ACDF C3-7 and Posterior C3-T1

I have been having neck issues for about 8 months. Severe degeneration, pinched nerves, bone spurs, bulging discs and kyphosis of the spine. I have seen 3 doctors and we have tried every non-invasive treatment available. The first doc I saw wanted to do a 3 level ACDF but I thought it was too soon and decided to get a second opinion and try additional treatments. The treatments failed and I was not happy with the second doctor so I have been seeing the 3rd for about 3 months. He is suggesting an ACDF C3-7 and then a second surgery a week later, Posterior C-3-T1. 

Has anyone had to have this done in two separate surgeries? The posterior surgery scares the heck out of me. He said that is the only was to get to some of the nerves and to put the screws in from the back of my neck to try to straighten and correct the kyphosis. 

I know this is only a decision one can make personally but it would be nice to get some feedback. I am super active, off road, hike, ski and that all could be in my past. I don't know if I want to live with the pain for as long as I can or go ahead and get this out of the way. 

Thanks for any feedback. Enjoy your weekend. =)



  • Hi Kady, I would suggest trying everything in your power to not do the surgery.  connecting the cervical to the thoracic with fusion will severly limit your movements.  If you have nerves being compressed or damaged though, surgery might be your only option.  Loose any excess weight, try an inversion table and only eat healthy.   Obviously check with your doctor about inversion or anything of the sort but I had C3-C7 joined and pain never really leaves.  Neuro functions return slowly but if it is pain only, try and deal with it other ways.  Recovery is long after the surgery despite what anyone says and you will need someone to help you after.  Doing 2 surgeries like that will really put you out of commision but you might need it depending on what your MRIs say.  I'm not a doctor nor a health practitioner so ensure you check what you are doing with your doctor.  If you elect for the surgery get multiple opinions cause it does not solve the pain necessarily.  hope that helps.

  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 248

    hi  Kady,

    I find it interesting about spacing your fusions a week apart but every surgeon has different methods to their approach. In 2007 I had a 360 degree fusion of C3 thru C6 with a cage and strut also installed. That procedure was just shy of 12 hours, was successful, and wasn't too limited in my ROM. In 2014 I had a revision done that was a posterior fusion of C2 down to T3, again very successful, that event lasted almost 14 hours in the OR, and I still have a decent amount of ROM. Posterior fusion is said to be more uncomfortable than anterior but I was fortunate not to experience a lot of pain post-op.

    As for post-op activities you may want to rethink about attacking the slopes again but your surgeon can discuss that with you. I was and still am very active in my life. I did have to give up a few of my "higher impact" activities but I have found other outlets to get my adrenaline fix and continually work on core strengthening and fitness.

    Sounds like you have gotten more than one opinion, don't be afraid to get another but only from highly rated and recommended medical professionals. Then you will be able to make a well informed decision.

    Best of luck to you,


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  • Thanks Markrebello and Ranger. Sorry for the late response. I have gone back and fourth with everything and I have decided surgery is the best option. I am tired of pain, tired of not sleeping, tired of aging and stressing. I am realistic about the surgery, I don't expect miracles I just hope for some relief. Surgery scheduled for February 21st. 

  • best to you on your upcoming surgery, I had both posterior and anterior done from C0 to C7 just over 2 years ago, am pain free and fully functional. I am 72 years old and employed as a power plant mechanic, I also work with the county search and rescue as a dive tender and associated rescue operations.  tho I have no ROM due to the full fusion, the whole thing was done in one sitting, I have post a lot of the journey as  piperbill so if you feel like it check it out. may be some usefull information.  for me it was a blessing tho as ranger said, some hi impact activities had to be changed or modified.  I do more now after the fusion than I did prior.  Take care and do lots of homework so you have a good idea about what is going to go on.  Bless you piperbill.

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