I am 5 days post-op from 2 level ACDF (5-7). So far i would consider my surgery a big success. Here is what has occurred.
Was told i would probably be in the hospital for one night but was in for 2.5 days. No way was a ready to go home next day. This is not a minor operation.
Surgery lasted longer than expected. Used an ortho not neuro surgeon. Was under for 5.5 hours. Herniated discs had significantly deteriorated since the last mri (60 days pre-surg).
All my arm, shoulder, and back pain was gone when i awoke. It was a very strange feeling. After six months of cradling my left arm i found myself still doing it even though it didnt hurt. The lack of stregnth is still there but it feels great and i plan on rebuilding the muscles.
The pain i am experiencing is not extreme. However my neck and upper back is extremely tight. As much as i hate the miami j collar, it does provide mental and physical relief. I have a difficult time getting comfortable when laying down. Constantly try differnt pillow combinations.
Today is my second day home from the hosptial. Yesterday spent half the day upright talking, watching TV, and playing on computer. Half the day was lying in bed or on couch sleeping or watching more TV. Daytime TV is awful.
Havent spent as much time walking as i would like. I live in Phoenix and its still 100+ degrees. The Miami J collar is very hot and i've mainly stayed inside. Stretching on the floor has felt very good.
Swallwing was hard for the first few days. my throat is still sore but i am now eating regular food. I lost about 10 lbs in the hospital due to not eating for a few days. Nice side-effect.
My kids (1 & 3 yrs old) and dogs were initally scared of me and the collar. Didnt expect that.
I am planning on returning to work the third week post-op. I have a desk job. Surgeon ok'd return unless major issue shows up. At this point i dont see any reason why i cant return on that schedule. Will be wearing miami j for 1 month.
I understand everyone's surgery and healing is different. However my wife and i are so happy with the results so far and i wanted to pass along a good story. The past 6 months of my life have been awful. Laying on the ground, moaning in pain is not what anyone wants. i may be sore now, but at least i dont hurt. Hopefully i will continue to heal and everything turns out good.
Best wishes to all on this board. If anyone has ACDF coming up and wants to discuss in more detail, you can private message me.