On Jan 11th 2007 I had ACDF without plate or screws C6/C7 with only a soft collar perscibed. Its been a long road to recovery and I understand that most people are feeling "good" at this point.
I am still in a great deal of pain it seems to be only at the base of my skull and bewtween the shoulder blades. I find the team that did my ACDF almost impossible to communicate with. In fact rude in most cases.
My family was completely stunend by my doctors comments or lack there of. He actually had the nerve after when I was in the ICU to tell my family they were allowed to ask him ONE question so it beter be good.
I am afraid that this lack communication and poor after care instruction could result in disability for the rest of my life.
I am told by my doctors team that they do not recomend or perscribe P/T in cases like mine. That is not normal from all I have read. I feel that could actally be the root of why I am still so "disabled" at this point.
I understand it takes time for the fusion to occur however I have been told that no other doctor will see me until the surgeon that did my ACDF would release me to be treated by someone elese I find that hard to believe but I have heard that from two medical souuces lasttime I checked this was still a free country.
I believe with a supportive medical team I could overcome how difficult this has been I am 35 years old and too young to live disabled from what should have been a fairly common mediccal practice. Is there anywhere I can turn for help?
I had a multi level ACDF C5-C7 in Nov 2006. I am worse now than before the surgery. The doctor says that my post-op MRI and C Scan look great. He said that my disk had totally collapsed and he thinks that it's going to take a while for my body to get use to the grafts. I am 44 and have two small children so this has really messed my world up. My injury was caused from a fall at work. So I get to deal with workers comp on top of everything else. Before surgery I had pain in my neck, shoulder and right arm, and was able to control the pain without narcotics. Now I have pain in my neck, shoulders and both arms. My ring finger and pinkie on both hands a numb. I haven't been able to sleep in the bed since before my surgery in Nov. I have a metal plate and screws in my neck. I did have some PT, but it didn't help. For the last 5 months I have survived on pain pills and muscle relaxers. I went from taking one Percocet to taking two at a time four times a day, to now taking Demeral. I have so far had two epidural injections in my neck and schedualed for another one next week. I've had no relief with those. The doctor doing the injections told me that I have a disk buldging at C4, just above my fusion. And it my require another surgery. I know how frustrated you feel, it seems like it never ends. Have they done a post-op MRI? I hope you can get another doctor, it seems like there is a real communication problem there. Good luck
It sounds like your doctor understands that the images my look fine but you still feel a great deal of pain. I don't get the feeling that my doctor understands that there is more going on then the xray image shows.
I too have buldging right above the fusion area I don't understand why they did not address that at the time of my ACDF.
In my case also had a full collapse of where they did the fusion like yours. I don't know what area you are from but I understand there are doctors out there that are experts in "buldging" discs and there are newer methods to deal with them rather then another ACDF.
Have they mentioned other options to you besides ACDF. I understand UCLA medical center is doing this type of thing with laser and much less invasive. I would get on a plane for there tomorrow if I could even make it to the car at this point.
I understand your workers comp issue. Mine also occcured at work. It seems that we are put at the end of the line when it comes to medical treatment.
Do you have an attorney working with you on your case? That has helped me a lot. I have read that sometimes having the fusion can cause strain on the disk above and below the area. I'm in Tn, and my doctor is suppose to be the best in this area, I just wish he could get me straightened out.
I do have one but at least in the state I am in (OH) is locked solid as to what is allowed and not allowed. So for the most part I have not needed one or there is not much one could have done for me.
The doctor I used well known, infact many people fly from around the country to come see him his technique of doing this type of thing without Instrumentation is suppose to be highly sought afterter however in my case so far I can't really say "I am better" by any means yet.
I am not sure at what stage your allowed to get a second opinion so far I don't seem to be getting far with this course of treatment. Perhaps I have not given it enough time yet.
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