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One week after ACDF & Recovering

lynnllynn Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Well, I did it. I went ahead & had the surgery. My thought was why treat the symptoms when I could just address the problem itself. The one thing I kept thinking was why would anyone wait until the symptoms got really bad when those very symptoms could be irreversable? So I went ahead & had the surgery. ACDF ON C3/4, C4/5, & C6/7. I spent 2 days in hospital with not being able to swallow much & the worst sore thoat imaginable being my worst pain. The nausea from the anesthesis was horrible but after 24 hours it all became manageable for me. It's been a week & I'm still not able to swallow well but am managing that ok as well. It will pass. Today I didn't have to take any pain meds until this evening so I'll try & get off that stuff ASAP! I hate to take anything that may be addictive, scares me to death!
So, so far so good & thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge with me & helping me to make the decision!


  • Lynn,

    Welcome home, and to the "other side." :) Just continue to follow your doctors instructions to the "T" as they say. Glad to hear you're coming along fine. Rest and let your body heal. Most doctors, and mine was similar endorse walking as soon as you feel up to it. It helps get all those drugs the Anesthesiologist put in you out! Congratulations again Lynn!! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • It is good to hear that you are doing well up to this point. The swallowing will get easier with time. My doctor warned me that I would feel like I swallowed a golf ball; he was right. Is that how you feel?

    You've had a big surgery--three levels at once is a lot worse to recover from than doing a single ACDF. Be sure to keep your collar on (if your doctor ordered it) and to avoid lifting. The shoulder muscles tend to pull on our necks and you don't want to make those muscles mad!

    I understand your concern about taking the pain medication--I am that way too. But experience has taught me that it is better to use the medications post op so that you can be relaxed enough to heal. If you are in severe pain, your muscles will be tighter, and that could interfere with your recovery. It takes a long time for the bones to actually fuse together, and there is a higher failure to fuse rate with multi-level ACDFers. So take it easy and let your body do what it is supposed to do here.

    Feel free to ask any questions as you recover through the next few weeks. There are quite a few of us on the boards who know what a 3 level feels like.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Thanks a bunch for your support! I go back to the Dr on Tues 8/24 & will know more. Thanks again for taking the time to read & reply. It helps.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm glad you're doing well and hope you continue to do so. Try to be a 'patient' patient and don't overdo things to soon. Hope all goes well at the doctor.
    Good luck,
  • Lynn,

    Good to hear you are home and doing okay with all of it. AS the others have said that throat issue will go away in time. I am glad you decided to have the surgery. If i remember correctly you have myelopathy and that was the reasoning for doing the surgery? Don't be surprised if the recovery takes you a bit longer with the issues you had. You might find that in a week or so you will feel a bit worse than you do now, but that is okay just the hill in the road. Sometimes once all the meds they use wear out you can have a bump in the road, so to speak. But of course if something seems to severe don't hesitate to call your surgeon. Good luck on the appointment Tuesday and will wait to hear what he has to say. Take care.
  • Lynn,

    Rest well and know the healing process continues each day even though you may not feel it! :)

    I had ACDF 3/4/5/6 with multiple bone spurs appearing as encroachment to spinal cord, but with whole left side body going numb (myelopathy) in 4-5 major episodes during the day.

    My process was slow but each week and into the months, achieved successful fusion with bone implant at 9 months and reversal of numbness and pain in hands over time. The surgery immediately relieved the myelopthy symptoms (whole left side of body).

    I was 41 years of age at the time of that surgery, and it was my first surgery. The muscle spasms and whole torso pain were issues for me the first 3 months, but I continued getting better with patience and following my OS's instructions and trust.

    I hope the same for you...and know that the whole body takes time to heal from these type of surgeries.

    Jump on line with us as you feel better. You are not alone in your healing process and I wish I had this wonderful group of spine forum friends when I had that first surgery!

    Heart-thoughts for continuing to heal well and each day/week you seeing progress! :)

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