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ACDF on C/5-C/6 on December 7th

MissabelleMMissabelle Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am having an ACDF on December 7, 2010. I will have a cadaver bone and plate put in. I am extremely nervous about it! I am wondering about what kind of pain to expect, how will I sleep after, how long is recovery! Also, will I have limited motion in my neck after? I have such extreme pain now I think anything I have done will be a relief BUT people are always willing to share horror stories that make me second guess myself! Any comments will be appreciated! And God bless all of you!


  • Hiya and welcome to the site.

    You are right about the horror stories, eveyone willing to share them. Please don't let that discourage you. I have been on the site a few years, and have seen so many good outcomes with this surgery. You must remember from reading on here, many get better, and move on with thier lives, and stop posting, so you will see more of the negative surgerys,

    I have had acdf 5-6,6-7.

    Pain after was mostly in the back, between shoulder blades, and ice packs helped that greatly. Sore throat, so I used throat losengers.

    After surgery you will have trouble bending head back, so bendy straws are great. Soft food when you get home, jellos, yogourt, applesause, all good, for me, slurpees from 7-11 were a life saver.

    Sleeping, for me was on reclyner for a few weeks.

    Incesion healed very fast.

    Remember too, diff ppls outcomes depends on so much, like how bad was compression prior, how bad were nerves compressed or cord compress, and how they followed doc orders after.

    We can have same surgery, for different reason, diff degrees of compression on nerves and spine, so will heal differently.

    Would I do it again,, YES, only sooner as I believe I would be even better today had I had it earlier.

  • Welcome to SH, you're amongst a group of great, supportive people here. I just had ACDF on my C5-C6 September 3rd.
    I had pain mostly in my shoulder area and the back of my neck, and ice helped a great deal and of course my pain pills and muscle relaxers.
    I slept in my bed with a lot of pillows to help prop me up to my comfort level.
    Recovery really varies from person to person so that question is difficult to pin down. I've heard from 3 months up to a year, I'd rather just take it one day at a time and allow my body to do what it needs to in order to mend.
    As far as range of motion is concerned, you will lose some. I have trouble looking over my left shoulder more so than my right.
    Your throat will be sore and you may feel like there's a lump in your throat, thats normal. I stocked up on Italian Icees before surgery to help with the sore throat and enjoyed drinking smoothies as well. Like Eve mentioned, soft foods are what you want and the bendy straws are a must have.
    Try your best to not worry too much or be too nervous, I know thats a lot easier said than done, however, try your best.
    Only thing I would have done differently is to have my C5-C6 fused the same time I had my C4-C5 last year.
  • I am one of the C5/6 fusion success stories who has not left SH. I also have lumbar problems that keep me here, as well as some of the wonderful people here.

    I did have a few very painful days after my fusion, but my surgeon made sure I was well medicated. I was put on Lyrica for this nerve pain and that helped tremendously. I was able to sleep in my own bed with many pillows, slept on my side with one under my upper arm and one behind my back. I found a shower chair was helpful, as well as a shower hose. You'll feel safer if you sit while you bathe. Set up a small table beside your bed and favorite chair/recliner with a water bottle, telephone, kleenex, etc.

    Remember, and I can't stress this enough, we all recover in our own way. Many have had zero problems except for some pain after cervical fusion. Oh and my range of motion is not that bad at all, only notice a decrease when I back up my car. Now, I have many days where I forget I even had it done.

    Best wishes,

  • I had my surgery on the above date in the UK at EDITED, Stanmore, Middlesex. I am still wearing a soft collar and have to for another couple of months. My swallowing is improving almost daily and I hope to be able to eat solid food for Xmas! As my operation was done for FREE via the NHS here I had to wait 10 months to get it done and feel that perhaps I should have had it done sooner by paying. Most of my pain has gone although because my neck muscles are weak at present I find that I cannot sit for too long. Saw my Surgeon recently, had a Xray and saw the finished product on his computer screen which looked very good. Unfortunately I am having trouble with a PLIF plus rebuild operation I had in December 2008 as there are 3 badly swollen areas i.e. L4, L5 and S1 apparently caused by movement of the metalwork so I now have to get an injection in each area to see if swelling can be reduced. Should this be unsuccessful then the Surgeon will have to open me up again and either realign or replace the complete metalwork. I have had severe spinal problems caused by being a British Nuclear Test Veteran involved in UK Atomic Tests in Pacific off Christmas Island in late 1950s and exposed to excessive radiation!

    Standards agreement and posting rules.
    Naming specific institution is not permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.
    Edited by Authority Member Cath111.

  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I also have had the c5-6 fusion with plate. Upon waking from surgery the horrible arm pain I had experienced prior to surgery was gone. There was some post op pain but that was very well controlled with pain meds. Getting used to the hard collar takes some time but myself it seemed like a security blanket for me. For some reason it made me feel more secure and safe. The number one thing you will not be able to live without after the surgery is straws. I had a mild sore throat for about a week and it bothered me to swallow so you might want to make sure there are plenty of soft foods available once you get home. Good luck with your surgery and keep us posted
  • When I awoke from my C5/6 ALL the pain and numbness was GONE!!! I would do that surgery again tomorrow! I did find that I was more comfy sleeping in the recliner vs my bed, but that was fine, our recliner was very comfy!! My next fusion - the bed was more comfy!!! (G)

    This of course varies person to person, so I will send positive energy that you have GREAT results when you wake up!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I am 7 days post op from the acdf surgery c-4 c-5 with the cadaver bone and plate. The pain I had in my shoulder and arm is gone and now the only pain I have is at the incision and the back of my neck and head and traps I still have the numbness in my thumb but my ns syas that may take some time to subside. I had a sore throat and horse voice for about two days. sleeping takes some getting used to I have to sleep with pillows built up behind me as well like itzamemom said icees and popcycles are awsome to have. Good luck to you and I hope all goes well and may god bless you .
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