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Neck Surgeries

CRASH21CCRASH21 Posts: 139
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Does no BLT (bend, lift, twist) apply to cervical surgeries? Wondering what I will/will not be able to do post surgery. Please inform me of your experience.
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Comments

  • Hi Crash21,

    What kind of surgery will you be having? If you're having ACDF then yes it will apply. If you're having ACD w/artificial disc replacement, it will all depend on the type of disc being used. Recovery time will be will be much longer if you are having a fusion. I am speaking from my experience here; everyone is a little different though. Your surgeon should be the one that really answers that question.
  • Thanks for your reply. I will be having ACDF with cage, plate and screws. Forgot to ask some questions during my last visit. I will be having surgery on 9/10 and want to prepare things at home as much as possible.
  • I'm having 4 level ACDF C-3 to C-7 it looks like with fusion. Do they usually put a cage in too when they do that many levels? Just wondering.

    Ken GreyEagle
    Greyeagle
  • Hey all,

    I will be having ACDF with plate and screews on Sept 3rd.
    Thanks CRASH for asking that question!

    I have posted a list of question in the surgery area about the ACDF and some of my concerns and one of them was that when my Mom is not here and I have no one in the home Will I need to have a way to help my self up from the poty?
    I ask because this does require a little of a bend???

    No one has psted any answers to any of the question in that post. I am sure the questions are some that we all may have.

    GreyEagle,

    What is your surgery date?? Four levels is a lot to have at one time. At least that is my personal opinion. I really would like to know your date so I can be praying for you and supporting you as much as possible. Please PM me when ever you need to.

    Chrissy
  • First of all, good luck to all in your upcomming surgeries. Chrissy, the bathroom issue should not be a problem with a ACDF, not much strain on your neck getting up or down. I didn't have a problem at all.
    Crash21, the best thing would to be have your most used items waiste high and in spots that you don't have to reach out and up for them. That was hard to get used to for me, but with a little thought things can be made easier to get to.
    Ken, with my fusion they did not use cages at all, they used Trabecular Metal, looks like a suger cube, but metal. They wedged it between my Vertebra and then they used a plate and screws to hold things in place.
    Again good luck to you all and soon you will be on the way to recovery!

    mark
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,722
    I always maintain that the ACDF surgical procedure is one of the better medical solutions for Spinal patients. Reading the various posts from different members, the success, the rapid recovery time, the relatively pain free conditions are much higher with cervical patients then with lumbar or thoracic.

    In the past I had C5/C6 ACDF and a couple of years later C6/C7 ACDF, plate, screws,etc.. Never had the cage, and I assume because it didnt span as many discs.
    Back then (1996 and 2000), almost all ACDF post-op patients had to wear one of those hard collars. I had a Philadelphia
    coller
    image
    I wore my 24x7 for 7 weeks. That was the hardest thing to deal with. Many new ACDF surgeries do not require hard collars during recovery. I found that sleeping was tough.
    I could not lay flat, so I used this foam 'wedge' that sort of simulated a hospital bed. I didnt have as many bend/twist restrictions as I did with my lumbar surgeries.
    But with the hard collar, bending and picking things up was a chore to itself.
    Once the collar came off, I was in PT for about 3 weeks, moved on to a soft collar. But as I mentioned, the current cervical surgical procedures seem to have improved more and recovery is even quicker.
    Good luck to anyone going in for a ACDF. And just think, you will have the ACDF merit badge (scar) that many
    'Neckies' show as the Badge of Courage!
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thanks to all for your posts. As surgery gets closer (9/10), I am getting scared and stressed. I guess you can never be totally prepared. I am sure that even recovery is different for different people. I am so glad I have found this site. It is nice knowing that I will have a whole network of people out there to talk to before/after my surgery. Knowing that what I am going through is "normal".
  • Hello..i am 4 weeks post op for ACDF with plate.
    One big help to me was a grabber...to pick things up or reach things (as long as they don't weigh more than five pounds!)
    Also bought button down shirts and pj's since putting things over your head is impossible.
    Prepare as much as you can ahead of time..figure out what needs to be moved..lightened up, etc and it will make recovery much easier.
    I find sleeping in the recliner better for me than the wedge, as I keep slipping down!

    I wore a hard collar for three weeks...then weaned to a soft collar. I still wear hard collar at nite and when I feel real sore.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • Hello..i am 4 weeks post op for ACDF with plate.
    One big help to me was a grabber...to pick things up or reach things (as long as they don't weigh more than five pounds!)
    Also bought button down shirts and pj's since putting things over your head is impossible.
    Prepare as much as you can ahead of time..figure out what needs to be moved..lightened up, etc and it will make recovery much easier.
    I find sleeping in the recliner better for me than the wedge, as I keep slipping down!

    I wore a hard collar for three weeks...then weaned to a soft collar. I still wear hard collar at nite and when I feel real sore.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • The no blt rule was ordered after my surgery also.I am 3 weeks post acdf c 5/6 with the plate screwed in.
    I live in my recliner also here to sleep. I have tried a coulpe times to sleep in my bed so far am not able to. The wedge sounds worth a try maybe.
    I live in pull on shorts & tank tops.
    I "squat" to feed & water my pets.
    I also bought myself this bright yellow laptop to keep me busy.
    There is a lot of great information & support here. I have found everyone here very compasionate & supportive. It's really nice to come here where people truley understand what you are going through. Visit often.
    Good luck, we are all here to offer our support.
  • Crash21, I had surgery on August 26 where my C7 had to be removed and replace with a femur bone, and plated to my C6 and T1.

    Remember to remove contact lenses if you wear them pre-surgery. Also, see if they can give you a light sedative while you are still in your room.

    I woke up after the 3 hours surgery and felt some anxiety because I could not take deep breaths. BUT…this is normal since it was neck surgery; I just had to take small breaths for a minute of so until I felt better.

    I left the hospital the next day. I am in a collar for 6 weeks. I really stay away from any rough activity, I don't lift more than 5 lbs. Expect lots of swelling, but that’s about it. Of course, try to not move your neck.

    Good Luck to you. I hope this has helped.
  • This site has been a lot of help about what I may need to look forward too. My surgery is a level one on C4/5 they will be using a bone graft. I liked the idea that was givin to CRASH21 about keeping things at a level to be able to reach them. I hear the swallowing is hard though. I sing Karaoke now I kinda wonder how that will be after I heal. Oh another thing I went out and got was my bendy straws, and jello/pudding,applesauce, and soup. I may need to take my pills in my applesauce or pudding. I have to throw my head back to swallow them now, now after surgery I won't be able to do that. So if anyone has an easy way help!! Plus i hope I get better meds than percosets they hardly touch my pain now.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,722
    You will be happy to see how you will feel after your cervical surgery. The pain and discomfort and the numbness, tingling, etc that you have been experiencing will cease.
    True, after surgery you will be sore (like in any surgery) and taking the right approach on what you need is great.
    - What can you eat? Soft foods, cold/warm?
    - Where are you going to sleep? Bed,Recliner, etc?
    - How about showering and other things like that
    - Keeping a phone with you
    - Keeping things (TV Remote, PC, etc) close by
    - Not having to Yell (may sound strange, but a old fashion school bell, you can use when you need some help

    So many people have given you good advise, tips, etc
    In a short time, you will be back to normal, but just do n ot do anything that you shouldnt do
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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