I've done lots of research on this surgery since trying to discover a fix for me. During this time I've come to realize that this surgery is a gamble of sorts.
Some people seem to be doing great. Others are just like me and having a rough time and still continue to deal with a great deal of problems and pain from this surgery.
I was in pretty intense prior to surgery so I rushed in hoping for a fix. Now looking back I think I should have done more research at the time, asked more questions, and maybe waited until that pain was absolutely unbearable before I had surgery.
Good Luck to you.
Sharon in Cincinnati
My e-mail is _[removed]_ if you would like to ask more questions
My ortho surgeon is rated the top 14% and I have suffered tremendously since ACDF C-5,C-6 over 3 yrs ago.
I have been to numerous specialist trying to get to the bottom of my problem (severe muscle pain in neck, arms. Numbness and weakness that is spreading throughout my body).
I have been going to a new neurologist since October. He ran MRI's of my cervicle spine and of the brain. Findings are that my cervicle spine is great but I have spots in my brain stem. Therefore further testing.
I have had this pain (muscle spasms, numbness and weakness) for about 8 yrs now and no doctor can figure out what is wrong. All the doctors but this new one have only looked at my cervicle spine, found no problem, so ordered me to PT which does not help.
I guess the point I'm trying to make here was did the ortho surgeon convince me to have an unecessary surgery?
Reading all of these blogs I've found I'm not the only one suffering from these symptoms after ACDF....which makes one wonder what is really going on.
We can't all have MS or mini strokes which they are testing me for now.
Do you suppose damage is done to our muscles, nerves, etc. that will not heal?
Because of your profession I thought you might have some insight to my questions. I'm sure you've dealt with alot of people that has went through this procedure.
I hope you continue to recover wonderfully. It was one of the roughest surgeries I have ever had and it does take awhile to be able to lay in bed, stand, sit ,etc. and be somewhat comfortable. I'm still trying to get comfortable after all of this time.
Best of luck with a speedy recovery.
When I read your post I found it hard to swallow but I do believe you. I will not call you a liar but will say your case is wonderful and an inspiration to others who are worried about doing this surgery.
After careful thought about how your NS handled you post-op, I think that in some cases that it would be highly beneficial to push yourself to move and stretch to keep those muscles active. But in a lot of cases there are circumstances that determine a different coarse of action.
I think it is great that you are posting a different method of post-op treatment. I was not allowed to move my neck for 10 weeks, and when I did accidentally in the shower I wanted to scream. The reason it was 10 weeks was due to me not healing right and something else was wrong. So, to protect my neck I sat most of the time. In fact, in the first 2 weeks I could barely walk because it hurt that much. My NS told me to rest as much as I could. So after that length of time the body degenerates and the problems were just starting.
Like KSF, My surgeon was rated really high in the nation so I have nothing but faith that he made the right choices when he was inside my neck and that he was "competent". I to am having troubles sitting still, looking around when taking a walk with the wife, sleeping through the night without waking up in pain and more.... So just having faith in your doctor is not everything you need. I still won't drive because the pain involved when I have to react to other motorists.
I guess what I want to say is to other people who are looking to have this surgery, If you and your NS think that your surgery will come off without a hitch.... and no unforeseen side effects, Then you might want to ask your doctor about doing what sharonbog did post-op. Your recovery might just be easier than mine.
Just my thoughts,
I read alot of comments on this forum before I went in to have my surgery on Jan 12th. Because of all of the comments I was really worried!
I had no choice but to have the surgery as the prolapsed disc was HUGE and was impinging greatly on my spine. I had very severe pain in left arm, neck and head. Also ferocious pins and needles and burning pains. Had weaknessi id left arm and also left leg aswell as other symptoms. Numbness in my left hand, felt very clumsy and total lack of balance.
I went in for surgery at Newcastle in England. I am only 30 so was quite young to have this anyway. The surgeon was fabulous.
Anyway, I had surgery on Monday, so am now 4 days post-surgery. I feel MILES BETTER! THe arm, head and neck pain and pins and needles were gone when I woke from the anaesthetic. I have got pain in my hip where the iliac crest graft was taken and my throat feels a bit grim at the moment. There is discomfort but no great pain. I am hoping to feel even better when the staples are removed next week. The weakness and pins and needles in my leg are still there but they think that might be another disc lower down.
I just thought that bring some hope in all of the other very negative comments. Perhaps some of you would be better coming to ENgland to have it as we seem to have a high rate of success from the research I have previously done and the 5 or 10 other people I spoke to who have had it done.
It is great that your most severe symptoms are now under control and you feel so much better. From what I have seen on here, It looks like the people who have the most severe symptoms have the most relief immediately after surgery.
I would not trade the way my NS in the USA did my surgery for one done with a graft from my hip. Mine was done with some new form of disk replacement that got filled with sterilized ground up bone from a donor. I had no pain in my hip to deal with, and from what I have read and heard first hand I don't want to.
Best wishes for your recovery. Keep us posted, it would be nice to read more success stories.
It is now three weeks post op. And at one week post op I thought by three weeks post op I would have been dancing! Last Friday I did something to my right hip, stretched something and I have not been able to walk without pain since then. I guess I favored the right leg a lot, (site of the graft), and then last week took two long walks and tried to do some leg exercises and hurt something. My Neurosurgeon said that sometimes happens. I plan to call a physical therapist tomorrow. No one was in the office today because of the weather. I do range of motion exercises to my neck. There is some stiffness and some aches and pains in my upper back and right neck where the incision was. I have not driven yet because I really can't imagine driving with that collar. Maybe some of the initial euphoria I felt had to do with the percocet! I take one pill at night primarily for my leg. Each day it gets a little bit better, but I am really upset about what I interpret as a setback! I have never had difficulty walking before. Everyone is different and surgery is an abomination however you look at it, but is sometimes necessary. I had DDD fro over 20 years and the last exacerbation was a killer. I have no pain like that now.
I appreciate all of your posts and have learned a lot from you.
Any insights would be great.
I remember when I only had 7 days to go. I was worried but I at least had my sister close to talke me through it. She had 3 of these before my first and she was right when she said this:
"After the surgery, you will ask yourself Why did I do it?"
Before long you will know why. You may still hurt, You MAY NOT! Pray for the latter. But know this:
Doing something about your pain today with hopes of feeling better tomorrow is far better than,
Knowing how you will hurt tommorrow if you do nothing about it today.
I hope you keep your chin up and maybe you can get something from what I said.
I don't regret the surgery at all, just am disappointed that it takes so darn long to get back into life as I knew it. I truly hope that you are 100% by 3 months but I think that is unrealistic (don't you, Rob?) I am hoping that I will be close to that in 6 months.
I wish you the best and will be thinking about you as you recover. Right now you feel like c**p, most likely :-( but that will get better soon and you will know that you are going to live! Unfortunately, I reacted to the anesthesia and threw up for 18 hours after the surgery (OUCH!) but without that nasty issue, I would have done fairly well. Keep us posted, and you too, Rob, as your posts have been helpful.