Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Getting nervous about surgery

dschmidt56297ddschmidt56297 Posts: 32
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am having a 3 level ACDF on December 30th. I am getting very nervous about the surgery. I keep reading about the long and slow recovery and am wondering if I made the right decision. I'm also getting nervous because I've never had surgery before. :jawdrop:


  • Aw, Diane, of course you're nervous, as all of us are before spine surgery, especially since you've never had any problems or surgery before. It's even nerve wracking if you've had surgery before. I was just as nervous before my lumbar as I was before my cervical surgery. You think I'd take my own advice, but noooooooo... It's just not that easy.

    I would be worried if you weren't nervous. I won't ever forget how terrified I was before my cervical surgery, and I was in the exact same position as you are - 3-lvl, never had even been in the hospital before, etc. But I woke up with all my arm symptoms gone and felt better than I'd felt in a long time. Then having it over and being home and recovering was a great feeling. Recovery seemed to go fairly quickly and I had no major issues to deal with. Having your family around during your home recovery is a great comfort also.

    I know it won't help you right now, but I really did find that the anticipation was worse than the surgery itself, and many here will tell you the same thing. My friend who had had surgery reminded me that you really just go to sleep and wake up with it done.

    When you get to the hospital, usually you'll be slightly sedated almost immediately, meet with the team that will be working on you (don't know why, but that's a good feeling) and then you go to sleep. They keep you very busy once you're at the hospital and the next thing you know, you're waking up in your room and it's over.

    Oddly, the one night I spent in the hospital after surgery, I slept very fitfully, but when I did sleep, I'd wake up thinking, "OMG, I have to have surgery..." then I'd realize where I was and that it was over.

    Also, keep in mind that on these forums, those that have had a successful surgery are usually off living their lives and no longer post because they don't need the support given here any longer. Some of us stay to help others, but there are so many who have had completely successful surgeries and recoveries and we no longer see or hear from them. So try not to judge the difficulty of the surgery or the recovery by the threads you see here. I even had a "twin" on here before my surgery, Michelle, who was just like you and me, and she hasn't posted since about three months post-op. We were in touch daily leading up to our surgeries and post-op, then *poof* she was gone because she was all better.

    I personally found my 3-lvl recovery not so bad, certainly not as bad as lumbar surgery recovery. If you have complete confidence in your surgeon then you've made the right decision and it will be over and you'll be home before you know it.

    You might also ask your surgeon to give you some type of sedative to take next week in the days leading up to surgery to keep you from freaking out. Mine gave me some Xanax - they usually understand how difficult it is for us. He prescribed them for me before both surgeries.

    Take care, Diane, and know that how you feel is so common and to be expected. But it's not a death sentence, it's spine surgery and you're doing this for a reason. If they'd found any reason for you to not have this done physically, it would've been at your pre-op testing.

    Hang in there, treat yourself to some fun things and good food before the big day, and I know you'll do fine. You can PM me any time (as you already know) and I'll help as much as I can. But it's really a matter of getting through the days leading up to surgery, keeping busy preparing your home station, and then I hope you'll find like many of us that the worry was not worth the effort, that the surgery wasn't as awful and scary as you thought it would be.

    I'm there for you, buddy, any time you need me. You can even PM me your phone number and we can talk next week if you need to. Been there, done that and I totally understand how you feel.


    PS I saved a bunch of things to do the day before surgery - I had my hair cut, bought a new robe and comfies to wear, bought food, set up my station, got new pillow cases for all my pillows, got a shower chair and a couple of grabbers, etc. Kept me very busy and my MIL was with me to remind me of the things we needed to do.
  • Welcome to Spine Health. There are lots of "neckies" on this site who have had ACDFs and can help you with some of your questions. I am (lucky me) both a backie and a neckie, but both my fusions were lumbar, neck fusion in the future.

    For me, the more I knew about my surgery and recovery, the less freaked out I was. There is a very helpful thread called "post-op must have". A very long list,but you won't need everything.

    I'm sure some neckies here can help you with your questions, take care,


  • Went out and got supplies yesterday. Have shower chair, grabber and bendable straws. Set up my station next to the recliner. Bought some soups and pudding. Only a few more days to go. Thanks to all that have replied. :SS
  • Hi diane, I had a 3 level anterior fusion in october. My pain was gone immediately, the only discomfort I had was where they took the bone from my hip. I was in a hard collar for about 6 weeks. It is good you have stocked up on soft foods as that will help a lot. I actually lost 15 pounds because of the surgery...i couldn't swallow a whole lot!

    I hope it all goes well for you and you have a speedy recovery.


  • I am thinking of you and hope that you are feeling calm and resigned to this surgery.

    Soon you will be on this side of the surgery, and will be feeling great relief that it is all over.
    Then begins your part. The healing.

    Looking forward to hearing how you are recovering.

    Take good care :-)
Sign In or Register to comment.