Hello this is my first time posting here, but i have done research and met with my surgeon a few times to discuss the procedure.
Tomorrow (Feb 19th) I will have my c5/c6 and c6/c7 discs removed and fused. They will be using cadaver bone instead of a bone graft from my hip, and will be using a titanium brace to hold the new discs in place. I will be staying in the hospital overnight for observation and returning home Saturday. The reason for this thread is to get opinions from people who have similar surgeries.
First off I have been living with this for about 7 months now and have pain in my neck, shoulder and upper arm. Work exacerbates by my pain as Im a software developer/programmer so im at a desk all day. By the end of the day im in so much pain I can barely tolerate it. i have done physical therapy 2x and have had 3 steroid injections. Im only 32 years old and did not want to have this surgery due to likelihood that i will need it again for the surrounding discs. But i reached my limit and scheduled the surgery.
So my questions are as follows:
How much will I be limited in the days and weeks following surgery? ie talking, swallowing, walking to the fridge/bathroom/letting my dog outside/etc?
When will I be able to resume a normal diet? Im prepared to eat soft foods since swallowing may be difficult, but how long does this typically last?
Will I be able to sleep in my bed or should I go out and buy a recliner chair? How long until I can resume sleeping in my bed?
How is the pain compared to before the surgery i.e. the day of surgery when im in the hospital how groggy will I be, will there be much pain, or will they allow me to stay sedated and keep me pain free?
I have been on the duragesic patch 25mcg changed every 48 hours and 2-3 percocet daily as needed. This was prescribed by a pain management clinic, but since im having surgery I will no longer be their patient for 4-6 following surgery. My concern here is that over the past few months I have built up a tolerance as I am experiencing more pain each day it seems, and my surgeon said he would discharge me on the same medications I am on currently. So if the recovery pain for the first few days (or weeks, I really dont know), is more than my current pain, im not sure what to do since my surgeon wont change the meds im currently on. So how long will the post op pain last and how severe is it compared to my current level of pain?
Does my wife need to take time off to help take care of me, or will I be mobile enough to take care of myself? And how long will this take?
Mentally & physically will I be able to do work from home after 2 weeks?
I guess really I want to know others experiences with the questions asked above, and in general how recovery went for them.
With this being my first surgery ever im very nervous and I have no idea what lies ahead of me. So any guidance or replying with personal experiences will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,