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ACDF and lumbar surgury

StiffbackSStiffback Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have been diagnosed with DDD in both the cervical and lumbar spine. I am suposed to have surgury on c5/6 doc says he will do anterior disectomy. I am also suposed to have surgury on my lumbar L 3/4. Does any one know how long the waiIt is between surguries? Also I am horribly frightened about the cervical surgury, but not so much about the lumbar.
I have had 3 csections and am comparing the lumbar surgury to those.
Any one know the recovery time for the lumbar disc replacement?
Also any advice out there for single moms and preparing my boys to help me when I am home from surgury?


  • It's rough you need surgery on both cervical and lumber. I also have issues with both but no surgery yet. I would get a second opinion for any surgery first. Your boys could help with little things for you while recovering but you should get help from a sibling or other family member or friend stay with you at least a week.

    You may also qualify for homecare help ask the social worker at the hospital that you need help at home with housework. How old are your boys? Read post op must haves to make sure you get everything you need. http://www.spine-health.com/forum/back-surgery-and-neck-surgery/post-op-must-haves-0 Best wishes and hope someone else can help you here. 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 had C5/6 fusion and it was a complete success. Most days I don't even realize it was done. I did have nerve pain issues afterwards, but with medications and some time it did go away. My lumbar surgery has not been as successful and I am still having problems that may lead to more surgery in the near future.

    There are no guarantees as to how you will recover from spinal surgery. Average times for cervical is anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months and lumbar can be anywhere from 2 months to a year to completely recover from. We all heal differently.

    Best wishes,

  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of information here with articles and videos that cover a wide range of topics. And the members are very knowledgeable and supportive, but none of us are doctors and can only speak from experience.

    I've had both and ACDF (3-lvl) and a TLIF (lumbar fusion, 1-lvl). I have to say that the ACDF, even though it was more levels, was a much easier recovery than the lumbar surgery. I was terrified about my ACDF, but it turned out the anticipation was worse than the surgery itself.

    Once I healed and started having lower back problems, I went back to my surgeon and tried injections which didn't help, so the only thing left to do was surgery. I told my surgeon that I thought that the lumbar surgery would be kind of like the ACDF because, although I know lumbar surgery is a more difficult recovery, my ACDF was 3-lvl and my lumbar was only 1-lvl. He said it didn't work that way because the lumbar is the core of your body which makes it much more difficult and painful after surgery.

    Well, I can tell you now that he was right. My ACDF was a difficult recovery, but it was a rather quick recovery and the pain was much easier to handle.

    The lumbar surgery, on the other hand, has been by far a more difficult recovery and the pain is more difficult to control and is seeming to last longer. I'm still having pain and I'm almost four months out. With my ACDF I was back to work part time at 10 weeks and could've gone to full time a month and a half later if I hadn't been laid off. With my lumbar, I still dont think I'm ready for full-time work.

    I don't mean to scare you and change your whole thinking about the surguries, but I want you to be prepared about the reality between cervical surgery and lumbar surgery. The general rule here is that cervical surgery is more difficult for the surgeon but easier for the patient, where the lumbar surgery is easier for the surgeon and more difficult for the patient.

    I'm not a single mom, but my husband didn't feel like he could take care of me alone for either of my surgeries so my mother-in-law came and stayed with me for both of them, three weeks for my ACDF (overkill - one week would have been enough, two good) and for two weeks for my lumbar (I could've used her for three weeks).

    Do you have someone who can come stay with you after your surgeries, more importantly your lumbar surgery? The first two to three week after the lumbar surgery are the most difficult and it's so helpful to have someone around to make sure you take your meds, make your meals, and generally just take care of you.

    You should also look at the list of post-op must-haves that Charry posted a link to. It's a long, daunting list, but you won't need everything on it. Usually different things for each surgery, but some things you'll need for both, like the grabber.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post, but I want to be sure you're prepared for what you're facing. Spine surgery is always major surgery and you need to be prepared for such.

    Take care and keep asking any questions you have and we'll be able to help you. Also, you might want to give us more information like when your cervical surgery is, will you be wearing a collar, what are your symptoms, etc. I think it's best to deal with one surgery at a time, so since your cervical is the first, we should concentrate on that and deal with the lumbar when that time comes. My feeling is that it will be a while between surgeries.

    Feel free to PM me any time if you have questions or want to talk. We'll be here to support you through all of this - it can really help to have people that understand what you're going through.

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