I'm new here - Married female, 47 - living near Orlando, FL. I had a 3 level ACDF on August 29th, 2011. History - major car accident 1990 hit from behind, my trunk on the ground and front of his monster truck touching my back seat. Did years of chiro and learned to live with neck pain, always cracking neck. 4 mo ago I woke up feeling i had a knife in my left shoulder blade and no feeling at all in left hand. very scary! did all the docs, PT, meds, sterioids (ugh), and 3 epidurals. Epidurals helped some with the arm but pain started coming right back 3 wks after last epidural. Saw 3 dif docs, all recommended C4-C7 fusion with plate. I was scared to death! Doc asked me just before surgery we don't have to do this, and i told him i made it this far, I need to have it done. So far I am glad I did.
I'm 1 week post op. First night was terrible, pain bad, shaking uncontrollably. Finally got pain meds increased along with muscle relaxer (had lump size of orange on back of my neck). I've been sleeping 15-20 hrs a day. Crazy pain pills but they help for sure. I think I am very lucky. I had terrible burning throat first 3 days. Then I had the lump feeling and kept swallowing for 3 days after that. Here I am day 8 and that feeling is gone. I truly feel blessed. My incision hurt real bad for awhile, not it hurts some, but the tape covering it hurts the worse. My back does hurt, I feel like I'm carrying extra 10 lbs between shoulder blades, my head is super heavy to hold. Do have hard neck brace to wear when not in bed that helps. Arm pain is gone! Overall I feel very lucky to feel this good just 8 days after. I go see neurosurgeon for wound check this Thursday. I'd love to hear from anyone who just had ACDF or has it coming to compare notes..