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ADR C4/5~ 3 weeks post op

CatieCCatie Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I hope everyone is well!

I had surgery to replace my C 4/5 three weeks ago. I'm doing ok with meds..heat..ice...etc...basically all the same stuff I did before the surgery. I'm moving around better...but often make myself stop because I'm scared to death I'm going to mess something up!..Lol!
My husband is literally driving me crazy with all of his "What's your pain level?" questions...He's getting nervous that the surgery didn't work...But, Seriously...How would I know this early if it worked or not?!

So I need some advice from all of you who have had surgery...

How much do you walk (for exercise) each day?

Did you do any stretching before your post op visit?

Did your pain completely go away or just become tolerable?

My chiropractor who also did a lot of PT with me wants to handle my recovery. Any opinions??

Thanks everyone! (and sorry for the bad spelling ;) )


  • Hi Catie

    I had my op 4 weeks ago C5/6 and still on heavy pain killers. I see my physio every week but have just commenced exercising last week.
    My neck is still very swollen and have been told not to over do it yet.
    Did try walking last week went only 3 kms but god I was sore afterwards and my physio said stop!
    Take it easy I havent even vacuumed the house as yet as hard to keep head looking down for too long.
    My pain seems to die down then next day back to high levels but my physio says just take it easy and be patient. Hope this helps!
    My hubby worries the same as yours!!!

  • Just on post op 4 weeks ago and wondering if anyone else is in the same stages. I just had a cervical forminotomy to release my trapped nerve at the C5/6 area.
    Pain is still present, not able to do heavy housework, plus driving seems awkward.
    Four years ago I had an artifical disc put in at C5/6 location and all seemed fine until 9 mths ago when pain and numbness down the left arm.
    After this latest op I have still got the numbness in the left hand.

    Hope someone can share their experiences.
  • Welcome back and to the other side of surgery.

    Three weeks into recovery is really early (jco, so is four weeks) and you probably won't know for a while yet whether it was successful or not, but the odds are in your favor. You still have a lot of recovery to go through and I would say that unless your surgeon tells you earlier, you shouldn't expect any revelations until at least three months.

    Generally, walking is great during recovery but many surgeons are of the mind that if it hurts, don't do it. So always talk to your doctor if you want to try something new like stretching or exercising.

    You mention vacuuming...ACK!!! That's a difficult task in the best of spiney times, but for you to think you can do this any time soon without repercussions is not good. Anything that requires pushing and pulling is restricted and it will probably be quite a while before you can do that.

    When it comes time to talk about aftercare with a PT or Chiro, ask your surgeon. He may want specific PT care, so so what you need to when the time comes.

    Other than all that, just stick with your restrictions, take care of yourself and don't hurry things. Recovery takes a long time, you've had major surgery. I know that most of us tend to overdo when we start feeling better, but try to resist doing that. Of course you can start doing more as time goes by, but let your surgeon make the choice.

    I do hope you're both keeping up on your medications to keep the pain from getting ahead of you.

    This all takes time, so please be patient.
  • No worries, Cath. I'm not vacuuming. I am a mother...So naturally I do a little cleaning up (very little), and a couple of dishes here and there. My mother has been coming over daily to help with the cleaning and the children. I feel like I'm doing a lot of nothing...and it's driving me crazy!!

    JCO~ I'm not sure what to tell you about your questions. You should probably create a "new topic" under your own screen name so you will get more views and probably some answers :)
  • I'm 4 months post op and I have to tell you I wish I had taken more time off. I was worried about losing my job at the time so I rushed back to work. But I really regret it now.

    So take your time, be patient and ask your doctor or PT what is best for you.
  • hi i had c5/c6 disk replacement 4 weeks ago and was just wondering if anybody could tell me weather my symptoms are to be expected, during the daytime i get a lot of burning across the top of my shoulders and in between my shoulder blades which is bearable but as soon as i lay down i get pain in my upper left arm and in my left elbow i have still got numb fingers and in the mornings both my arms are very heavy and painfull. i am taking anti inflamatries and strong pain killers . my neck seems to click most of the time also . any comments or advice would be greatly appriciated thank you
  • From a 6 month post op perspective:

    I still have pain post op acdf c3-c5 fusion. I had issues at c5/c6, and nuero choose not to fuse 3rd disc for more difficulty with successful fusion.
    My nuero was EXTREMELY optimisitc. 6 months post op, I am getting nervous. Yesterday was a really good day, as I was at 1/10 for a large part of the day. I would take that every day and be happy if I could have it. But more days are like 4/10, or 5/10 for me. Although, my flare ups last HOURS now post op, compared to DAYS pre op.
    A few things about my situation. 35 year old male. single.
    I have done everything on my own after only 3 weeks post op.
    I did restrict a lot of things though. nothing over 8 lbs till week 9 ish. then 10-20 lbs till now. I wash dishes, do laundry, EVERYTHING, myself. It just means i make more trips, and carry less at a time.
    Walking is critical. my nuero and Physical therapist DEMANDED that I walk 3-4 times a week. swing those arms!
    I walk for 20 mins each time, and at my pace, its a little over a mile. it doeant hurt, actually I USUALLY feel better after the walking.
    If I have compromised another disc, I will probly not have another surgery untill I have someone in my life like a serious gf to live with for assistance. And I am sure anyone who has had this surgery can attest, it is difficult to date, and be dateable post acdf op. Unless my spine is significantly compressed. but the being alone part is aweful, and I would probably break down emotionally if I discover another surgery is required. Problem is, I still have bad days as I mentioned above, and I am not really doing physicL activities that would explain my flare ups. I work a desk job, so relatively low physcial stress there. Good luck everyone, and dont be discouraged if you dont see results at 1.2,3,4 weeks. Some people take months, some people a year, some people dont see significant results, as nerves can be permanately damaged from what I understand.

    Hang in there everyone, this is a difficult journey !
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