ACDF C4-5 Scheduled for Next Week

Hello, forum! I'm new here...was set to have a one level ACDF at c4-5 yesterday but wound up with walking pneumonia and had to push off a week. 

I have moderate severe stenosis with myelopathy at C4-5 and right paracentral narrowing at l5-s1. Since that's not too bad, we are focusing on up top where all the bad stuff really is.

I cannot put into words how afraid I am of this surgery after reading so many bad reports. I feel like I will only switch our current neck pain and arm burning/hand numbness + headaches for new problems. I realize with the spinal cord compression I have, I need the surgery (I've done aggressive PT and while it helps, I can't afford it), but I am afraid. 

I am hoping someone will write to let me know surgery was a good decision...and can help me. 


  • I've had several major surgeries (including lumbar spine and appendectomy).  I can only tell you that in my experience, my ACDF (two-level fusion C6/5 and C5/4) was the easiest surgery so far.  The results were instantaneous.  For me, function was more important than pain relief.  At 3 months out, my function is back to 100% (that is my personal 100% as a 60 year old woman with fibromyalgia) and the pain is 90% better.

    Yes, you may get rid of some issues only for new issues to crop up.  As we age, we require an increasing amount of maintenance - like a vintage car!  But if you can eliminate some issues, perhaps you will be better able to cope with new issues.

    I was also afraid of having the surgery, and I am very grateful that it was so clearly a good decision.  Nobody can guarantee your success; the best you can do is weigh the pros and cons and then make a decision. Remember, this list is about problem solving, so it will be skewed toward bad experiences.  Count me on the plus side of positive results.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 4,299
    edited 07/23/2019 - 1:08 PM
    hello af2016 !

    Welcome to Veritas Health Forumplease click on link for helpful information!
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 4,299
    While you are waiting for responses from members with shared experiences, you may benefit from using the search, upper right on page.
    You may be led to,current or older discussions.
    You may be led to medical side with articles and videos. Very informative!

    Personally, I really  like the clear explanations with the videos, also transcripted, as the visual helps me to better understand.
  • I've had an ACDF and a shoulder surgery this year and both were among the best decisions I ever made and both surgeries gave me tremendous pain relief. I spent a lot of time before both procedures researching surgeons and got varying opinions.

    Maybe I'm just a lucky person, but I'm more inclined to think that the success of both my surgeries had to do with picking world-class surgeons. I think a lot of people who have bad results ended up with second-rate surgeons who either didn't have the judgment regarding how to correctly fix the problem, or didn't have the necessary skills. I personally don't believe that all surgeons are equal.
  • AmandaEBayAAmandaEBay WARWICKSHIREPosts: 2
    Hi I see you live in Birmingham I had a C5/6 thoracic calcified disc operated on at the Orthopaedic Hospital where I assume you will probably go - before I had my surgery I was terrified and it wasnt pleasant afterwards in recovery BUT to be honest its the best thing that ever happened because I could walk again when I had recovered with no pain and no problems.  I was 48 I am now 66.
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