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ACDF 9/23/11- medication & what to prepare my family for??

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi. I am new to the forums & am having ACDF on Fri 9/23/11. I am super nervous about pain management after surgery (I have had a terrible time trying to get medication that works for the past few mos) and am also married with 2 teenage stepsons..

I'm 28 so I'm relatively young to be having the problems I have but have seen younger people post on this site. For the most part, my family relies on me to keep the house running as far as cleaning, chores, groceries etc.. I am wondering what I should expect after surgery assuming all goes as planned, and what I can possibly tell my husband & kids to prepare them for me coming home etc. I have read the list of post surgery must haves & plan on putting that together before I go in on Friday. I just want to be able to give my family a heads up as far as what I won't be able to do when I get home so they aren't in shock with increased work load & so I don't have to micro manage the house from my bed. (yelling out chores from my room really doesn't sound appealing or stress free to me).

I am a control freak and am already doing things i shouldn't be doing as far as lifting & carrying- but I plan on not doing any of that after surgery as I want the fusion to work & want to start healing asap. I am a smoker & havent quit yet because I'm so dammed stressed out- but am preparing myself to quit after surgery to help the fusion etc. I am not about to put more pressure on myself however.

To sum it all up the info I would greatly appreciate is 1- what people have done for pain mgmt after surgery (do they send you home with meds? What type?) and 2- what can i do to prepare my family for my recovery time?

Surgeon says 2wks I should be good to go. I have also read that a lot of ppl hear that & they take longer. He also said no collar will be necessary. It's a c 6/7 microdiscectomy with cadaver bone & plate w screws. Pending all goes well, surgery will be first thing in am & I will go home the next day. Am afraid of meds they will give me while I'm in the hospital- would also like to know what ppl were given while they were in the hospital as well.

Thanks so much everyone. I really appreciate any info I can get.


  • Every surgeon prescribes different meds but this is what they gave me....

    Recovery room- Delaudid.

    In the hospital- Morphine and Percocet each medication every 3 hours. (so some sort of pain med every 1.5 hours)

    Then when I was discharged (the day after surgery around noon) I was given a script for Percocet 1 every 3 hours. I took that for about a week then once that script was out I was prescribed Vicodin ES 7.5/750.

    I was also having a lot of muscle spasms and I was prescribed Valium 5 mg.

    Post op my pain was either not that bad or controlled by medications pretty well.

    My surgeon told me 2 weeks as well... NO WAY. Not to scare you but I was off work for 2 months, and I am still healing. A fusion is a big surgery and takes a long time to heal. I wore a soft collar for a few weeks, and then a couple months at night (my choice).

    I am very glad I had the surgery and I feel much better than I did pre op. I was lucky to have a very good surgeon. Good luck!
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • Thanks! I'm still freaking out since it's so close. I'm also in a ton of pain rt now & am almost out of meds- I'm just stressing & obviously that doesn't help with the pain level or tolerance.

    Do you have any recommendations I should prep my family for? Also- is there anything post op that was super helpful to you? I'm thinking of getting a robe- mainly cuz I don't have one but thought it might be helpful? Also thinking of going to a craft store & getting one of those tables that go over your lap for when you're in bed.. Thoughts? I like to write- haven't in a while- mainly bc of pain.. Figured Id stack up some books etc and my iPod & laptop next to me..
    Also- pillows? My husband has a ton of pillows on our bed- but he's a pillow hog so I'm thinking I should pick up a few more?

    Any info you have will be & has been extremely helpful. Thanks again!
  • Thanks! I'm still freaking out since it's so close. I'm also in a ton of pain rt now & am almost out of meds- I'm just stressing & obviously that doesn't help with the pain level or tolerance.

    Do you have any recommendations I should prep my family for? Also- is there anything post op that was super helpful to you? I'm thinking of getting a robe- mainly cuz I don't have one but thought it might be helpful? Also thinking of going to a craft store & getting one of those tables that go over your lap for when you're in bed.. Thoughts? I like to write- haven't in a while- mainly bc of pain.. Figured Id stack up some books etc and my iPod & laptop next to me..
    Also- pillows? My husband has a ton of pillows on our bed- but he's a pillow hog so I'm thinking I should pick up a few more?

    Any info you have will be & has been extremely helpful. Thanks again!
  • had acdf on 9/19/11 yes a few days ago.I had c-5 and c-6 fused with plate bone graft screws the usual. the severe arm pain i had because of disc pressind on nerve, and bone spurs is completely gone. Post op i had demerall and then percocet every few hours,still on the percocet.I have trouble swallowing like everyone who had this done does seems unavoidable but a little better today, i just keep eating ice.I have some upper back soarness feels muscular though not worried goes away after stretching.I cant imagine going back to work in 2 weeks i was told a month and then limited,bones take a year to fuse dont push it. Also i wear a orthofix bone stimulator to help fusion faster.
  • Hi Kristen, I had a 3 level ACDF C4-C7 on 8-29-11. I read all I could to get prepared. The best thing for me is to buy a used hospital bed on craigslist. So many people cannot get comfortable for weeks afterward. I didn't have one night of it, and I also use a heating pad on my neck.

    I was on hydromorphone - at first 2 mg every 4 hrs, then 4 mg every 4 hrs as I was still hurting. I'm also on a muscle spasm med - methocarbamol 750 mg - 2 every 6. I stopped heavy pain meds at 10 days and just use tylenol extra strngth every 4 hrs. I still take muscle spasm meds and the spasms are very uncomfortable.

    Biggest thing, don't bend, lift, twist. Let your family take care of you. If you do lift you can cause issues with the screws and plate. I have 8 screws in me. I won't lift even a half gallon of milk. My house is a wreck, but no one is here to judge. It is simply not worth it. Have someone help you with laundry and cooking as those pots are heavy and bending for laundry is a no no.

    Good luck, keep us posted how you are doing.

  • Hi Kristen,

    We had surgery on the same day, so I thought it would be good to connect. My NS has me on the same meds I was taking pre surgery: flexril and percocet. I also got some pills to help me sleep. So far, I have a sore throat which I am taking cough drops for, shoulder pain and incisional pain. I find that taking meds every 6 hrs, using a heating pad on my shoulders and walking around the house some works best for me. I tend to get very stiff when I sit for long periods.

    My husband and kids are doing everything, which is hard as I'm also a control freak. :)
    However, I'm gonna let them so I can recover as soon as possible. My post op apt is in 2 weeks and my NS certified STD for 6 weeks.

    I added you to my buddy list. It would be nice to hear how things are going. Hoping you have a speedy recovery as well.


    9/23/11 C5-6 ACDF with hardware. No collar.

    C5-6 ACDF 9-2011
    C4-5 ACDF 11-2014
  • It's 4:41 am, I'm in the hospital, had surgery yesterday. Haven't slept well at all. I am trying to see if the doc will prescribe dilaudid in pill form- as it's the only real pain relief/mask I am currently getting- and I'm getting it thru iv.. I have to be off iv meds (obv) before going home- and some random dr that saw me last night said my drain (obv) had to look pretty good.. Other than dilaudid, they have me on percocet every 4 or 6 hours, an iv antibiotic, a steroid, and my regular anxiety depression meds plus my muscle relaxer. I cannot imagine life without these meds right now as I've been a steady 6-8 pain level since surgery. I don't have a brace.. Although yesterday I was thinking of asking for one cuz my head felt like it was going to fall off.

    Shoulder neck & arm (nerve pain) is gone!!!!!!!!! I was really skeptical even though physically it would make sense, that I would feel better after surgery.. Omg!!!!

    However now I'm really going to need help w the recovery side. Do any of you smoke? I want to cut down/ quit but going cold turkey in this mental state just doesn't make sense.. And before surgery i was way too stressed. Also was on chantix a few yrs ago & ended up in the hospital from it all.

    Question being- is there a supplement I should start taking?? I have a c6-c7 ACDF w hardware etc....
  • Hey, I don't smoke. It may impeed your recovery.
    C5-6 ACDF 9-2011
    C4-5 ACDF 11-2014
  • KKFM and Surgerysoon. Welcome to spine health and to the other side of surgery!

    Wanted to wish you both well. Hope that your recoveries go well and that you have a solid fusion and pain relief.

    Take things easy, try to walk when you can. Stay ahead of the pain with medication and rest. Rely on others for help around the house and support.

    Look forward to hearing more from the both of you.Great that you have found someone who has had cervical surgery on the same day.

    gentle >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Just going thru meetings with different specialist now- need to have my drain removed & I'm going home! I'm exhausted.. I really haven't slept.. Thank goodness for this forum. At first I was wary of joining something like this just bc I didn't want to constantly focus on my surgery etc- I was freaking myself out every night before bed this past week, reading up and freaking out lol.. But I can't tell you how great it was to see posts in here when I wasn't sleeping in this hospital room haha. I have been given a 10pm weight limit already- i was expecting for it to be much lighter- I think for the first wk I'm going to go for a 5 lb limit just to err on the side of caution. I know everyone's recovery is different- but on average, how long does it take for the neck muscle swelling to decrease?

    Once I get home, all set up on my couch lol- and on my computer I'll have more time to peruse the forum- for right now I'm just killing time but am starting to get a bad headache..

    Ttys! -Kristen
  • Good to hear your surgery went well! You may not even need as much of the strong stuff in a couple days. My pain post op was never as bad as the pre op pain. Don't get me wrong, it was still painful. But not as bad! Keep us updated!

    P.s You had your surgery exactly 3 months from when I did!
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • When you get home let others help you. Today my incision is very sore, my neck feels like it weighs 100 lbs, and my shoulders are painful. I'm taking my meds every 6 hrs to stay ahead of the pain, using a heating pad and walking around the house as muchas possible. I feel better when I'm walking. Just don't overdo it. Warm tea is helping my sore throat.

    Good news: My arm pain and tingling is also gone!

    Take care! Denise
    C5-6 ACDF 9-2011
    C4-5 ACDF 11-2014
  • So glad to be on the other side of surgery. It's lonely on the couch tho & I'm such a little kid that I want my husband to bring me to build-a-bear lol.. I'm thankfully off of the dilaudid- after this morning I was totally done with it. It stopped being effective & just made me sick. I took some percocet earlier but it doesn't seem to be working (?) I'm thinking it's because I have been on so many medications over the past 36 hours that my body needs to detox itself. I'm still truly exhausted!
    Question: how do you guys or did you guys have your incisions closed? I believe I have dissolving (internal??) stitches, with steri strips on top.. I had to change the gauze over the steri strips when I got home bc the tape really hurt & I truthfully got grossed out.. And I'm one of the most morbid people you'll come across. I think seeing the swelling of it all really made it all REAL you know? Like "holy crap I just had major surgery & I'm alive" type of shock.
    Anyone else have this experience?
    Also- when did some of you start driving again after surgery? I have to do a follow up w my NS in 3 wks including xrays etc.. Just trying to get an average consensus. I know we're all different. :)
  • Hey,

    I also have dissolving stiches, but dermabond (skinglue). The tape over my bandage is killing me as well, but I'm not suppose to touch it until Monday. However, I'm very tempted; especially after your post. :) What did you recover the incision with?

    NS said no driving for 2 weeks, when I go for 1st visit. I plan to return to work (desk job) in 6 weeks. I cerran wrapped my bandage and took a shower. Couldn't wait till Monday.
    C5-6 ACDF 9-2011
    C4-5 ACDF 11-2014
  • Hi everyone - I'll be one month post op on Monday. I have a 2.5 inch incision on the left side of my neck. I'm such a baby, I don't want to see it even now. My husband put painters tape on all our mirrors -there are so many - at the level of my neck so I can look in the mirror and not see it! I went back to the doc 10 days post op and he took off the steri-strip. I had heard it could be painful coming off, so my husband put some baby oil on all 4 corners and around the edge 2 days before. Doc took it off without any pain. From day 7 thru 10 when I had it removed, the area near the tape itched terribly. Very hard to ignore it, but what can you do? I'm starting to put cocoa butter on it now once a day. We used baby oil to get all the tape residue off my neck so it doesn't look like I have a black ring around the whole front of my neck anymore.

    I'm still not driving as with the neck brace off I can't turn my neck very far left or right. I go see the doc at the 6 wk point and will have xrays taken then. I still have days where I'm fine one minute, and then exhausted just a few minutes later. Today was one of those days. We had plans to go out, I decided I was just a bit tired, then laid down and slept 3 hrs. I'm definitely learning to not fight sleep.

    Just a word on the arm pain. Mine was brutal before surgery. Epidurals helped some, but just a few weeks after the 3rd epidural pain came back. My left arm hurt before surgery bad. Woke up pain was gone. Then out of the blue at two weeks my right arm started to hurt! Crazy as my right arm was fine the entire time. I had several days where one or both arms either hurt with a deep pain or pins and needles. Wrapping a heating pad around the arm helped a bunch. I've been without arm pain for several days now and hope it is over! Still getting muscle spasms out of the blue so keep the meds handy (I have to swallow it with applesauce as the pills get stuck going down my throat half way).

    Definitely glad I had it done, but definitely looking forward to feeling like 'Me' again. Hope some of this helps.

  • So I had planned to volunteer at a music festival tomorrow- with my stepson- obvs before I had schedules surgery. Maybe its the meds talking but I'm really considering going as it's only like a 4 hour shift doing "crowd control" which would be essentially me walking around doing nothing for a few hours. Anyone think this is a super bad idea? I'm tired, but I think I may be able to pull it off without lifting & of course telling them I had spine surgery yesterday.. Ok yeah it sounds insane. I'm just really bad at sitting still.. :/
  • Kristen-

    I would definitely not be around large crowds right after this surgery! I'm almost 4 weeks and I am still very careful around groups of people! You cannot control kids running or someone suddenly streching and hitting you in the head or worse back! And I will suddenl have muscle spasms that hurt like a charlie horse between my shoulder blades - very painful. And I need to take my Rx quickly (with applesauce) to swallow them. Meds make me dizzy and sleepy.

    If you feel you must go, definitely buddy up with someone so that you are not alone! And carry a phone to call someone in an emergency. It is one thing not to sit home alone, I completely understand that - but another to do crowd control when your neck and back are in a dangerous position now of easily hurting the damage he repaired and the screws he put in..

    Just my 2 cents..

  • I'm not going to the festival today. Not feeling well at all! Just wrote a super long response and it all got deleted!! Will update more in a bit..
    Questions: I used to rub the back of my neck all the time from it just being sore and now I find myself reaching back to do the same thing- I stop myself- but am wondering if that would cause any damage if I really super lightly rubbed the back of my neck? It's sore- just muscular..

    I have gauze over steri strips over internal stitches- the incision REALLY hurts but it's also swollen (as is normal I'm assuming)- they said I could take the gauze off today- but the steri-strips are UGLY- we're taking like leaky & dried blood ugly- while it feels nice to air it out- I'm not planning on keeping it uncovered- I don't have a follow up for 3 wks- I'm assuming that's when the steri strips come off? It's also when I have my xrays etc.. Suggestions? Also- icing the back or front of my neck- good or bad idea? I had a wet paper towel on my face & neck last night and felt sooo much better.

    Ok- enough rambling. Thanks!!!!
  • Hi Kristen,

    I'm glad you are not going to the festival. Even at 4 weeks I have times where I feel great one minute, and then dizzy and exhausted quickly..

    I asked for ice in the hospital, and they filled a pack with chips. I had it on my back entire time until discharged at 3 days. I still use my ice packs occasionally now. They told me ice or heat, either was fine. I definitely use heat more post surgery, sleeping on heating pad on low or medium most nights. Also use it if I have aches when sitting in recliner and watching TV. I'm sure both will help. As to rubbing neck lightly, I don't think it would hurt anything - before surgery I used muscle rub all day, easily 15 times to help ease pain. I've only used it a few times post surgery and that is like rubbing it. I wouldn't rub it deep as it would likely make things worse instead of better!

    For neck, I saw my neuro at 10 days post op. I was told to take gauze off at 4 days post op so it could breathe. I do remember the days of it itching so bad with the steri strip on, and days of it hurting inside the incision, like inside my neck! I didn't come up with anything to help that, sorry! But at that point I was also taking my hydromorphone and it made me very sleepy, so I would eventually fall asleep. The inside itching feeling was only there for a few days - 3 or 4. When I saw doc at day 10 he took off strips, and my husband cleaned off tape residue. I don't look at it even now. He told me not to look when strip came off, had scab, dried blood and lots of black marks where doc wrote on neck. At 3 weeks he started putting on cocoa butter on scar.

    Hope these help and hope you feel better! Rest assured at 4 weeks you'll feel so much better than you are now. I'm thinking of going to a water park for a few hours (no slides of course, just the lazy river which is my speed!). Just take it a day at a time now..


  • Lol I just semi showered for the first time. Each side of my head right above my ears really hurts- there are also bumps that are super painful. They said it was from stabilizing my head during surgery- so I really needed to try to get the dried blood off of my head. It was grossing me out. They had me on hydromorphone in the hospital and wanted to send me home with it but I told them I didn't want it & would prefer percocet.. I think I have like a weeks supply- if I'm still in pain- would they prescribe more, you think? I've just had terrible luck with pain mgmt w my pcp (obvs I'll be going thru my neuro this time)- when this all started happening I had a dr tell me in broken English that I wasn't in pain- it was depression.. And there was no need for an MRI. I'm still thinking of writing to the medical board about all of that.. It delayed my treatment by 6 mos because "it was all in my head".. I went from bring in amazing shape, going to the gym everyday to getting married completely out of shape & felt disgusting on my wedding day :/ but that's just me bitching..

    I'm actually surprised that I feel as well as I do- I mean I don't feel "good" persay- but I do feel a lot better than I did pre-op, and am just dealing w incision and chest and throat pain. I also feel like if I need to burp (gross I know, but have been drinking a lot of diet soda w ice thru a straw) the pain goes up thru my shoulder blades- then thru my chest- then eventually slightly comes out as a burp.. Anyone else experience that?

    I really seriously am amazed at how helpful everyone has been. Thank you all. It's good to hear the good & the bad- just to see where I am on the spectrum. Happy recovery everyone. I only hope that in a little while that I'll be able to help some other "newcomers" on here. Truly grateful guys. Thanks
  • I read your last post and it reminded me of some of the many odd pains I had at your phase of healing! I have IBS and bladder issues and occasional heartburn. Burping, I did it non stop for at least 2 weeks - very odd! and then I went thru phases where I had so much gas you'd think I was a hot air balloon! oh dear. I guess all this is our bodies way of trying to figure out what happened in that OR! At 4 weeks still have gassy days. Stool softner not needed after about a week.

    The hydromorphone was given to me as the codone family made me nausea. I stopped taking it about day 7 or 8, haven't since. Tylenol extra strength is a good friend however. Still take muscle spasm meds as needed.

    I would be furious at that doctor! My family doc though I was just having muscle spasms before she saw my MRI - that sure surprised her what was really happening. She then switched me to a pain and rehab doc who told me how bad metal plates and screws were - I did the 3 epidurals, but I was one of the unlucky ones that had them to be short lived. Clearly with bone to bone and bone spurs grown into the nerve root, surgery was my only answer. Getting several opinions was the best thing I did. Of the 4 clearly 2 had no idea what they were talking about. How strange how some of these docs can actually practice medicine when they really don't do enough research to find out the truth about where the problem is!

    At day 10 I was out walking around feeling great. But muscle spasms started soon afterward. Keep meds nearby. I too have days I feel I could do anything, and then 15 minutes later, I'm sound asleep. I do not think I'll be going back to work at 6 weeks if I am still like this - I'd be sleeping on the rug under my desk!

    I didn't have any of the bumps on the side of my head, it must be bad to go thru that - and showering is wonderful when you finally can! And being able to pull a shirt over your head without pain. So many things we take for granted.

    This really puts much of life in perspective doesn't it!

  • Yeah I have terrible health insurance but was lucky enough to be able to have my surgery done by the chief of neurosurgery at a great hospital in Boston- after all of this I'm going to switch to my husbands insurance which is really good- so that I can have a competent pcp etc.. Right now my ins really only covers pcp's that work thru health clinics- many of whom I've found useless. I ended up spending a lot of time in the ER. After that doc said it was my depression (I've been on depression & anxiety meds for about 14 yrs- im pretty sure I know when it's depression related!)- and they all thought it was muscle spasms. Then they sent me to an orthopedic surgeon who had xrays and an MRI done- and he called me back saying I needed surgery & needed to see a neurosurgeon. I had 1 epidural done but I had a terrible reaction- they hit a nerve that coincided with my "good" side- I couldn't sit up afterwards- I had tears running down my face, and had a migraine that lasted 48 hours- was bedridden etc.. I'm only 28!! They said they think there was a spinal fluid leak- the pain in my right arm (my bad side) wasn't too bad- but I started getting pain down my left arm was intolerable. They put me on muscle relaxers and migraine medicine and sent me home. I had days where I felt pretty good & days where I felt like I was going to scream- but all in all I am glad I had the surgery- as extreme as I thought it was.. It's amazing how the pain in my arm is gone- I really thought that was bullshit, until it happened. I didn't really know how much pain I was living w until now that it's gone!
  • Hello. Just reading through the posts I am scheduled to have ACDF c5 c6 on 10/3. I am praying it will work, I am so nervous!
  • Hi all, this arm pain is for the birds. I'm determined to keep moving forward. yesterday out of the blue the right arm has pins and needles again. Why?? the right arm wasn't even affected before the surgery. Thankfully it only lasted about 2-3 hrs. I took tylenol and it helped some.

    And then last night I thought I could finally sleep flat - I haven't been able to since the surgery. Laying there for an hr trying to fall asleep, and then wham the muscle spasms start again.

    Sigh - I'm 4 weeks post op today. I'm so ready to be over some of this..

    Sorry for the bum post. Still, I am 100% glad I had the surgery, no doubt. Pain is much less than before I had it. I'd really like to turn my head more - I guess I'll have to wait for Phys therapy in 2 weeks for that.

  • Post op day 3. Today, I showered and took off my bandage. NS used derma bond, so my neck doesn't look that bad. I'm going to keep my wound uncovered so it can heal faster. Oh, I also started the cocoa butter. I'm having a lot of shoulder pain and back spasms, so the heating pad and recliner are my BFFs. Also, trying to stay ahead of the pain by taking meds every 6 hrs.

    Hope all of you are taking it easy and have a beautiful day:)


    9/23/11 C5-6 ACDF with hardware. No collar.
    C5-6 ACDF 9-2011
    C4-5 ACDF 11-2014
  • I was nervous too. However, I'm so glad that I had the surgery. My left arm pain is gone and I just have recovery type issues now. This site is great for questions you may have. We are here for you. :)


    9/23/11 C5-6 ACDF

    C5-6 ACDF 9-2011
    C4-5 ACDF 11-2014
  • Day 3 - at that stage I was sleeping 15 plus hours a day. The hydromorphine and muscle spams meds really did a number on me. Used lots of ice packs and heat. How is your throat - Day 3 it was still burning - chewing ice helped so much!

    I've been in a hospital bed - still am. I keep trying to lay down flat in any bed and I cannot get comfortable. And the muscle spams start within a half hour. But I had 3 levels fused, so hopefully you will be able to get out of the recliner soon.

    I'm hoping someone is there to help. Laundry is very difficult, and even simple sweeping a floor causes much pain to me. Take this time to rest as you need and try to walk when you can. Lots of us out here who just had it - lots of people who care.

  • Hey Sandy,

    I only had throat pain for 1 day. I sucked on cough drops for the entire day that I was discharged. Got this tip from another forum member. It worked!!!

    My husband is very helpful; doing all the cooking and cleaning. Our 5 & 7 year olds are also enjoying taking care of mommy.

    I have been experiencing incisional, shoulder and neck pain. Most if which is controlled with meds. I was freaking out earlier about my incision and how to care for it before I see the NS on 10/7. Then, I found discharge instructions: remove bandage and keep clean/dry. So, I took off the cocoa butter-too early for it.

    I keep catching myself falling asleep and waking myself up by snoring. ????? I didn't do that before the surgery. Oh' well. I)

    How is yout recovery going?

    C5-6 ACDF 9-2011
    C4-5 ACDF 11-2014
  • At your stage I'd probably be sound asleep now. : ) I really don't remember much for the first week or so, slept thru a bunch of it! I'm 4 weeks today. So far today is gooe - I can feel and use both arms and no spasms. But the day is still young. When I hit the 2 week mark the spasms started and I've had them at least every other day. The last few days have been everyday and it brings along either arm pain, pins and needles or numbness. I hate the pins and needles, I don't want to even put my arm down on anything as it hurts! Doc yesterday told me to stay on the microcarbomol (SP?) for muscle spasms every 6 hours, but I'm dizzy and sleepy on it. I'll just take one twice a day - which is probably due now.

    I'm glad to hear you only had one day of throat pain! It felt like my throat was on fire for 3 days. Have you had the lump feeling and have to keep swallowing yet. I was lucky and only had 3 days of that. I still have food that can get stuck half way (doc says my windpipe is right next to my plate and it is inflammed creating a small ridge there). But it is definitely getting better.

    I hope you have someone who can help with the day to day stuff! Cooking, laundry and cleaning are all very difficult even now for me at 4 weeks. Not lifting 5 lbs leave much out!

    I do think it is too early for Cocoa butter. My nurse said it would be best to wait 6 weeks, but I also heard at 3 weeks it is OK as long as scab is all gone. Mine was so that is when I started it.

    Take care!

  • Hey everyone!

    Random question ( like all of my post-op questions have been..) The back part of my tongue is bumpy & feels almost like if I were to have poured hot coffee directly from the pot onto it.. It makes food totally unenjoyable (not that I've even gotten hungry since surgery- or that swallowing is easy).... like if i eat anything other than bread- it hurts, my taste buds are totally off- and ANY seasoning just rips it apart.. I'm not overly concerned about it, just wondering if anyone else has had a similar situation? I'm assuming it has to do with the breathing tube and/or whatever else they had hooked to my head during surgery..

    ALSO- are there any supplements that I can take to help the fusion? Unfortunately I am a smoker & am cutting down daily so I can quit completely, but I know the nicotine is a problem as far as fusion goes (so even if i were to wear a patch, it wouldn't matter- its the actual nicotine rather than the act of smoking, etc).... So I'm trying to find out if there are vitamins, foods, drinks, etc that may help boost the fusion, or at least slightly counteract the nicotine?

    Pain meds. How long have people been on them post-op? Ive been taking the max dose of mine & was sent home with a 5 day supply. Is it pushing it to ask for another prescription? I know everyone is different- I'm just trying to gauge what a average time period people may be on meds for.

    I hope everyone is feeling well & having a great day! :)

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