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Users comments and reviews on article Post ACDF by SirGan

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This is actually a pretty timely article to post! I have noticed a major increase in people on the forums who have been recovering from ACD surgery so it's a good idea that you chose now to actually write this article! I hope that others find this and can benefit from it because I think it's got a lot of useful information in it. THanks!
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I agree with what bluedog has posted. I have seen tons of people who are on the forums now who have these problems so I'm glad this was written. Hopefully people who are getting over this surgery can benefit from this.
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I just had a ACDF on Tuesday and have immediately noticed an improvement in pain and numbness in my arm, shoulder and neck. My throat is definitely sore and swollen, but not unbearable. I had great confidence in my surgeon and a positive attitude that this would fix my problem. I did not wear a cervical collar afterward and actually required very little pain medication. Maybe I am one of the lucky people that this surgery has worked for.
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I've had two ACDFs in the past 2.5 years. This article is well written and gives great insight for those considering or having this surgery.

Prior to my first surgery, I suffered with neck, shoulder and arm pain, with numbness for 14 years. Then in the 14th year, my arm starting hurting intensely, and my hands quit working for several minutes. Very scary situation. Had severe cord impingement. Urgent surgery needed.

I had a great surgeon, and great results. Trying very very hard to not overdo it now that I am nearly 1 year post 2nd surgery. And hoping to avoid a 3rd procedure.

I am realistic and do not expect to be perfect, and completely "normal" after these surgeries etc. But I am definitely better off having had them done.

AND please be sure to have a surgeon that is Board Certified in Neurosurgery! Don't let just anyone cut you open! Do your research! Or ask your healthplan to tell you if he is Boarded.
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This is a bit long, but after 12 yrs of searching, I finally found out what was wrong with me. It is comforting to find others with the same issues I have. Over the years, I became extremely frustrated and felt I was battling this condition alone, but now know I am not.

I am 3.5 weeks post-op ACDF C6/C7. Prior to surgery, I suffered severe "flare-ups" of right shoulder pain for years and was misdiagnosed for 12 years after countless PT, Massage, Chiro, NSAIDS, Epidurals...basically everything but Accupuncture.

The flare-ups definitely worsened in the past 3 years and it was becoming more and more unbearable. In the final months prior to surgery, the pain started moving around my entire sacpula, into my armpit, and down my right arm. It got to the point where I couldn't even sit down without excruciating pain.

After a normal shoulder MRI, my Primary sent me to an anesthesiologist for a Pain Management consult, and he recognized that it may be neck related, and I finally had an MRI. Sure enough, I had ruptured the disc between C6-C7, and had a large bone spur along the site as well causing the nerve to pinch.

I was immediately referred to a spinal surgeon who advised me tbat my only option at this point would be ACDF surgery, so I went for it.

Immediately after, the right shoulder/armpit/arm pain vanished. After about 4 days, I was feeling great, and remained so for another 2 weeks.

During my 4th week post-op, The swelling in the back of my neck reappeared (I had front, then back neck pain post-op that vanished after a week or so). It got so severe that two 10 mg Norco wouldn't touch it. I was taking my pain pills every two hours when I finally couldn't take it anymore. I was in so much pain that I literally broke down and sobbed to the point of hyper-ventilation. I went to the ER, and they did a CT scan to check for infection, which came back normal. I was given 2 shots of demerol, which slightly helped, and went home with instructions to take double the dose of my pain meds and follow up with my surgeon the following day. I did not sleep a wink that evening due to the severity of my pain.

Today is the following day, and the pain has inmproved slightly. I am waiting for my parents to bring me the Percocet Rx as I live alone, and cannot drive. I will be seeing the surgeon this afternoon; about 4 hrs from now. I'm not sure what happened, but will post here when I know more.

I still think the surgery itself was a success because my initial pain has entirely vanished, but am a bit concerned about the backward progress. I hope I can help someone who is thinking about having this done. It is worth it.
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