Five days ago I had a 1-level fusion C5-6. I was scared to death to have it and was ready to back out because my pain suddenly disappeared a couple of weeks before my surgery, though tingling in my left arm and hand replaced it. After consulting one last time with my ortho, I decided to go ahead (I should mention I've had a reoccuring neck issues over the last 5 years). I can tell you it was NOWHERE near as difficult as I expected. I was never in "pain", just discomfort which I stayed on top of with meds(I was not connected to a med pump, just percocet and celebrex regularly). I spent one night in the hospital and since I've returned home things have steadily improved. My throat was relatively sore the first two days not worse than I've had with a bad cold really, now I just feel like I have a little ball in it - soft food diet only for first week. On Day 2 I had some strong muscle cramps in my shoulders and in back of neck, but they went away within a day. In the last three days I've taken only 1 vicodin during the day, otherwise the celebrex is working fine.I see the doctor in 4 days and I'm guessing I may be able to stop wearing the hard collar then, maybe moving to a soft one for periods of time.I forgot to mention, the tingling sensation is completely gone - has been since I woke up in recovery. I'll see what the doc has to say when he sees me and hopefully the fusion will take place over the next couple of months. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
So my point in writing this is that as horrible as the surgery sounds, my experience (and I'm a total whimp when it comes to anything medical) had been as good as it could be. Just wanted to share a positive experience with you all!