August 2019 Surgery Buddies

Post here if your are having surgery in August, 2019.



  • nicky74nicky74 New York,NY Posts: 38

    Well, I guess I am August’s first buddy.

       My scheduled surgery for July 15th has been changed for August 5th and from July’s buddies I found myself in August! 

       I had posterior revision C3-C7 April 2018 and I should have my C3-C4 done from the anterior side too 6 months later,clean bone spur,and remove the loose hardware from failed C5-C7 fusion ( June2013). 

    By the 5th month I had bilateral C3 and C7 screws loosened and and had to wait another five months to make sure everything was ok before we go ahead with the second surgery. After my first ACDF I continue having swallowing and voice issues, food stocks in throat( I had esophageal balloon dilation 2016) voice changed and difficulty speaking. So my surgeon sent me to the otolaryngology department of the hospital. Results..dysphagea,dysphonia vocal cords paresis. 

       Decided to go ahead with two surgeries with my spine surgeon and ENT/head surgeon. ACDF C3-C4, corcectomies,removal of a bone spur, “exploration of Cervical fusion” with removal of C5-C7 plate and Cricopharygeal myotomy/removal of the Cricopharygeal bar to improve swallowing and prevent it from getting worse with  second manipulation/mobilization of the esophagus on August 5th

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,315


    Welcome to Aug. Surgery Buddies!! We should have more members joining soon.
    You have gone through so much and so much more to go through. My prayers are with you. Just stay positive and hopefully all well work out well.
    If you need to vent or just talk, we are here for you.

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  • nicky74nicky74 New York,NY Posts: 38

    Thanks Sandra for welcoming me again in August buddies this time. 

    This will be the third surgery on my neck but the feeling is the same. Yes I have been there before and I trust my doctor but freakin out in the idea of cutting my neck open and moving everything on the side after all these problems I have with swallowing and the vocal cords. Yes my surgeon will be assisted with top ENT/head surgeon specialist in otolaryngeal microsurgery who will prepare the way and do the second part of the surgery which it is very serious. Given the problems I inherited from my first ACDF I was told and I know there’s a slight chance of getting worse and  end up with a feeding tube or no voice at all but I am confident both doctors are the best of what this university teaching hospital has and regardless of how difficult or painful the surgery and the recovery is going to be I want to believe that it won’t be worse than what it is now!

       I am concerned about the physical toll this will take and I am more concerned about the emotional. Human nature. The anxiety of the unknown! 

    I had difficult time last year with the infection after the posterior and  besides the six days I stayed in with the surgery I spent another month in and out the hospital and I am trying to  have better attitude and positive thoughts this time regardless my of mistake watching the video of the surgery,I found on the web,and read mostly horror stories. I couldn’t resist and I don’t recommend this to anyone! 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,315


    Just checking in since your surgery on the 15th, hope everything went well.
    Hope to hear from you soon.

  • Hi All,

    I'm up for a revision C5-7 ACDF toward the end of August.  My original surgeon wasn't very helpful, so I've been conducting an extensive search and found one I really like.  He's quite optimistic that with some technical adjustments that the odds of success this time are very good.  Ready to get it over with.. it's been a long road with failed ADRs to start and then a failed revision ACDF.  Wish me luck!


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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,315


    Kevin, Welcome to August Surgery Buddies! But I hate to see you have to go thru this again. Your attitude towards surgery has everything to do with your surgeon. And it sounds like you have a good attitude towards this one. Stay positive and wishing you all the luck in the world.

    edited 07/31/2019 - 1:07 PM

    memerainbolt  Thanks Sandra!  I'm very optimistic about it... really there isn't any good reason why I shouldn't be able to get a successful fusion this time.  Will keep everyone updated!


  • Looks like I’ll be August as well.  Tentatively scheduled for 28 August for revision C6/c7 posterior. Hope to confirm tomorrow. Original surgery C4-C7 ACDF was 5 1/2 years ago. Long journey to this point and didn’t realize how bad the pain was until I stopped the Butrans patch 3 weeks ago in preparation for the surgery. Of course I didn’t realize I was going to have to wait until August when my pcp said stop the patch in preparation for pain control after surgery. 

    edited 07/31/2019 - 1:07 PM

    davrunner I have to talk to my PM about that as well.  Of course, I only recently started with pain meds and am keeping the dosing very low so I'm still very aware of the baseline level of pain.  It is still amazing though, if I get busy and forgot my dose... well let's just say I don't forget it for long!  

    I think they may want me to stop for a week before surgery, which will be rough.  I'm at a solid 6 pain level pretty much all day without it.  With the meds, the pain averages a 3 which is just a huge difference in functionality!  

    I'm on for 8/20, so we'll be able to compare recovery notes.  One thing that I find extremely disappointing is that I didn't even get one level to fuse.  I believe it's because my surgeon used PEEK cages, all the ortho spine guys I've seen and some articles online note about 3X the failed fusion rate because the plastic takes up too much space for efficacy in the cervical region.  I have no idea, that's just what they tell me. 

     Glad you only need one level, all of my surgeon's have told me that the posterior fusion has a very, very high success rate for getting a fusion.  But they also think changing the technical factors gives me a good chance with ACDF... so we're going to give it a try!

    Best of luck to you!  


  • Hey friends!

    Found out last week I’m going in for my third surgery in almost 2 years at L4-L5 August 1st due to now herniating the disc 3 times. My most recent micro-d/revision lami was beginning of March, and found out I reherniated in June. I had an ESI beginning of July for diagnostic and therapeutic reasons, but the pain relief only lasted until the anesthetic wore off. Now I’m having a one-level XLIF which my surgeon Is fairly confident will drastically reduce my pain that I’ve been dealing with for almost 3 years, especially due to my age (I’m only 25) and the fact that every other level of my L spine is healthy. Not that I’m stoked on the idea of having another surgery, but boy am I ready to feel “normal” again and get my life back! Wishing everyone the best of luck and a speedy recovery :-)


  • Got confirmation this morning that my surgery will be the 26th instead of the 28th.

    Kevin, the surgeon said it was important to be on as low a dose of pain meds as possible because that is the baseline they have to start from to get the pain from surgery under control.  He understand that I may not be able to completely come off of all but the Butrans was a must and withdrawal while not totally debilitating are no joke and not getting a lot of sleep right now. 

    Avery, sorry you are having to go through this as a young age, but I know of lots of success with 1 level lumbar fusions with the rest of the back looking healthy.  I will eventually need a 4 level lumbar fusion due to 4 herniated discs and mild to moderate stenosis and foraminal narrowing l2-s1, but no where near ready for that surgery, as long as I can function I'll put that one off.

  • @davrunner Glad to hear that you’ve heard good success stories about 1 level fusions. As I’m sure you know, it’s easier to find negative stories out there since people with good experiences have healed and no longer boppin’ around the SH forums. Ahh I can’t imagine the pain that issues with multi levels can produce considering the pain I’ve dealt with from just 1 level- sending positive vibes so you can continue to put it off and heal from your cervical surgery. Looking forward to gaining function back and actually being able to work outside the home! 

  • Thanks aveholz94, my biggest adjustment with back and neck issues and arthritis was no longer being able to run. It was my stress release and caused a lot of depression. I have been able to continue working as I have a desk, computer job and got an adjustable stand up desk which does help. 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,315

    davrunner and avesholz94,
    Welcome to August Surgery Buddies. If you would like to read a good news story, below is a link to one.

  • @davrunner totally feel you on the not being able to run thing...exercise was my best form of stress anxiety relief. Hopefully we will both be able to do so again one day soon :-)

    @memerainbolt Thank you for sharing- I so appreciate it! 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,315

    Surgery Buddies!!

    For your reading interest we have a vast library of articles on anything regarding the spine, surgery and recovery. If you can't find what you are looking for please let me know.

  • davrunnerddavrunner Posts: 206
    edited 07/27/2019 - 6:35 PM

    Avesholz94 unfortunately my running days are long gone. About 10 years ago I had a menisectomy that never really healed lead to diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis and a tumor in the lining of my knee.  Over the nex 4 years I had 4 more knee surgeries culminating in a total knee replacement. If only they could do a total spine replacement. 

  • Avery,  Hard to believe August is here already.  Hope your surgery goes well today.  Praying for a great outcome for you with minimal pain and attentive nurses to help your initial recovery.  Let us know how you are doing when you get a chance.

  • nicky74nicky74 New York,NY Posts: 38

    Yes! July handed over the baton to August and Avery is first on base!

       Avery, praying for successful surgery and smooth, painless recovery!

    I was prepared for going under the knife this coming Monday the 5th but the ENT wasn’t available for a second time, first I was scheduled for July 15th , so they rescheduled me and I will join Kevin August 20th. I have to do everything from the beginning again. New clearance from my doctors,primary and cardio and Tuesday August 6th going back to hospital for another pre op screening.

     Rough road but unfortunately we have to go through.I hope we all have successful surgeries, smooth and painless recoveries. It’s a long and painful journey but we’ll make it! 

  • Hi guys- sorry it took a bit to update, but I sure do appreciate your well wishes! Thursday was probably the worst pain I have ever experienced, especially getting in and out of bed as well as getting up and down to use the restroom BUT I was still very diligent that every time I would get up to use the restroom that I would go walk around the nurses station a few times to keep moving no matter how much pain I was in. I woke up yesterday (Friday morning) to my surgeon coming in to check in on me and he was happy with how everything went and how much I was already getting up and walking. He did bump up my pain meds as well since he saw how much pain I was in. He added some MS Contin 15 mg every 12 hrs along with the regular oxycodone IR 20mg every 3 hrs, and my later yesterday afternoon I was starting to feel quite a bit better, and was able to get off all iv pain meds and did great with PT and OT so they let me go home last night!! Could not be happier to be home in my own bed and actually did pretty well last night so I pray I continue to improve from here on out <span>:smile:" alt=":smile:" height="20" /></span>

    Hope everyone else is doing well and good luck to everyone with their up coming surgeries. Please keep us posted on how ya’ll are doing and I will do the same!

  • nicky74nicky74 New York,NY Posts: 38

    Hey Avery, congrats for your surgery! Well done! You did it!  Glad you made it home and you feeling better. Take it easy,get plenty of rest and don’t push it! Recovery takes time and patience! 

  • Thanks @nicky74 ! I’m sorry to hear your surgery keeps getting pushed out as I’m sure you’re just wanting to get it over with ASAP. Hopefully one positive to come of the push back is that you’ll have more time to prepare? I’ll be thinking of you and sending positive/healing vibes your way on the 20th! 

  • My surgery is scheduled for Aug 27th for a PLIF L3-L5 due to degenerative disc, spondylolisthesis, and stenosis.  I recently had an ACDF C4-C7 surgery and am doing good. Dr said the back surgery will be more painful than the neck. Just feeling anxious and looking for helpful advice. Glad I found this forum.

  • Hi guys- just wanted to give an update. Tomorrow will be 1 week post op and I’m already feeling A LOT better. Don’t get me wrong, I still have quite a bit of pain and am very tired but I’ve been up and walking quite a bit (walked a mile today!!) and think that it’s helping in my recovery. My surgeon is very impressed with how much walking I’ve been able to do and with the fact that my nerve pain in me foot is already feeling a lot better, so I’ll take that as a win. I do still have the numbness in my toes and top of my right foot, but I know it’s still VERY early in my recovery so itll gradually get better as well. At this point, I can definitely say I’m SO glad I got the surgery done and am looking forward to the progress I continue to make!! <span>:smile:" alt=":smile:" height="20" /></span>

  • Avery, That's great news that you are doing so well and walking a mile already.  Hopefully the numbness will go away as you heal.  I have peripheral neuropathy, permanent numbness in my toes and the balls of my feet, neurologist said it was not associated with my lumbar problems, I'm no so sure.  Gabapentin helps with the burning sensation on top of my feet.  Look forward to hearing more about your successes as they occur.

    Cellesta11 welcome to August Surgery Buddies.  How long ago was your ACDF?  I had the same surgery Jan of 14 and now going in to fix C6/C7 that didn't fuse.  There are lots of great articles on the sight and somewhere is posted a list of must haves to get before your surgery I'm sure someone will point it out for you. 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,315

    Hello celesta11!!
    Welcome to Aug. Surgery Buddies!! Below are a couple of links for you to read to help you get prepared. Take care and keep us posted.
    Essential Items for Back Surgery Recovery
    Practical Advice for Recovering from Back Surgery

  • @davrunner yes I’m thrilled! Definitely over did it yesterday and paid for it today with increased pain AND a migraine on top of that, so I need to be better about remembering to take things slow LOL. Ahhh I’m sorry you have permanent nerve damage...that’s got to be a tough pill to swallow :( I’m glad you’re able to get some relief with Gabapentin really is a miracle drug in my opinion as well! Are you feeling ready for your surgery? August seems to already by flying by! 

    Hope everyone is doing well and happy Friday! :) 

  • @davrunner had neck surgery 5 months ago so still recovering. I have muscle soreness in mornings until I loosen up with head movement, but I think I’m doing pretty good! I am using a bone stimulator and supplementing with protein shakes to help the healing process. I’m anxious about how the face down position during surgery will affect my neck and how that’s going to feel along with the back pain. 

    memerainbolt thank you for the links...very informative!

  • I’m ready as far as mentally, while I’m not happy to have to go through this, glad to know that there may yet be some relief after healing. 

    Celesta, so sorry you have to go through a lumbar surgery while still healin from cervical. Do you have confirmation of fusing at all 3 levels?  Did they use cadaver or your own bone. My first fusion used cadaver and this time I told the surgeon to use my own as it has a better chance of fusing.  I will probably hold off on lumbar surgery until I retire or things get much worse. 

  • @davrunner I had X-rays at 4,6, and 15 wks. Dr said everything looked good...I think it’s too early to know if fused. I had cadaver bone. I’m sorry you have to go through it again. 

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