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June, 2020 Surgery Buddies

Post here is you are having surgery in June, 2020.

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  • Hi, my name is Mike and I am a 63yo male in Oakland, CA. I'm scheduled to have a two-level ACDF (C4/5 & C5/6) on June 19th. It can't come fast enough, not that I'm hurting a lot, but I'm  antsy to get it done and start down the long road to recovery. I've had neck issues for over 30 years. I've had epidurals, PT, and acupuncture; All provided some relief, albeit temporary. About 4 years  ago, I started having severe pain and numbness in my left arm and shoulder. I had an epidural, it got better, and I blew it off. My PM doc moved out of the area so I just soldiered on and put up with the pain and numbness. Now I don't have pain, just mild numbness, but I can't raise my arm as high as my shoulder and I'm noticeably losing muscle at a rapid rate. The Neurologist ordered an MRI and did an EMG and tho I don't know the specific results, They got me to a Neurosurgeon who I had a teleconference with about a month and a half ago. We discussed my problem and he said he wanted to do surgery as soon as the  hospital opened up from COVID-19. I have an in-person appointment on the 10th, where I plan to ask lots of questions about the instrumentation he's going to use. IT's a Globus Zero-P Interbody which I couldn't find on the Net. I did find a bunch of other Zero-P cages, and they look like a really elegant solution. (That's the healthcare professional in me describing something medical that's gross or brutal, LOL) On the Zero-P cages, there is no backing plate, the screws are inside the body of the cage, and go in at an angle, so it fits flush with the vertebrae. At my appointment, a vendor will fit me for an Aspen collar and show me how to use the exterior bone growth stimulator. Does anybody have experience with exterior bone growth stimulators? Any Zero-P cages? Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for listening to me babble, 

    Mike 


    (I tried to delete my original post cuz I put it in the wrong place, sorry )

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,476

    Mike

    Welcome to Surgery Buddies!! We have had several members that have had ACDF surgery and hopefully they will reply soon. In the meantime, go to any older surgery buddies and scroll through the conversations between members from before surgery to recovery. You will find a lot of valuable information. I also have bookmarked posts from members that came back to tell about their recovery. If you would like to read those just let me know.

    The Globus Zero P is a low profile spacer, made by Globus. Zero P means low profile. This kind of spacer will give the bone more to latch onto as it fuses. It is a titanium plate with 2 titanium screws. You should have a shorter recovery as this seems minimal. Do you know if the surgery will be navigated or GPS? If you want more information key in Globus Zero Profile.

    Questions to Ask Your Spine Surgeon Video
    Spinal Fusion Health Center
    Postoperative Care for Spinal Fusion Surgery
     Maximize the Ability to Heal After Spine Fusion Surgery.

    I hope the above articles will give you more information. If not, we have a library full of articles.
    Take care and keep us posted
    Sandra
    Veritas Health Forum Moderator


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  • Sandra, Thanks for the response. I don't know if my procedure is navigational...I DO know that it's microsurgery. I had a navigational/GPS bronchoscopy in 2016 for a definitive lung cancer diagnosis. I felt like I had been hit by a truck for a few days. Totally cool technology. I wondered if the surgeon was going to use a robot for my ACDF but he said no. The robots are awesome, steadiest hand there is. I'm really interested in the mechanics and engineering of this operation. I am a retired endoscopy technician with limited surgical experience. I always want to see the tools and monitors. That is, unless the anesthesiologist sneaks something into my IV before I get to the OR.

    Thanks for the links, Sandra. I'll definitely check them out. I've been lurking here for a little while reading the FAQ and the Code of Conduct. and anything else that looks interesting. 

    I'll try to remember to come back during and after my recovery. I know some people have their surgery, feel better, and then disappear. I'll try not to be that guy, LOL.


    Thanks, Mike

  • Mike

    I had a 3 level C4-C7 ACDF  a little over 2 years ago, I have a plate and 6 screws, surgery and recovery were a breeze for me, I started PT at 8 weeks and that really helped with range of motion.

    Chip 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,476

    Mike

    My grandson is an engineer for a company that makes spine parts and instruments for companies like Glovis, Striker, Nuvasive, etc. He is always telling me about the newest "latest and greatest" in spine reconstruction. To answer your questions above, I called him last night and he filled me in. 

    Please keep checking back, you never know when someone else may join that is having surgery.
    Sandra

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  • Chip, thanks for the encouragement, I plan on being the world's best patient, so I'm expecting things to go smoothly. I'm no stranger to major surgery; I had a triple bypass in 2009 and had an upper right lung lobectomy for lung cancer in 2016. I'm cancer free...I was very very lucky to have the cancer diagnosed early on, but that's another story. I remember telling the surgeon, (the same one that did my heart), you split my chest open, how bad can the lung surgery be? He said you'd be surprised, and I was. Intense pain and not being able to get any air is not a good combo. I'm not 100%, and I never will be, but I'm WAY better. Happy to be here. 

    Sandra, it must be great to have a resource like your grandson. Thanks for checking with him on my behalf. I hope my surgeon has a cage sitting around so I can check it out. I need to call the hospital and light a fire under them about my pre-op testing. They are supposed to set up an EKG with my cardiologist, along with the rest of it and I've yet to hear from them.I know I'm ansty about getting it all done in time for my surgeon's appointment on the 10th. Things will fall into place, I'm sure...I just hate the waiting.

    Thanks, Mike


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,476

    Mike

    No problem, my grandson and I talk about spine stuff every day. But why are you going to have to wear a collar if this is minima surgery?

    Sandra

  • I dunno, the doc said I'd be in a collar for 4 - 6 weeks. I'll have two, an Aspen for every day, and a universal for showering. I'm also getting a bone growth stimulator, but I don't know what type. I'll find out at my appointment on the 10th.

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,476

    You will have a lot of questions!!! Good luck and keep us posted.

    Sandra

  • I do, I do. I have a long list, lol.

  • Sandra,

    One of the things I'm curious about is what type of bone graft he will use, which could be a reason for the collar. Another possible reason is that I'm diabetic, but my numbers have been good for years- A1C's under 6 and fasting sugar at 90-120. I take Metformin and sort of watch what I eat and it's worked out ok. I'm not a smoker for 11 years now. Anyway, I will ask the Doc.. 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,476

    Mike

    Another very good question. There are 4: autograft, the patient's own bone: allograft, cadaver bone: bone graft substitutes: and BMP bone morphogenetic proteins. But a lot depends on just what the surgeon likes to use. Another question, why he chooses one over the other.

    Sandra

  • Hi Sandra

    I doubt I'll have an autograft since harvesting isn't listed as part of my operation. I will definitely ask. I also want to know if he uses glue or sutures to close the incision. That's a matter of surgeon preference too. All of my other operations they used glue, and the wounds healed very nicely. I don't really care what he uses, I'm just curious. 

    One cool thing that's going on is my family does a Zoom meeting on Saturdays at noon. I have a sister in Philly, and one in Boise, my dad and brother and I are scattered in the Bay Area. We've been doing it since stay at home started. We talk more now than we did before the pandemic, lol. I just put Zoom on my phone so I can do it from the hospital. I'm looking forward to that.

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,476

    Mike

    That's great!!! Of all the bad that was caused by the virus, I think there is a lot of good that people have realized out of it too. I zoom with my psychologist, he had been pushing to use this technology with his patients that are disabled, like me, and have a hard time just getting to his office. So now he has the proof that it will work.

    Have fun with your family!!
    Sandra

  • I'm glad you're able to use it to see your psychologist, that's huge. I've had tele-visits with my PCP and neurologist and they were great. 

    The clinic where my PCP is had a therapist and a psychiatrist until about 9 months ago. I had regular therapy and got my meds adjusted to a good place. I've been on antidepressants since 1997 with a lot of adjustments and changes since then. Depression and pain seem to go together, one feeds the other. I think it's really important to have a psychologist that understands chronic pain. Going it alone is just too hard. I understand that many people have trouble finding a good therapist but it's important to keep trying. Help is out there, but unfortunately you might have to work to find it. 

    Again, I'm really glad you have a good therapist, Sandra. I hope you're getting what you need.

    Mike



  • MheineMheine Posts: 88
    edited 06/05/2020 - 10:24 AM

    I just found out that I have two surgeons on my ACDF team. One is my neurosurgeon and the other is an orthopedic surgeon. I'm really happy about that. The other thing is that I know the ortho guy. He ran the until they closed it. I met him through my mom who used to work there years ago. I'm jazzed.

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,476

    Mike

    I had to edit out the name of the medical facility for the ortho surgeon, per forum rules, we cannot name facilities. But you knowing him will give you that added sense of security and more positive outlook.

  • Sorry about that, Sandra. I read the rules, I should know better.

    Mike

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,476

    Mike

    It's ok, no big deal, just had to let you know.

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,476

    Happy belated birthday, Mike!! Have a great weekend.

    Sandra

  • Thank you Sandra. I had my pre-op testing yesterday and it felt like a birthday present. It's getting close. Things are happening. I'm excited. 

  • Hi everyone!

    I am a 35 year old wife and mom and I am anxiously waiting for surgery. I am praying this will be my 4th and final spine surgery for awhile.

    I am scheduled for surgery on June 15th. I was originally scheduled in April, but due to Covid-19 is rescheduled. I am having a fusion revision at L4-5 and extending it down to L5-S1. I am also having a Smith and Peterson Osteotomy at the same levels for flat back that has developed since my original fusion.

    Back Story. I hurt my back shoveling in 2018 and had an emergency discectomy. On my 3rd day back to work someone was driving a lift and hit a large display. It came down on me along with the products on it. This destroyed my back and also tore my ACL. These last couple years I went from a healthy, active and fun mom, to one that is filled with guilt for constantly having to say "not today" to my kids because of the constant pain I am in. I have had three back surgeries now and also had my ACL repaired. 

    I am very nervous about this surgery, but I am hopeful and trying to go into this as positive as I can. I am with a new neurosurgeon/professor that specializes in spinal deformity. I had other surgeons tell me there was nothing more that could be done and then I saw one that sent my records to my current neurosurgeon for review. I got a call the day she reviewed them and was told she wanted to see me. She was confident that she could help and that this is the solution. 

    My thoughts and/or prayers are with everyone else getting ready to go in this month. This will definitely be different experiences for all of us with everything that is going on right now. This Friday I have to have a Covid-19 test and then we're good to for Monday.

  • PearTree

    I had an revision and extension and to be honest the second surgery was easier on me than the first, I hope that's the case for you also.

    Take care and keep us posted

    Chip

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,476

    PearTree

    I am so glad you joined us! Having confidence in you surgeon is so important and it sounds like you have found a surgeon that cares and hopefully will relieve you of your pain. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    The best of luck Mon., take care and keep us posted.
    Sandra

  • PearTree

    I hope your surgery relieves your pain and lets you get back to your life. Good luck on Monday. I'll be sending positive, healing thoughts your way. 

    Mike 

  • Thank you everyone! 

    Mike - I wish you the best of luck! I hope everything goes well for you.

    Chip - I am happy yours went smoother the second time around! With the Osteotomy being in the mix it'll make things more challenging. I've been trying to find someone that has had this done to hear how their recovery was but haven't had any luck. I believe it isn't frequently done. This is adding a bit more to my nerves. They'll be removing my facet joints and removing bone in a wedge shape to give me back the natural curve that I have lost.

  • PearTree

    Thanks. I'm gonna be fine. I have confidence in my surgeons, and I'm VERY ready for this. Bring it on, lol.

    Mike

  • I did my pre-op testing on Friday the 5th. I got a call today from the surgeon's office saying they were missing the cervical xrays. Pre-op never took xrays so I had to run to the hospital to get them taken. I have an appointment with the surgeon tomorrow. I just called them and they have everything they need now. This didn't help my anxiety level at all, but I feel much better now. It's important to remember not to worry about things I can't control. I think it's important for us all. It sure is hard sometimes, though.  

    Mike

  • Mike I feel your anxiety that you had. I am glad it got resolved for you.

    I got a call today that I need a CT scan of my back (just had one in Feb) and also a nicotine test. I got both scheduled and the scheduler told me the results for the nicotine won't be back before Monday and they'll probably cancel my surgery. I have been trying to get ahold of my surgeon or PA. I feel so sick and so mad. I don't even smoke! I was just at the university for my preop and had imaging and blood work done. Why didn't they do this then? I can't take having this canceled again. I just want to cry right now.

  • I'm sorry you're going through this mess, PearTree. I hate that you might have your surgery cancelled. I've never heard of a nicotine test, but I've never heard of a lot of things. My pre-op screw up is nothing compared to yours; I had plenty of time. I wish they would just trust you when you say you don't smoke. I don't blame you for wanting to cry. Maybe a little cry, (or a big one), might be a good thing. You might feel a little better after. I don't know, but I usually feel better. I hope you do.

    Mike

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