Originally Posted by ABBB
Hi, I have just read your post about statistics from Amer. Society of Surgeons regarding advisability of surgery versus physical therapy. I have tried physical therapy three times and got no improvement. I am scheduled for ACDF at C4/5, 5/6 and 6/7 in two weeks, and I am terrified. My NS told me that there is a 90% chance of improvement....with the actual improvement in pain being 50%. IF that is true, I would think that the surgery would be worthwhile. I presently have no real quality of life. BUT I am terriefied after reading many posts from people who say they did not have good outcomes. How can I access the information you are quoting? Thanks
Hi, welcome, and so sorry you have to be on this forum (nobody comes here for good reasons)
This was my original thread, and I am now 11 months post op from my fusion. My neck has healed quite nicely, I have 90% range of motion, with levels C5, C6, C7 fused with titanium plate and screws. I still do have pain, unfortunately, but it is by no means as severe and life debilitating as it was before the surgery. Given the circumstances and outcome I still would have the surgery again. But it was definately not a fun year!!
I still have a lot of issues with my hand, and am very seriously considering a second surgery on my ulnar nerve to release the pressure on the nerve in my hand. In fact I'm set to sign the paperwork and book the date for surgery on March 8th to proceed with it.
I am still on pain meds, not nearly as much as pre-op, but I am on a low dose pain patch and percocets to help with the residual break thru pain. I continue with physiotherapy 3 times a week, and will probably continue to go for a long, long time.
I can't tell you whether you should or shouldn't have the surgery, but the odds you gave are the same as what I have been given for the second surgery on my ulnar nerve. As a graphic designer who can't use her hand anymore I would take those odds as a chance to release the pinched nerve rather than have it continue to get worse throughout my life. The longer the nerves are pinched the more likely the nerve damage is permanent.
Do your homework on all the information about your surgery, learn as much as you can about your surgeon. Making an informed decision is half the battle.
I wish you luck in your decision. I do not regret having my surgery, I'm now able to drive again and do a little bit more activities that I used to be able to, and I get a bit stronger each week. And I'm thrilled to be able to move my neck and not be laying in bed all day.
BTW.... Dr. Smith is correct, those who have great outcomes do not post on forums because they have moved past their surgeries and gotten on with their lives. It's only those who are still having problems that seek out more information.