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cough 3 wks post op A&Pcdf C4-7

allicat623aallicat623 Posts: 45
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone,

I haven't been on the forum lately.... I really have been doing pretty good.

I've seen my NS twice since the surgery on 6/30.

- once was a two week post-op to remove stitches. He was concerned that the rear scar was infected, so he still removed the staples but put me on Keflex to ward off any infections.

-most recent was this past Mon, 7/20 to check on scar...and it is doing great. I'm finishing up my 10 day Rx of Keflex.

After the first post-op he said he wanted me to begin walking twice a day...I was able to make once a day for 30 minutes. I live in South LA and the heat in the afternoons made it unbearable for twice a day.

At second post-op, he said I was looking great and could do anything as long as it didn't cause me pain. So I was hoping to do my afternoon "walks" in our neighborhood pool.

Then the cough started the next day. (I know that I caught something from my daughter who got sick....but it has to be viral since I've been taking an antibiotic for 10 days now!)

It's now Thursday morning and I've been coughing a lot and now wheezing. I've also had a low grade fever.

Is it possible for the coughing to "mess up" the fusion and instrumentation? I had an ACDF with metal brace on C5-6, then in back I have two rods and screws in C4-7.

I know that there's not a whole lot that can be done for something that is viral. I'm using an extra inhaler that my daughter had (I have not ever been diagnosed with asthma, but I can actually hear the wheezing.) and taking motrin and Robitussin.

I'd appreciate hearing from anyone else who might have had coughing after cervical surgery.

Thanks much,



  • Hi Allison,

    Chances are that a cough won't do a thing to move your hardware. What would worry me is that the infection isn't completely cleared up and perhaps moved into the lungs- it may be worth a trip to your PCP to have it checked out since you've had the incision infection so recently just to be safe. I'd also put in a call to your surgeon and ask his opinion.

    Hardware is screwed into the solid bone and it takes a lot to move it!

    I hope you get to feeling better soon. It's not fair to have to deal with all of this right after surgery!

  • Allison,

    One other thing, you shouldn't be taking Motrin until you have fused. Motrin contains Ibuprofen (e.g. brand names Advil, Motrin, Nuprin). Ibuprofen is an NSAID and interferes with bone growth. You should be ok taking it for a couple of days, but I would avoid it in the future.

  • long time no talk....sounds like overall things went well. hope this little infection clears up....i like griff's suggestions....when you feel better and you have new pictures of neck i'd love to see the difference....be well....pete
  • finally went to have the cough checked out .....

    and it's acute brochitis!!!

    Which the doctor said could still be residual from the surgery's anesthesia???

    Anyway, I had a breathing treatment in the office, got my very own inhaler, got avelox antibiotic, a steroid shot, and robitussin with codeine to make me sleep.

    Griff, thanks for the reassurance there about the instrumention! Whenever I got in a coughin fit, I pulled my collar around tighter as if to protect things....lol

    I didn't realize motrin wasn't great for bone fusion.
    Thanks much for that tip, Dave!

    Also, Pete, I won't be getting more scans/x-rays until I got back on 8/24...hopefully if all is well, I'll get this neck brace off and can drive.

    I did learn that I'll be getting a Don Joy spinalogic bone growth stimulator next week, I'll post a question about that in a different thread.

    Thanks everyone for the encouragement. You guys are great!!

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