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  • aprokop
    Participant
    Post count: 16

    Dr. Cornenman,

    I had an ACDF surgery on my C5/C6 3 months ago using peek cages. I’m still experiencing right arm and neck pain that is the same or worse than before surgery. My surgeon didn’t have me wear a collar and only said to be careful lifting more than 10 pounds. My worry is that I may have overdid things two weeks after surgery and caused a problem or prevented me from healing properly. I’m an active 39 year old man that probably didn’t realize how serious of a surgery this can be. With my surgeons blessing I went on a flight two weeks out with my guy friends and ended up walking around a lot and even putted around the green when the guys were golfing. I lifted my bag that was about 18 pounds as well. (two times) I’m a larger man that has been a powerlifter so I didn’t think about it. (Which I realize is stupid) After the first day on the vacation I was pretty sore so I really took it easy the rest of the time. When I got back home I immediately went back to my teaching position. At this point is when I started to feel pretty sore and more right arm pain. Since that trip I have been very careful. My surgeon said my x rays look good and the screws are in place and I started to fuse. He is concerned about the right arm pain though. Anything I should be considered about? Or could this be just a lot of inflammation that is gving me problems?
    Thanks, Andy

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8409

    ACDF with PEEK cage has a somewhat higher chance of non-union. Your activities after surgery might have contributed to a pseudoarthrosis (non-union) but that is water under the bridge. At three months with continued or even worsening pain, you need a new MRI and flexion-extension X-rays as well as a thorough physical examination to determine if continued nerve compression is causing neurological deficit and to see if you have a solid fusion.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    aprokop
    Participant
    Post count: 16

    Dr. Corenman,

    Thanks for the quick reply. I have a couple of quick follow up question. If have a failed fusion do I have to have a revision using a posterior surgery or can that be done still going anterior? I really want to avoid a posterior surgery. Also would you advise that I buy a bone stimulator? My Surgeon said he didn’t think I needed one. Is there a way I can send you a picture of my xray to see if I’m fusing?

    Thanks,
    Andrew

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8409

    A revison surgery for a failed ACDF (anterior fusion) can be performed either anteriorly or posteriorly. The success rate of either depends upon “how the pseudoarthrosis looks”. If there is no erosion and no angulation, a posterior fusion can be performed. If however there is significant angulation or erosion, the repair should be performed from the front of the neck.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
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