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I'm having acdf surgery and I'm SOOO scared!

2

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  • dmo said:
    Hi littlelor, 

    I am also having I  acdf c5-c7 soon.  I am also worried about a million things that could happen.  I am tired of the pain, the muscle stiffness, headaches and arm pain.  I hope everything goes well for you and you don't need surgery but with your symptoms, I believe all this cervical garbage will rear its ugly head again. 

    dmo
    Thanks dmo! I have a feeling your right! It probably won't dissolve. And probably by sept I'll be tired of my pain too. 
    Good luck to you and your surgery! When is it? Be sure to keep us posted on your progress! 
  • Update:  I'm 4 mos out from acdf c6/7 and I will say It was the easiest surgery I've ever had. After surgery it did take a few weeks for my arm pain to resolve. But I could feel my arm strength was back. I also continued to have spasms for almost a month. And I still get some numbness in my last 2 fingers. The one thing I could do was hug my 6 yr old son really tight! The best feeling ever. 

    i didn't do much during my recovery but about 2 month post op I was feeling better and I decided to do a load of laundry. WRONG MOVE! I had a flare up and it took about a week to settle down. I also had another flare up a few weeks ago from trying to shut a door on a really windy day. We thought I had pinched the nerve above my surgery. MRI said no additional pinched nerves. All muscular.. big sigh! And it has settled down. 

    So I just caution that the things that were simple before my take a little longer to do soon after surgery!  I just have to do it differently. 

    I was scared for no reason. 

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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 3,491
    Thanks so much for your update!
    It is so good to hear you are doing so well!
  • I had a four level acdf ( c3-c7 ) 4 weeks ago. Understand your concerns but gotta tell you,  I had less discomfort and pain after surgery. Did have difficulty swallowing for several weeks but it is worth it for the long term relief. I took oral pain meds for a week, did not have to wear a collar, soft or otherwise, started physical therapy at the 10 day mark. The surgery site is nearly invisible already. Had several migraines per week prior to surgery and have not had one since surgery.  I would do it again in a heart beat. 
  • Hi Jodee,

    Great to hear you are doing so well.  Wish I could say the same.  I am five months out from surgery.  The surgery itself was not so bad, took pain meds and muscle relaxers for about a month four times a day.  I backed off to two to three times a day now.  After two months I thought I would fully recover.  At three months all my old symptoms returned.  I now have neck pain, arm pain and shoulder blade pain.  Nothing really new, its just I thought surgery would fix my pain.  I really wish I had not had surgery as I hurt as much now as before. 

    To make matters worse I now have a compression fracture of my T-10 vertebra.  I am waiting to see if Neurosurgeon wants to do kyphoplasty.  When I had my last mri, because I was having so much lower back pain, I learned I now have a bulging disc at L-4 L5.  It is compressing root nerve on right side.  I also did flex and extend xrays on cervical spine and was told now my C4 disc does not line up with my two level fusion.  It is call spondylolithasis.  That may be why I still have neck issues. 

    Again I am glad you are doing well along with others here.  I just wish I was also.

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  • Dmo- man! I'm sorry to hear your struggling. Maybe all your old symptoms came back b/c of the c-4 issue.

    Sometimes it seriously feels like you can't catch a break! I know this isn't about me but I just had a 4 compartment fasciotomy along with a nerve decompression in my lower leg 7 weeks ago. I limped and had a crazy gait for 2 years. So suddenly my body wants to try and rebalance and walk normal strides....WRONG!!! I somehow get  posterior tibial Tendonitis in my good foot/leg.... Are you kidding me right now.

    The struggle is real! Hang in there and please keep us posted. I would love to hear how all this plays out for you. And remember somewhere someone else might be having this same speed bump as you right now. And to be able to read this forum and feel  gratification that they are not the only one speaks volumes. 

    Nickil- So glad your experience has been a positive one. 
  • Hey Jodee,

    Did you have fasciotomy to relieve compartment syndrome?  I know it can also be a limb saving procedure.  Wow to you too!!   What is weird for me is during the day my back actually hurts more than my neck.  I take my pain pills for that.  At night when I go to bed if I lie flat on my back I get good lumbar pain relief.  Then my neck starts hurting causing  stabbing pain into my left shoulder blade.  This is my third time out on disability from work.  I am just waiting to lose my job soon.  The last few years are just the worst of my life pain wise.  I am just not the same person.  I might be looking  at another two surgeries.  Not sure I can take that. 

    I get up about an hour after I go to bed from pain.  It is usually about three or four in the morning before I get about three hours of sleep.  That usually comes from complete exhaustion.  Anyway, I am glad others are doing well and I hope you continue to get better also.

    dmo

  • Dmo- We thought CECS. But my numbers came back normal. I would get strange swelling above my ankle and in my anterior tib muscle along with nerve pain down my keg.. My MRI finally  showed a hernia in my anterior tib muscle. So doc did 4 compartment fasciotomy along with peroneal nerve release. What we thought was a hernia was actually a thinner than usual fascia. And my peroneal nerve was riding high on my tib bone and stuck in scar tissue from my 1st surgery. So the surgeon moved it to a more textbook path. And now it's just a waiting game. Will the nerve pain in my leg stay or go...

    I'm sure you have considered a 2nd opinion. The quality of life can  really grab you and pull you down. I know. I've been dealing with this leg nerve issue for 2 years. Like you I've been unable to work for 2 yrs. We have a 6yr old that's very active and I can barely muster up the confidence to get him to school some days. I told my husband it's like my brain says do this and this but when I start to be on my feet my leg pain grabs me and says no, no, no!!! 

    Do you see a pain management doc?  I'ts been suggested that I start seeing one. Also I've started seeing a pain management phycologist to try and get my head in a better place. I don't know if your down for that but the focus is a little different than oh lets talk about your problems. Sessions focus on pain, coping with pain, the anxiety that come with pain Etc... 
     Hang in there!
  • Jodee,

    All your leg issues sound horrible.  It makes my head spin just to think about it.  Is all your pain nerve pain?  What pain meds do you take?  You don't say to much about your cervical issues anymore. 

    I know what you mean about pain just pulling you down.  I get up some days and just have no zest for life.  I am not working so I feel helpless.  I hurt most of the time and live on pain killers, muscle relaxers and nerve meds.  I am sick of watching tv.  My wife tells me to enjoy my time off.  I just cant because I am in a state of high anxiety all the time.  I need to see a psychologist or somebody.  I have no idea how to find one.  I do see a pain management dr and have been for probably seven years.  I am afraid to appear unstable for fear of losing my pain meds. 

    You are much younger than I, which is a shame.  You shouldn't have to deal with this at your age.  My youngest has been out of the house for years.  Its just the two of us now.  How did all these leg issues start? 

    dmo

  • Dmo- We thought CECS. But my numbers came back normal. I would get strange swelling above my ankle and in my anterior tib muscle along with nerve pain down my keg.. My MRI finally  showed a hernia in my anterior tib muscle. So doc did 4 compartment fasciotomy along with peroneal nerve release. What we thought was a hernia was actually a thinner than usual fascia. And my peroneal nerve was riding high on my tib bone and stuck in scar tissue from my 1st surgery. So the surgeon moved it to a more textbook path. And now it's just a waiting game. Will the nerve pain in my leg stay or go...

    I'm sure you have considered a 2nd opinion. The quality of life can  really grab you and pull you down. I know. I've been dealing with this leg nerve issue for 2 years. Like you I've been unable to work for 2 yrs. We have a 6yr old that's very active and I can barely muster up the confidence to get him to school some days. I told my husband it's like my brain says do this and this but when I start to be on my feet my leg pain grabs me and says no, no, no!!! 

    Do you see a pain management doc?  I'ts been suggested that I start seeing one. Also I've started seeing a pain management phycologist to try and get my head in a better place. I don't know if your down for that but the focus is a little different than oh lets talk about your problems. Sessions focus on pain, coping with pain, the anxiety that come with pain Etc... 
     Hang in there!
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