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Are there any happy patients post op?

t84att84a Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I read all these posts about what I would deem as unsuccessful surgeries. If this is the case, why is the surgery presented as routine with a very high success rate? Are people experiencing nerve pain due to long-term damage? Was the surgery performed too late so to speak? I don't get it. I know doctors tend to be optimistic but for every good post here there are 10-15 bad ones. Is this just the nature of the internet? I can't imagine the success rate is less than 10%


  • Yes, there are many success stories. The reason you see so many bad ones in these forums are that the ones that have had successful surgeries are now out living their lives and don't post any more because they no longer need the support given here.

    Don't judge the success of surgeries based on these forums. This is a place for support and shared experiences, and although some stay to help others after a successful surgery or treatment, most are out in the world doing their thing, not posting here.

  • I've had two surgeries. I had a laminectomy that failed and 6 months later I ended up having that level fused. It's been 3 months now since the fusion and all of my hip and leg nerve pain is completely gone. I still have some pain at the surgical site, but I can not complain as my nerve pain is gone. I'm also pretty young, 27, so that may attribute to my success.
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  • Agree with Cath,
    If youhave successful surgery and recovery, you will go on with your life, not keep on lurking here.

    And theres different measures of success. I have an upcoming 2 level ACDF and to me it will be successful if I can work full-time again, do some house and yard work, and cut down on narcotics for pain.

    Im not hoping for NFL or world champion gymnastic, nor do I think my pain will be gone forever.

    I know I might get better, but never to what it was.
    That is still successful, I will be in a better place.

    Cause: car accident & genetics
    Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
    Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
    Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
    Moving Forward: SCS
  • I have what I consider a successful ACDF, I still have more pain than I thought I would but at least now I can handle the pain I have with minor medications.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • Welcome,

    Since my spinal cord is markedly impinged, my expectation of success would be my high risk for paralylis is gone. Anything on top of that is gravy. Everyone's expectations and meaning of success are different.

    And I agree that the ones that have virtually no problems are out living their lives.

    Missy, 1 level ACDF 
    Degenerative Disc Disease.
    Chronic Pain.
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  • Thanks for the replies. My expectation is to be virtually pain free. I don't have much pain or numbness now and take no pain medicines. I asked my NS what he deemed success and he told me that both he strives for both structural integrity and pain resolution. The peak of my pain was last Oct/Nov but seemed to settle down. I ride my bikes and work out with minor discomfort. I met with my NS that will do my surgery and we agreed thatbI can wait a while. I'd tprather do it when the weather is crappy. Hopefully, I can hang on until Oct or Nov.

    I truly hope that everyone here attains the level of success she or he wants.
  • I understand why your perception would seem to be that this surgery doesn't work, but as the others have said this is support for that other 10%.

    I had an ACDF45 2 yrs ago, with a good response. However my injury was traumatic, I fell off a ladder & Fx 7 vetebrae, C4 just happened to have a piece compressing my spinal cord. I was paralysed in my left arm, limited use of my right arm, abnormal reflexes both legs and feet,with trouble standing.Those symptoms were all resolved within a day or two of surgery.

    I am walking, swimming with a kickboard, taking Yoga classes(gentle Yoga). I still have some chronic pain, but am off ocycontin and percs.

    Am I able to do everything I did before? No. I can't work because I can't lift, because of other injuries. I was an OR nurse for 30 years,but can't lift patients. I have a new life, it just has different parameters, and I'm just glad to be here to enjoy it.

    I have good days and bad and the people and support here on the forum are an amazing resource.

    Good Luck on whatever you decide,

  • I had my ACDF C4 - C7 on July 26, 2011. Had PT for about 7 months. Have been back to work with restrictions since end of October 2011. I was scheduled for an FCE. Just got the report this week and had a follow up appointment with my surgeon. At this time I will continue to work with permanent restrictions of no lifting over 30 pounds and no more than 8 hours per day. I am starting to know what I can and can not do to avoid extreme pain on my days off. I have no more doctor appointments or PT. I will be in a cycle of work - pain - rest with ice/heat. I have Vicodin, Tramadol and Flexeril to take as needed. I am a workmans comp case - hit head at work. Everone, including myself, considers my surgery a success. If my employer can not allow me to work within my restrictions and I loose my job, I will get a lawyer. However, right now I have had no issues with WC, my doctor, PT and getting medication. I heard a lot of horror stories and was scared but, now I feel like I am one of the few lucky ones. I had concerns because I am 53 and I thought I may not fuse or heal fast enough. I guess I am still healthy enough because evrything has gone as planned! Time will tell...
  • Ken, I was much like you and put off surgery longer than I should have and I believed that the surgery would put me in a worse position based on these stories but I need to tell you i just had 3 level ACDF 4-5, 5-6, 6-7 with the plates and screws. I am doing really well 5 days post op, I mean the pain is intense but I see it improving every day and I consider this a success because Im not worse, I am experiencing normal post op feelings and i will heal. So please remember it is not all bad and we are here to support you and each other.
    Kimberly Martin
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