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Please let me know someone the amount of time you spent in the hospital for anterior C4-C7 fusion and disectomy. I'm scheleled for next week. I'm trying to get all ducks in a row. I meet with my spinal surgeron tomorrow. I'm really afraird of this surgery but hoping for a positive outcome. I don't won't to live on heavy meds anymore. I've had many surgeries in my life but never with the spine. Please give me some hope. Thanks anyone!!!!

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Dear MissMillie, 

 

Most people who have cervical, as well as lumbar, spinal surgery have questionable outcomes. Spinal surgery is controversial, but one the other hand most physicians do not have a good clue as to what really causes cervical/shoulder neurological pain and/or lumbar/buttock neurological pain and so, since no one really understands it, as a terminal result, patients often let spinal surgeons "do their thing". Well, orthopedic spinal surgeons make all their money doing spinal surgery: so they keep at it. Neurosurgeons make about 75% of their money doing it so they keep doing "their thing". That is the dogmatic way the medical world works. It is not all so scientific. For instance, MRI's can "see" arthritic bones and cartilage fairly well, but that imaging cannot "see" nerve pathology well at all. The "dogma has been" that the herniated discs and osteophytes of bone (both aspects of arthritis) cause nerve root compression, a fairly non-sophisticated, mechanical  concept, and so that is the abiding idea of the medical community. Of course chiropractors manipulate, massage therapists "rub", naturopaths have their idea, family practice people give pain medications and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and spinal surgeons give steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, have MRI's done, physical therapy referrals, etc., and if all fails they offer spinal surgery. The patient, eventually, has no other medical recourse so they accept, questionably, spinal surgery, but everyone knows that it is controversial, but since spinal surgeons are thought to be so respectful and educated, etc., and since no one has a better idea, many patients end up having spinal surgery with a great percentage of them not having great results. Now, there are a few symptomatic herniated discs "out there", but spinal surgery for them is very common! My e-mail is _[removed]_ if you want to communicate more. 

 

Yours, Norsk10

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Hi Millie, I had acdf c5 thru c7 in 2010. Was in hospital 24 hrs and home in soft collar for 6 or 8 weeks cant remember. I do remember being scared before surgery. Actually woke up all my major pain and symptoms were gone. I did have mild pain but I really didnt need much pain meds. When you come home you will need straws for drinking its a must esp if your in a collar. You might have sore throat some due-- mine was only 2 days. They say have soft food soups,yougart,jello etc.....I ate the next day fine. I slept the first 2 weeks in a recliner. Looking back could have slept in bed but would need lots of pillows to prop you up. I walked alot. You dont want to lift anything heavier then a gallon of milk. Let your friends family cook and clean. Hopefully your biggest problem will be boredom. Actaully ---I was in such horrific pain before surgery ---was looking forward to it !! I have no regrets. I do have some pain 2 yrs later in neck and shoulder but I have other spinal issues. Most people do well 90% after this surgery. The problem is you dont see them posting here because they moved on with living there lives. The people who mainly post still have other spinal problems or fall in the small % of people who didint alleviate symptoms. I looked at it I had no choice all my disc were servere herniations and spinal cord compressed. I would do it again in a min if i had too It gave me a life back!! Wish you the best please dont be afraid --looking back I wasted so much time afraid---you will be home before you know it!! Please post and let me know how you are doing and feel free to ask ? anytime!!
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This procedure isn't really painful.  I had my ADFC (C4-C7) surgery in 2006.  Entered hospital Friday morning and left Sunday afternoon. First couple of days, your recovery at home might be challenging, but that's from the entubation, not from the surgery.   I wore an Aspen collar for 3 months.  You'll learn to turn your shoulder instead of your head.  Get out of the house after a couple of days and start walking. I mean, go for walks!  As for pain meds, I stopped using them 24 hours after returning home.  The drugs aren't necessary.

Good luck!!

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