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anterior cervical discectomy and fusion

Started by maggievalley1 on 01/21/2016 9:43pm

I had the above surgery on FOUR cervical discs. They were removed, replaced, held in place with places and screws, and fused (I'm not sure where that was done or when during the procedure). I read a lot of sad stories on this site and I want to encourage you that there IS a doctor out there who can help you: Dr. Mike Haglund at Duke. He has done OVER 4000 of these surgeries; so he really knows what he's doing. I'm almost 3 months post op and my pain had gotten down enough that I didn't have to take but a couple of pain pills every other day.

But then at Christmas, I bumped into another car (any bump can mess up your muscular skeletal system). The next evening, I was taking a dog I was keeping for someone out on a leash. She's the most gentle dog ever. But she got spooked, I think, by the sudden appearance of a neighbor's dog and his owner. She darted over toward them asap, anxious to make friends, most likely. Meanwhile, she pulled so hard on the leash that it came out of my hand and I was thrown to face down on the ground! I've never had that happen. It kind of disoriented me for a moment, but I called the dog and she came back. Well, after those two 'jars' to my spine, I started having lower back pain! And my neck and shoulders began hurting again. No tingling, thank goodness. But my right shoulder now hurts (again).

I went to a chiropractor to see what his X-Rays would show. Guess what: Degenerative Disc Disease - and he thinks I've probably got some herniation going on in the lumbar region (I think: He said that was why my legs were not working/walking with ease -ie, they hurt and are stiff!). I asked if that required surgery and he said, "NO! We really can't tell if you've ruptured any discs without an MRI, but I don't see any broken bones. And all your screws are still in place!"

Now I'm worried a little bit that I may need to have a steel rod put in my spine. Have any of you ever heard of that? Or had it done? This disc by disc is for the birds! So much recovery time, pain, with this - vocal cord/esophagus were moved over so the surgeon could get to the discs - hoarseness and change in my voice. Dr. H assured me that all of that would go away. At least 6-8 months sometime, though.

Please share with me any information you have on the lower back. I'll bet Dr. Haglund could do them. But I'm going to wait and see. The odd thing about this to me is that I have PERFECT bone density!!! How can that be? My mother had severe osteoporosis. I haven't had that. The endocrinologist checks me annually. But what good is bone density if your spine is in shambles?!!!

PS: I was in a wreck 13 years ago and ruptured 2 discs, both cervical. I went to a body work massage therapist. It took about 7 months going once a week to get rid of all the pain. Yet here it is, years later, and they have to be replaced.

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