On March 20th I had 4 level ACDF with hardware on c3/4, c4/5, c5/6, and c6/7. This involved harvesting bone and marrow from the back of my hip. Doc used PEEK spacers and cages stuffed with the goo from my hip bone. The titanium plate is screwed into C3 through C7.
I could tell in recovery that my neurological problems (hand and arm numbness on both sides in various forms) were GONE. My hands felt normal and strong. My throat was sore and it was hard to swallow, but not impossible.
Surgery was Friday afternoon and I was walking around the floor on Saturday morning. Doc let me go home on Sunday morning. Sunday night was rough because I tried to sleep lying down in bed. Bad move. I made a nest sitting up on the couch and did that for two nights. 3rd night was in bed and I slept most of the way through the night before I woke up and took a Norco. At 2 weeks I am off the pain meds (Norco) and deal with the muscle soreness with tylenol. I am sleeping completely through the night, which is a big improvement from before surgery.
Even though I am still recovering from the surgery, I am more pain free now than before it.
No collar. Doc gave me a soft collar for comfort if I felt like I needed it. I tend to wear it. He said I could drive this week. No lifting more than 10 pounds, but that is really hard to remember. Truth is that I feel pretty good, but I know I have to take it easy.
The hip incision and harvest site is a non issue. I mostly forget about it. Neither incision hurts and both were steri-strip free within a week.
I am a 47 year old male, mildly overweight (6'2" 220) , non-smoker with no health issues. My disk issues were diagnosed 3 years ago and after consulting with a neurosurgeon and an ortho, I decided to try PT and other non-surgery options. Things like traction helped temporarily, but recently pain and numbness got to the point where I couldn't take it any more. I play guitar, and i was losing coordination and playing poorly. I am happy to report that my hands work much better now. My condition was not the result of an accident or injury, just crappy genetics and luck.
I read this board a lot before surgery and early in recovery, and I thought I should return to let folks know that, for me, this surgery has been a God send so far and I am VERY glad I did it. Best wishes to y'all.