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ACDF on Dec.16th

M1ichele35MM1ichele35 Posts: 12
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have had problems with various discs for 5 years. Finally c-5 is causing me to have the surgery. Under normal pain. In various parts of the body. I can't sleep. I can not even beging to think I can sleep sitting up. Plus, and I know I am going to get blasted for this. I smoke! Which I have been told is a huge problem. I have tried everything they have out there to quit. Including some odd treatments. The best I have ever been able to do is abut 15 in a day. Roughly one an hour. Does anyone out there smoke. I have been almost totally sleepless since being told a week ago that I have to have ACDF.


  • Hi Michele,

    sorry your in pain and having to have surgery. I have smoked for 30 years, female, 3/4 pack to 1.5 pack a day. My Neuro told me that not smoking helps in healing and to please stop before and after surgery. I cut back the week before. I had my last smoke at 2;30 pm on Nov 2nd. Even if you don't quit forever, try to go as long as possible before and after surgery to help your healing. You can do this! Sleeping in a recliner will bring comfort. I slept in mine for 2 weeks before going back to my regular bed. In my regular bed i have 3 pillows that are stacked like fallen dominos if you will....which provide the incline needed to feel comfortable. Your going to get thru this with flying colors and come out better on the otherside. Chin up and keep a positive mental attitude. You'll have plenty of support here before and after your surgery
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Welcome to spine-health.

    Sorry you have to have surgery but hopefully it will take care of your pain. I had c5-6 done about 8 weeks ago and didn't have any trouble at all sleeping. Have slept better since the surgery than I had for a long time before. I have done to much at times since and caused myself more discomfort so you need to really take care and take it easy afterwards.

    I'm a smoker too...to many years to count. My NS didn't mention smoking one way or another. Still, I've been careful to try to cut back as much as I can as I know it affects the fusing. If you can't quit at least try to cut back.

    Again, welcome to the site. If you have any questions feel free to ask. The members here were a blessing to me before and after my surgery. They still are too. :D


  • Welcome to the site ! ! ! lots of great articles here, and people with personal experiences,

    I had acdf on two levels, quit smoking 17 day before surg, and started again after six months, then smoked for six months and quit again. I have now been a non smoker over a year. Yes was hard, yes some days I still do crave, but it gets easier and earier. My motto was,and still is, SMOKING is NOT and OPTION.

    I too used a recllyner for a few weeks, swalling was difficult, felt like a ball in neck, so soft food was good, and bendy straws as it was hard to bend neck back to sip. Throat losengers were also helpful first few days.

    I hope you find the streth to quit smoking,as you sence of smell, taste, energy, all come back as well.

    Good luck and wishing you a speedy recovery
  • Read your post and was curious about the smoking thing.. I had 2 level ACDF on Dec 6th - was a 1/2pak per day smoker - quit morning of surgery and went 20 days and sad to say bought a pack - have only smoked 10 cigs in 7 days and only 3 - 5 drags per cigarette - sooo mad at myself as I am scared it will impact my fusion! Are you still smoking and did you fuse yet? Ya think I could quit since I went 20 days but the stress of the whole thing overtakes me. Any comments would be so appreciated..

  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I hope you're doing well since your surgery. It's early in your recovery yet so I'm sure you're still having post op pains.

    I do still smoke. I average around a half pack a day. I had an x-ray at three weeks just to check the hardware and it didn't show fusion of course. I went for another x-ray on Wednesday and see my NS next Friday so I'm hoping for signs of fusing. If not I guess it's a wait and see thing. I know sometimes it can take up to a year.

    I've met many smokers here on this site who had successful fusions. I'm sure there are many other reasons for non fusion besides smoking--if not why do so many have that problem who don't smoke? (Don't I sound just like a smoker defending myself??lol)

    I wish you luck and keep your fingers crossed for me also. Smoking is like a curse to me so I understand what you're going through trying to quit. I hope one day I'll have the willpower to stop. Good luck.


  • Thanks for your reply Debbie.. yes I am close to 4 weeks post-op .. had severe cord compression to a point where they said when they removed the 2 discs my spinal cord was dented.. hello! I go back t NS this coming Thurs for my 1st X-ray. I have bone graphs plates and screws also and have to wear a Bone Stim for 10 hours per day. I checked on-line about the Nicotine Free Cigarettes - not sure I want to go there. And my husband would kill me if he knew I was even taking a few drags every now and then - figured if I hide it then I can't smoke as much. I have 4 year old twins and this has been so hard on them. One of my twins broke his right leg femur bone and was in a full body cast for 8 weeks and my neck symptons started while caring for him and got so severe that I went to DR and could not believe how bad it was. They scheduled surgery immediately as I was at risk of permanent cord damage - freaked me out! Anyway thanks for listening .. You are 3 months post op - are you pain and symptom free now ??

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