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sleeping on a waterbed after ACDF

dehoyos13ddehoyos13 Posts: 290
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

OK, so I'm 5 weeks post ACDF. There have been no spasms since I started taking the valium (which I hate). I tried not taking it last night and didn't fall asleep until like 4am.

My doctor is world renown for ortho surgery. I had surgery at one of NYC's premiere hospitals....all wonderful right???? Except that Dr. X doesn't give a lot of info. He told me to do whatever I wanted except no housework. when I asked he said I could go back to sleeping on my waterbed. Hmmmmm.....Ok. I trust this doctor or he wouldn't have operated on me. But is this really a sound decision???? I don't have a softside water bed. My bed is hardside which means the water mattress is surrounded by a wood bedframe. The bed itself is also pretty high from the floor, with the mattress itself being at hip level as oppposed to midthigh. I tried it a couple of nights ago and it hurt. But I wonder if the hurting came more from me tightening up out of fear than anything else.

Has anyone else with ACDF slept on a waterbed so soon after surgery??? I miss laying next to my husband. After 23 years of marriage and him going off to war before, we never wanted to sleep apart again. What a humdinger. I'm scared that if I do take the valium and geton the waterbed, I'll re-injure my neck. God forbid! I really don't want anymore pain or surgery.

Thanks all!


  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    After an ACDF it is much about where you are comfortable sleeping. If the bed is a bit higher this can help for getting in and out of bed. I found after my ACDF the thing I needed the most was a variety of pillows to fit how I was feeling that night.

    My hubby stayed in the guest room for 6 weeks. I tend to be up all night when on pain meds so he and I often sleep apart when I am sick or post-surgery.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I'm scared, I think, about moving back to my waterbed. I have learned that unless a person has had the pain that we've shared it can not be understood. I tried to lie on the bed today for about 20 minutes....it didn't work. My neck was hurting. I don't have a recliner, though I sure wish I did.

    I still can't lie on my back since my arm and hand go completely numb and my neck hurts. Gosh, I keep thinking something is wrong because the pain is different. It is directly on bone. On the 17th I'll see the surgeon and go in for my first xray. hopefully by then I'll get some of the answers I'm looking for. I sure don't want to hear him say "that's all natural". It seems that there are a variety of things that are considered natural. so how is a person to know if its not natural???? I'm impatient....terrible, I know. I'm the kind of person that needs details, not just a few key points. These forums have been a lifeline for me, when I can't sleep at night. Thank God!
  • I heard a wedge pillow can help since you can't put a lift under the mattress. I hope you find some relief soon. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I would think a waterbed would be a bad choice considering the motion and not being a stable surface beyond being a huge fall risk...

    Definately need something stable.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    have never been good for my lumbar or cervical issues. But that is just me. As long as it feels comfortable and your doctor approves it, go for it.
    After my ACDF, I wanted more of a firm base. I used a wedge so my sleeping was more comfortable. But honestly, I could have never slept in a water bed after my surgeries.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • For those of you thinking of the original water beds. They are not all just big bladders with ocean motion anymore. The 2nd one we had was a lot thinner. Had these coils inside it that acted as chambers. Also had a pad liner in the top. Similar to the idea of a mattress pillow topper.

    I've tried our Sleep Comfort bed before and after surgery and I still hate it. We're selling it. We also have a conventional firm mattress with a pillow top. It is ok, not great.

    The memory foam mattresses can't be much better than a water bed that is pretty full. Both absorb you into them. Getting out requires effort. I always slept well on our water bed. When it wore out we changed based on what my chiro then ortho told me to try. Couldn't sleep that well in anything they suggested.

    We're thinking of going back to a water bed. That or a medium firmness mattress. The firm ones are too stiff. I have lumbar issues though not cervical.
  • Hi all. Thanks for your responses. Yesterday I tried to lie on the bed again without my husband in it. while the mattress is still the "bladder type" full of water, it also has foam within that is for "posture support". Before the surgery it was fine, rarely had back pain though my husband has 2 herniated disks that flare up 2 or 3 times a year...serious sciatic pain.

    Yesterday I was on the bed for about 5-10 minutes. I couldn't get comfortable and then could barely get out. The pain after this 10 minute session has lasted until this morning. 3 Vicoden ES and one Valium....and it still hurts to move my head. I slept maybe 2 hours last night. I guess this answers my question about the bed. This breaks my heart because I miss sleeping next my husband. Since my daughter's away at college I'm in her room and I'd love to buy a bigger bed for in her but since I've been out of work for so long...we're barely breaking even right now. I wanna cry....

    thanks everyone. I've been doing a lot of crying since the surgery which I don't normally do. But since yesterday, the pain is too intense. I was so happy becuase I'd had a few day pain and spasm free...that meant medicine free for me. last night...2 hours sleep!!!!! Yeah.... i wanna cry.


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