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Old 03-16-2009, 04:39 PM   #1
Lois Lyons
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Cervical Anterior Discectomy - Anyone been thru this surgery & returned to CrossFit?

I am scheduled for a Cervical Anterior Discectomy on C-5/6 and C6/7 on 3/20/09 and needless to say I'm a bit nervous. Has anyone out there had this surgery and come back to CrossFit... perhaps to become even better/stronger than before? My doctor indicated that at three months post-surgery I could jump out of airplanes - so I'm assuming that CrossFit will be a non-issue. Thank you!
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:52 PM   #2
Mark Daniels
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Re: Cervical Anterior Discectomy - Anyone been thru this surgery & returned to CrossF

I had a pool accident 2001 ant discectomy c5/6 then as emergency. C6/7 was partially out but was thought best to leave well alone. Went back and had a polypropylene disc put in c6/7 in 2007 and haven't looked back - no pain no restrictions for crossfit. Only started crossfit after 2nd surgery and not a twinge despite my awful form
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:53 PM   #3
Lois Lyons
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Re: Cervical Anterior Discectomy - Anyone been thru this surgery & returned to CrossF

Thank you Mark! I'm a bit of a wreck right now and while I expect to be out for three or four weeks, I plan to get back to CF w/body weight work ASAP. The idea of this surgery is just awful - glad to hear your experience was a good one! Thanks again.
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:28 PM   #4
Mark Daniels
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Re: Cervical Anterior Discectomy - Anyone been thru this surgery & returned to CrossF

the surgery is a breeze I didn't have time to think about the 1st 1 as an emergency but being a doctor I was a big baby before the second disc - could play golf within 6 weeks and l started lifting as a novice after about 16 weeks. If I had been inclined could have done light exercise after 4 weeks No need for physio just posture pushing your chin back with a finger. Keep me informed of your progress, I have a workout log you can always catch me there
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:30 AM   #5
Lois Lyons
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Re: Cervical Anterior Discectomy - Anyone been thru this surgery & returned to CrossF

I am home and the recovery has begun. The first two days were great - no pain in the arm/shoulder and had a lot of energy too. The last two days have been tougher. I have pain in my wrist and in my hand and some in my back. I think much of my discomfort is from overcompensating when I sleep and trying to avoid the narcotics which make me loopy and groggy. The doc was pleased by the surgery though he said the nucleus had calcified and the bone was sticking right into the spinal cord. OUCH! He was confident that in a short time I'd be back in action and back to full-on CF w/in three months max. Thanks again for your feedback and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I continue this recovery. Best- Lois
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:23 PM   #6
Mark Daniels
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Re: Cervical Anterior Discectomy - Anyone been thru this surgery & returned to CrossF

glad surgery over.
I didn't take painkillers preferred to let my body tell me what to do and not to do.
The wrist pain etc is likely to be neuropraxia - swelling of the tissues around the nerve causing it to work incorectly, totally normal after surgery and should disappear relatively quickly. Dont spend too long on the computer as that tends to mess with your posture causing your chin to come forward. Important to get your neck used to good posture in the recovery period.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:26 PM   #7
Greg Major
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Re: Cervical Anterior Discectomy - Anyone been thru this surgery & returned to CrossF

Thanks for this thread. I've been getting treatment for degenerative discs. I have constant pain in my shoulder and arm and now some numbness in my thumb. I've had PT and a cortisone shot. I was doing ok with it until a round of heavy shoulder presses. That set it off again. I'm hoping it doesn't come to surgery but hearing about your experiences eases my mind a bit. I've been active my whole life and the idea that I can't keep doing the things I'm doing just doesn't work.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:36 AM   #8
Lois Lyons
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Re: Cervical Anterior Discectomy - Anyone been thru this surgery & returned to CrossF

Greg - Good luck with your situation. I had cancelled the surgery three times before finally making the decision to just do it and get it over with. I was doing mod wods almost everyday and it was driving me crazy! I'm one week post-op and though I don't feel 100%, I am amazed at how well CrossFit and The Zone prepared my body for a speedy recovery. I slept flat on my back last night, get to walk a few miles today and from here it will be a gradual build up to 100%. I had two rounds of cortisone in my shoulder - both which lasted about three months and felt fantastic. But i knew that doing three was not a smart thing and that ultimately I'd have to cave to the procedure. Now, even though I am not fully recovered, I am glad that I did it. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions along the way.
L
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Old 03-28-2009, 03:50 PM   #9
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Cervical Anterior Discectomy - Anyone been thru this surgery & returned to CrossF

I had an anterior C5/6 and C6/7 diskectomy Nov. 2007 and even in my fifties was able to get back to Crossfitting in short order. That's the good news.

The bad news was I developed problems higher up---and subsequently had to have posterior fusions from C3/4 and reinforcing the lower, anterior fusions. That second surgery was done in April 2008 and it was a doozy. I'm actually still dealing with neurologic sequelae and problems. My crossfitting days are behind me. I'm grateful I can walk.

The one thing I would say is please understand that forces are transmitted rather more intensely down your cervical spine, since you don't have the "give" in your spine with a fusion, so be careful with overhead work and things like handstand pushups. Listen to your body.

That said, after the first surgery I was right as rain and did some of my best work thereafter. I wish you well.

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Old 03-29-2009, 08:11 AM   #10
Lois Lyons
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Re: Cervical Anterior Discectomy - Anyone been thru this surgery & returned to CrossF

Thank you Susie and I'm sorry that you are still dealing with pain - but glad too that you can walk. I've been avoiding heavy OH work (max at 35lbs over the last few months) and completely eliminating box jumps, wall ball shots and hand stand pushups. I figure I'll likely keep that same plan even when recovered from this surgery. I'd rather modify than to risk further injury. I'll simply work to become the greatest front squat/dead lifter that I can be! I only hope that I can resume pullups/pushups/situps/squats - if I can continue with metcon and general lifting I'll be happy. Good luck with your continued recovery and thanks again for your post.
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