My ACDF with Allograft and plating (a positive story)
tsdemayo posted:
Hello, I'm new to this discussion, but have some very positive news.
On May 10th, 2012(4 days ago), i had an ACDF with an allograft and titanium plating on C-5 and C-6. This is what i have learned, and how i am feeling.
I've learned that an ACDF is the removal of cervical disc/disc's, and replacing that area with bone. An allograft is bone grafting with another humans bone tissue, and titanium is a very light weight silver non-ferromagnetic ,metal.
I was terrified to have such invasive surgery, absolutely terrified! I was not well informed, as most of the information i read, was on the internet.
I went to the Hospital at 6:30am, went into the O.R. at 7:30am, woke up with my husband right beside me, and as soon as i could eat a muffin, and pee, they took my i.v. out, and i was home by noon.
I don't have to wear a collar, because of the titanium, and i have no stitches on the outside, i have Dermabond(superglue!). I have a bit of a sore throat, so i get all the ice cream i want, and i can't lift anything over 5 pounds for the next 6 weeks. I do have some pain, primarily from inflammation of the previously compressed nerve, but that will get better as the nerve continues to heal. I get tired easy, but am told that is normal. I feel great, and sleep like a baby. I no longer wake up in pain, and have the feeling back in my fingers, and left arm.
Before all this happened, i was an avid hiker, and roller skater, but as the pain, and numbness got worst, my balance started to go, so i had to stay off the mountains, and roller skates. My recovery time is 12 weeks, and i'll be so happy to be hiking in the beautiful New England colors, and roller skating throughout the winter...the things i would never be able to do again, if i didn't have this surgery.
trs1960 responded:
Sounds great. You have a wonderful attitude and be sure to take care of yourself. Sometimes we feel too good and do things that are not real least I have.

Your post made me smile.

God bless you and I wish you all the success.

Debsbears responded:
I also had a discectomy done the way you did - mine was on the C5-C6 and C6-C7, they replaced my 2 discs with cadaver bones and a plate with 6 screws. Amazing how small the incision was and no stitches and no brace also minimal pain.

You did good I had to stay over night.

Good luck with you recovery. I will put you on my prayer list. Mine was done in Feb. 2009. My scar does not show.
Debsbears replied to Debsbears's response:

Here is a tibit of what my front discectomy looks like and the back screws and rods are from my C3-T1 cervical fusion.
tsdemayo replied to Debsbears's response:
WOW! I will be able to see my first x-ray in about 5 weeks, will see it they will put it on a cd, so i can share.
Just got a phone call this morning...not good news, i'm a smoker, and the surgeon told me i had to be nicotine free for 12 weeks for the fusion to take! NO ONE told me this, prior to surgery, so i've been smoking. IF i do not stop smoking, the fusion will not take, and i will have to have another surgery!
Debsbears replied to tsdemayo's response:
At least it has only been 5 days of smoking. Yes smoking slows down the healing process that is why they tell people to not smoke maybe they didn't know you did and that is why they didn't say anything.

I have had at least 6 different days of xrays - due to repeat surgeries on my cervical fusion and only one film from a clinic was I able to export it into a file that I could share - most CD's are for viewing only. I was lucky this time.

I hope you do quit so you can heal properly.
dianer01 replied to tsdemayo's response:

Please do quit or reduce your smoking as much as possible. When I had my first back surgery I was undiagnosed as having T2 diabetes. The surgical site took forever to heal. By the time I had my second surgery and fusion, I had my glucose under good control and my healing time was much quicker.

My guidance is moving forward, take as good care of yourself as you possibly can to heal as best as possible.

bj1208 replied to tsdemayo's response:
hi - just wanted to comment - my surgeon had told all his patients that he would not operate unless they had stopped smoking for at least a month - when I went in for my appointments this was never brought up - and I'm a 1 pack a day smoker - so had my fusion L5-S1 surgery and after I was settled into my room my bro-n-law had a nurse bring a wheelchair in and I got in and he wheeled me outside where I had a cig - I was in the hospital just about 24 hours and once home I did smoke - not as much but I did -

by my 6th week post op I had my first x-ray and the surgeon stated I had fused 100% - rare but does happen - during the 6 weeks I drank lots of milk - breakfast, lunch and dinner - so maybe this helped -

you won't know if you have fused or start to fuse til it starts to show up on the x-rays so just cut down as much as possible - drink milk too!!

hope everything goes well - take care - Joy
petersontracey responded:
Thank you for posting. I am also having this procedure done on July 18. Have been a bit afraid. My discs are inverting into my spinal column and I have spurs. They will also be replaced with cadavers and plated. I will be overnight after the procedure and off work for 4-6 weeks. Please keep updating on your progress so that I can know what to expect. Thanks again.
dmgalloway responded:
I just had the same surgery the day before yesterday, except is was c4-c5 and C6-c7. My throat is sore, but I have yet to have any bad neck pain. Sleeping was a bit difficult, but once I figured out a way to get comfortable, I got a good night's sleep. I was told that I have to wear the brace for 3 weeks, it don't really see why since I have the plate installed. I hope my doctor will reconsider, since I can't work with it on.