I am three days post op (which I know isn't much) from a C-5/6 ACDF and thought I would post what I have experienced so far for those that are nervous about getting one. I know many of the success stories end up leaving the forum and we are only left with some of the negative outcomes.
Well I had my surgery Thursday morning and only took pain pills that day while I was still in the hospital. I have not had to take a single pain pill since I got home Friday. I have been concentrating on taking it easy as far as lifting but I have already walked half a mile outside yesterday and had a nice nap afterwards. My shoulders are only slightly soar (hardly noticeable) and my throat pain is gone (it was only minor pain to begin with).
I am told that a "pain train" might hit but so far nothing. The only weirdness I have experienced is it seems like food can get caught in my throat and I have to "hack" it up..almost as if there is a "ledge" in my throat that food can land on now..hopefully it is just swelling and will go away.
I slowly am trying to turn my neck to it's limits and it seems like I have lost no range of motion..or very slightly.
I can definitely feel something in my throat when I lean down but I guess I will get used to it.
The best part is that I have not had to sleep on a recliner..I sleep normally in our bed. It is a temperpedic (along with the pillow) so that might make a difference. I just slowly get into bed and support my head and neck with my hands when I lie down or turn over..no pain in the morning.
I've lost about 6 lbs so far from decreased appetite but I am already getting it back.
I can tell that I am weaker than normal and more easily fatigued which is why I continue to take it easy..the hardest part is not overdoing it because it honestly doesn't feel like I have had surgery. I don't know how I am not in pain after having this surgery (with screws in my bone and discs taken out with pliers, etc).
No complaints so far.