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1 day post ACDF (c4-c6)

sd0728ssd0728 Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
...and I feel GREAT!!! I am absolutely thrilled.

The surgeon found ligament damage he wasn't expecting, and between that, the bone spurs and the disc ruptures he said there was NO ROOM for the nerves, and the torn ligaments were causing so much pain.

I did have a bad time with the pain meds (dulotid sp?) which caused some vomiting, itiching and heart burn durning the night last night, but once they switched me over to morphine the problems went away! I'm on vicodin and flexeril now and my pain levels are very low.

Before surgery it would have been so difficult for me to type this message, and look at me now. I couldn't be happier. I'm so glad I had the surgery!

I am home and I am tired!!! Nap time :)


  • SD,

    Welcome to the other side!!! It is so good to hear that you came out of your surgery decidedly better and can feel it! Just try to remember to not overdue it - it happens when we feel better and we forget we just had major surgery! Rest, heal, follow doctors orders and you should do fine! Congrats on the recovery!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thank you! I was so frightened going in. I had a multi-level lumbar laminectomy a few years ago and the pain was so awful! I was expecting the worst, but pleasantly surprised.

  • most excellent! glad to hear you are doing well. take care of yourself.
  • You're very Welcome! I learned what "Happy tears" were when I came out of anesthesia for my C5/6. Once I woke and realized where I was, I realized too that for the first time in almost 2 years, "What burning pain down my arm, what shoulder pain, what numb fingers - they're gone!!! I actually cried with the biggest smile a human can muster when I woke up! Great feeling isn't it? Nice to see when others have that euphoric feeling! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Your excitement is contagious...It's nice to read a positive outcome story! Enjoy your spring/summer!Painfree! Sagehen
  • Congrats on getting through surgery and feeling better. IT's good you had surgery when you did with all that going on with bone spurs and torn ligaments and all probably didn't show on the MRI? I hope you heal completely! 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
  • How nice to read a good report! So glad your surgery was a success.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    As you recover, please always keep in mind the pain you were experiencing prior to surgery. That is the condition you dont want to see again.

    So, adhere to all the limitations and regulations. Do all the right things, do the exercises you are told to do.

    Once we have spinal surgery and start the recovery phase, its not just over xxx days post surgery.

    We need to realize that there are some thing we will have to deal with for life. Now, that is not dark and gloomy, just a reminder that we need to take of ourselves and not overdue anything.

    Again, congratulations on your bright outcome of your ACDF... Let this continue on
    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
  • I actually was using tylenol today instead of the vicodin! Tonight I am sore and tired, but no where near as bad as the lumbar surgery. :)
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm so glad to hear a good report. I hope you continue to do well all through your recovery. Like everyone has already said remember to take care of yourself and don't do to much to soon.
    Good luck
  • Congrats! So glad to hear it!!!

  • Congrats on your acdf!! I had mine on June 8th and felt the same way no more of that horrid arm pain, shoulder pain and thumb and forefinger pain. I am happy for you. Take care of yourself and dont do too much!! Lela
  • I am in shock, and I feel depression setting in. I can't believe this is happening to me.

    I had an MRI today. I've been having neck and arm pain, some headaches, but not the awful migraines. I drug my feet going to see the doctor. He recommended an MRI back in November, but I was sure I just needed to control swelling with NSAID's, and I was just having a little pain episode related to my ACDF. That was my professional opinion! LOL. I was wrong. The doctor was right to suggest an MRI.

    After the MRI I asked the tech to show me the images. She said okay, but told me that she could not comment on the images. She scrolled through the images pretty quickly then stopped on the one that showed a herniated disc at c6/c7.

    I wasn't sure how long she would let me look, so I started asking silly questions to stall for time. She showed me the hardware installed last June, then showed me what a disc looks like, then a vertebrae, then pointed to the herniated disc and said 'I don't know what this is' while looking me right in the eye. I told her I knew what it was.

    It is a large rupture that is putting pressure on my spinal cord.

    Between lumbar and cervical I have 9 ruptured discs now. I have absolutely no idea how this last one happened. There was no 'big' event. I thought I was being so careful with myself.

    I've decided that if I need surgery I'm going to do it right away. I'm not going to drag my feet this time.


    How many times is this going to happen? What am I doing wrong?

    Before all this happened to me I never would have been so bold as to ask an imaging tech to show me my films. I'm almost sorry I asked. I think I would rather not know.
  • I'm sorry to here that you have the dreaded adjacent disc problem. Once you have fusion it put pressure on the ones above and below it and you've been lucky enough that your C6/7 has a problem.

    But don't put the cart before the horse, please wait until you see your doctor to tell you exacly what's happening. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you don't have to have another surgery...only the doc will be able to tell you whether that's the case or not.

    Again, I'm sorry to hear that you're having more cervical problems. I am too and it's definitely NOT a good feeling.


  • I really feel for you!
    Hopefully, you will see your doctor soon who will have a plan for you.

    It seems to be quite common to have both lumbar and cervical problems in the spine.

    Write a list of the questions that you want to ask your surgeon. I'm sure that once you get in there, you will forget half of them and only remember when you get home.

    I am also waiting for the results of an MRI scan that was taken in October (wish I had asked to see it myself). My appointment is in March, and I am assuming that the fact I am having to wait so long to see the neurosurgeon is a good sign that things are not serious. :-)

    Meanwhile, I have also been referred for another MRI of my lumbar spine as I am getting so many pains and nerve symptoms in my lower back, legs and feet again after feeling so much better after my fusion surgery. I am really hoping that it is not one of the adjacent discs that is playing up. (They were looking rather old and tired before surgery!)

    Do let us know how you get on with your appointment.

    There are lots of caring people here who will support you through whatever is necessary. :-)

  • Cath111 - thanks. I think I was feeling a little sorry for myself :(

    Pain is bad this morning. I took a flexeril, I'm wearing my soft collar and using my TENS. I have a ziplock bag with rubbing alcohol and water chilling in the freezer. I'm working on my list of questions for the NS. I keep reminding myself that recovery from ACDF was a walk in the park compared to my lumbar surgery and this is NOT THE END OF THE WORLD!

    I'm fighting off the depression. When I am pain free I feel so happy! I hate the pain. I had feeling drugged up, too, but I will do what I have to do to get through this.
  • I am so sorry that you are having additional pain and issues between your lumbar and cervical areas. I'm sure that if there was a big event causing a problem you would recall. As others have said, try to relax (easier said than done) and be prepared with all of your questions for your dr. You are not doing anything wrong. You have been trying to live your life the best that you can. Good luck and keep us posted. We are all thinking about you. :)
  • First let me say thanks you to all for the support. It really does help.

    As I said in a previous post, I had an MRI on Saturday, January 29th. I got a call to day from the Physical Medicine Department at Kaiser. They don't have my current MRI results yet, but I did give my primary care doc copies of all my previous reports, so they have my history. They want me to come in as soon as I can, and that will be this coming Tuesday.

    After I hung up the phone I thought 'what the heck is physcial medincine? So, of course, I googled. This is what I found on Wiki:

    The major concern that PM&R deals with as a medical field is the ability of a person to function optimally within the limitations placed upon them by a disease process for which there is no known cure. The emphasis is not on the full restoration to the premorbid level of function, but rather the optimization of the quality of life for those who may not be able to achieve full restoration. A team approach to chronic conditions is emphasized to coordinate care of patients.

    Limitations? No cure? Emphasis is not on restoration? YIKES! I somehow had this idea in my head that one day life would be normal again, and stay that way.

    Have any of you heard of or had experience with this kind of a treatment process? It isn't that it sounds difficult or painful, but it sounds like giving in and giving up, or something.

    Maybe I've been in denial.

    My neck pain has been worse. I know this isn't the case but it feels like bone on bone. I'm having pain again in my hips, ankle, feet and toes along with lower back pain and spasms. The weather has been a little chilly and I am hoping that is the cause of my lower back pain. I live in Southern California near Los Angeles, so I am lucky. I couldn't imagine living somewhere like Chicago!!! I would be a mess.

    I desperately need to work, and that worries me, too. I am self-employed so I don't get vacation and sick time, and I am a single mom, so no second income in my household. This is my busy season (tax prep) and darnitall I need my neck and back to behave!!!

    If you hadn't guessed already, I'm a little stressed.
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