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5 Days post-op = So far so good

AaronCAAaronC Posts: 41
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
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.

Take care.



  • HI Aaron,

    Good to hear your home and everything is over with. You have a very good surgeon who let you stay in the hospital, extra time. My surgeon nothing doing even using my own bone was home in less than 24 hours, but I was more comfortable at home. Now just follow the doctors orders and you will be good. Maybe someone can take you to the mall and walk around? Walking is so key to recovery. Since your returning to work in 3 weeks you will need to get lots of endurance back, and surgery wipes some of that out of you. I didn't really think it did but found out the hard way. Is your surgeon going to allow you to drive in the miami J? Be sure to use those mirrors if so. Just remember cause you feel better pain wise it takes sometime for everything to heal up. Take care and keep us posted on how you are doing.
  • =D> :D It's great to get good news and it supports others who are facing surgery.

    Take extra care of yourself and don't overdo it too soon.

    Best wishes for a continued speedy recovery! ;)

  • Congratulations on getting past your surgery and finally being home. Isn't that a great feeling to be back in your sanctuary?

    Tamtam is right on: try to walk as much as you can. Also, there will be days when you feel pretty good and think you can do more than you should. We've all had those days and you really have to make sure that you take good care of yourself and follow doctor's orders. Don't do too much and set yourself back.

    Going back to work so soon is very ambitious. Oddly, for people who have had cervical spine surgery, sitting at a desk and looking at a computer is one of the most difficult things you can do. I'm suggesting that you leave yourself a bit of leeway as far as the job goes in case it's more difficult than you realize. Just a suggestions.

    Anyway, I look forward to hearing more about your recovery. Take care.
  • It is great to hear of your success.

    My NS tells me I can be back to work in 2 weeks (work from home mostly but it involves a fair amount of driving).

    Please take the time to keep us updated on your continued recovery. I will say while recovering from my PLIF last year I walked in the mall or grocery store daily. It was that or rain and snow. There were many days that I over did it, but that is how you get stronger.

    Keep plugging along.


  • hi, Aaron, I had three levels done on Monday c-5,6,7. I must admit after reading this site, I was a little nervous. However I am doing great. I truly thank God for my healing. I am having the same promblem, resting at nite. I can't get all these pillows situated(smile) I wanted to get on the site to talk with someone, who could identify with my situation. I am taking percoset every four hours for pain. My neck feels tight, my throat a little sore. trying to sip hot items, and spraying the chloraseptic on my throat regular. please continue to recover and if you have any suggestions about the pillows let me know. do you think we need to get a recliner?
    thanks for your time
  • Not sure about the need for a recliner. I have been taking an extra stregnth Vicodin at night. I am down to using a medium stuffed feather pillow over my temperpedic neck pillow. I sleep mainly on my side and the feather pillow provides extra support and easy ability to bunch the pillow up under my head.

    My biggest issue (not including this extremely hot and irritating neck collar) is a pinched muscle under my right shoulder blade. Massage is very painful but seems to help.

    I am one week post-op and am no longer using throat spray/losenges. throat is no longer sore internally.

    Best of luck on your continued recovery
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