Hello everyone i wanted to share my experience because i didn't see all that much on the subject and thought some of you may benefit from it. I had one of many snowboard accidents a year ago and an MRI showed that my disc had busted between C5 and C6. All my other discs were in perfect condition (knock on wood) So, after some deliberation, I tried to get approval for the surgery from UHC. After a month or two of back and forth, letters from my DR and such, they would only approve fusion surgery. I'm in my late 30s and I didn't want to do that kind of surgery because i've heard too many bad fusion stories. Plus i want to be active and it's my opinion that the disc replacement will help save the other discs above and below as apposed to Fusion. Of course, dealing with an insurance Co that does not seem listen to reason is a nightmare.
Zip ahead 10 months, my new MRI showed even more degeneration, and there was a risk of my cervical bones fusing together on their own. Luckily i had switched to Aetna through my wife's work and they approved my Disc replacement within a few days.
As the day of the surgery approached i became more nervous. Most everyone around me with the exception of my wife looked at me like i was crazy to have neck surgery. (Like they didn't want to say what was really on their mind). But i did my research. Found a great surgeon in NYC (Dr Eric Elewitz), and I bit the bullet.
The morning of, i arrived at 6 am, they wheeled me in, put me under (first time for me and it was quite strange xfiles-like with all the lights and people rushing around). 2 and a half hours later i opened my eyes and i was ok. Spoke with the surgeon who said it went great. Within 2 hours i was eating, peeing and walking. I refused the pain killers cause i thought they would make me more anxious or something and i wasn't in that much pain anyway! I also refused the anti-nausia medicine (a decision i would later come to regret as the anestheia wore off - take it, trust me). Some advice, because it's not done that often, i found that the nurses and PTs didn't know the recovery procedures of DRS. They had me in a collar which i didn't need. Someone even told me not to turn my head which was totally fine for me to do. Essentially, once the Prestige was drilled in place and the wound closed, i could do anything except lift heavy things. So you should know that going in and don't be afraid to educate the staff that are used to dealing with fusion patients. Apparently with fusion, it takes more time to heal.
I only took tylenol, i did have a huge headache for about 12 hours after, i think mainly from the anestheia, and my neck hurt up and down the back into my shoulders for a week- everyday getting better. Those muscles were tight from the trama of surgery which was expected. Had i taken the prescribed pain killers, i think i would have felt better. But my hands were strong and now that it has been about 3 weeks i feel better everyday. i'm off the muscle relaxers and i'm doing anything i want - i can head back to the gym in another 3 week. I still have neck pain but i've been told that will slowly go away - i feel very fortunate. I'll give a report in a few months and let you all know how it's going. Thanks for reading.