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activ c disc replacement; cervical disc replacement surgery
Topic Started: 17 Jun 2017, 02:45 PM (261 Views)
Cindy2016
Member
[ *  * ]
Hello to everyone on the forum.

I have just had my ADR surgery this Tuesday at the C6/C7 level. My surgery was in Halton hospital (Cheshire) and performed by Clare Morgan. The device used is the activ c.
All seams to have gone well, I am in a bad muscle spasm so have limited movement at the moment. Swallowing is a bit strange but I'm eating well and have a ravenous appetite. I ate and ate after surgery, even finishing off pudding another patient didn't want. I am super pleased, as I love my food. I know it is important to have a really good diet and eat a lot more after surgery, so my healthy appetite will allow me to eat what I need to.

I'm still getting nerve pain in my left shoulder where I had the nerve impingement but I hope it will settle down in time. I did have this pain for many years, so I expect it won't go away that quickly.
I had bilateral pain and this went down both arms to my fingers. This was never explained, as the nerve was impinged on one side only. I can only assume it was referred pain or inflammation at that level. My finger pain was epic before my surgery, and I had some weakness in my left hand grip. When I got home I used my hand exerciser which I could not squeeze in before the op due to pain and weakness, and I did 20 in one go no problem! In fact I can't stop using it now, as it is a miracle that I have no weakness. I still have some strange sensations in my fingers, some numbness on and off, but no pain so far. I am very hopeful. Walking is a little tricky at the moment, due to the muscle spasm, but I am using an exercise bike to keep the blood pumping to promote the healing.

My scar is tiny! I expected it to be larger, it seems to be OK at the moment. I do hope it won't get infected and heals well. I got a load of sterile dressings when I was discharged which haven't been too tricky to change. Very little pain at the site of the incision, in fact practically none.

I have to say Clare Morgan is brilliant, and I am so grateful to her for giving me the chance of having a better quality of life. Halton hospital was wonderful, the surgical team, the nursing staff, the cleaners, absolutely everyone! I am so unbelievably grateful for the care I received, and just don't know how to say thank you? I will send a card to the ward, but don't know how to thank Clare Morgan? How do you thank a spinal surgeon? I would love to get her a gift, but would would be appropriate? I don't know if anyone has any suggestions regarding that?

Apart from giving this time and keeping healthy I just have to hope for the best now, it has been a long painful road. And so far I am doing so well, I can hardly beleive it.

If anyone is considering surgery and has any questions about what to expect, I'm happy to try to answer them for you. :D
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Alastair
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Alastair
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Keep us up to date with your progress ? :D

It sounds as if the food was good did you pay for this or was it on the NHS?
Best
Alastair :D
Founder of this board 24th February 2007
Slow and Steady Wins This Race
Over 23 Years experience and research into spine surgery and over 2500 surgeries discussed and recorded

ADR L5/S1 Surgery with Dr Zeegers 26th July 2002 in Munich
8 facet joint ablations 28 8 12 with Dr Baranidharan and Jake Timothy in Leeds Diagnosed Forestiers disease
Your Best Asset Is Your Health
I live in West Yorkshire aged 81 now

Knowledge is power
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Cindy2016
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Hi Alastair, thank you for your reply. I am still doing really well, just taking things easy until week 4 when I think I will be allowed to do a little more. I have to say I am not sure when I will be able to start some proper physio?
I had this operation as an NHS patient, but if I wanted to have my lower back done, I will have to go private. I think they are only doing cervical disc replacements in this part of the country, and only one level.
Something to do with NHS cuts.
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Cindy2016
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I thought I would mention the waiting list time for this surgery. I was told the wait was approx 8 months when I was first put on the list, but waiting list team said it is currently closer to 10 months. I was lucky as I rang up on a good day when they had a slot and fit me in a little earlier. I could have been waiting until September time, and that was a worry. My symptoms were so bad, I thought I might wait too long and have nerve damage. I really feel for those waiting for this surgery, it is a debilitating condition.
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Cindy2016
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Almost two weeks since my surgery, and I feel stronger every day now. I am sleeping well, and thankfully back in my bed instead of on the reclining couch.
I have no neck pain at all, just a little nerve pain in my left shoulder right by neck when I do my neck physio stretching exercises, and only on tilting my head to the right shoulder. I'm a little stiff looking down due to tight muscles, but I think all is very good so far - I can only hope I continue to do so well.
A strange symptom I had before the surgery was coughing, I did have a scan of my lungs and this was clear, but my cough was persistent and would exacerbate other symptoms. This seems to have gone, so I wonder whether the damaged disc was causing those symptoms?
I am not taking any pain medication or anti-inflammatories, nothing since week one, the pain I had was minimal. The muscle spasm was the single worst thing, but touch wood the muscles are relaxing a bit more each day. :)
I am walking every day, the use an exercise bike 3 times a day. I take a lot of supplements and continue to have a good diet, I'm sure this all helps.
If anyone is waiting for this surgery, I would say be prepared to really look after yourself before and after, and listen to your body, don't over-do things. You have to be very patient, because the weeks after are long as you cannot do too much for the first 4 weeks, it is the first time I have felt time going slowly for many years. :D
I will list all the symptoms I had in a few weeks, and tell you what has, and what hasn't gone away if anything. It could help someone who has a lot of strange symptoms that cannot always be easily explained, but may well be part and parcel of disc problems.
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Alastair
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Alastair
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Hi Cindy,
Many thanks for your very positive postings, think of your recovery as going slowly up a slope to full recovery. I'm delighted to see that you kept your diet really healthy and you are getting round and about. It's good that you mention your surgeon who if you meet her again ask how many procedures she has done and tell her about this website and we might be able to put her on the Special surgeons list on this website.

I'm coming up to 81 years of age now and I've seen terrific improvements especially with the scars which are left and I'm so pleased that yours are minimal. It all sounds as if you had a really good experience which is what we all want for all our members.
Think posture
Best,
Alastair :D
Founder of this board 24th February 2007
Slow and Steady Wins This Race
Over 23 Years experience and research into spine surgery and over 2500 surgeries discussed and recorded

ADR L5/S1 Surgery with Dr Zeegers 26th July 2002 in Munich
8 facet joint ablations 28 8 12 with Dr Baranidharan and Jake Timothy in Leeds Diagnosed Forestiers disease
Your Best Asset Is Your Health
I live in West Yorkshire aged 81 now

Knowledge is power
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Cindy2016
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Hi Alastair, thanks for your post. I will follow up with Clare Morgan in August, and I will mention the site to her. I do try very hard with posture, have done for many years now - but I still have to keep reminding myself when I feel a slump coming on. :D
I'm glad you have had success with surgery too, sounds like you have healed well, including scars.
Do you feel 81 years young? I met a man on a pain management course who was 82 at the time, he was younger than most people in the room though - such good fun and so interesting.
I don't know what the long term outcome of this surgery will be for me yet, as it is very early days, but I am thankful to have been given the chance to have a better quality of life. :)
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Alastair
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Alastair
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Hi Cindy,
I had my surgery in 2002 and it's still going strong so no problems there. I don't feel as if I'm approaching 81 I feel like I'm 26, it's only when I want to break into a run to catch the bus I realise I should have been at the bus stop two minutes earlier :D

Yes please mention the website to your specialist, we have some specialist who actually do a hand out of the site in their hospitals

The right thing to do is what you are doing and thinking posture because your posture will change totally from you were making adaptations in your posture to cope with the pain that you are having with your disc prolapsing.
Best,
Alastair :D
Founder of this board 24th February 2007
Slow and Steady Wins This Race
Over 23 Years experience and research into spine surgery and over 2500 surgeries discussed and recorded

ADR L5/S1 Surgery with Dr Zeegers 26th July 2002 in Munich
8 facet joint ablations 28 8 12 with Dr Baranidharan and Jake Timothy in Leeds Diagnosed Forestiers disease
Your Best Asset Is Your Health
I live in West Yorkshire aged 81 now

Knowledge is power
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Cindy2016
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Hi Alastair, good to hear you are still doing well. 15 years with a disc replacement and still going strong gives some peace of mind, they can't guarantee how long they will last, so you just have to hope it is a very long time.
I'm always working on my posture, it is very important I completely agree. I'm at week 3 now and still doing well, just muscle spasm to deal with, but it is an adjustment period. I hope my muscles will relax more in time, they were in spasm before the surgery, so I knew they would not be happy afterwards - at least for a while.
I still don't have much pain, so I'm able to sleep well, and eat well etc. I'm eating us out of house and home, but it's all for a good cause. ;)
How long did it take for you to feel the surgery had really worked for you, and you were back on track?
My folllow up is the end of August, I'll ask Miss Morgan if she has heard of the site and wants to be mentioned on it then.
Thanks
Cindy :D
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Alastair
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Alastair
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Hi Cindy,
I've got to say it was about three months before I felt the full benefit of my ADR. Immediately after the surgery I felt taller and more in control but the first four or five days I did get a lot of pain but mine was a lumbar ADR. In 2002 the British surgeons had not even thought about doing the procedure but now we've got some really good surgeons who picked it up (this had to be approved by NICE and the BMA) and they are not the most speedy bodies to move. There was a posting on the NICE website and they are still being very cautious about ADR and recommending it. There is someone in Israel that is doing facet joint replacements with a minimal invasive procedure at the moment, we haven't picked up on that yet but one of the surgeons in London is lecturing about it. Our medical bodies are extremely conservative
best,
Alastair :D
Founder of this board 24th February 2007
Slow and Steady Wins This Race
Over 23 Years experience and research into spine surgery and over 2500 surgeries discussed and recorded

ADR L5/S1 Surgery with Dr Zeegers 26th July 2002 in Munich
8 facet joint ablations 28 8 12 with Dr Baranidharan and Jake Timothy in Leeds Diagnosed Forestiers disease
Your Best Asset Is Your Health
I live in West Yorkshire aged 81 now

Knowledge is power
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Cindy2016
Member
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Hi Alastair, I think lumbar spine surgery is much tougher, I have read many stories from back pain sufferers who have had lumbar and cervical surgeries, and most say the lumbar region is longer and harder to recover from.
NICE is slow to approve new medical advancements, everything has to be tried and tested for a long time, and there must be a lot of research suggesting a new advancement is safe to approve. I believe it is the same in the US where insurance companies won't approve disc replacement, despite how long it has been studied, and how successful it has been.
I think we need to move with the times a bit more, it is a shame to be so far behind. Facet joint replacement is a wonderful idea, I hope it gets cleared soon. I'm sure it will be a long while before it is available on the NHS? There are not as many surgeons doing minimally invasive surgery just yet, it takes years more training and experience.
I bet 3 months past pretty slowly when you were recovering from your operation? I know 3 weeks past slowly for me, and at 4 weeks I feel I could do a lot more than I perhaps should. It is a case of being sensible and patient with my recovery, and waiting for my 1st physio session to know what exercises I am to do. I haven't had much guidance on activities to avoid, so I'm just using common sense and taking it easy at the moment. Once I am at week 6 I should be able to drive and work etc. I am looking forward to gaining back my independence.
I constantly get asked why I am in a soft collar when out, or what the scar is. :D. I could make up a wildly exciting story, but when I say disc replacement, people gasp and are very interested in what that is - and will I set off metal detectors? Heeheee thankfully that will not be a problem.
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Alastair
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Alastair
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Hi Cindy,
when people ask you why your wearing the collar it is an extremely exciting story that you're telling them.

I can remember in the 1950s when it took two hours to develop an x-ray and now it's done in two minutes. Medicine has progressed fantastically over the last 50 years. Just out of interest they are doing facet joint replacements in Israel at the moment, and Mr John Sutcliffe at London spine clinic is lecturing on it but is not allowed to do the procedure by NICE as yet
best,
Alastair :D
Founder of this board 24th February 2007
Slow and Steady Wins This Race
Over 23 Years experience and research into spine surgery and over 2500 surgeries discussed and recorded

ADR L5/S1 Surgery with Dr Zeegers 26th July 2002 in Munich
8 facet joint ablations 28 8 12 with Dr Baranidharan and Jake Timothy in Leeds Diagnosed Forestiers disease
Your Best Asset Is Your Health
I live in West Yorkshire aged 81 now

Knowledge is power
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Cindy2016
Member
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Hi Alastair, you are right, it is an exciting story. Most people have only ever heard of disc replacement for their cars. :lol: I think the fact that any of these amazing surgeries exist is very exciting. I hope facet replacement will be another success story, because I think disc replacement is fantastic! I am surprised that so many spine surgeons still only want to do fusions, dare I say more out-dated surgeries. Disc replacement has been around for longer than people think, it is just that the last 20 years it has been greatly improved. Just because they don't have very long term evidence, doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. Everything has to start somewhere, there are a few guinea pigs, then eventually thousands of people have it done every year worldwide.
I am 5 weeks since surgery and feel great, far better than before. I can only hope this disc will give me years of pain free movement, having the chance is better than no chance. I will take each day as it comes, there's no other way of looking at life really. We take risks all the time without too much thought. Having surgery doesn't ever come with any guarantees, and that is the same with everything in life other than the fact that we will all eventually die. That's not me being morbid by the way. :lol:
I hope I can get a picture of my new best friend soon - I call him metal diccy. I will ask Miss Morgan if I can get an image of it to show people when I see her next month.
All the best
Cindy :D
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Alastair
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Alastair
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Hi Cindy,
I had my ADR in 2002 in Germany, the surgeons in this country were not allowed to do the procedure because NICE hand not approved it. A lot of countries are ahead of us but there are plenty of them that are behind us.

Don't overdo things, this is the most dangerous time when you feel totally out of pain and like a teenager full of energy. View your recovery is going up a steep slope and gradually improve your mobility. One of the things which you have already noticed yourself is "posture" that is very important. Please keep on updating us with your progress "Slow and steady wins this race"
best,
Alastair :D
Founder of this board 24th February 2007
Slow and Steady Wins This Race
Over 23 Years experience and research into spine surgery and over 2500 surgeries discussed and recorded

ADR L5/S1 Surgery with Dr Zeegers 26th July 2002 in Munich
8 facet joint ablations 28 8 12 with Dr Baranidharan and Jake Timothy in Leeds Diagnosed Forestiers disease
Your Best Asset Is Your Health
I live in West Yorkshire aged 81 now

Knowledge is power
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Cindy2016
Member
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Hi Alastair, I must admit I do need to keep reminding myself that my surgery was quite recent, and therefore I must slow down. Today I did a lot, and I could feel my shoulder ached a tiny bit, so I do need to take your sensible advice - I will keep telling myself to be careful and take things easy. :)
I have a long car journey tomorrow, first one since surgery, so I am now hoping I didn't over do it too much today. I very much hope I keep making this wonderful progress.
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