Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

3 weeks post ACDF - need encouragement!

sukismithssukismith Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi - I am 3 weeks post surgery, ACDF c5/6 6/7, for the first week out of surgery i actually felt pretty good, less neck pain and numbness in hands was less but the past two weeks i feel like all my original symptoms are back! Neck pain and numbness are the same as before the surgery and my hands are shaky. Surgeon tells me it's so early and I'm doing fine but I'm scared. Afraid I've gone through all this for nothing.

I'm walking 2 miles everyday and otherwise taking it easy and following drs orders. Still on vicodin and muscle relaxers.

Trying to be patient but it's hard!

Has anyone else had this experience?




  • I guess everyone heals in different ways. Try to follow your doctors orders and do the best you can! I too just had the same type surgery as you but my condition was found and treated years before most here. you can follow up on my progress here if you like http://www.spine-health.com/forum/neck-pain-cervical/recovery-begins I pray that your lasting trouble will improve soon please keep us informed!
  • You are still very early in the recovery. Try and take it easy. Maybe a heating pad would make you feel better. It did for me.

  • I had the same surgery as you, back in July. I'm 15 weeks out now, and still have a bit of the same pain as before, but it's going away slowly but surely.

    I found that after a major surgery (I had a total hysterectomy last year) that at about 3 weeks, you'll have what you'll feel is a "setback". Don't know why, but it's very common, I had it with both my hysto and my ACDF. Try to keep your chin up and follow your doc's orders. You've just had a major surgery and they were in there scooting things around, and it can upset your nerves.

    Good luck, and keep us posted!
  • thank you all for your comments. it really helps to know others are out there, plugging along, getting well.it's so helpful. thanks and i'll keep posting and wish all of you the best in your recoveries too.

  • Try to hang in there and be patient while you heal. I had ACDF surgery C5C6 on October 23 2009 and I felt pretty good right after surgery. A week or 2 later i had pains in my arms and numbness, i freaked out and called my Doctor. They said it was normal because everything is still really swollen in there and the nerves are angry. A few weeks later the pain was all gone and so was the numbness. Hang in there, I know its aggravating, but you will feel better soon. Keep us updated on your progress. :)
  • I am in the same situation. ACDF c5/6 & C6/7 on October 27th 2009. Felt pretty good right after, not even any swallowing problems, pain was there, but I expected it. Now 6 weeks post-op pain & numbness are back with a vengeance. See the surgeon for 1st follow-up this week. Hoping for some guidance, reassurance from him. I expected some recovery time, but really expected that I would feel MUCH better by now. My patience is running thin.
  • I just had the same surgery last week and just found this forum today and joined. I had c6/c7 done. Prior to surgery, I had MAJOR intractable pain from neck down shoulder blade and arm with loss of reflexes and numbness to fingers. I had much improvement after surgery, except I had more numbness in my fingers. Then 4 days later I noticed the arm pain returning. I called my doc and he reassured me that it will improve, that there is swelling pressing against the nerves and that he had to manipulate alot while in there (moving the esophagus/trachea to the side and so forth) and for me to be patient. Im like you, Im nervous. I cant live with this type of pain all my life. My arm is weak. I was told that I have a 50/50 chance of recovering feeling in my fingers so Im hoping. I have to relatives who had this same surgery and they said they went thru all of this and it will get better. So lets just hope....
  • Hey....I get your pain!!!!!!! I'm 6 weeks post ACDF 2 levels. Week 1 and 2 were pretty ok. Week 3...had me wanting to hurt somebody! Maybe walking a little less or in spurts as opposed to all at one time might help. You're still early in the healing...as am I. I went shopping, got hit in the head and now am on EXTREME bedrest.

    Take it easy. Healing takes time and pushing slows the healing. My doc says that fighting through the pain only slows the process. The pains and tingling are from inflammation of and around the nerves. If you sprained your ankle, for exxample....you'd have to RICE....rest, ice, compress elevate. so .....REST. Listen to your body tell you what you need. Not your mind. I've done some of the things we'd consider normal because I felt strong in those days and then paid for it in spades for days after.

    Everyone heals differently. don't get impatient. get to this forum often and when you have questions. I have a wonderful doctor but I have access to spine-health 24/7! Make good use of this forum. There's lots of wisdom and lots of humor too!
  • I'm only 1 week post ACDF C4/5, C5/6 with major bone spurs removed that were clogging the foramen. My doc said "things couldn't have gone better" and I felt relief from throbbing hand pain for at least 5 days. Hurrah! But then it started coming back (yes, swelling) and it's quite disheartening. I'm coming to the conclusion that I'll have to be more patient than I've ever been and somehow learn how to deal with the constant questions how my recovery is going. People seem to press me for details and honestly much of the time I'm not even sure of the answers (how is the pain at the neck level different than before, etc.). So, I'm going with the story line that I won't know the outcome for some time but I'm thrilled I did the surgery and am optimistic that my quality of life will be better. I don't want to answer specific questions about how much pain medication, etc. I am taking. Feel too judged!!!!

    Hang in, Susan. I think doubts and discouragement are a normal part of the healing --- just be careful about talking about them with "civilians".
  • I'm 7 weeks post op ACDF but had an accident on SAturday. People have come by this week telling me I was wrong for going out! How can I have been wrong when the dr said I could? How could I have known the latch door would fall and hit me????

    Take your recovery as slowly as you need to. No two people heal at the same rate. I'm 7 weeks post surgery and still fusion has not begun. other people see the beginning of fusion at 6 weeks.

    yes, at 7 weeks I'm still taking Vicoden and Valium. As a matter of fact, my dr just told me today to up my vicoden at night to two pills and one valium. To each his own. As you heal...you'll know you've healed. Its a process and it isn't always fun and isn't usually easy or fast. It'll happen as it happens. We get the "joy" of going through the process. Yay...aren't you excited about that????? (ok...there's some sarcasm there).

    Meds also cause a bit of depression sometimes as does the very fact that we've been the a traumatic experience for our bodies. Lets extend ourselves grace to get through this....'cuz we will!
  • Hi, I had acdf on 07/27/09 on c5/6 and I feel worse than before surgery. My doctor says everything looks good but there is obviously a problem. I have heard so many good results but I have also heard many bad results. I suppose those of us who are less fortunate for a good outcome must just make the best out of it. I hope that you feel some relief soon keep us posted. Best Regards
  • I had ACDF on c5/6, with hardware, on March 9, 2009, and still am in quite a bit of pain. I am still taking up to six percocets a day along with muscle relaxers twice a day. Below you can see the full history of what I have been through since surgery. I do not mean to scare anyone at all but just to let you know it is not all cut and dry, things take time and you have to know it takes time to heal and there is a possibility of living with some type of pain for a long time. As for me, by the time I woke from surgery all of my arm pain, tingling, and numbness was all but a memory. And I too felt pretty darn good after the initial week of surgery. By week two I had started walking again, 1 month I was up to a few miles a day and almost back to my normal everyday life. And then it was like a tornado that hit me, I seriously just went down hill and have had pain ever since.

    A lot of the posts on this thread are still not far out from your surgeries. take it easy and listen to your body, you will heal and the pain will start to subside, it just takes time and sometimes it does take longer than others. Some others that have posted on this site have not had any problems at all since surgery other than the normal recovery from these types of surgeries. And the reason you do not continue to hear from the ones that had a great outcome and a quick recovery is because they have healed and do not need as much support anymore. I too was extremely frustrated the first few weeks, it can be a very slow process but if you push yourself too hard and do not listen to your body when it is telling you enough is enough, you could be delaying, or possibly harming, yourself and your recovery more than you could imagine.

    If you have questions for your doctor be sure to write them down or give the doctor's office a call and leave a message for the nurse. I can not tell you how many times I have gone to see my NS or PM and totally forgot everything I wanted to ask or say and the appointments are so quick sometimes you do not get to address what you wanted to. If you keep a daily log of what is going on, how your pain is, or anything at all you are concerned about, including if certain things make the pain worse or better (and make sure to remember to bring it to your appointment :)),then you will not have to worry about forgetting and you can ask or let your doc know everything that has been going on and maybe he/she can address your worries.

    Micela - I too am being told that everything, for the most part, looks good but they do not know what is going on at this point. It is very frustrating, to say the least, to hear someone tell you they do not know why you are in so much pain, not to mention it is someone that is supposed to be able to fix you. I think that is one of the hardest things at this point to take, being in such pain that I cry, can't really function until I have my pain meds and muscle relaxer, and have a doctor say he does not know what is going on. The only thing they can tell me is that I have some mild spurring on c3&4, DDD, arthritis, and some added stress on c2, 3, and 4 from 5&6 being fused. I almost think I was better off before surgery, other than the nerve damage that was being caused, which no matter what I would have had to of had this surgery eventually, my fall just sped up when I had to have it.

    To all - please hang in there and be patient. It can be a very long process and you do not want to rush it. As it has been said before and will be said many times again, everyone heals differently and you can not base your healing time off of anyone else. This site is a wonderful resource and a great support group so please use it. A lot of people close to you may not understand what you are going though if they have not experienced it themselves so please use this forum as a resource/support group/extended part of your family. Keep us posted.

  • I'm 10 weeks post ACDF and I am just now having more good days than not so good. Or I'll have good mornings and achy evenings. spine healing takes months!!!! We all heal at different paces so we all learn to be patient and some of us (me) call our doctors a lot!

    I hope your healing continues with lots of speed! LOL
  • What caused you to need surgery, some people it is accident, some it is degenerative, some just wake up with pain one day. All those can involve different parts of the body, cause different symptoms and cause healing rates to vary.
    I am glad you did so well, I bet everyone wishes they were as lucky.
  • Had surgery April 22, 2010. First week really rough! Couldn't barely swallow a pain pill...felt like I was choking and had to sleep sitting up. 2nd week swelling went down some and now at 2.5 weeks, much better! Using EPI Bone Stimulator (approx 8 hours per day). In soft collar for two weeks, stopped pain meds at 2 weeks (though, took one darvocet after first P/T session on May 10th) take one to two Soma (muscle relaxers) per day - one first thing in the morning and one after P/T if needed. I was walking to the bathroom the day of surgery and have continued walking to mailbox, in grocery store, walking seems to help. Started playing my guitar at 2 weeks. Driving, though am turning with my back not my neck. Have good range of motion to the right, but not to the left yet. Overall, feeling better than I have in 3 years...I know this is a slow process and I am impatient by nature...have strong faith in God and in the extremely gifted surgeon I chose and am taking this one day at a time. O:) I would encourage all to listen to their body...some days are great and some days aren't. Be thankful on the good days and take hot baths, use heating pad or ice, take pain meds on the bad days = be patient with yourself and your healing. Keep a positive attitude, keep the faith and Godspeed!!! Elisa Cupani
Sign In or Register to comment.