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2 days post op ACDF C5/6

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm doing pretty well.. Surgery took 2 1/2 hours, 2 hours in recovery , then off to my room. Morphine is great :) I can't have vicodin or codeine, so only percocet/darvocet for me for home recovery.
Stayed overnight in hospital, discharged 26hours post surgery. Slept ok, but not through the night.
No big pain, just neck/head/shoulder soreness. It does feel like there's a golfball in my throat and when I eat/drink I need to do so carefully as to not disturb the ball ;) I'm sure that will get better.
Took a shower today and hanging out on the couch. No neckbrace so I'm good.
I took pics of everything, but don't have them online yet.
Since I only had a one level fusion, i'm sure my recovery will be a bit easier. Bad news is I'll need c6/7 done eventually.

Any questions? I'll try to give you my experience with whatever :)

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Comments

  • Hi Kimzkidz,
    Sounds like you are doing great!!! I am about 25 hours post op, C6/7 anterior fusion. I am doing really good, much better than I imagined I would be =) I'm just glad it's over, as I'm sure you are, now we can relax and recover! I just wanted to send you warm wishes and let you know you aren't alone in your recovery. Take good care of yourself my friend!
  • I have a question for you both: How old are you and how are the levels above and below the area that was fused? I am one of those unfortunate folks with multiple level degenerative changes, bulging and or herniated discs above the level that they want to do surgery on (C4-C5). So, I am very hesitant to let them do surgery now. All have expressed concern about the other levels going to pot needing another surgery later on. I am not sure what to do. Your advice would be appreciated!
    Thanks
    Laura
  • Hi Laura,
    I'm 41. I am fortunate that the discs below and above are in good shape. In my lumbar area though that is SO not the case. I think God has given me a little bit of a break in my cervical area because my lumbar issues have been a nightmare. I'm just hoping and praying that I can get some good pain relief from this surgery, the pain from head to toe is horrible. It sounds like my lumbar issues might be similar to your cervical issues in that my discs above and below are in bad shape, including DDD. My surgeon is going to try a spinal cord stimulator for the pain, he doesn't want to do a fusion just yet knowing I will most likely need further surgeries due to the stress on the surrounding discs.....UGH!!!! It is so frustrating isn't it. I wish you all the best!!!!!! If you have any other questions please feel free to ask =)
  • u two have such great recovery news and i think it will really help alot of others. i hope your recoveries continue to be better than even now and dont forget, u two dont over do it just because u might be feeling so go. what great news!
  • I wish you a speedy recovery. Take it easy. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi Kim, sounds like we had very similar surgery experiences. I am 1 month post-ACDF C5C6 and my surgery/ hospital stay was pretty much the same as yours. Once home I slept off and on 24/7 for about a week. I was taking hydrocodone 7.5 and valium every 4-6 hours during that first week. It took about 8 days before I had a really good through-the-night-sleep. My surgery was on a Monday and I had that golf ball in the throat thing until Friday. I drank a lot of protein shakes and ate mashed potatoes, etc. Then magically Saturday morning the golf ball was gone and I demanded french toast =P~ !

    I have been very glad my NS doesn't do post-op collars. He wanted me moving my head from day one and I now have better ROM than before surgery and am nearly pain free. I went back to work (limited duties) after two weeks, and right now I'm pretty much off all my narcotics. I still use heat and ice when my neck and back feel stiff and occasionally take 2 Tylenol. It's weird, though....some days my neck really aches and I think I feel twinges down my arm and I start to get worried, and then the next day I'll wake up and it doesn't even feel like I ever had surgery or neck problems at all. I guess it's all the ups and downs of healing.

    My first post-op appt. isn't until Dec 11th, (7 weeks post-op) so I guess I'll see how the fusion is going at that time. Right now I feel like one of the "lucky ones" and am very glad I had the surgery. Keep us posted on your progress.
  • Hey KC,
    There won't be any over doing it for me, my recovery is way too important to me. I am so tired of all the pain, I just want this surgery to work so I have to do my part. Thank you for your kind words. Looks like you have been through alot, hang in there!!!!!!
  • We had surgery the same day . . . I posted in another thread for October/November surgery/recovery -- but am now just over 48 hours post-op for c5-6 and c6-7 fusion with instrumentation. It's been a good experience . . . no true pain -- just uncomfortable. I too have that "golf ball" in my trachea, but it's becoming less painful. I'm sleeping off an on but was up today and showered. I'm in a hard collar most of the time, but I can sleep in a soft collar. I have some muscle pain in my neck and right shoulder -- but otherwise, I'm doing very well.

    Glad to hear that your recovery's going well. You too, Lori!
  • I was wondering if you all had your own bone for the fusions or cadaver or something else? i am still trying to decide on that one. Thanks and keep up the great work healing!
    Laura
  • First off, thanks for all of the well wishes!

    I also hope that those who have had surgery this week have a speedy recovery!

    I am 38 (mom of 3- 18,12,10) and play ice hockey 3 days/week. (well I should say PLAYED ice hockey, but I CAN play again in 3 mths per NS :)

    My c6/7 disc is bulging and dr said I will eventually need surgery. I did ask him to review MRI and he did so a week before as well as the day of surgery. Yep, it's gonna need surgery but not yet. Stated I was too young, etc. Lovely.. I'm NOT looking forward to another one of these surgeries.

    I used bone bank bone. Not that I really wanted to, but NS stated it's well worth any issues than to have hip pain, complications, etc. Neat thing is I rec'd a card giving instructions on how to write the "donor" family a note on how their decision of donating a loved one's tissues/bones, etc has affected me. I thought that was cool!.

    So far I have 3 dinners from well wishers to feed my family over the next few days, 2 gift cards for restaurants/take outs and 2 more dinners coming over the next week. So nice to have friends that care :)

    I'm a kindgergarten lunch supervisor and hope to return to work Dec 1st. I only work 2 hours/day and I think I might be ok. I have my follow up appt that day as well.

    Hope I answered all the questions. Sorry if I ramble or sound confused (I AM!) it's really the drugs :)

    Once again, thanks for the recovery wishes!
  • cadaver bone

    BTW, my MRI and X-rays showed some bone spurs at C4-C5, but I am asymptomatic at that level. The discs look good above and below my fusion site, but I guess there's always the possibility I will need a future surgery. (statistics say 25% chance within 10 years) I'll worry about that if it happens.
  • KIMZKIDZ said:
    I'm doing pretty well.. Surgery took 2 1/2 hours, 2 hours in recovery , then off to my room. Morphine is great :) I can't have vicodin or codeine, so only percocet/darvocet for me for home recovery.
    Stayed overnight in hospital, discharged 26hours post surgery. Slept ok, but not through the night.
    No big pain, just neck/head/shoulder soreness. It does feel like there's a golfball in my throat and when I eat/drink I need to do so carefully as to not disturb the ball ;) I'm sure that will get better.
    Took a shower today and hanging out on the couch. No neckbrace so I'm good.
    I took pics of everything, but don't have them online yet.
    Since I only had a one level fusion, i'm sure my recovery will be a bit easier. Bad news is I'll need c6/7 done eventually.

    Any questions? I'll try to give you my experience with whatever :)

    hi kimzkidz
    just turned one week for me. compared to the first day i feel great. still stiff in neck area from being torqued around during surgery.i had level 2 acdf didnt know i had this problem until 5 months ago. delt with arm pain for over 3 yrs. found out i was born with a narrow spinal column, had 2 bone spurs pressing in to my spinal cord, spinal stenosi which was compressing 50% of my spinal cord, herniated disc c3-c4, and ddd c4-c5.nice huh? since i am a mailman by trade i blamed the arm pains on carrying the mail then the last year i started getting terrible leg aches almost like restless legs sometimes even weak and wobbly. could barely walk at end of day once i relaxed. so far since surgery my legs feel great, arm pain is gone and neck and shoulders are getting better. so im there with ya! so i can get back to work im going to take it easy for a few months. dont plan to even go back till end of april. no rush!im 41 and have 15 yrs before i retire so im not gonna push it! i was also told to keep neck brace on till doctor visit. only take off during shower and eating(hard to swallow with it on)
  • ouch
    i had gone to 3 diff surgeons 1st one only uses own bone recovery time to hip added to neck surgery. walking more painful than the neck surgery itself.( my sister had this done) 2nd surgeon was to only use bone marrow from hip with a cage was going to go with him but he had to have surgery 3 days prior to mine 3rd surgeon used the cadaver bone on me and im up and walking which i like. but from reading up on all procedures the cadaver bone takes the longest to heal. so really its up to you! if your active like me and since i don't try to lift anything right now over ten pounds at least i can walk and get my exercise that way! good luck!
  • I'm 46 (today, LOL) . . . and I discussed using my own bone with my NS, but he said that a non-union was slim to nil given the instrumentation, my age and that I don't smoke. I'm a Manager for a disability insurance carrier. I intend to return to work in 3 to 4 weeks on a part time basis for a couple of weeks . . . then will increase to full-time.

    Today is 3 days post-surgery. I'm taking an occasional Vicoden and/or Soma . . . still sleeping a lot and doing very little, but I'm very comfortable. The problems with my trachea are getting better every day -- still a bit difficult to swallow, but not bad.
  • soft eclipse

    have you tried eating and drinking without brace or do you have one. i have had better recovery taking it off to eat and drink.
  • I'm now 7 wks post op and he told me that eventually I wouldn't even know that the plate and screws were there. He was right. Today I don't even know they're there. Glad to hear you guys are doing well. But enjoy sitting back and try not to do to much just because you think you feel good. Everyone on this board has at some point overdone it. So don't be one of us. :)
    Here's hoping for a speedy recovery for you!
  • I've run into a recovery snag..I've been really really good-- on the couch every day, no overdoing it.. I took a shower this morning and noticed something whitish at the corner of my incision, while drying it went away, curious, I squeezed a bit and more came out. GROSS. Called DR and although I rec'd iv antibiotics, they called me in keflex 4x/day just in case my incision is getting infected. I'll go on Monday if things don't improve over the weekend..since this morning, I've not noticed any more drainage.

    ALSO- My voice is going which is weird because it seemed to not be affected at all. Hope I don't have a bug on top of recovering :(. Hubby and 12 yr old are sick with cough cold (Just what I DON'T need :O )
  • i am 4 weeks post op c4-6 fused,acdf, and I feel no better than before surgery, I wonder if that is because for years docs tried to do other tx's that were temporary, for years I was told I had 3 bulging disc, but they are not serious. Now it became serious, when they found out my stenosis was getting so bad, and my nerves were being compressed. Oh well, I finally had a neck surgery, and I am still waiting for something to feel right. wow I wish i had the same experience you guys did!! My body is still actually in shock from this whole surgery ordeal, and I know I could never ever do this again, it has taken it;s toll along with the years of pain!! gl to you all!!! :sick: :sick:
  • =D> glad to see your doing so well!! keep up the good work, all the other symptoms will come and go, just remember this takes times. so yeah your going to have your ups and downs. a few good days to a few bad. but not always.
    keep us updated on your progress!! >:D< >:D<

    KARMAGIRL: i was still feeling pretty crappy at 4 wks. remember you went a time with the nerves getting compressed pplus not everyone reacts the same to any type of spinal surgery. i still had alot of burning at that point and had no clue what it was from etc. lots and lots of ice is your best bet for any inflammation. it took me almost 2 weeks to eat solid food. by that 3rd month it was like majic and everything was going into place and i went back to work as a CNA at 4 months. so stay calm, hang in there and all should work out for the best!!! >:D< O:)

    terri
    xoxox
  • I am wearing a hard Vista Collar -- and I have a soft collar too that I wear sometimes to sleep for a few hours. I take the collar off occasionally and I've tried eating and drinking without it, but I don't really notice any change. I've got food caught a few times, but nothing too serious. I notice when I go from lying down to sitting up, it hurts for a few seconds. So weird!
  • I've been breezing along doing well until last evening. I think I was up too long during the day. By night fall, I had severe muscle spasms between my shoulders, up into my neck and down my right arm. I put in a challenging night without much sleep. My whole body hurts from sleeping so much in the same position. I do much better with pain meds and a muscle relaxer -- but I'm trying to reduce them. Guess it's too soon for that.

    Slept most of the morning off and on -- now have increased numbness in my left index finger with typing. Still in good spirits though. Just a minor set-back.
  • When I first started having my symptoms this summer (severe neck and arm pain with numbness in left arm and fingers), I had an MRI done and talked to a neurosurgeon. He gave me the option of conservative treatment or surgery. I talked to a lot of people that had similar cervical fusions and also did a lot of research online. It seemed that the people that waited a long time to go to surgery after the initial onset of their symptoms had the hardest time recovering and not as much relief post-op.

    My sister-in-law had lower back and leg pain for years before her surgery and although the leg pain was resolved, she still has back pain. Another friend of mine had C4C5 ACDF after several years of arm numbness and pain and his nerves to his triceps in his left arm never did regenerate You can see that his left arm is atrophied and smaller than the other one. Although steroids, NSAIDS and cervical decompression therapy with my chiropractor relieved most of my symptoms, I knew the spinal stenosis and bone spurs weren't going to magically disappear. Rather than prolong the inevitable and suffer with long-term nerve damaged, I scheduled my surgery for the soonest practical time (4 months after the onset of symptoms).

    I am now 1-month post-op and don't have a single regret about my decision. Sure, surgery is scary, but I am gong to be as good as new in 3-6 months with (hopefully) no long-term affects. In your case, your nerves have been compressed for so long, they are not going to bounce back quickly, if at all. Just take it easy and be patient. Good Luck.

  • I think every single one of us have done exactly what you've done. So SoftEclipse welcome to the "Been there. Done that" club. :D
    Just remember to take it easy. Pain medication can sometimes make us feel like superwoman. Then our bodies remind us they need more TLC than we have given them.
  • I'm glad you're doing so well after surgery. I wish you a speedy recovery. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I've learned my lesson, Tonya! Taking my meds and laying low for now . . . up to walk or stretch and back to bed. I'm getting stronger, I can feel it.
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