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1 Month Follow Up Post ACDF

painfree at lastppainfree at last Posts: 239
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All - had my 1 month follow up today and all went well! They said the Xray looked good - screws and plates all in place and can see some bone growth - no confirmation on fusion too early - but bone growth is good! Got the OK to start Physical Therapy and was advised that I may need my pain meds again once I start PT as pain will increase before it gets better. Absolutely hate pain meds so will just have to bear it on tylenol! No release to work they said at least for 4 - 8 more weeks - does that sound right - my next follow up appt is March 10th and NS said she will not release me until then or maybe sooner depending on how PT goes ... how long has everyone been out of work with ACDF 2 level surgery??

Glad to finally be able to get out and do more ..

Just need my ecigs to arrive and I will be good to go!


  • Good to hear you had a good follow-up. I can feel the happiness in your post.

    I think surgeons sometimes tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to returning their patients to work. Sitting at a computer after an ACDF is as difficult as lifting something heavy after a lumbar surgery. I don't know what your job is, but I don't find it unusual that they want you to wait for a while.

    If you're making it financially, have FMLA and are not finding it a hardship to take this time off for recovery, then just enjoy the time off and be sure to continue to take care of yourself. One month is a speck on the wall in terms of the spine surgery wall of recovery, so be patient, follow restrictions, and continue healing and fusing. And walking, walking, walking.

    Thanks for the update. It's always great when our fellow members let us know what's happening along their journey.

  • I am OK work wise - just can't imagine being home 8 more weeks - really bored and a naturally impatient person but this experience has taught me to take care of myself more. I have young children and put them 1st as normal and me last or never which is how I think my injury got so severe! I am just so excited I can start PT!! My job is extremely demanding so I have to make sure I am really good to go before going back! I manage 4 Call Centers so sit on a computer for 8++ hours per day plus then drive anywhere from 1 - 3 hours .. want to really learn from my Phys Therapist how to do that with better posture. It is so easy to slouch at the computer and while driving.. Anyway thanks for the message and I hope you are doing well - your signature states you have further issues with your discs above your ACDF site - are you OK?

    I ordered those ecigs and really need them to help me thru the boredom and my impatience ... will be glad to be smoke-free forever!

  • I know being at home when you start feeling better is boring and can be a problem. The tendency is to do more than you should when you need to adhere to your restrictions, especially when you have kids.

    With your job, I think waiting for eight more weeks is a good idea. There's nothing worse than going back early because so many employers don't understand if you can't do it and need to go back off for an extended period of time. So hang in there, enjoy your time, but still take care of yourself so you heal well enough when it's time to go back.

    As for my problems above my cervical fusion, I have severe arthritis and facet problems on the left side at C2/3 and right side at C3/4. They're getting worse and the pain is almost constant now. The only option is injections, but with my insurance at the moment, it's not affordable to get them done. I personally don't think they'll help anyway because they didn't help my lumbar facets and the ones in my neck are far worse than the ones were in my lumbar. So we're managing with pain meds, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, lidoderm patches, and perhaps some PT. BTW, although my surgeon's PA mentioned adjacent problems after fusion, the areas above my fusion were bad to begin with, just not as bad as they are now. The surgery for these particular problems and area is serious surgery and my surgeon and I won't even discuss it at this point. I'll have to be on my death bed before that happens. :-)

    Take care, Mary. Continue healing and I appreciate all the positive vibes you're sending out to others here on the forums.

  • I am so sorry you have so many more issues and now constant pain. I have to say I commend you as you are always so positive and supportive with everyone on these forums and yet you are going thru so much. I am here for you if you need to vent! This whole ordeal for me has been eye opening. As I think I shared previously my son was injured pretty severely and in a body cast for 8 weeks. That was stress enough as he is only 4 - but what a trooper. I tell you kids are so much better at the sick and injury stuff than us adults! He is and will be fine now. The doctors told me that I have "crappy" discs and not just in my neck - the ones they removed were the worst.. the rest are not great but not in need of surgery. I have a great NS and an even greater primary DR who have both talked to me about a strict exercise regimen and never for the rest of my life do any unnecessary lifting and the other discs can be OK... I am determined to do just that. The fact that I could have now been in a wheelchair changed me and when I read others on this forum who have spinal cord compressions I feel as though I want to share my story but don't want to seem to be an expert or being pushy. This is some scary SH-- !! I have my moments when I get a little negative and think what if my other discs go too - and then try to push those thoughts away - no crystal balls here and want to live my life to the fullest - have to for my kids!
    I agree with the tendency to do more than you should - even if I sit at computer for more than 15 minutes neck and should starts to ache pretty bad so I know I am not ready so I space it out. My hubby laughs because if we need something at the store I immediately volunteer to go for something to do - as long as it is nothing too heavy.
    Anyway - please hang in there yourself - you have been a great help to me and the fact that you are still in constant pain is horrible and I hope it gets better for you! Talk to you soon.

  • Aw, your poor little one. They do seem to handle things better than us older folks, don't they? They're just little troopers and seem to bounce back so quickly without much complaining.

    Thanks for the kind words. What are ya gonna do, though? Complaining doesn't seem to help my situation, so I just take my meds, try to do my best and today having had a major snow storm overnight, I'm huddling up in my recliner with a big blanky and my heating pad. Hubby insisted that I don't go anywhere today because of the bad road conditions and doesn't even want me to walk my little Wally, which I do in any weather. But I think I'll "obey" him today.

    Please take care of yourself and keep us posted on how you're doing. And don't worry about seeming pushy or complaining - we're all in the same boat.

  • You guys must be getting the snow we are expected to get tomorrow afternoon into Wednesday so bracing up here for that. I live in Northeast so we are used to snow but never fun to have to go out in...
    Funny about the complaining thing as my Doctors and now physical therapist ask me about my pain and how I am doing and to be honest when I compare it to the aboslultely horrendous pain prior to surgery I am apt to tell them I am fine. They are so good though and see right thru that and tell me I have to let the healing take the time it needs or I will end up in same spot ... Being a Mom of young ones I just do and never ever put myself first - know now tht can't help them if I am not 100% but still hard not too do.
    Here's the whole story on what happened to my son as I just feel the need to share.. while at a family BBQ 1 1/2 hours away from where we live one of my 4 year old twins while riding a little 3 wheeled toddler scooter down a grassy hill completely broke his right femur bone - yes the biggest bone in his body. Not know how bad it was we put him in our car and drove him to nearest hospital. There was a nurse at the party who went with us thank god. Doctors at this local hospital took X-rays and told us ambulance was on the way to take us to Children's Hospital since it was a clean break of his femur and there was a chance the point of the break could rupture his main artery. The ambulance ride was over an hour with me in it with him and my husband following. We had to leave his twin brother with family at the BBQ. Within 5 hours he was in surgery and came out in a full body cast starting at chest down to feet with opening for bathroom purposes - this was for 8 weeks. They did not know if his growth would be impacted or future surgeries etc ... I decided to take an unpaid leave of absence from work to care for him. Funny thing was that my hubby asked me are you going to be able to do this as he was very heavy in the cast and needed to be carried everywhere. I of course took immediate offense to the question as he is my son and will do anything for him. Well turns out my mind was ready but my neck was not- HA HA! .. Within 1st week of the 8 weeks was when my neck went out and had to deal with the pain to care for him. Luckily I went to a physical therapist also a family friend who knew our situation and got me thru it. Once he was out of cast was when I went for my MRI and they saw how bad the damage was to my neck with the spinal cord compression - freaked me out that I walked around lifted him and all that and could have done worse damage. So then I had my surgery! My son actually still has to do therapy 3x per week as 1 leg is longer than the other and they will monitor him for years. He still has some emotional issues trauma from the whole thing but he did get back on that scooter recently - although a good thing I had a heart attack! It's funny his twin brother is now 2 inches taller than him so he missed his growth spurt - we hope! Anyway as my Mom says "God only gives you what you can handle". We just booked a family trip to the beach for 2 weeks for this summer - we really need it! Thanks for listening to all that!

    Take Care and stay warm thru the snow!

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