Hello everyone!! I and 33 years old and have suffered with a bad back for years - resulting in pain in arms, legs, fingers, neck, shoulders and back (everywhere really!!). Anyway, my Neuro-Surgeon finally persuaded me to have a C5/6 anterior cervical discectomy and disc replacement following years of various/alternative treatments. The surgery took place last Wed (at James Cook University hospital - they are wonderful by the way!!)and I feel fantastic. I can't say that the pain has totally gone, but I can feel my fingers for the first time in years!!! I have a slight 2 inch scar across the front of my neck but that is a small price to pay. The hardest thing I'm finding is to remember that I should be taking it easy rather than doing all the things I want, and feel able, to do. Anyway, because I am doing so well, I was assessed and discharged by my physio the day after surgery - so I feel a bit isolated and worried about how much I should/shouldn't be doing. I'm trying to "listen to my body" but, after years of pain, I have difficulty assessing when I've done too much.
Does anyone know how long the artificial disc should last for?
On the negative side I still have pain with my lower back/body so am awaiting further advice/surgery for that in the future.........
Welcome to the Board and our spine community Rebecca. They have been doing mechanical tests on various discs and they haven't been able to wear them out from a motion point of view. The problem comes when the discs are not properly aligned and then this causes wear problems. There is an official study in the FAQs on the second page I think it is.
It's easy to keep an eye on the actual plastic discs and at one of the recent conferences in Berlin, (remember ADR has only been on the go since about 1984). There was a patient playing tennis who had his charitee disc inserted 26 years ago, and he was rushing around the tennis court doing extremely well, and winning some games against semiprofessionals.
We have a Lady here who is running marathons, and you're in good company to discuss your recovery because we have a good number of cervical patients here. Just a matter of interest who did your surgery?
Mr Nath - I'd definitely recommend him.
Welcome to the forum Rebecca
Glad that your surgery went so well and that you are feeling good. I too was given little post-op advice other than "carry on as normal" and "your body will tell you if you've done too much." I've got to say I did try to take things easy and avoided lifting as I didn't want to undo the good that had been done. I simply did gently range of movement exercises for my neck and although I did have some troublesome shoulder and scapular pains for a few weeks initially I have since had no further problems and my neck moves wonderfully without pain which is great.
Out of interest, do you know which artificial disc your surgeon has used? Regarding how long the discs will last, I've heard forty years plus but in my opinion time will tell..hopefully it will be many decades.
Hope you continue to improve each day and that your lumbar spine is not too troublesome.