day. I went through physical therapy for three months with a therapist on an every other week basis after the first 3 weeks. I do the excercises at home 3-4 times a week still and continue to improve.
I dropped the celebrex and moved to ibuprofen and just cut back on those this week too. I'm taking skelaxin for a muscle relaxer and have started cutting back on them too.
Certain moves still agrivate my neck/shoulders/back, but I do my best to avoid them and can now pick up my 40 lbs son without pain. :-D

I hope the painful stories here do not scare away people who need this surgery. My life is 200% better than 5 months ago and is still improving.
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Good for you!
It's nice to finally hear a sucess story!
Though I hope you continue to show improvement don't boast too much yet. I know people that have had this surgery, done really well then after about 9-12mos start having the same symptoms (if not worse) than before.
I had ACDF almost 2 yrs ago. I have never gotten better. In fact I am worse since surgery...Talk about muscle spasms!
For all of the other people out there wondering if they should have this surgery or not...some people do get along great and swear by it. Unfortunately, others do not. It's just a chance you have to take.
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I'm sure that's true. I already know I'll have to have another surgery. C3/C4 is next on my list, but my surgeon wants to wait until some new motion sparing device is approved here in the States. It's been in use in Europe for a while now.
Do you still do your physical therapy a few times per week? That helps me when I'm having bad days, usually. I try to stay regular with it at home.
I hope you improve again and it sticks this time. Have you tried going for a second opinion from a different surgeon or even just a different physical therapist. Both of mine were great and I think that made a difference.
All that said, I have not resumed 100% of the activities I'd like to do like yard work, etc.
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I had my c4-c5 and c5-c6 done on Sept 11th. The pain is completely gone. I didn't even need the pain meds while I was still in the hospital. Either that or the pain is so minimal as compare to what I was in prior.

I know I need to take it easy, but I've been walking at least a mile a day after not doing anything for the first couple of days after my release.

Based on those of you who have had the surgery, how long until I'm back to a fairly active lifestyle? I know I won't be doing a lot of the sports I was doing before, but what about going out dancing and stuff like that?

Thanks!
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I had my surgery done on Dec. 17, 07 - I am unable to take pain meds so was ready for the worst but the pain after surgery wasn't bad at all but I am starting to have some increased pain down my right arm (same arm that I had problems with b/4 surgery) and some increased discomfort on the right side of my neck - could this be due to the fact that I went back to work 3 weeks after surgery and have not stopped running since? My husband ended up in the hospital b/4 I was 2 weeks out and had surgery one week later and I had to care for him - did I over do? Did anyone elses surgeon use bone marrow for the fusion?
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I am 18 years old i have a herniated disk, with degenerative athritis ( c3 - c4 ) i think the dr. said? I have a terrible time with my neck cracking, popping, and a constant half assed stiff neck, i can turn my head to the right with no pain (not excluding the random painful cracking) but the left is a no go. I have no tingling or numbness though. this has been going on for 1 1/2 years now. I have done physical therapy with no improvement and i have been on aprox. 8 muscle relaxants and pain meds that only seem to make me feel funny and alleviates little to no pain.

I talked to my Dr. and he told me that he would want to do a discectomy and fusion. He then went on to say that since i am only 18 he is afraid to do the surgery for the fact that there could possibly be different way to surgically treat this problem other than fusion. He also went on to telling me to take Celebrex and try that for a few weeks and decide on what action i would like to take. Im leaning toward surgery but i was curious of what other peoples opinions were about this. I was also wondering about would i end up with a brace around my neck and how long would i be out of comission for somthing like school (college classes 3 hours a day).
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I think your recovery time will vary depending on how bad your condition is to start with and how good the surgeon is. Your age will speed recovery. Being in good shape before will help too.
I missed one week of work and then couldn't drive for a month. Recovered well after that as I said above.

I work with a 50+ year old who had ACD C5/6/7 in the early 90s and has not had any problems since and plays golf a few days per week.

I'm going down hill fast now. My fusion is in good place, I had another MRI in December and it's still perfect, but my other joints are causing spasms now. It doesn't compare to pre-surgery, but it still wakes me up through the night. I don't have numb fingers, but my left hand fingers twitch often. I'm going back to the surgeon in two weeks to see if an epidural will take care of these (at least two discs my physical therapist thiinks) new discs that are acting up.

It's sad feeling for all of this to go on again, but I still am VERY happy to have had the first surgery. 8 of the past 12 months were close to great.
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I am 55 never really been ill . I had a rotator cuff repair feb 2006 and well it was a 50/50 thing no shoulder pain but one year exactly after my surgery I was rear ended pretty hard tried to shake it off no such luck . I am now past extensive P/T and 2 nerve blocks and well the pain and spasms are killing me. I am a nurse so I dont like pain meds so it has been hell.
I didn't want the surgery so I went to a neuro surgeon. well the EMG was the final straw i have had non stop level 6-8 pain since so now I am going to have the surgery. A little advice for you out there that think there is a way around it if the surgeon says that is what you need then get to it.
;-)
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I went in on Friday and they want to do surgery on Tuesday after Labor Day. I am not sure whether to go for a 2nd opinion or not. I have had 3 other relatives/friends who are doctors advise that I go forward and not wait and do it with this particular doctor (Dr. Holly of UCLA Neuro Center). I went to dry cleaner today and I was blown away when she told me he is having surgery with same doctor in Oct. for her back. (not as urgent & he is so busy). My problem is that my 'moving xray' showed that the disc was not stable. I am 35, 115 lbs, and NEVER had a pain in my life, so to come back after my honeymoon 2 days later and find this out is so scary. We were looking to start conceiving right away and I am frightened that the pain meds will delay that. What concerns me most is the follow-up surgeries that some have to do because other discs after years - need work because of the fused ones. He is using cadver bone. I do know that you cannot be a smoker and go through fusion and that you must must must lay low for a solid month to allow fusion to heal. Anybody got any other info?
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I had a double fushion Dec. 25,06 and it is still not much better. The fushion on c4/5 c5/6 c6/7 has had bone spurs now develope. I knew somethin was wrong a couple months after surgery when nothing would help the numbness and pain I get from my neck down to my left fingertips. Its very frustrating.I told my doctor about the pain in my left arm from the very beginning after therapy and thru 6months of thrapy. All he would tell me is my x=ray looked just fine and I should recover 60 to 75 percent. And he was thru with me. I continued to see my own family Dr. and now have had my 3rd mri plus myelogram and have to see another neroulogical surgeron to clean up what the orthopedic did not even loolk into. So if you are told you need a fushion please get second oppinion asap. I also suffer from several of the same symptoms I had before my surgery. I really wonder if the Dr. did'nt rush my so called emergency surgery... :cry: :(
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Dear 55 Nuse. I am an LPN and have just been giben a similar prognosis. I must have surgery or risk paralysis. So Here I go in the next month. Wish me luck, Ann
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