Sharing great news - 3 month Xray and NS follow up appt showed additional Bone Growth, all hardware solid in place and released back to work - no restrictions! Whew! Very excited to return to "normal" life but a little nervous anticipating additional aches and pains with full days of work and then caring for my family...
Have had some lower back issues thru all this too but thankfully not severe .. NS said probably have DDD thru-out spine and the best way to ensure disks stay at ease is to exercise, stretch, good posture and proper lifting - for LIFE! Have to put to use all I learned in PT into my normal routine - will be hard to fine the time but will have to adjust and just do it - do not ever want to have another one of these surgeries.
I talked to my Ns about the anxiety over new aches and pains after this surgery and the concern something could be wrong. She said she understood and said the rule of thumb is that if pain, numbing, tingling and loss of strength are constant that could be a sign to get checked out. If the pain/numbness etc comes and goes then most likely it is due to over-doing it but always air on the side of caution and if you feel like something is wrong call your DR ...
Have seen all different posts about how you know if you are fusing so I asked my NS. She said that for the 1st 12 months following ACDF they take xrays every 3 months and expect to see progressive bone growth at every xray and once they see no space in between the vertabrae could they say all is fused. And one thing I did clarify is not to take any medicine containing Ibuprofin for at least 12 months as that inhibits bone growth - interesting! Just wanted to share some things I have been advised!
As I return to full time work unfortunately I will not be able to be on the forum as much but always plan to check in when I can. I wish everyone successful road to painfree living as I continue on that road as well! I also am so thankful for this forum - my new found friends - for all of the support I would not have gotten otherwise!