Hey there - I'm now 4 days post ACDF c5-7. Recovery has been a bit tougher than I expected, so I'll keep this brief for now.
Morning of surgery went smooth and efficiently. Met with many of the surgical crew and nursing staff while laying on the gurney. Was wheeled back to the OR on time, was introduced to a few more folks inside and then the next thing I know I'm trying wake up in recovery.
I was in the OR for two hours and then in the recovery room for two more...I struggled with nausea, but did not throw up. According to the surgeon bone spurring and compression were much heavier than anticipated.
Was taken up to a private room, where the next few hours were really tough. I had very bad nausea, anxiety, and a very sore throat, likely from the breathing tube. Swallowing was very difficult. I avoided using the pain pump due to being anxious and the nausea (from recovery through the first 12 hours post op, I only hit the button four times).
After getting some anti-nausea meds in the IV I began to feel better. I was also able to get up to go the the restroom and take my first walk about 5 hours post op. I didn't touch lunch (broth and other liquids), and only had a few spoonfuls of dinner.
The nausea wore off over the remainder of the day, and I took a few more walks and sat up in a chair for a few hours. I started to hit a wall 12 hours post op, and went back to the bed for the evening. With another dose of anti-nausea meds, I felt better about using the dilaudid throughout the night, about once every 90 minutes. I was reclined at about a 45 degree angle, and I probably slept 10-15 minutes every few hours.
The next morning I was taken off IV and had my first percocet. While the throat was still very sore and swallowing very difficult, I managed a few bite of scrambled eggs. After a few chats with the nursing staff and my surgeon, I was on my way home.
More to come regarding days 2-4 in another post....