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What questions should I ask my NS at ACDF check-ups?

surgerysoonssurgerysoon Posts: 28
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Recovering from Surgery

I had C5-6 ACDF on 9/23/11. Thus far, I have the typical recovery type pain (incision, neck and shoulder blades), mild difficulty swallowing and insomnia. All of which I will discuss with my NS at my 2 week follow-up visit, in a few days. I'm driving myself. This will be my 1st time driving and I feel comfortable. :)) I plan to return to work (desk job) 6 weeks post-op.

What are some good questions that I should ask my NS at my post-op visits?

Thanks! D
C5-6 ACDF 9-2011
C4-5 ACDF 11-2014


  • Had C5-7 ACDF with my own graft, bone spur(s) removed on 9/29. I was terrified going in, but my NS gave me a great deal of confidence and the surgical center took great care of me during my overnight stay. Not particularly looking forward to the scar on my neck - but I couldn't live with the pain any longer.

    I am curious if there are some exercises out there that have worked for others, in early recovery? As recovery progresses?

    Any advice on discussing the recovery with your employer who doesn't seem to comprehend this is a painful procedure that requires some time to recover from???

    If anyone who had their own grafts have any advice for the hip pain in the late evening that radiates down my leg that the pain meds don't seem to touch?

    On a positive note, to give back a little. I haven't been able to look up without excruciating pain in over six months - Now I can. I am hoping this is just one of the gifts of the surgery.

  • Well, I saw my NS 2 weeks post op. We discussed my symptoms, progress and next steps. Oh' I also got a x-ray. It's hard to believe that I actually have a plate a screws in my neck.

    Questions I asked:

    -Is it normal to have a lot of shoulder pain? A: Yes, it s very common. Some of it is caused by how you are strapped to the table during the surgery. Doctors taped my shoulders down.

    -Will I cause the metal dectors to go off? :). A: No

    -When can I expect to be fully fused? A: 6-12 months

    -What can I do to help me shoulder pain? A: Try PT.

    -When is my next visit and how long will the NS follow my care? A: 4 weeks, the day before I return to work. I'll be 6 weeks post op. NS will follow me until I am completely fused.

    Well, the week after my visit I stared PT 2 days per week. It's really helping with the shoulder pain and spasms. Also, I am off all meeds!!!!

    Good luck everyone.
    C5-6 ACDF 9-2011
    C4-5 ACDF 11-2014
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