Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Physical Therapy after ACDF

snapdragonssnapdragon Posts: 58
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I just started PT yesterday, and truthfully it seems kind of wimpy. Currently I have extremely tight neck and shoulder muscles, with spasms in my lower neck/back if I raise my arms over my head to stretch. PT consisted of a little bit of massage, some stretching. Can any one here tell me what their PT was like after their surgery?


  • Hey guys,
    wow, I have pretty aggressive physical therapy. I had artificial disc replacement at C5-C6 and do small weight matrices in which you move your body in 3 planes, I do planks, I do Y's and T's with weights..it's pretty stressful and I haven't decided yet how great it is for me..I am sore a lot. My PT person says I am much further along than most people but I sure have a lot of soreness and some pain when I twist my neck. Hope to start massage therapy after next round of x-rays on 1/9/09.
  • Well, I take back my wimpy comments. Today was more intense, from the massage to the hand-cycle and everything in between. I'm exhausted!
  • Mine was all nice with gentle motion movements and lots of heat and stim massage. Then they handed me the weights. I had to take a break because 1 I felt I was getting better and 2 I was exhausted and had learned enough to get me through at home.
  • My physical therapist is my brother image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" /> So, he works me harder than I believe he would work others..Unfortunately, I don't always speak up when there is pain involved because I have to prove myself..still, having good results..will update after x-rays.
  • my therapy consists of weights ,balance exercises on the bozu ball and tampoline, ball exercises for my entire spine and stomach,neck strengthening ,muscle stim for my leg muscles,then i have heat,tens and ultra sound and some stretches. wow no wonder i'm tired by the end of the day LOL ;)
  • i havent been told i needed pt and im 8 wks post op 2level acdf. i just went ahead and started my own pt( at 7 wks) since i have a small gym with cardio machine,total gym and ball. i do the same exercises as i would at pt. i feel better in shoulders since i started it.
  • I just underwent ( is that even a word, LOL) 3 months of PT. I have extremely tight neck, shoulders and upper back muscles, and lower back pain. I'm sorry to say it did absolutly nothing for my problems and pain. And I REALLY tried. Finally the theraapist told me that until I could quit driving 8 hrs a day, more this winter, for my job, I would continue to be in pain. Since I'm not independently wealthy, that isn't an option. So I'll just have to suffer for another 4 1/2 years, until I retire. If there is anything left to retire on. :))( It's terrible we have to put our bodies through so much stress. Good luck to all for a pain-free day.
  • Even after all that hard PT and running, working, etc and some increased pain..everything looks good for me and the doctor said to keep doing what I am doing and see me in another 3 months for check up(that will be my 6 month mark). Yea. Thank you all for being here. <:P
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    My docotrs basically said the last this I should be doing is PT after ACDF's ..... The goal is FUSION not psudo-arthrodesis. More motion means less fusion .... thus the rigid Aspen braces for most of us. Simple .... Motion = no fusion ..... I would question anything beyond shoulder shrugs when it relates to the Cervial Spine ..... now if you are doing PT to build your thighs or learn ADL's and body mechanics that will allow you to keep your C=Spine static .... more PT to ya!

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Hey everyone, so sorry I don't really know the different protocols after surgery for fusion versus replacement. I had replacement surgery so PT was the goal for me. Sorry, D,if I may have confused some people; Again, I don't know the different protocols. #o
  • I started Pt 4 weeks post op ACDF. I thought my treatment was very aggressive and I paid dearly for it with severe pain hours after the PT. We had to pt PT on hold after 3 sessions because the spasms and pain were so bad.
    I hope to restart again in 2 weeks. I am not a wimp but the therapy pain was worse than the preop pain I had. I think I started too early.
    Good Luck,Bethy
  • Four weeks does sound early grandmesamom, my NS didn't send me until almost 10 weeks after surgery.

  • Have to say that PT has been very good for me. After my second surgery, I started PT in June, and was going up until this week. They started rather easy, just some stretching and arm bike, then slowly worked me into weights. My fusion is stable, my OS said PT would be a good thing, and it has done wonders for me. After my first ACDF it was 6 weeks before PT, and after the second ACDF with the posterior laminectomy it was 12 weeks after the surgery. Good luck to all.

  • I have been doing PT for months now, I have the greatest PT, he is the only one who could give me answers as to why my upper back was in so much pain. In my situation, the path of the nerves affected in my neck to my arms were causing my muscles to spasm and tighten, so bad that they pulled some ribs out of place, so he not only got my ribs back (took 2 months) but is continueing with deep tissue massage, painful but relieving, and I am hoping by the time I have surgery it will improve, BUT he did tell me my posture was what he called turtle shell protective mode and gave me stretches to get my shoulders back, chest out, he said if I did not correct it, the surgery would not help.
    Hope this helps and I am always open to questions, just message me!
  • I was started on PT at 4 weeks post op for acdf one level, but was yanked out of it after 4 sessions because they were being too aggressive and my pain was unbearable. My NS said she wished I had called her and told her how much pain I was in after the first PT visit, because PT is NOT supposed to hurt this early in recovery. She said the orders were to do massages for my extremely tight neck/upper back muscles, then GRADUALLY work up to stretches. She was VERY unhappy, to say the least, to hear of what was being done to me so early. She even called the PT office (it's part of the same hospital she works out of) and gave them hell for it. So, my advice is what she said to me: Listen to your body. If your neck can tolerate what's being done, then keep going. But, if it hurts, it's NOT right, and NOT helping you.
  • I've been going through the PT posts and man this is wild. I'm going to a 3 level ACDF and was given the order of "No bending or rotation of my neck nor forward or backward tilting for six weeks".

    I'm told not to lift for the first 3 weeks and just walk walk walk! I love to exercise so I hope I'm given the green light but sounds like some of you were entered into the races!

    At my post op they say I can discuss doing more strenuous activities.

    I've used PTs for years due to my sport activities and my back issues. Some are great and some need to go back to school in my opinion. I've been lucky because most of mine have been great but after reading these posts I'm going to be careful that's for sure. If they have me getting crazy I'm going to call my doctor!

    Thank you for sharing all that you've been doing. It really helps!
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    PT was never ordered for me after my discectomy, corpectomy, 360 degree
    ACDF. Couldn't tell you if it would matter either way.
  • I have been going to PT for about the last month. Doing the bands, ultrasound, heat, and different excersises. Also doing traction again (fused at 5/6/6/7) for c4/5 that has gone bad. I cant really tell if its working or not but yesterday the traction was ruff and today really stiff.
  • Well after yesterdays PT, I had to quit. The traction was making me hurt alot worse. The therapist and myself decided that it wasent helping any after 12 post op visits. Some people it helps, but not me post op.
Sign In or Register to comment.