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Hi from Southern California

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi - I have my 3 level acdf with plating next Friday, the 31. This site has been so helpful for me! I've never had major surgery and this site has prepared me so much for surgery and recovery. I was pretty shocked that I needed such major surgery - I'm only 40 and didn't have any accidents or previous neck or back problems. I'm frightened about the surgery. My neurosurgeon says I should be able to work in a few weeks (I'm a librarian) but that seems very optimistic compared to what I've read on this site. I had my pre-op last Friday so I've been testing out the collar. Too bad my surgery isn't in winter!


  • Wouldn't be right if you weren't nervous. I was a wreck! I had only one level done in my neck. We all heal differently, so who knows, it could be 3 weeks. Good luck with your surgery and keep us posted as to how you make out..........

  • yah my first surgery i was nervous. but if you have confidence in procedure and surgeon you have good reason to be hopeful of a great outcome. i wish you luck and keep us posted...pete
  • Thanks! I think the worst thing is waiting for the surgery. I'll keep you all posted.
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. good luck on your upcoming surgery.. =D> please follow the doctor's orders for a successful recovery. :D and know you have plenty of company here if the going gets rough or you just want to chat. :D all the best! =D> Jenny p.s. baseball and i are from Southern Cal as well!!! :D
  • Welcome to Spine-Health, home of the nicest spineys you'll ever find. There's a ton of collective knowledge in the forums and outside of them as well.

    You're going to have the exact same surgery I had. Other things we have in common are that it hit me as suddenly as it did you, I also had never had any medical problems or surgeries or hospital stays before, and I'm in my 40s.

    I suddenly had severe pain in the upper middle of my back one Thursday in May 08, and it was so bad that I couldn't wait to see my PCP until the following week when my yearly physical was scheduled. After the x-rays, she said my neck looked pretty bad and to try PT. I tried that for about six weeks when the PT guy said there wasn't anything more he could do to try and make me feel better. So doc scheduled an MRI and when she received the results, told me it was time for surgery. What a shocker!

    I know that it's pretty scary to think about getting surgery, but I'm hoping you'll find that the anticipation is worse than the surgery itself, like so many others on here have.

    Something to keep in mind is that most members who have had a successful surgery no longer post here because they don't need the support that they had before their surgery. Consequently, we don't have a lot of success stories - but that doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of them out there. I consider mine a success even though I still have some pain and muscle spasm issues related to my cervical spine (nothing major, mostly just annoying). I'm also battling lumbar issues now.

    Anyway, welcome to SH. Feel free to PM me any time if you have questions or want to talk.

    Take care,
  • I really appreciate your words of encouragement! It's great to be a part of this community!
  • I really appreciate your words of encouragement! It's great to be a part of this community! -Margaret
  • I'm glad you contacted me - while reading through the postings I noticed that you had a 3 lvl acdf too so I was really interested in your experiences. I'm sorry to see that you're having lumbar problems - my doctor did tell me that my surgery wasn't a guarantee that my other discs wouldn't go bad. Any words of advice for post-op? I've read the posting about Post Op Must Haves and found it really helpful. How long did you wear the cervical collar? Thank you for posting encouraging advice! - Margaret
  • My neck is doing well (I'm fusing as expected), but there's some movement in one of the joints that's not supposed to be moving. I only have a slight tingling in my right arm, not real noticeable unless I think about it. I'll have to see how that goes.

    I wore a hard collar for four weeks and a soft collar for the following eight weeks (yes, thank goodness it was the winter). Those darned things get really hot!

    Some postop stuff: Bendy straws and a grabber for sure. My hubby had to give me my showers for the first few weeks because I couldn't wash my hair or look down to wash my legs, so a shower chair is really nice. I was glad I had my recliner and still use it. You probably won't be able to bend down either, so take that tub that will be in your hospital room home with you to help you brush your teeth. I had to hold it underneath my chin to spit out while I was rinsing.

    Another thing that some people don't think about postop is how to keep your mind busy. It can get really boring and that's when you risk doing things you're not supposed to. I'm an avid reader, but with the pills, it was difficult. What I would never live without after surgery is my Nintendo DS. I love games and puzzles, so on my birthday 18 days before my surgery, my hubby gave me my Nintendo with some games. I love the solitaire and search and seek games. I still love it even now!

    Anyway, take care of yourself. You'll be past the surgery before you know it and on the road to recovery.
  • Hi Cath -

    I didn't even think about how I was going to brush my teeth without bending! I'll have to look into getting a shower chair too. I have a bunch of large sized body wipes in case I can't make it to the shower soon.

    I have loaded up my iPod with lots of games - I really like to read too, but figure I'll be so zonked out from the pain killers that I wouldn't be able to concentrate. I also checked out a ton of DVD's to watch.

    Thanks again for your encouraging words and advice - I'll get back in touch after my surgery -


  • Hi - I'm at home now. My surgery went well - have a very sore neck and sore throat but no vocal problems. I can eat solid food in very small bites. Now I just have to find a comfortable way to sleep! Margaret
  • Welcome home and welcome back to SH! So happy to hear you are doing well. Take it slow though since we all tend to do too much when we are feeling better.

    Best to you,

  • Thanks Marianne! I plan on watching a lot of tv, playing games on my iPod and walking a little everyday. I hope my fusion works - don't want to have surgery again, so I won't push myself. Margaret
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